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News Releases from Region 01

Three Massachusetts Students Selected for EPA Fellowships to Support Next Generation of Environmental Scientists

Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)

BOSTON - Three students in Massachusetts colleges were among five New England students and 34 students nationwide studying environmental science and related fields of study at universities and colleges across the nation awarded grants so they can work at the US Environmental Protection Agency in their own field.

The three Mass. students chosen for EPA's Greater Research Opportunities fellowship program were: Eden Bonjo of Spring Hills, Penn. and New York City, a sustainability major at Smith College in Northampton; Ashley Funk of Mount Pleasant, Penn., an environmental studies major at Wellesley College in Wellesley, and Thomas Gumbley of Cranston, R.I., an economics and environmental studies major at Stonehill College in North Easton.

"The studies being done by these students will help create a more sustainable future," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office. "EPA knows today's students are tomorrow's environmental scientists and engineers who will lead the way in protecting human health and the environment."

Students who received these awards said the grants will help them further their research and studies.

"Because I come from a low-income family, the fellowship has allowed me to focus on my studies and academic research more than ever before," said Funk. "Plus, the internship is giving me the opportunity to develop my skills in community-based engineering and design, which I hope will help me solidify and build upon my career plans, and give me more insight on how I can ultimately accomplish my goals."

"I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with the EPA and I am super excited about my summer internship," said Bonjo. "I want to use this experience to gain entry into a graduate level program and one day perform my own research into issues of the environment and social welfare."

"I am extremely honored to have been awarded the EPA GRO fellowship, which will allow me to further explore my passion for environmental studies and economics," Gumbley said.

The GRO fellowship provides students with financial support, while giving them the opportunity to have a paid internship at an EPA facility working with scientists in their field. The award-winning students are undergraduates entering their junior year. The fellowship provides up to $20,700 a year of academic support that includes both stipend and tuition support as well as $8,600 for an internship during the summer for a combined total of up to $50,000 over the life of the fellowship. Previous fellows have gone on to become government researchers, engineers at the Missile Defense Agency, university professors, and high school science teachers, and many have been recognized as leaders and educators in environmental health and science.

For more than 30 years EPA's GRO Fellowship has provided students in fields related to environmental science with the tools to succeed not only in their undergraduate studies and internship, but also in their future careers. More than 150 fellows have completed EPA's program and used their knowledge and expertise in the workplace.

The other two New England winners were Allison Wood of Tuftonboro, N.H., an environmental engineering major at University of New Hampshire, and Rebecca Andreucci of Hamden, a biochemistry major at University of New Haven in West Haven, Conn.

The solicitation for the next round of GRO fellowships is expected to be coming out this spring.

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