John A.D. McArthur, environmental manager of Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass, recently visited Eastern Kentucky University to meet with nearly 50 students, staff and faculty from the Department of Environmental Health Science.
Several EKU EHS alumni currently working in environmental health with Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass accompanied McArthur for their second check presentation to the EHS Club. Odara Oliveira, EHS senior from Richmond, received the check in her role as EHS Club president.
“It was a very exciting event, and we have an ongoing relationship with Parsons and the work they do at the (Blue Grass Army) Depot,” Oliveira said. “They always provide our students with tons of internships, and they always support our EHS program. We are fortunate they are supportive of our community and our students. Bechtel Parsons allows our hands-on program to actually get out in the field and do the hands-on work. We have a great friendship with them.”
McArthur had kind words for the EHS faculty and students present.
“Your program is unique in the higher education landscape,” he said. “Your faculty has experience in the workplace beyond academic experience, and that is not common. It also shows in your students, your interns and your graduates who come to us ready to hit the ground running. We really appreciate our EKU grads who have the applied skills, and we really appreciate the University, your faculty, and the whole Richmond community.”
The funds given will be directed toward the 23rd annual Environmental Health Symposium in the spring and to support student travel to the National Environmental Health Association’s annual conference in Anaheim, California. Dr. Clint Pinion, an assistant professor in the department, was grateful.
“The monetary part helps a lot, as it is difficult in this current environment to have the impactful experiences beyond the classroom,” Pinion said. “These funds will help us recruit professionals to present at our annual symposium, which in turn raises funds for our students to travel and present their practical research projects at national conferences.”
The EHS faculty remains proud of departmental alumni who are employed by Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass, notably Stephanie Blevins, REHS, WM RCRA specialist, who facilitated this donation and an earlier donation in January 2017.
The club’s mission is to improve environmental health within the community, the Commonwealth and world by increasing the number of EHS majors at Eastern, raising awareness of environmental health, and ensuring EKU EHS students are successful in their classrooms and careers. For more information about the club, contact Oliveira at firstname.lastname@example.org, Faculty Adviser Clint Pinion at email@example.com, or any of the program’s faculty.
For more information about EKU’s Environmental Health Science program, visit ehs.eku.edu or call 859-622-6343.