$1000 Scholarship Recipients
Congratulations to all the recipients of the Spence T. Brennan Scholarships! We can't think of a better way to invest in promoting environmental protection.
William Vallatini
Needham High School
Son - Maureen Vallatini - MassDEP NERO
Attending: Trinity College
Majors: Biology
"I have chosen to study at Trinity College because I want a broad educational experience allowing me to explore biology, public health, and environmental protection ... I was invited to join the Interdisciplinary Science Program, a unique program allowing a small group of science, math and engineering majors to study and live together. ...In my Junior year I studied the disproportionate impacts of pollution on economically disadvantaged areas in the United States. Some of the topics I focused on included: lead contaminated drinking water in Flint, MI; chemical spills into the Elk River in Charleston, WV; and the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through the Standing Rock Reservation."
Aidan Ridings
Old Rochester Regional High School
Son - Courtland Ridings - MassDEP SERO
Attending: Stonehill College
Majors: Special Education
"... Working with students with learning differences, behavioral and social challenges over the past three years in the classroom, community and on sports teams has solidified my goal to become a special education teacher across multiple grade spans. I have chosen to attend Stonehill College because of its' reputation for opportunities to participate in research as early as freshman year as well as its' well-rounded approach to the training of teachers to work in a variety of types of classrooms." ... "Current research has identified over one thousand chemicals found in our environment that are neurotoxins during the fetal or early brain development. I plan to engage in research to investigate how exposure to environmental toxins including pesticides and heavy metals could be a causative factor in diagnosis of a developmental or learning disability."
Nolan Greene
Sturgis Charter Public School West
Son - Robert Greene - MassDEP SERO
Attending: Purdue University
Majors: Engineering
"... I felt that Purdue (University) would be the best choice for me because of its strong engineering program and the opportunities presents." ..."I've been inspired to pursue alternative/renewable sources of energy due to the prevalence of pollution from fossil fuels and other non-renewable sources of energy." ...Much of the renewable resources are untapped and must be harnessed to avoid a dark new future. When I was in Indiana, I noticed a stark difference between the landscape there and at home on Cape Cod as there were wind turbines stretching for miles upon miles. While it wasn't the prettiest sight, I realized that it is far than dealing with the consequences of fossil fuels."
Talyah Goncalves
Greater New Bedford Reg. Voc. Tech. H.S.
Daughter - Lissa Ramos - DEP
Attending: Bridgewater State University
Majors: Science/Health Services
"I would like to pursue a major in health studies, which I believe will cultivate my interest in public health and environmental studies. ... my uncle passed away from chronic lung disease. He worked for a company that specialized is spray painting and finishing cars. He was exposed to the vapors because he was not wearing proper respiratory protection. I am interested to work in urban communities to help them address environmental concerns and their impacts on human health".
Erin Stanley
Apponequet Regional H.S Lakeville
Daughter - Laura Stanley - DEP
Attending: Salve Regina College Newport RI
Majors: Biology
"...My goal in life is to work in the area of genetics ad continue the quest of unlocking the mysteries of genetic disorders including causes, potential cures and treatment... genetic diseases caused by environmental contaminants may be preventable ."
David LaPusata
Billerica Memorial H.S
Son - David LaPusata - DEP
Attending: Colorado School of Mines
Majors: Petroleum Engineering
"... I want to take environmental consciousness to my industry. While energy is important for our society today, the preservation of our lands and oceans is important to all of us tomorrow... I see myself bringing sweeping change in the process through research, and being the voice of the Earth on the business side of the industry..."
Victoria Williamson
Barnstable High School
Attending: Assumption College, Worcester MA
Majors: Biology
"... Marine biology is my passion...I want to study abroad in Australia with the Great Barriers Reefs. Since everyone shares this Earth, we should come together to understand it. Volunteering and community service is one way we can achieve that goal. As I continue my education at Assumption College, I hope to still be a volunteer at the CCMNH while teaching about conservation of the environment."
Mia Ellis
Smith Academy Hatfield, MA
Daughter - Steven Ellis - DEP
Attending: University of Vermont
Majors: Environmental Studies
"... I plan to major in Environmental Studies, with a concentration in Policy and Development and a minor in Spanish considering applying to the UVM 3+2 Program in collaboration with Vermont Law School. While discussing politics (with a teacher), he told me, "Nothing really matters if we don't exist anymore. Money, trade, war, crime - they all don't matter if our plant don't exist anymore ."
William Duggan
Boston College High School
Attending: Lehigh University, Bethlehem PA
Majors: Environmental or Civil Engineering
"... Last spring, I was selected as the Father John J. Scholar at my school, a prestigious award given to a rising senior who wishes to conduct an independent study project that will in some way better the school community. I chose to investigate the problem of sea level rise, its likely impact on Boston College High School and possible solutions for protecting the campus ."
Andrea Dame
Saugus High School
Attending: UMass Amherst
Daughter - Timothy Dame - DEP Majors: Microbiology
"Almost every Sunday my parents would take me to local bird sanctuaries, wetlands, beaches, reservoirs, state parks, etc. and show me something new. These walks became the spark of my interest and respect for the environment. I intend to pursue research of the impact microbes have on the environment and humans that could lead to a multitude of careers involving water quality analyst, soil scientist, or oceanographer ."
Laura Mason
Coyle and Cassidy High School
Attending: Boston College
Majors: Nursing
"I have seen the negative impact of pollution upon health with my family, friends and in the community. Air pollution, I have observed, makes asthma worse. I am also concerned about global warming and climate change. I would like to combine these interests to have a career in public health nursing. Environmental nursing is a diverse interdisciplinary field.Boston College will give me a strong foundation in current public health issues ."
Hailey Medeiros
Apponequet Regional High School Lakeville
Attending: Northeastern University
Majors: Environmental Engineering
"...my love for biology and my passion for the environment made it almost inevitable that I would turn to a career in environmental engineering, and I knew Northeastern University would be the perfect school for me. I am extremely interested in the Dialogue of Civilization program, as well as the Engineers Without Borders program ."
Shayelia Stanley
Apponequet Regional High School Lakeville
Daughter - Laura Stanley - DEP
Attending: UMass Amherst
Majors: Biology
"I knew I was looking for a larger research university to have ample research and internship opportunities… I was accepted into their Commonwealth Honors College as well as the Bio Tap program. In terms of environmental research and interests, I have been interested in toxicology, and the effect of contamination on the human body ."
Carolyn Doty
Oliver Ames High School
Lynne Doty - DEP
Attending: Union College, Schenectady, NY
Majors: Neuroscience
"…I have observed that over time more children are being diagnosed with neurologist disorders (ADD, Bipolar, Autism, etc.). Genetics alone cannot account for the increases. I think that environmental pollutants, pesticides on our food, heavy metals in our soil, and air pollution are contributing to detrimental changes in our bodies and brains…. There seems to be a high incidence of environmental and chemical sensitivities in those with Autism that also impacts their behavior…. Environmental and neurological sciences need to partner … to explore the effects of environmental toxins on the brain."
Emily Burke
Oliver Ames High School
Ed Burke - DEP
Attending: Berry College, Rome GA
Majors: Veterinary Medicine
"…With my profession as a veterinarian, I hope to promote the conservation of species… Working with animals is my true passion… I would enjoy doing research to detect diseases in the environment that may affect an animal population… I plan to use holistic practices… natural remedies like herbs and acupuncture… All natural treatments reduce production and manufacturing of factory made medicines…limiting additional hazardous waste into the environment."
Nicole Neville
Barnstable High School
Attending: Princeton University
Majors: Electrical Engineering
"…The aspect of the environment that most fascinates me is water. It is 75% of the Earth … yet many people fail to appreciate this incredible resource… I want to keep our beaches clean for future generations. The potable water supply… (on Cape Cod) is being compromised due to pollution, septic systems, the leakage of waste and prescription drugs into water, and other factors… I hope to someday develop a way to filter all of these pollutants out of the water."
Hannah E. Walsh
Old Rochester Regional High School
Shawn Walsh - DEP
Attending: University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Majors: Public Health / Speech Pathology
Thanks from Hannah
"…One of the programs within the School of Public Health is Environmental Health. …the program focuses on evaluating environmental exposures to humans and explores important areas of current concern such as …toxicology…contamination, ecological risk assessment, prenatal environmental exposures and associated risks to human health. Understanding these …concepts is critical to a number of public health areas including speech pathology…physical diseases such as cancer and tumors that affect the parts of the human anatomy involved in forming speech. Such diseases are often the result of exposure to harmful contaminants in the environment…."
Kyle Blanchard
Bishop Stang High School, No. Dartmouth
Tim Blanchard - DEP
Attending: Bridgewater State University
Majors: Physical Therapy
"During my junior year in high school, I took a Physiology and Anatomy class. I became fascinated on how the body works and studying the functions on how it worked. …The environment has a huge affect on our bodies …. The area of environmental protection I plan to pursue is the study of air quality. This particular area strikes my interest because it has a direct correlation to our bodies…."
Tyler Russell
Wareham High School
Peter Russell - DEP
Attending: University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Majors: Chemical Engineering
"Due to my aspirations to be a chemical engineer, I would most likely have the greatest likelihood of affecting the field of alternative fuel sources and issues of that nature. By altering the chemical composition of current fuel sources, it could be possible to decrease the negative externalities that accompany them, such as pollution and even scarcity. It would even be possible to create new fuel sources altogether with a chemical engineer's training. The creation of cleaner, more efficient fuels could be a powerful catalyst in the movement to assist the environment."
Christopher Mahala
Apponequet Regional High School
Attending: University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Majors: Environmental Science
"UMass Amherst's environmental science program offers an interdisciplinary major where I will be applying knowledge from basic science, economics and policy. I will learn how to address problems caused by ecosystem degradation and chemical contaminants from industrial, agriculture and food production… both of my parents have worked at MassDEP… I have grown up hearing about…. wetlands, coastal geology, water pollution control, hazardous waste management….. I see myself making a positive contribution to help cleanup, protect and sustain our natural resources…."
Harrison George Corbett
Newburyport High School
Attending: University of Delaware
Majors: Geology
"The University's (Delaware) College of Earth, Ocean and Environment is very well known….. undergraduates spend atleast one semester abroad . ... I am extremely interested in a semester in Antartica studying geology. … The United States is running out of fossil fuel sources….people are turning to natural gas…This past school year, I learned about hydraulic fracking….Fracking consists of injecting upwards of five hundred chemicals, water and sand into the shale, which releases the gas into the well to be captured….The chemicals end up being released into local drinking water supplies…Communities are being destroyed by fracking companies…I want .. .to help develop safer and more protective ways to safely capture natural gas."
Robert Studley
Cardinal Spellman High School
Kermit Studley - DEP
Attending: University of Rhode Island
Majors: Mechanical Engineering
"Wind energy is up and coming, but there are a few drawbacks from this source of energy. People are concerned with the electromagnetic field that the turbines induce which cause strange symptoms in peoples' mood and behavior… From a mechanical engineers point of view, I would like to create a more efficient turbine that generates little to no sound and has no influence on the behavior of organisms….So my overall vision is to help improve the world that we live in today, for a better tomorrow."
Christopher Scott Doty
Oliver Ames High School
Lynne Doty - DEP
Attending: Stonehill College
Majors: Computer Science
"For my senior project I interned with Dr. Tang at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole and I found an interest in environmental protection. … We analyzed soil for carbon dioxide productivity when variables such as soil water glucose levels change. Once I graduate from college, I … can (will) be better equipped to help save the planet we all cherish and desperately need by finding ways to reduce global warming and to increase sustainability."
Danielle Pinaud
Mashpee High School School
Len Pinaud & Maria Pinaud - DEP
Attending: Holy Cross
Majors: Biology
Thanks from Danielle
"For my senior project I interned with Dr. Tang at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole and I found an interest in environmental protection. … We analyzed soil for carbon dioxide productivity when variables such as soil water glucose levels change. Once I graduate from college, I … can (will) be better equipped to help save the planet we all cherish and desperately need by finding ways to reduce global warming and to increase sustainability."
Sarah Walsh
Sean Walsh - DEP OGC
Attending: UMass Amherst
Majors: Engineering
Thanks from Sarah
"When I got to high school… it was never hard to find information on national issues, especially those concerning new energy sources and the harmful effects of the old ones. It seems every month there was a new headline in the newspaper like "Oil Spill Kills Wildlife" or "Cape Wind Causes Controversy" … my vision is to help provide our country complete independence from foreign oil sources and create a green economy in which America can create both energy for the country as well as jobs for its citizens."
Karan Malakoff
Barnstable High School
Attending: Harvard
Majors: Organismic & Evolutionary Biology
Thanks from Karan
"I am (was) co-chair of a project entitled Protect Our Water and Environmental Resources (POWER) at Barnstable High. We are working to educate the public about the hazards of emergent contaminants… The low levels of contamination (present) are often the result of people flushing unwanted medications down the toilet. All of these chemicals ultimately end up in our lakes, ponds and aquifers. Whether I am diving deep in a submersible or studying the water quality in an estuary, my goal is to become a research scientist in either hydrothermal vent ecology or wetland protection."
Caleb Fields
King Philip Regional High School
Richard Fields - DEP BWP
Attending: University of Vermont
Major: Environmental Science
Thanks from Caleb
"I traveled to New Orleans, LA in 2008 to assist in Hurricane Katrina recovery, and this experience opened my eyes to the intrinsic connection between human rights and social justice. I talked to residents of the Lower 9th Ward, who still have no houses. The affluent French Quarter was thriving again. I want to help solve social justice and human rights problems through the realm of environmental science."
Kiam Ross
Apponequet Regional High School, Freetown
Chris Ross - DEP
Attending: Plymouth State
Majors: Environmental Policy & Planning
"..I chose this major primarily due to the respect that I have for the environment and the right that we all have to clean air and water. … in rhe spring of 2000 I was able to participate in a "turtle tracking " … required for the construction of Rt. 44…this to me is a great example of balancing protection of the environment with a significant public works project. … The second experience left even more of am on me (was the) construction of the new Stadium for the New England Patriots. … the project involved relocating a 1,000 foot section of the Neponset River… I see myself as an Environmental Police Officer . … I'd provide environmental protection on a broad basis… ."
Victoria Gavin
Apponequet Regional High School, Freetown
Dan Gavin- DEP BWP
Mount Holyoke College
History / Environmental Studies
Thanks from Victoria
"My dream has always been to attend law school. I took a class called Environmental Research in which my group of seven people conducted a year long study on the effects of the Middleboro Waste Water Treatment Plant on the water quality of the Nemasket River and the experience opened my eyes to the field of environmental law. I have realized just how perfectly in-balance everything in nature must be for the river ecosystems to function properly. By studying environmental law, I hope to be able to enforce environmental protection regulations and the thereby help better the natural ecosystems of our rivers and waterways."
Julianna Burke
Oliver Ames High School, No. Easton
Daughter of Ed Burke - DEP
Attending: University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Major: Nutrition
Thanks from Julianna
"…I believe that with my nutrition major I can help make an environmental difference. Since nutrition represents the basic fundamentals of human life, when trying to preserve and conserve the environment, it is important to know what we are putting in our bodies. I am eager to learn about how pesticides in food correlate to disease and sickness. The chemicals used for food growth not only contaminate the food chain but also the environment. I am very interested in learning how to grow organic food because it I snot healthier for the body but safer for the environment. Reducing the use of chemicals and pesticides in our agriculture will have many positives results…"
Sean Gilmore
Bishop Stang High School, No. Dartmouth
Son of Dan Gilmore - DEP
Attending: Tufts University
Major: Chemical Engineering
Thanks from Sean
"Going Green" is the newest trend here in the United States, but it is often not like this in other countries. My goals after college are to help other countries slowly change and become environmentally friendly. … I am most interested in pursuing, designing and utilizing new forms of energy."
