Regenerative Studies Grad Student Awarded Fellowship

Regenerative Studies Grad Student Awarded Fellowship
Jason Selwitz, a graduate student in regenerative studies, was named a Switzer Fellow for 2006-07.

Lyle Center graduate student and Green Team president Jason Selwitz has been honored with a 2006 Switzer Environmental Fellowship Award.

The fellowship, sponsored by the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, supports highly talented graduate students in New England and California whose studies aim to improve environmental quality and who demonstrate leadership in their field.  

Selwitz, who is also an assistant hall coordinator for University Housing Services, is the first regenerative studies student and the third Cal Poly Pomona student in recent years to receive the award. More than 380 fellows have been named since 1986.

Selwitz' research focuses on water treatment – using freshwater microalgae and constructed wetland systems to improve sanitation, restore watershed quality and ensure access to clean supplies. His thesis work is being overseen by Charles Ritz (Mechanical Engineering), Stephen Lyon (Lyle Center) and Hossein Ahmadzadeh (Chemistry).

Prior to entering the MSRS program at the Lyle Center, Selwitz was a lead wilderness guide and counselor for adolescents struggling with behavioral and family issues.  

From 1998-2000, he served in the Peace Corps as a Protected Area Community Educator. While on the island of Palawan in the Philippines, Selwitz worked with several communities surrounding the Underground River National Park/UNESCO World Heritage site to develop a livelihood skills development program for out-of-school high school students. The program focused on growing vegetables to improve nutrition and environmental health.

Selwitz' long-term objective is to design community-based projects that synthesize renewable energy use and effective water treatment with the regeneration of ecosystems.

The fellowship provides a one-year $13,000 cash award for graduate study as well as networking and leadership support.  

Visit the Switzer Foundation Web site to learn more about the 2006 fellows: