Student Spotlight: Joey Winston

TAF Scholar
Undergraduate Junior, Coastal Environmental Science

 joey winston

When did you realize you wanted to major in coastal environmental science?

When I was in my junior year of high school, I was walking along the beach of my local park pondering what I wanted to study in college. I had often played at this park growing up, climbing on the old pine roots and catching hermit crabs off the dock and had come to know it as a place of refuge from my busy life. On my little stroll, I was noticing some of the changes that had occurred over the years-the imposing pine that once held the rope swing was now leafless and bleached white as its roots had succumbed to the encroaching salt water, and the picnic table that I had often snacked at after school was now roped off because its foundation had eroded out from under it. I realized that the park was disappearing and it was at this moment that I wanted to protect my little refuge, that I understood I wanted to attend LSU because of its unique program in coastal environmental science.

How has CC&E helped to prepare you for your career?

One of my favorite features of the College of the Coast and Environment is that it has the opportunities of a big university but the accessibility of a small school. In my first semester, even as an incoming freshman, I was able to get a research position in Dr. Mike Polito's Marine and Coastal Trophic Ecology Lab where I assisted with a project that tracked the effects of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill throughout the ecosystem. My research experience from this endeavor helped me secure my current internship position at the Louisiana Office of Public Health, where I work to mitigate the harmful effects of environmental hazards like mold, lead, and radon gas. Most importantly, these projects will help to address any environmental factors that threaten the public's health.

Congratulations on your recently awarded TAF Scholarship. What impact has it had on your goals? 

It is because of the TAF Scholarship that I was able to accept an internship position at the Louisiana Office of Public Health instead of working this semester. With the extra income from this award, I will be able to gain insightful experience at an agency where I hope to one day work, an opportunity for which I am deeply grateful.