On October 31, 2007. the Evan R. Liblit Memorial Scholarshp Fund celebrated its tenth anniversary at its annual fundraiser/award breakfast. The Liblit Fund was established in 1997 to honor the memory of Evan R. Liblit, a nationally recognized professional, innovator and teacher in the field of recycling and waste management. Evan Liblit was known for his public service, passion for the environment, and efforts to establish a recycling program for New York State.
Each year, the Liblit Memorial Scholarship is awarded at the breakfast to a deserving SoMAS student who exemplifies a commitment to academic excellence, public outreach, and helping to find scientific solutions to society’s environmental problems. This year, Anne Cooper Ellefson became the tenth SoMAS graduate student to be recognized as a Liblit Scholar.
Anne Cooper Ellefson is a second year graduate student working toward her Ph.D. with advisor, Dr. Bruce Brownawell. Her research involves developing new methods to measure plasticizers in the environment. Plasticizers can pose a serious threat to humans and other organisms and can be found in many everyday products.
During her acceptance speech, Anne said that, as Evan Liblit showed us, “simply knowing something is wrong is not enough; scientists have to push what they know to seek change. With my research, I hope to not only learn more about plasticizers in the environment, but to also educate legislators and policy makers about the dangers these chemicals pose to humans and the environment, and hopefully encourage more regulations about their use.”
Anne has been involved in various public outreach activities including creating educational displays about important marine issues such as over fishing and pollution effects at the University of South Carolina (USC), where she pursued her undergraduate degree. While there, she also helped form an environmental group. In addition, Anne has done many other outreach activities including volunteering and fundraising for children’s hospitals and programs.
As a Liblit Scholar, Anne was awarded $3,000 and will present her research this May at the Solid Waste and Recycling Conference in Lake George.
At this year’s Liblit breakfast, SoMAS Dean David Conover gave the opening remarks, followed by keynote speaker Michael White, who is a SoMAS Dean’s Council member and chair of the Long Island Regional Planning Board. Dennis Lynch, Chair and founder of the Liblit Scholarship fund, presented Environmental Stewardship of Long Island awards to the NY Association for Re-use, Reduction and Recycling and to the NY State Association for Solid Waste Management. A Recognition Award was then given to SoMAS state member. Bonnie Stephens, for her 10 years of service to the Fund. At the end of the breakfast, Dennis Lynch, with the Liblit Scholarship Steering Committee looking on, announced that the Fund had reached its endowment goal of $100,000!