8/4/21
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MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce

Ohio EPA Selects 2021 Environmental Scholarship Winners

Next Application Deadline is April 15, 2022

Nine environmental science and engineering students have been awarded scholarships through Ohio EPA’s Environmental Education Fund to study at Ohio colleges and universities. Students were selected based on academic performance, as well as research, employment/internships, leadership, letters of recommendation from education or environmental professionals, and other specified criteria. 

“These students represent the next generation of scientists and engineers and the important work the future will need. We are pleased to help them further their educations,” said Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson.

Students (listed with their colleges, hometowns, and majors) receiving a $5,000 scholarship for the 2020-2021 academic year are: 

  • Nicholas Albert Beltramini, Oberlin College, Wrentham, Mass., environmental studies;
  • Julia P. Glenn, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, environmental studies and urban studies;
  • Blair Jones Hassett, Miami University, Cincinnati, environmental studies;
  • Collin Andrew Lester, The Ohio State University, Elyria, environmental studies;
  • Catherine Rose Oriyo, The Ohio State University, Reynoldsburg, forestry, fisheries, and wildlife;
  • David M. Orth, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, environmental engineering;
  • Mackenzie Alexandra Rutherford, Miami University, Eaton, geology and environmental Earth science;
  • Nina Savastano, John Carroll University, Independence, environmental science and biology;
  • Nassar Taleb, The Ohio State University, Columbus, electrical engineering.

These students have worked on research or environmental projects including urban ecological restoration, disaster recovery and community resilience, predicting waves overtopping coastal levees for flood protection systems, impacts of Lake Erie turbidity on fish predator-prey interactions, shielding outdoor light fixtures to reduce light pollution, detecting Hellbender salamanders and other sensitive species from environmental DNA in streams, color morphology distribution of Eastern Screech owls, and light detection applications for solar cells and electric aircraft. 

A total of $45,000 was awarded this year. Since the scholarship program began in 2000, more than $1 million has been awarded statewide to 389 students at 48 Ohio colleges and universities. Funding comes from civil penalties collected by Ohio EPA for violations of air and water pollution control laws. The scholarship program is administered by the Ohio Academy of Science. 

The next application deadline for scholarships is April 15, 2021. Additional information about the scholarship is available by calling Ohio EPA’s Office of Environmental Education at (614) 644-2873 or visiting www.epa.ohio.gov/oee. To learn more about the Ohio Academy of Science, call (614) 389-2182 or visit www.OHIOSCI.org.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.

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