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News Releases from Region 04

Four Kentucky Undergraduates Pursuing Environmental Science and Research Degrees Awarded $185,000 in EPA Fellowships

Contact Information: 
Jason McDonald (mcdonald.jason@epa.gov)

ATLANTA – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced four undergraduate students at two universities in Kentucky were awarded Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships totaling $185,000.   

“With the help of this funding, undergraduates will be able to explore their passion in environmental science and cultivate their research skills,” said Thomas A. Burke, EPA science advisor and deputy assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Research and Development. “These fellows are the next generation of scientists, who will help lead the way in protecting the environment and public health.”

The fellowship provides a maximum of $50,000 for up to two years to each student and a summer internship at an EPA facility where students can work alongside EPA’s engineers and scientists. These students are pursuing degrees in environmental science and other related fields, including engineering, environmental health, and the physical sciences.

The 2015 fellowships in Kentucky were awarded to Cayla Baughn, Dana Biechele-Speziale, Alexandra Hezik of Western Kentucky University and Sarah Stryffeler of the University of Kentucky in Paducah. Baugh and Biechele-Speziale were awarded $50,000 and $35,000 respectively, to explore research in the area of physical science. Hezik, a biology major, was awarded $50,000 to conduct research in urban agriculture. Clean water research will be Stryffeler’s focus. The physics major was awarded $50,000 to fund research in water systems.

Since its inception in 1981, the GRO Fellowship program has awarded more than $13 million in funding to nearly 400 students.  This year, fellowships were awarded to 34 undergraduate students at 28 colleges and universities across the nation.

More about the 2015 GRO Fellows: https://www.epa.gov/research-fellowships/star-graduate-and-gro-undergraduate-fellowship-recipient-list#gro

More information about the GRO Program: https://www.epa.gov/research-fellowships