Two Hiram College seniors received a special surprise during their senior seminar presentations last night. Melanie Baugh (Eaton, OH) and Peggy Painley (Hiram, OH) were each awarded $1,100 scholarships that recognize exemplary student achievement and engagement.
Baugh presented “Feasibility of Composting for Hiram College Dining Services,” during which she outlined mechanical composting and vermicomposting techniques used at colleges and universities. While Hiram has vermicomposting capabilities, otherwise known as “worm bins,” Baugh advocated for more education and waste reduction on campus in light of Hiram President Thomas V. Chema’s adoption of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment earlier this year.
Painley’s study applied her classroom learning to her full-time job as General Manager of Auburn Twin Oaks Winery. Her presentation, “A Study of Sustainability Practices Relating to the Management of Waste Products in Wine Production,” examined the best practices for reusing grape pomace and wastewater that result from the winemaking process. Wineries have the ability to compost pomace and use it as a fertilizer on vineyards, and use waste water for irrigation. Painley’s work will continue as she builds a green winery for the three acres of vineyards at Auburn Twin Oaks.
Painley completed her degree requirements through Hiram’s Weekend College, where students can earn a bachelor’s degree by attending alternating weekend classes. Environmental studies is one of eight majors available to Weekend College students.
Before the senior seminar presentations began, Sarah Mabey, assistant professor of environmental studies, surprised Baugh and Painley with their awards. The scholarships are made possible by The Lubrizol Foundation whose mission is to compliment the interests of The Lubrizol Corporation by providing financial support to educational institutions. Two-thirds of the foundation’s support goes to student scholarships, and one-third supports equipment needs for the department. The environmental studies department will acquire GPS devices with this year’s allotment.