WASHINGTON, PA (April 30, 2015) —Six Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) students received the opportunity of a lifetime when they were selected to research environmentally friendly alternatives in the automobile industry in Asia.
Maxwell Chomas ‘15, Naomi Bick ‘16, Jake Meyers ‘15, Conor Crowe ‘15, Emma Russell ‘16, and Hannah Hill ’16 spent three weeks during the summer of 2014 traveling to automobile manufacturing companies and recycling facilities in China and Japan to learn about their environmentally friendly practices.
The project, “The Green Practices of Automakers in China and Japan, Student-Faculty Research Grant, ASIANetwork/Freeman Foundation and Mazingira Fund, 2014-2015” was led by Robert M. East, Ph.D., professor and director of environmental studies program at W&J, and Yongsheng Wang, Ph.D., associate professor of economics and the director of W&J’s financial economics program.
While in Asia, the students found that one company was able to recycle more than 40 different materials used in production. Another recycled water using an internal system within the plant. All of the companies they visited were making strong efforts to be able reuse everything within the near future.
The students compiled their findings, and Chomas and Bick presented the project at the annual ASIANetwork conference in St. Louis, Mo. in April. ASIANetwork promotes Asian studies in liberal arts colleges throughout the country. At the conference, Chomas and Bick presented the project both to a panel and in a poster session, which gave them valuable experience.
“I learned a lot of professional skills about interviews, research, and simply talking to people from new and different places and finding common ground,” Bick said. “It also really ignited a spark for me to travel to different countries and continue to learn as much as I can about the world around me when given the opportunity.”
Wang said opportunities for students to do this type of international research are what sets W&J students apart.
“This kind of undergraduate research brings a tremendous amount of potential for where our students can go in the future,” he said.
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work.
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