An interview with Andrea Oseolorun
In 2013, Beyond Benign created the Green Chemistry Commitment (GCC) program with guidance from higher education institutions as a framework to unite the global Green Chemistry community. The GCC goal is to infuse Green Chemistry into Higher Education and give scientists the required skills to design processes and products less hazardous to human health and the environment.
Beyond Benign has partnered with companies including Dow, MilliporeSigma, and Biogen to further its mission to empower educators to transform chemistry education for a sustainable future. Support from these partners has allowed Beyond Benign to create resources, foster relationships, and provide essential funding to educators, all in an effort to grow and strengthen the Green Chemistry education community.
Prairie View A&M University is a Dow academic partner and GCC signer. Discover the university’s story in our interview with Dr. Andrea Oseolorun.
How has being part of the GCC impacted your institution and you as a faculty member?
Signing on to the GCC has opened so many doors for our department, including new collaborations, new research directions, increased interest in more green and sustainable chemistry projects and proposals, more publications targeting green chemistry journals, and a new green chemistry course based on resources provided by Beyond Benign and other partners.
As a scientist from an interdisciplinary background in a department filled with Ph.D. chemists, [the GCC] has given me a voice and a way to show what I can offer to the academy. It has also allowed me to introduce my students to a subject that is of particular interest to me coming from an environmental science background.
What student outcomes have you observed since instituting Green Chemistry practices and principles?
I’ve always envisioned creating an environmental chemistry course in my department, and the encouragement I’ve received from the GCC community has built my confidence to move forward with the project. I have found my feet and my voice, literally, and I am looking forward to bigger things because of the assistance from my colleagues in the GCC. I have experienced a genuine sense of belonging as a scientist that was not there before.
It’s also helped me connect with new colleagues and students across the globe. I’ve met students in Berlin who are doing great work to advance green chemistry in the University. I have talked with colleagues in Canada and multiple states across the U.S., and I hope to work on research projects in the future.
How do you envision the GCC community supporting the future green chemistry goals of your institution and training of your students?
We hope to always have a forum to share our ideas and also learn from the community. We would like to see more outreach to support our efforts to increase awareness of the benefits of this new, more sustainable enterprise and how vital green chemistry education is to student success.