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Ohio EPA Selects Environmental Scholarship Winners

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

“There is a tremendous need for qualified graduates in the environmental sciences,” said Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler. “These scholarship recipients have already demonstrated strong skills and interest in the environment, so we hope they will stay in Ohio after graduation and put those talents to work here.”

Students receiving a $2,500 scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year in a four-year program include:

  • Hunter Ardrey, Ohio State University (Environmental Science), Granville;
  • Morgan Bauer, University of Findlay (Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Management), Fremont;
  • Hannah Baumann, Ashland University (Toxicology), Bellville;
  • Alison Biro, Ashland University (Toxicology), Clinton;
  • Anthony Dixon, University of Toledo (Environmental Science), Dundee, Mich.;
  • Jessica Ezzie, University of Toledo (Civil Engineering), Copley;
  • Kristin Garr, Case Western Reserve University (Environmental Studies /Medical Anthropology), Rochester Hills, Mich.;
  • Jarod Gregory, University of Cincinnati (Chemical/Environmental Engineering), Cincinnati;
  • Zachary Hawke, University of Cincinnati (Civil Engineering), DeGraff;
  • Eve Hochhauser, Ohio State University (Environmental Engineering), Oceanside, NY;
  • Rima Jurjus, Denison University (Environmental Studies), Shaker Heights;
  • Aaron Leow, University of Cincinnati (Civil/Environmental Engineering), Maumee;
  • Jessica Lindner, Ohio University (Environmental and Plant Biology), Cincinnati;
  • Elisabeth Martin, University of Cincinnati (Civil/Environmental Engineering), Upper Arlington;
  • Tyler Sebree, Ohio State University (Atmospheric Sciences), Cincinnati;
  • Rosalie Sepesy, Ashland University (Environmental Science/Biology), Austintown;
  • Derek Smith, Bowling Green State University (Aquatic Biology), Toledo; and
  • Alex Sofranko, Ohio State University (Environmental Engineering), Austintown.

Also receiving a $1,250 scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year in a two-year program will be:

  • Anthony Smoktonowicz, Owens Community College (Environmental Health and Safety Technology), Perrysburg;
  • Ryan Smeltz, Stark State College (Environmental Health and Safety), Akron;

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

  • petroleum contaminated soils site assessments;
  • toxicity of saline deicing brines to aquatic life;
  • Lake Erie offshore wind energy potential;
  • membrane bioreactors and the efficacy of carbon water purification;
  • ice cover impact on phytoplankton and algal blooms in the Great Lakes;
  • macroinvertebrate populations in streams degraded by acid mine drainage;
  • effectiveness of constructed wetlands in keeping pharmaceutical and personal care products from entering rivers and streams,
  • ultrasonic wave treatment to remove pharmaceuticals and other pollutants from drinking water supplies;
  • small pond ecology and wetland zooplankton population diversity;
  • building robotic systems to detect methane leaks in closed landfills;
  • effects of coal additives on mercury migration in ground water;
  • making biodiesel from yellow trap grease in food operations and
  • constructing a fish lifting system in a dam.

A total of $47,500 was awarded this year. Since the scholarship program began in 2000, $691,200 has been awarded statewide to 282 students at 48 Ohio colleges and universities. The scholarship program is administered by the Ohio Academy of Science. It is designed to motivate students to enter environmental fields of science and engineering and reward outstanding undergraduate students based on merit, enhancing their employability in environmental fields.

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 April 15, 2015. 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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