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Thursday, November 6, 2014

SU's Sullivan Earns Prestigious EPA-GRO Fellowship

Breck SullivanSALISBURY, MD---When Salisbury native Breck Sullivan was considering her major at Salisbury University, environmental studies seemed like a perfect fit.

“Growing up on the Eastern Shore, the environment has been part of my everyday background, with the ocean, bay, wetlands and farms,” she said.

Now a junior, she has received one of the field’s most prestigious undergraduate honors: an Environmental Protection Agency Greater Research Opportunity (EPA-GRO) fellowship.

Only 34 of the awards, worth up to $50,000 each, are given each year, offering the rare chance to work side-by-side with EPA officials. The fellowships provide students with college funding for their junior and senior years, as well as paid internships at EPA facilities during the summer between those years. Sullivan is the sixth SU student in the past five years to receive the honor, placing Salisbury among the nation’s top universities for EPA-GRO fellowships.

For Sullivan, a Parkside High School graduate, the decision to attend SU was easy: “It just happened that everything I wanted in a college was in my backyard.”

The decision to delve into environmental studies was even easier: “I’ve always enjoyed the aspect of learning multiple disciplines, which environmental studies allows.”

Minoring in mathematics, Sullivan hopes her experiences through the fellowship help her land a job after graduation that unites her interests in numbers and the environment.

“A particular aspect of the environment of interest to me is the impact of pollution on coastal systems,” she said. “I gear my focus to impacts on the Chesapeake. Through the fellowship, I can use mathematical procedures to learn how nutrient concentrations affect water quality and surrounding environments.”

She is looking forward to her experiences with the agency this summer.

“I never dreamed of an opportunity like this,” she said. “Now, all of a sudden, I have one.”

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU website at www.salisbury.edu.


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