April 23, 2004

Two students seek to revive recycling in Light Hall

Featured Image

From left, Dean of the School of Nursing Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D.; Peter I. Buerhaus, Ph.D.; keynote speaker Patricia Grady, Ph.D.; and Melanie Lutenbacher, Ph.D., celebrate the 10th anniversary of the School of Nursing’s Ph.D. in Nursing Science Program. Photo by Dana Johnson

Two students seek to revive recycling in Light Hall

Two medical students are bringing back the blue bins in full force. First- year students Raimy Amasha and Peter Brokish are leading a service project to revive recycling in Light Hall.

“When the opportunity for a service project for our school came up, we thought of recycling right away,” Brokish said. “We looked at how much Vanderbilt recycled, only 5 percent of solid waste, and how much the city of Nashville recycled as a whole, and we believed there was substantial room for improvement.”

Amasha and Brokish set out to change this statistic, and received a service project grant from Alpha Omega Alpha, a medical honor society, to fund their project. For them, the project goes beyond Light Hall — they want to improve the quality of life for all those who come to the Medical Center.

“For a school this outstanding, this forward-thinking, we should emphasize environmental awareness,” Amasha said.

Creating a recycling-friendly environment will mean increasing the number and visibility of recycling bins, ensuring adequate pick-up, and creating awareness for the importance of recycling. They hope to provide bins for aluminum cans, paper and plastic items.

“We took a poll of our first year medical school class. It showed that 84 percent of students agreed that there was a great need for recycling on campus,” Brokish said. “We want to further this enthusiasm and harness it to make the program a success.”

Amasha and Brokish plan to get other students involved by creating committees that students can join based on their area of interest. One such committee will involve community work.

“A large component of our recycling initiative is to engage in community outreach programs — hopefully getting passionate medical students out to local schools to discuss the importance of resource conservation and its health implications,” Amasha said.

“We are truly proud of Peter’s and Raimy’s initiative and concern for our local environment,” said Bonnie Miller, M.D., associate dean for Medical Students.