La Trobe student receives EPA award

A La Trobe University student has received an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) award for her significant achievements monitoring air quality during the Hazelwood mine fire.

La Trobe's Karina Bransgrove received the Chairman's Award Certificate for her work while on cadetship with the agency earlier this year. 

Senior Coordinator of Educational Partnerships at La Trobe, Matt Posetti, said it was the first time this award had been given to a non-staff member at the EPA.

'This was quite critical work at the time,' Mr Posetti said.

'It is just another example of La Trobe students making a significant contribution towards their community.'

Prior to her cadetship, Ms Bransgrove was studying double-degree in arts/science but has since applied to transfer to a straight science degree so she can commit to environmental science.

'I really enjoyed the cadetship, it was a really good experience,' Ms Bransgrove said.

'I hadn't even thought about careers with the EPA but I actually changed my course because of the cadetship.

'The workplace experience really opened my eyes to other opportunities and career paths,' she said.

The Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering (FSTE) has run its Industry Cadetship Program for more than 10 years and during that time, has placed more than 1000 students from a variety of science disciplines in a variety of businesses. 

The program is structured to complement student coursework. Placements typically occur during non-teaching periods, but can be specially tailored to suit the needs of employers.  

EPA Group Manager Monitoring and Assessment, Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Anthony Boxshall has been very impressed with the standard of work from La Trobe cadets over the years.

He said Ms Bransgrove really supported her team and was actively involved in carrying out daily analyses with precision and efficiency during that critical time.  

'You never know whether students will be able to make the transition from university to working life but these cadets have been fantastic – they're very practical,' Dr Boxshall said.


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