The Swetland Center would like to congratulate fourth-year CWRU School of Medicine student, Stephanie Wottrich, for receiving the Daniel Lewis Ravin, MD Award. This award honors one to two rising fourth-year medical students at CWRU who show promise in the fields of occupational or environmental medicine to assist in professional development and research in said fields through our center.
Stephanie, originally from Austin, Texas, is currently training to become a pain neurologist. She received her undergraduate degree in microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics from the University of California, Los Angeles. Starting long before her time at CWRU, Stephanie has always had an interest in environmental sustainability. Dating back to grade school, recycling and sustainability procedures were standards in her household (e.g., composting food waste, turning off lights when not in rooms or when not necessary, turning off the tap when brushing teeth and washing dishes, etc.). Upon arriving at UCLA, Stephanie decided to enter an inventor’s competition at the school, called FuturizeX, where she created a metal-organic framework (MOF) that would help sequester free methane from water, which could potentially be compressed and reused as fuel, as this is a natural gas. Ultimately, the MOF would reduce ocean acidification, slow the warming and melting process, and provide a less environmentally harmful use for this molecular “pollutant.”
Since coming to medical school, Stephanie’s interests have shifted toward the healthcare field in studying how the industry produces and deals with waste. In receiving the Ravin award, Stephanie hopes for an opportunity to increase her knowledge of waste management and alternative sustainable healthcare materials (e.g., for packaging), as well as receive any necessary funds for implementing a study on assessing and improving current hospital sustainability practices. Stephanie has already gotten started on this work, completing online courses in infrastructural plastics and polymers, as well as solid waste management, as part of the scholarship.
We are excited to work with Stephanie and see where she goes with this award. Congratulations, Stephanie!