December graduate Julianna Jankowski built upon her passion for occupational safety and health to include her emerging interest in environmental issues by earning a degree through NC State’s Master of Environmental Assessment online program (EA). She hopes this degree will lead her into new opportunities with Duke Energy in the near future.
As a Summa Cum Laude graduate in 2017 with a degree in Safety, Health and Environmental Applied Sciences from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, she focused mainly on safety and health. Her interest in safety comes from a very personal place due to a disabling workplace accident her father experienced. Jankowski strives to ensure that all employees under her watch return home to their loved ones safely everyday in her role as a health and safety professional who supervises several coal-fired power plants in the Charlotte area.
Jankowski says that working for a large utility company helped her to understand how important it is to protect our environment. “Because I work so closely with the environmental professionals onsite, I wanted to enhance my environmental knowledge and decided to continue my education in this field. A close friend recommended NC State’s Master of Environmental Assessment program which I found appealing since it was all online. I could complete my degree from the comfort of my home,” explained Jankowski.
She decided to enroll in the program in January of 2018. Considering that her full-time job involves a lot of travel, she focused on taking one class per semester. Jankowski was grateful that all lectures were pre-recorded so she could learn whenever and wherever she could find the time to do so. She was also thankful that the timeframe to complete this degree is six years.
“The courses were so interesting that I actually found the coursework to be enjoyable. The professors in this program have such a wealth of knowledge and are very helpful. They truly made my experience one I will never forget,” added Jankowski.
And, of all the wonderful faculty members that she worked with, Teaching Assistant Professor Tamara Pandolfo was particularly impactful. “Dr. Tamara Pandolfo was an excellent and very influential professor throughout my journey at NC State. Due to her expertise in water quality, and that being one of my main interests, I learned a great wealth of knowledge from her through her EA 506: Water Quality Assessment course. In addition, she was my assigned EA 665: Professional Project advisor. Since my project focused on storm water pollution, her assistance was essential in my project’s success,” said Jankowski.
In turn, Pandolfo holds Jankowski in high regard stating, “Julianna is a great example of how the Environmental Assessment program can seamlessly integrate with a student’s professional life and goals. She completed a professional project that was inspired by a pilot study at Duke Energy. With her research, she has validated the use of oyster shells as a remediation method for removal of metals in stormwater.”
Jankowski hopes to encourage other working professionals to enroll in NC State’s Online and Digital Education programs. She believes it is a valuable experience “due to the tremendous advantages it has to your overall growth as an individual and a professional.”
Although she will not be attending the in-person commencement ceremony, she does plan to celebrate her accomplishments with her family and friends over the holiday season.
This post was originally published in DELTA News.