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As a child, Jessica Pulliam spent countless hours searching for crawdads under rocks in nearby streams.
As a teenager, she discovered the thrill of kayaking in wild rivers.
From those formative experiences, Pulliam developed a deep awareness of the need to protect nature, an interest she has further explored as a student at Eastern Kentucky University. Now, the junior sociology major and honors program participant from Crestwood has parlayed her academic prowess and undergraduate research experiences into a prestigious Environmental Protection Agency Fellowship Award, one of 20 given nationally and the only one in Kentucky.
The two-year fellowship, valued at $39,124, covers Pulliam’s tuition and fees for her final two years at Eastern, provides a living stipend and includes funds for conferences and equipment related to her research. It also provides an internship in Washington, D.C., next summer, when she will work with EPA mentors to develop a research project.
After graduation, Pulliam hopes to volunteer for an organization such as Green Corps or Peace Corps and then work toward her doctoral degree in order to teach environmental sociology someday at the university level.