WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., April 18, 2017— West Liberty University’s annual environmental education day (WLUEED) surprised students this year with a student competition. Sponsored by WLU Foundation, the contest offers cash prizes.
“Environmental education day is one of the initiatives of the campus sustainability committee. The competition was added to offer incentive to get involved with environmental issues,” said Dr. Vishakha Maskey, chairwoman of the event. Environmental Day will be observed on the hilltop on Wednesday, April 26.
“This year our committee focused on the recycling program. We are trying to promote recycling and provide students with an educational component so that they know what can and cannot be recycled here on campus,” Maskey added.
Maskey is an associate professor of economics and management and earned a doctoral degree in Natural Resource Economics from West Virginia University. She also is an executive board member in the WLU sustainability committee.
The student competition has three categories, with first place in each category earning a $100 award.
- creative problem solving and design
- service learning related to campus sustainability
- research poster presentation on sustainability related project
Formal events will take place from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Wednesday, April 26 in the College Union and will include presentations on sustainability from local organizations and businesses including: Ohio County Master Gardener Victoria Barker, Grow Ohio Valley, Lou Karas of WLU’s Center for Arts & Education, Scrappy Pappy electronic recycling, U.S. Green Building representative Edward Calvert, campus food service Sodexo, WFF Facilities Management and campus activities coordinator Kate Billings who will discuss housing.
“This is the first year I am chairing the event,” Maskey said. “I took the reins from Dr. Dave Thomas who retired last year and I’m trying to come up with new ways to increase student involvement.”
The WLU sustainability committee is an official campus group that includes faculty, staff and student leaders and seeks to educate and inspire the campus community to lead a more sustainable way of life.
Besides Maskey the committee’s executive board members are Chairman Keith Kaczor (staff) and faculty members, Aron Massey and Anna Stephan Robinson.
“Being an environmentalist, and an Eagle Scout I have always been passionate about the environment. This committee has opened my eyes to various ways one can make a positive influence on the environment by doing something other than just recycling,” said Gage Sutton, student representative also serving on the committee. Sutton is a junior from McMechen W.Va. who is majoring in geography and planning in the College of Liberal Arts.
During the day, Sutton will be assisting assistant professor of geography Aron Massey in an annual shoe drive. Students can donate their sneakers, which will be recycled or repaired and sent to developing countries.
“WLUEED helps students have a more realistic view of sustainability,” Sutton said. “Turning off the lights when you aren’t home, donating unwanted possession to those less fortunate and educating others can make a world of difference if everyone just made the effort to improve the situation.”