Three seniors endeavor to create change through environmental science


Claire Moore '22

Three seniors will further their passions for the environment next fall.

As climate change reaches a pivotal juncture, seniors Lucy Catalano, Lauren Giuriceo, and Regina Finn resolve to have a positive impact on Earth’s future.  These three students will study environmental science, fulfilling Goal Three of the Sacred Heart Greenwich Goals and Criteria, a social awareness which impels to action, at their respective universities.  While in college, Lucy, Lauren, and Regina hope to develop academic and professional skills that will help them increase climate change awareness and sustainability initiatives among the general population. 

Lucy is majoring in public health and environmental studies at the University of California, San Diego.  At Sacred Heart, she participated in the Science Research elective for four years.  In the 2020 Connecticut Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fair, Lucy received first prize in the Research Proposal category.  Her project, “Evaluation of Alternative Deicing Substances Using Sodium Chloride and Calcium Chloride as Baseline Deicers to Establish an Environmentally-Friendly Approach to Ice Melting,” on which she collaborated with senior Franny O’Brien, allowed Lucy to further her passion for the environment.

Lauren will attend Middlebury College, where she plans to double major in economics and environmental studies.  Along with her academic pursuits, Lauren will play Division III lacrosse for the Middlebury Panthers.  She believes the liberal arts curriculum at Middlebury will help her balance academics and athletics while allowing her to take a variety of classes. 

Lauren signs with the Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team.  Courtesy of Sacred Heart Communications Dept.

“What brought Middlebury College to the top of my list of college choices was the opportunity to play for their lacrosse team,” Lauren said.  “I was immediately drawn to the coaches, team atmosphere, and the beautiful campus scenery in Vermont.  Additionally, the ability to take a diverse, challenging course load while playing lacrosse was a major factor in my decision.  Finally, with the environmental studies area of study as one of their strengths, I felt that Middlebury was a great fit for my next four years.”

A personal love of nature inspired Lauren to study environmental science.  Current issues such as pollution, global warming, and deforestation propelled her to advocate for environmental initiatives and a more sustainable future.  After graduating, she hopes to employ her expertise in business and science as an environmental consultant.  In this role, Lauren will advise companies on how to increase sustainability in their production process.

“I am planning to focus on environmental studies in college because I have a deep appreciation for the outdoors,” Lauren said.  “The best parts of my day are spent outside, enjoying the fresh air and natural scenery.  That being said, the dire prospects of the planet’s future in terms of preserving nature from climate change scare me.  I hope to help make a difference and better the trajectory of Earth’s future.”

Lauren believes environmental studies is an essential academic field because it prioritizes the future of the entire planet.  As she highlights, climate change affects every aspect of human life and equally impacts every person on Earth.  Lauren hopes that increasing awareness about the climate crisis will motivate businesses and citizens to create a better environment. 

“Environmental studies is a crucial field of research because of the implications of climate change in our future,” Lauren said.  “Society is becoming more conscious of the detrimental impacts of human life on earth, but the pollution-producing industries must begin to see their role too.  The more the general public knows about their impact on the environment, the better.” 

This fall, Regina will attend Boston College, where she hopes to study environmental science and economics.  All of Regina’s coursework at Sacred Heart has furthered her passion for the environment.  She specifically credits Dr. Kristina Gremski’s honors biology class with cementing her interest in environmental studies.  Regina’s four years in the Science Research elective also gave her immersive opportunities to advance her knowledge of climate change and assemble academic research while still in high school. 

All of the science classes I have taken in Sacred Heart, starting in Lower School all the way into my senior year, have influenced and inspired me to major in environmental science,” Regina said.  “Most specifically, my Science Research elective, honors biology class, and my Advanced Placement Environmental Science course have had the largest impact on me.  I also focused my Science Research topic on trees and protecting our environment from forest fires, which allowed me to deepen my passion and explore a different side of environmental studies than biology.”

In Senior Seminar, Regina compiled a research project on environmental racism, specifically examining its impact on Native American communities.  This project allowed her to fuse science and biology with social justice and advocacy, which fueled a passion for environmental science as an intersectional field.  The interdisciplinary curriculum of environmental studies will provide Regina with a diverse array of skills that will allow her to effectively advocate for climate initiatives. 

Regina studies trees as part of her Science Research project.  Courtesy of Regina Finn ’22

“My passion for environmental science is grounded in the belief that we are responsible for fixing the devastating impacts we have inflicted on our planet,” Regina said.  “For me, this means changing our manufacturing practices, how we get energy, how we travel, and many more facets of our daily life.” 

Like Lauren, Regina hopes to implement sustainable business practices in the private sector.  She hopes to become a sustainability manager for a major company after college.  As a sustainability manager, Regina would devise strategies that decrease corporate pollution.  She believes that it is the responsibility of governments and businesses to rectify the climate crisis

“My goal in college is to double major in environmental studies and economics,” Regina said.  “After graduating, my hope is to use my knowledge in the environmental science and field to inform businesses on how to become more sustainable.  Furthermore, through living my entire life in a suburb of New York City, it’s clear to me that while governments will place strong rules and regulations upon businesses and consumers, the responsibility of protecting the environment and innovating solutions to existing problems will ultimately fall upon businesses and their consumers.  My dream job would be a sustainability manager at a major business.”

Along with her academic background, Regina’s passion for environmental studies emerges from her belief in human responsibility to counteract climate change.  She is particularly invested in efforts to protect trees and prevent forest fires.  Regina believes that changing energy production processes and consumption patterns will help Earth as a whole. 

“I believe that environmental science is such an important field due to its intersections with every facet of human life,” Regina said.  “Whether most people are aware or not, it is going to become increasingly important that our global community becomes informed and takes action against issues such as climate change in every industry.” 

Featured Image by Claire Moore ’22