As part of our sponsorship of Enviance’s first-ever Environmental March Madness Tournament for environmental studies, Environmental Leader is publishing Enviance-penned profiles of the winning schools as well as Q&As with students from the individual programs. Congratulations to Rochester Institute of Technology, Colorado State University, Purdue and overall winner Colby College.
Name: Rachel Mosetick
School: Rochester Institute of Technology
Major: B.S. in Environmental Sustainability, Health and Safety, M.S. in Environmental, Health and Safety Management
The Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) environmental science program is known for challenging its students with unique research and field work opportunities as a part of their program’s curriculum. Students have the chance to help study and solve real-world problems through a wide array of field work including projects like analyzing forest soils affected by acid rain and developing revitalization plans for inner cities. RIT’s status as a top rated technical university, providing the most current technologies being used in the field by professionals, also gives students an advantage in today’s competitive job market.
These elements of RIT’s program in addition to the caliber of its students helped the University earn a spot in the Final Four of Enviance’s first-ever Environmental March Madness Tournament for environmental studies. Rachel Mosetick was one of RIT’s students to show her dedication to their Environmental Sustainability, Health & Safety program as a part of the large contingent of students and faculty who submitted photos, videos and essays in support of their school’s advancement in the competition.
Born and raised in Chicago, Rachel’s parents instilled an appreciation for nature in her from the start, taking her hiking, biking, and swimming as a child. Her mother was very passionate about environmental conservation and protection and helped foster Rachel’s interest in the field.
When the time came to look at colleges, Rachel knew she wanted an academic program that would incorporate her interests in environmental responsibility and business management and arm her with concrete skills to compete for a job after graduation. Rachel eventually found her future home away from home in Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) Environmental Sustainability, Health & Safety program.
Currently pursuing a dual degree, working toward both a bachelors in Environmental Sustainability, Health & Safety (ESHS) and masters in Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Management, Rachel will begin looking for a full-time ESHS position in Colorado after graduating in May 2012.
To find out more about Rachel’s experience at RIT, her thoughts on the Environmental March Madness Tournament, and her plans after graduation, read on below.
Q: What was the reaction from you and your peers after RIT was named to the Final Four?
Rachel Mosetick: I was very proud of RIT. As my peers and I all agree, RIT really pushes us to a level that we may not have achieved in another college’s environmental program. Participating in the Environmental March Madness Tournament for environmental studies was just a small way to show our appreciation for RIT. We were extremely proud that our voices were heard and that RIT did so well.
Q: Why do you think your school did so well?
RM: RIT gives us lots of opportunities to get involved with practical, real-life sustainability, faculty research projects through actual technical applications of what we study in the classroom. Our faculty stays abreast of cutting-edge developments within ESHS organizations, activities, and research in order to continuously improve our program.
Q: What projects have you been most passionate about working on while at RIT?
RW: I have been involved with three different co-ops during my undergraduate years and one co-op as a graduate student. My first co-op experience was in a Fortune 500 company’s corporate risk management department. It gave me a great overview of organizational structure, corporate programs and functions, and some exposure to facility ESHS support. My second and third co-ops were environmental management co-ops with Stantec, Inc. and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). I was one half of a two-person remedial investigation for a former asphalt site and assisted with preparing environmental compliance reports. I acquired a solid background in hazardous waste management with the DLA, where I verified, tracked and helped transport hazardous waste for all of Colorado’s military posts. At my current co-op I am acquiring project management experience in addition to supporting ESHS activities, programs, and systems within a Six Sigma manufacturing environment.
These projects will definitely play a role in my future career as they have given me a good mix of technical experience and the soft management skills needed to drive ESHS performance.
Q: What do you feel are the biggest environmental issues facing the world?
RM: The biggest environmental issue facing our world today is exceeding our planet’s carrying capacity. My research and time at RIT has led me to the conclusion that unless we change the fundamentals of our day-to-day living, we are facing serious energy, economic, and social crises.
Q: What solutions do you think are required to address these issues?
I think the solution to address the issue of exceeding our carrying capacity is for companies to transform the way they do business in order to create no waste and do no harm to the environment. If consumers and companies adopt this philosophy, I believe it will be enough to ensure that the Earth can support and even flourish with increasing levels of human activity.
Q: If you could pick one piece of environmental legislation, real or hypothetical, to be passed in the next five years, what would it be and why?
RM: A hypothetical legislation that I would like to see passed is the requirement of all organizations to identify their environmental impacts and then develop a management system that will continuously work toward the elimination of negative impacts. ISO 14001 is a good framework for this, but I would like to see this hypothetical piece of legislation extend to worker health and safety and community relations; in addition to environmental management.