Georgia Southern University Signs Partnership with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Georgia Southern University has entered into a cooperative partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote research, teaching, outreach, career development, and stewardship in environmental sciences, sustainability and engineering. This is the first time the University has partnered with the EPA.
On Thursday, Georgia Southern University President Brooks Keel, Ph.D. was joined by EPA Regional Administrator, Gwendolyn Keys-Fleming to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the EPA’s Southeast Region 4. The MoU expresses the University’s and EPA’s intentions to establish a cooperative working relationship during the next three years.
The new partnership is designed to provide additional opportunities for student training and internships, faculty research support and environmental and public health initiatives.
“Our goal is to work together with the EPA to develop educated, and highly qualified graduates that are capable of addressing the environmental challenges of the future,” said Keel. “We are excited about partnering with the EPA and look forward to growing the relationship. This new agreement will not only provide our students with valuable learning opportunities, but it will also focus on providing them with the skills they need to be successful once they complete their four-year degree at Georgia Southern.”
“The EPA recognizes the importance of partnering with academic institutions to build capacity and provide a forum for discussing emerging environmental issues with future leaders,” said Regional Administrator, Gwendolyn Keys-Fleming. “This new partnership with Georgia Southern University will provide students with the opportunity combine education, outreach and hands-on work experience. We hope to strengthen their interest in environmental careers and encourage environmentalism.”
A key part of the new partnership is what it will mean beyond the classroom. The agreement will provide Georgia Southern students access to apply for EPA internships and will also strengthen the University’s environmental work on campus as well as its outreach in the Statesboro and Savannah communities and throughout the state. The EPA will also participate in University career fairs, department seminars, conduct mock interviews and representatives will also serve as student mentors.
The new environmental education partnership builds on Georgia Southern’s growing reputation and commitment to the environment. This past year, Georgia Southern was named to the Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges. The guide to the top eco-friendly institutions in the U.S. includes colleges and universities based on their proven commitment to environmental and sustainability issues, and is produced in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council. In addition, Georgia Southern launched a new Interdisciplinary Concentration in Environmental Sustainability last year, and requires all students to successfully complete a four-credit environmental course before graduation. The University is also one of the institutions that signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.
Charles Patterson, Ph.D., vice president for research and economic development at Georgia Southern called the new partnership a major opportunity for the University’s students and faculty and the EPA. “We have much to offer one another and this new agreement is just the beginning of what we hope will be a longstanding relationship between the two organizations. Our students and faculty are interested and are actively involved in conserving our natural resources. They are eager for hands-on opportunities to learn more about the environment and to expand their research.”
Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 120 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. In 2011, the University was named one of the Top 10 most popular universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report and is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu.