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UNH Sophomore Named EPA Fellow, Gets $50,000 in Support

Release Date:
6/27/2013 12:00 AM

Jessica Zielinski is one of only 40 in the nation.

June 27, 2013

Jessica Zielinski, 500px   Jessica Zielinski shows products that can be recycled

WEST HAVEN, CONN. -- Jessica Zielinski, a sophomore at the University of New Haven from Madison, Conn., has been awarded an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship. She is one of only 40 students from around the United States who will participate in the program.  

The two-year fellowship is highly competitive and provides tuition support, a monthly stipend, equipment, travel funds and a paid internship during the summer at an EPA facility. The fellowship is worth $50,000. 

“This award recognizes the outstanding work Ms. Zielinski did during her freshman year,” said Ron Harichandran, dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering.  “She has demonstrated that she is able to compete on a national level, and we are very proud of her.”

An honors student majoring in sustainability studies at UNH, Zielinski is the daughter of David and Sherri Zielinski of Dunkirk, N.Y.

“I am grateful for the opportunity and excited to work with UNH and the EPA on this research in the coming years,” she said. “I think the research I will be involved in during this fellowship will be valuable both as a learning opportunity and as a chance to benefit communities and their environments, both built and natural.”   

Zielinski also is working on a donor-supported summer undergraduate research fellowship this summer at UNH.  She is studying how the campus community generates and disposes of waste. The waste includes non-recyclable trash as well as recyclables and items that could be reused or donated, especially at the end of the semester when people move out, she said.   

“By the end of the project, my goal is to launch some projects that will involve other students, staff and faculty in a waste awareness and minimization campaign on campus,” she said. 

Zielinski was a member of the UNH Green Team last fall and is a member of the Undergraduate Student Government Association’s sustainability committee. She is an intern with the United Illuminating Clean Energy Communities, which gathers utility data in order to inform local municipalities about energy usage.

After graduation, Zielinski hopes to work in urban planning.  

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University operates a satellite campus in Tuscany, Italy, and offers programs at several locations throughout Connecticut and in New Mexico. UNH provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. The University enrolls approximately 6,400 students, including nearly 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and College of Lifelong & eLearning, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide, and its student-athletes compete in 16 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II’s highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference.