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BRCC’s STEM Division awarded Environmental Leadership Program Award


Photo (left to right): Laura Younger, Interim Dean of STEM, Chuck Brown, Ph.D., Secretary, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Jeffery Tarver, President, BRCC Green Bears Club, Sandra Guzman, Ph.D., Professor, Interim Department Chair Science, and Co-advisor, BRCC Green Bears, Larissa Littleton-Steib, Ph.D., Chancellor

Baton Rouge Community College is proud to announce that its STEM Division is once again the recipient of an Environmental Leadership Program Award, given by the Louisiana Dept. of Environmental Quality, at a ceremony held on March 22.

The award acknowledges BRCC’s “Water Resource Awareness” initiative – a multi-activity approach to environmental education, led by Dr. Sandra Guzman, the STEM Division, Green Bears Club and the Human Rights Initiative, which includes faculty from BRCC’s Liberal Arts Division.

The award was accepted by Dr. Sandra Guzman, Interim Department Chair Science, and Co-advisor, BRCC Green Bears. 

BRCC Chancellor Dr. Larissa Littleton-Steib also attended the award ceremony.  

“I am extremely proud of our STEM Division, students, and faculty for receiving such an honor on behalf of their work in raising environmental awareness. The projects being celebrated by this award represent their collective desire to create and sustain a better, healthier, more environmentally-sound Louisiana, country, and world.”  

For its first activity of the awarded project, BRCC welcomed retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, to deliver the Karen Stephens Science Lecture. Honoré presented the talk “Clean Water is a Human Right,” in which he shared information about Louisiana’s coastal erosion, saltwater intrusion, the problem of sinkholes, and status and concerns about aquifers. 

Another activity of the initiative was Geaux Green Day – an environmental/sustainability educational outreach event aligned with the celebration of Earth Day. The event promoted sustainability education for BRCC students, staff, and the Baton Rouge community by bringing together both vendors showcasing different green and sustainable practices and exhibition projects of BRCC students. 

The third activity was another Karen Stephens Science Lecture, featuring the talk “Plastic Smog: How science and activism can save our synthetic seas,” by 5 Gyres Institute Research Director, Dr. Marcus Eriksen. Eriksen discussed his discovery and research on plastic microbeads, which was the cornerstone for the 2015 Federal Microbeads-free Water Act.  

“We are excited to be acknowledged as a partner in raising environmental sustainability and human rights awareness, and promoting best practices that impact our campus community and the city of Baton Rouge,” said Laura Younger, BRCC’s Interim Dean of STEM.

BRCC received the 2013 Environmental Leadership Program Award for Community Environmental Outreach in the Colleges and Universities category for its inaugural Geaux Green Day, which is now held biannually.