Randolph College’s Moore Hall Lounge will be converted to an environmental science lab this summer. The renovation will be funded by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC).
The $9,616 grant from the VFIC will allow the College to install new flooring, a larger sink for washing field equipment, countertops and cabinets, a storage area for ongoing projects, and IT equipment. In addition, Adam Eller ’13, an environmental program alumnus, made and will contribute a hydrology table. Staying true to the College’s liberal arts tradition, a wall will also be reserved to display student artwork.
The renovation is expected to be completed before the start of the fall semester.
“This lab affords us a location not only for instructional activities, but also for students and faculty to have project space, allowing us more options for research,” said Karin Warren, the Herzog Family Chair of Environmental Studies. “We also will be able to acquire and use some new equipment that we haven’t previously been able to get because of lack of space, such as a drying oven for soil analysis. This opens up new options for lab activities and research projects as well.”
As an alumna of the program, Sara Woodward ’16, who is now Randolph’s sustainability coordinator, is also excited about the possibilities the new space will provide.
“Environmental science students will be better able to set up long-term experiments, display conference posters, and not have to borrow space from the physics or biology departments,” Woodward said. “Sciences are some of our fastest growing majors, and with anticipated enrollment increases we need more lab space. Investing in a new environmental science lab shows that the College really is trying to promote both environmental sustainability and science as part of the liberal arts education.”
In addition to the lab, the VFIC is also funding an environmental-themed Summer Research project by Tyrah Cobb-Davis ’19 and an experiential learning scholarship for Molleigh Tomlin ’18, who is interning for Centra Health. Josie Hatley ’18 also received funding for her internship for the Public Health and Human Services Division of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation.