June 10, 2023

UMW Students Receive Innovation Award

University of Mary Washington students Maria Morran and Sam Fortier recently received Marstel-Day’s Innovation in Environmental Stewardship Award. [caption id="attachment_116731" align="alignleft" width="300"]UMW students Sam Fortier and Maria Morran. Photo by Steve Canning Photography. UMW students Sam Fortier and Maria Morran. Photo by Steve Canning Photography.[/caption] Marstel-Day, an international environmental consulting firm, presented each student with a $2,500 cash award at the firm’s annual “Green Gala.” Each student will work on an environmental project with the guidance of an advisor from Marstel-Day and will present their findings in August 2015. Morran, a junior geography major, will study the elimination of plastics in the ocean gyres, swirls of ocean currents caused by global winds. Fortier, a junior business administration and sustainable development major, will investigate eliminating plastics from the economy as a whole. “Maria and Sam’s projects stood out,” said Rebecca Rubin, president and CEO of Marstel-Day. “They are truly innovative, ambitious and address some of today’s most pressing environmental challenges, namely the hazards of plastics to our species, and polluting our lands and water. Maria and Sam represent the creativity of their generation and show us that the next generation is taking its environmental stewardship seriously.” The awards were presented by Rubin; Jonathan Levin, provost at UMW; and Richard Finkelstein, dean of UMW’s College of Arts and Sciences. “The University of Mary Washington is very proud that its students are working to build a better future for all of us and that they envision a resilient, green environment at its center,” said Finkelstein. He leads the development of the Climate, Environment and Readiness (CLEAR) Plan for Fredericksburg and the neighboring four counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George and Caroline.