Gwinnett resident, Georgia Tech grad wins award for sustainability leadership

Georgia Tech student Grace Brosofsky recently received the Student Sustainability Leadership Award for outstanding achievement and progress to sustainability from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. (Special Photo)

A Buford resident and recent Georgia Tech graduate was recently honoredfor her work developing a natural herbicide to manage weeds in a safe and sustainable way.

Grace Brosofsky, who founded the Engineers for a Sustainable World Natural Herbicides Project at Georgia Tech, received the Student Sustainability Leadership Award for outstanding achievement and progress to sustainability from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

Brosofsky’s award, one of 10 selected from 230 entries, was announced at the opening ceremonies of AASHE’s annual Conference & Expo in San Antonio, Texas, on Oct. 23. According to an AASHE news release, entries were judged on overall impact, innovation, stakeholder involvement, clarity and other criteria.

Focusing on addressing the issue of utilizing chemical herbicides with detrimental health and environmental impacts on and off campus, Brosofsky’s project team developed a natural herbicide based on her internationally recognized research and created information for those interested on how to make and utilize the herbicide.

The team worked with gardeners on managing weeds in a sustainable manner and with student gardening organizations and conducted an organic lawn maintenance trial at Georgia Tech that lawns can be efficiently and successfully maintained using organic processes.

“I was humbled and honored to receive the AASHE Student Sustainability Leadership Award and enjoyed the chance to meet so many amazing people dedicated to devising and implementing different ways to further sustainaibilty at the AASHE Conference & Expo,” said Brosofsky in the release.

“The 2017 award winners demonstrate an inspiring passion for solving some of the world’s most complex challenges,” said AASHE executive director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “They are truly pioneering the campus sustainability movement.”

The AASHE encourages higher education administrators, faculty, staff and students to be effective change agents and creators of sustainability innovation, enabling members to translate information into action by offering critical resources and professional development.

Brosofsky established the Natural Herbicides Project through the Georgia Tech Engineers for a Sustainable World Chapter in 2014 based on research she conducted in 2012. That research was recognized as a Google Science Fair finalist, a Scientific American Science in Action finalist and a GLOBAL +5 finalist.

A spring 2017 graduate at Georgia Tech with a bachelor of science degree in environmental engineering, Brosofsky is enrolled at Cornell Law School and plans to explore legal solutions to chemical herbicide pollution and other environmental challenges as a public-interest environmental attorney.