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Ohio EPA Selects Environmental Scholarship Winners

Next Application Deadline is April 15, 2019

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

“Together with Ohio colleges and universities, we are investing in today’s environmental scholars to foster stewardship well into the future,” said Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler. 

Students in four-year programs receiving a $2,500 scholarship for the 2018-2019 academic year are:

  • Eli Barber of Bowling Green, majoring in environmental science and geospatial analysis at Bowling Green State University;
  • Jordan Budrevich of Silver Lake, majoring in environmental engineering at the University of Toledo;
  • Katja Diekgers of Los Altos, Calif., majoring in zoology and environmental science at Miami University;
  • Destiny Funk of Milan, majoring in zoo and conservation science and biology at Otterbein University;
  • Jessie Gibson of West Salem, majoring in environment, economy, development and sustainability at the Ohio State University;
  • Dani Huffman of Granville, majoring in environmental studies at Kenyon College;
  • Lataisha Jones of Barberton, majoring in zoology and biological sciences at Kent State University;
  • Alexandra Nelson of Warsaw, majoring in environmental science at University of Mount Union;
  • Emily Nicholls of Mt. Vernon, majoring in biology at Ashland University;
  • Hayley Nininger of Centerburg, majoring in biology and toxicology at Ashland University;
  • Andrew Oppliger of Westerville, majoring in forestry, fisheries and wildlife at the Ohio State University;
  • Kayla Parry of Hamler, majoring in environmental science at Cedarville University;
  • Amber Pitsenberger of Howard, majoring in zoo and conservation science and biology at Otterbein University;
  • Alexandra Smith of Medina, majoring in Earth science at the Ohio State University;
  • Angie Sullivan of Medina, majoring in civil engineering at Ohio Northern University;
  • Amanda Szinte of Madison, majoring in wildlife and conservation biology at Ohio University;
  • Tyler Theaker of Bellville, majoring in biology and environmental science at Ashland University;
  • Lydia Trick of Kettering, majoring in biology and environmental studies at University of Cincinnati;
  • Jordin Vidmar of Wadsworth, majoring in toxicology and biology at Ashland University;
  • Lucille Williams of Athens, majoring in wildlife conservation at University of Rio Grande; and
  • Nicholas Willse of Medina, majoring in environmental studies and biology at University of Cincinnati.

This year’s student recipients have completed research or environmental work experience with projects focusing on:

  • Landfill liner placement, seaming and water drop analysis to prevent erosion
  • Effects of algae and sedimentary turbidity on the visual sensitivity of Lake Erie game fish
  • Cost-effective techniques to extract hydrophobic insecticides from sediments
  • Effects of saline deicing agents on freshwater aquatic invertebrates
  • Developing a climate resiliency plan for the City of Alliance
  • Wetland biodiversity assessments
  • Light inventory to prepare Yellowstone National Park application for Dark Sky designation
  • Analysis of lead contamination in the feathers of wild birds
  • Field tests of passageways beneath the Nelsonville Bypass for amphibians and reptiles
  • Red algae as a bioindicator of high quality freshwater habitats
  • Environmental risk assessments of industrial chemicals before coming to the market
  • Effects of biochar amendments to green roof substrate for nutrient retention

A total of $52,500 was awarded this year. Since the scholarship program began in 2000, $869,950 has been awarded statewide to 353 students at 51 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, 2019. 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) 488-2228 or visit www.OHIOSCI.org.


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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