Ohio EPA Selects Environmental Scholarship Winners

Thirteen environmental science and engineering students have been awarded scholarships to study at Ohio colleges and universities through Ohio EPA’s Environmental Education Fund.

According to Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally, “The scholarship program is designed to motivate students to enter environmental fields of science and engineering and reward outstanding undergraduate students based on merit, enhancing their employment opportunities in environmental fields.”

Students in four-year programs who will receive a $2,250 scholarship for the 2012-2013 academic year include:

  • Nathan A. Arroyo, Ohio State University (Environmental Engineering), Sandusky, OH
  • Briana L. Bennington, Ohio State University (Environmental Engineering), Stow, OH
  • Megan A. Brown, Heidelberg University (Environmental Science, Water Resources), Galion, OH
  • Vincent R. Deem, Youngstown State University (Environmental Studies), Wellsville, OH
  • Kristen E. Giesting, Otterbein University (Environmental Science, Biology), Batesville, IN
  • Joseph A. Higgins, Cleveland State University (Environmental Science), Middleburg Heights, OH
  • Constance Hollo, University of Akron (Civil Engineering), Parma, OH
  • Michelle N. Lazanich, University of Akron (Civil Engineering), Euclid, OH
  • Amelia J. Lyons, Cedarville University (Environmental Science), Avonmore, PA
  • Alifia Z. Merchant, Ohio State University (Environmental Science), Oak Park, IL
  • Bryan J.Nemire, Hiram College (Biology, Environmental Studies), Berlin Heights, OH
  • Thomas J. Seiple, University of Cincinnati (Environmental Science), Cincinnati, OH

Also receiving a $1,250 scholarship for the 2012-2013 academic year in a two-year program will be:

  • Jeffrey L. Sams, Stark State College (Environmental Health and Safety Technology), Canton, OH.

This year’s student recipients have completed research or environmental work experience in the following areas:

  • making American chestnut trees resistant to chestnut blight;
  • monitoring the resistance of bacteria to the anti-bacterial agent triclosan in Alum Creek upstream and downstream from wastewater treatment plant outfalls;
  • helping Battelle implement ISO 14001environmental standards;
  • installing solar lighting and computer charging stations for two elementary schools in Haiti;
  • drinking water purification in Iraq, Honduras and South Africa;
  • using non-recyclable paper waste to replace coal in University of Cincinnati power plant boilers;
  • biodegradation of the antibiotics in cattle feed when manure is applied to corn crops;
  • assisting Cleveland MetroParks with long-term monitoring of several species of fish, invertebrates and amphibians in headwater streams of the Cuyahoga and Chagrin Rivers; and
  • comparing water quality in restored and unrestored segments of Massie’s Creek.

In 2012, a total of $31,250 was awarded in scholarship funds to Ohio college and university students. Since the program began in 2000, $595,200 has been awarded statewide to 241 students at 47 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.

Students were selected to receive a scholarship based on several criteria. These include an academic record with an overall grade point average of at least 3.0, a major in an environmental science or environmental engineering program, an activity in nonathletic extra-curricular activities and organizations and an ability to communicate effectively. Students need to obtain recommendations from education and environmental professionals and present original research, scholarship, employment, volunteering or other unique contributions they have accomplished in environmental science or environmental engineering.

The next application deadline for scholarships is Oct. 1, 2012. Additional information about the scholarship is available by calling Ohio EPA’s Office of Environmental Education at (614) 644-2873 or visiting To learn more about the Ohio Academy of Science, call (614) 488-2228 or visit


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