Benjamin Charles Hanson
Hampshire Regional H S, Westhampton
Son of Lawrence Hanson - DEP
Attending: Skidmore College
Major: Chemistry
Thanks from Benjamin
"…At Skidmore , I believe that my studies in chemistry can give me the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a career in my desired field, green chemistry. Green chemistry is the study of chemistry with a focus on environmentally safe chemical reactions and discovering chemical solutions that will benefit the planet. A wide field, green chemistry includes the invention of more efficient chemical reactions, reduction of the use of environmentally dangerous reactants, and the production of environmentally friendly technologies such as biofuels, solar panels, or a variety of other innovations. …One of the areas of green chemistry that I most excited about is the production of fuel from cellulosic biomass. … from the structural components of plants…"
Andrew Paterson
Cambridge Rindge and Latin, Cambridge
Son of James Paterson - DEP
Attending: Harvard University
Major: Environmental Studies/ Government
Thanks from Andrew
"For as long as I can remember I've been taught…about protecting the environment, and my father, who has worked for …"MassDEP" for as long as I've been alive, has always been one major…influence. The first major example of this…took place at the tender age of five. …chocolate ice cream in hand…I tore off the wrapper and cast it to the ground casually… My dad, however, …gave… Andrew the scolding of a lifetime….Now, I obviously know why actions like this are significant, and I have actually developed a strong passion for protecting the environment as a result. … At Harvard I plan to double major in environmental studies and either government or economics. …My second goal…is to become either the CEO of an alternative energy company or an alternative energy policy maker. … I hope to help facilitate a shift to alternative energy on a global scale. …"
Andrew DuComb
Monson High School, Monson, MA
Son of Mark DuComb - DEP
Attending: Keene State College, Keene, NH
Major: Environmental Engineering
Thanks from Andrew
"…during a long mountain bike ride. … my friend … finished a Power Bat and threw the wrapper on the ground. I instantly felt a strong rage inside. …I debated with him for a minute on how it is not right to blemish nature. He agreed and picked it up……. After a few minutes of silence he said, "That really fired you up. You really care, huh?" …during my Eagle Board of Review, I was asked a question about what I want to do with my life in the long run …"I would like to go to college and learn how to help out the environment."
Anne Marie Lynne Hanson
Hampshire Regional H.S, West Hampton, MA
Daughter of Larry Hanson - DEP
Attending: Wheaton College, Norton, MA
Major: Biology & Environmental Studies
"…I hope to revive the National Park Service. …At first I wanted to educate people about the value of our national parks, but now I have discovered the second part of my goal: to further the cause of environmental conservation…participated as a counselor-in-training program, at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary…I enjoyed teaching the kids at Arcadia about the environment…one camper even gave me a pet rock to protect at the end of the session…I would like to have a job in natural resource management, environmental policy or environmental education …The current generation needs to learn about energy conservation and environmental protection, so they can improve the world for those to come."
Amanda Melvin
Norfolk County Agricultural High School, Walpole, MA
Resident of Middleboro, MA
Attending: State University of New York
College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Syracuse, NY
Major: Environmental Biology
Thanks from Amanda
"…As a child I had many pets, and my family would occasionally take injured or abandoned wildlife under our care. I have always enjoyed helping animals, and the best way to do this is to keep their environment safe. ….The area of environmental protection that I am interested in is animal rehabilitation, specifically dealing with wildlife. I believe an animal has as much right to live as any person. I was raised trying to save animals, and my heart is set on continuing to do so."
Christina M. Colarusso
Middleboro High School
Middleboro, MA
Resident of Middleboro, MA
Attending: Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Major: Marine Safety & Environmental Protection
Thanks from Christina
"…I will be attending Massachusetts Maritime Academy…, and with this degree I will be able to fulfill my life-long dream of becoming an Environmental Police Officer. …I wish to become an officer for the challenging and rewarding aspects of this call to duty. …I wish to campaign politically for change in environmental protection laws. … develop science curriculums incorporating environmental protection in the classrooms of Massachusetts students. …I hope to assists in making the procedures to conserve land easier. I want to be able to look back on my life and know that I have made a difference and did so in an honorable manner……"
Fiona Masland
Concord-Carlisle Regional HS
Daughter of Pamela Talbot - DEP
Attending: Colby College,
Waterville, ME
Major: Environmental Studies
Thanks from Fiona
"…I quickly made my decision to attend this institution …one of which was the school's professed dedication to a green campus and its very strong program in environmental studies. …my parents work for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and …the Department of Energy Resources. … I recently travelled to China …learned about the severe pollution caused by unchecked production and the use of resources like coal in fueling factories and supporting a population of more than 3 billion people…. I am interested in preserving freshwater supplies … We only have a limited supply of fresh water, so I believe this is an essential area of study."
Without the generosity of our many sponsors and supporters this endeavor would not be such a huge success. Thank you all so much!