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Clarkson student wins EPA scholarship that will cover her tuition costs

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POTSDAM - It sounds like a dream: winning a fellowship that covers college tuition and provides work experiences and research opportunities to help launch a career.

Clarkson University student Erin Corrigan ’14 of Remsen is living that dream; she landed a Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The GRO fellowship is worth $48,900 and will cover Corrigan’s tuition expenses for the remainder of her Clarkson career. Corrigan is one of 39 undergraduate students nationwide to receive the fellowship, which is meant to encourage careers in the environmental sciences.

“Receiving this fellowship almost seems too good to be true with the potential to open up so many opportunities and help guide what direction I want to go with my life,” said Corrigan.

Corrigan, an environmental science and policy major in Clarkson’s Institute for a Sustainable Environment, will be placed at an EPA research location this summer in either Golden, Colo., or Corvallis, Ore., for an internship. She will also complete a research project before she graduates; her work may involve analyzing the carbon footprint Clarkson University’s dining services generates. The project would offer solutions on how campus dining could reduce its carbon footprint, such as buying more local food to cut down on transportation pollution.

Corrigan grew up near the southern fringe of the Adirondack Park and has always enjoyed hiking, camping and being outdoors. Those interests helped spur her passion for environmental sciences.

“The more you’re out there, the more you appreciate it,” she said.

Environmental Health Sciences Professor Alan Rossner, Corrigan’s advisor, said the fellowship is indicative of her work ethic and interest in environmental science.

“It says a lot about her leadership potential, her leadership now and how that will grow as she moves forward,” said Rossner.

The internship will be invaluable as Corrigan launches her career, Rossner said.

“That’s worth more than any money. You get to work with scientists in the top of their field. It puts you in the middle of conducting research,” he said. “It’s going to help her say ‘This is what I really want to do in graduate school.’”

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