2019 GW Sustainability Scholars Announced!

January 23, 2019

CUFR is proud to announce the 2019 class of GW Sustainability Scholars!

Through the generous support of both Wepa and the Division of GW Libraries and Academic Innovation, and in partnership with SustainableGW, GW's Sustainability Scholars Awards give promising undergraduates the opportunity to engage in a well-defined research project under the guidance of a GW faculty member in their chosen fields of study. 

Five students were selected for GW's first cohort of Sustainability Scholars.  The students, faculty mentors, and their projects are:


Yoon Sil Choi, Major: Civil Engineering

  • Faculty Mentor: Danmeng Shuai, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Project: "Development of a Solar Photocatalytic Reactor for Sustainable Water Purification"

Recognizing that solar-energy-enabled photocatalysis is an advanced, yet sustainable oxidation process for water treatment, this project seeks to find an optimal design using graphitic carbon nitride as a photocatalyst for contaminant removal and disinfection.


Claire Franco, Majors: International Affairs and Geography

  • Faculty Mentor: Robert Orttung, Elliott School of International Affairs
  • Project: "Approaches to Addressing Food Insecurity Across Arctic Cities"

Given that Arctic cities typically rely on long supply chains for their food consumption, this project inquires into how best can these communities marshal their resources to ensure that their citizens have access to sufficient food supplies.


Kethelyn Papp, Major: International Affairs

  • Faculty Mentor: Maria de la Fuente, Romance, German, Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • Project: "Decarbonization of Chile"

As Chile strives to meet its obligations under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, this project seeks to investigate how Chile can achieve its intended national determined contribution by reducing its carbon emissions while still maintaining its energy security.


Adele Queener,  Major: Anthropology, Minor: Sustainability

  • Faculty Mentor: Hartmut Doebel, Biological Sciences
  • Project: "Biodiversity Survey of George Washington's Native Pollinators"

This proposed study seeks to characterize the diversity of pollinator populations of specific plant communities around the campus of George Washington University, as the university plants to re-landscape its green spaces, specifically G Street Park, and re-plant native plant species.


Sarah Zarsky, Major: Psychology, Minor: Organizational Sciences

  • Faculty Mentor: Tara Behrend, Organizational Sciences
  • Project: Workplace Tracking's Role in Sustainability

This project asks how employees are electronically monitored to encourage green behaviors and how such monitoring affects performance and workplace cultures.