Eda Gimenez is an undergraduate student at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS), currently in her 3rd year of study. Eda was recently awarded the 2011 Evan R. Liblit Undergraduate Scholarship, which honors undergraduates who show a commitment to solving environmental problems. She is currently double majoring in Engineering Chemistry and Environmental Studies, and next year she will be traveling to Illinois to take courses and participate in alternative engineering programs.
In addition to the Liblit scholarship, Eda has received many honors during her time with Stony Brook University. Eda is an accomplished artist and photographer. In 2009, she won a Congressional Art Competition and had a piece of artwork hung in the U.S. Capitol. More recently she received the Digication Inc. Award for her work promoting educational technology. Finally, this past spring she was also awarded SoMAS’s Petra Udelhofen Scholarship, created to award upper level undergraduates in the SoMAS program.
For her Liblit scholarship, Eda has demonstrated the ability to make useful things out of normal junk which she hopes will address issues in developing countries and show that recycling works. Among the things she was able to build were a series of solar ovens using plastic bottles, projector screens and old speakers. Eda is also working on a project to re-engineer computers and recycle electronic waste in order to build educational technology that can reach the developing world.
Why did you choose Stony Brook and the Environmental Science Program?
I chose Stony Brook University because it is renowned for its many strong science research programs. When I was in high school, I became really interested in alternative energy and environmental issues like climate change. After having done research on what colleges would best suit my interests, because of the strength of the core curriculums offered by SoMAS, I found that the environmental science programs SoMAS offered were best tailored to my interests.
What was the inspiration for your award project?
Dr. Larry Swanson, Director of the Waste Reduction and Management Institute at SoMAS, had a significant impact on the way I had viewed the environment and the issues that surround it. When I took his Waste Management Issues course, I began to realize that there are extreme environmental issues that are not popularized by the media – and one was, simply, garbage. Many people do not realize the environmental, economic and public health implications that waste management has on our country and nations across the world. Due to this lack ofunderstanding, as an engineering and environmental student I was inspired to create real, tangible solutions to environmental and waste management issues worldwide.
What are you planning to do once you graduate, and how has your time at SoMAS prepared you?
When I graduate, I plan to continue my education in law school and to eventually practice environmental, interdisciplinary law. I think the best education choice I ever made as undergraduate was to be a part of SoMAS. SoMAS has introduced me to a variety of insightful and highly knowledgeable professors that have challenged my understanding of environmental issues and who have given me a greater perspective on the relationship of environmental issues and their implications on various sectors of life. On top of the diverse and interdisciplinary curriculum offered by the department, the education I’ve received at SoMAS will prove worthwhile when I continue into law school.