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W&L’s Olivia Brister Awarded Prestigious Roosevelt Emerging Fellowship The fellowship lasts a full academic year and allows students to conduct formal research and pursue advocacy efforts on a specific topic.

headshot W&L’s Olivia Brister Awarded Prestigious Roosevelt Emerging FellowshipOlivia Brister ’21

Washington and Lee student Olivia Brister ’21 recently received a Roosevelt Emerging Fellowship. The fellowship lasts a full academic year and allows students to conduct formal research and pursue advocacy efforts on a specific topic.

Brister’s research topic is the impact of pesticides, specifically neonicotinoids, on bees and other pollinators as it relates to the global pollinator crisis. She will pursue her research for the fellowship while also attending classes at W&L.

“I am extremely excited about this opportunity to play a role in tackling the pollinator crisis with assistance and resources available to me through the Roosevelt Institute,” said Brister. “I applied to this fellowship because of my passion for environmental policy and the opportunities that this fellowship allows to explore my scientific and policy interests while creating a new and tangible solution to a very large-scale real-world problem.”

After W&L, Brister plans to go into environmental policy work and ultimately hopes to earn her master’s in environmental science, and eventually specialize in environmental law during law school.

“It means a lot to me to be able to apply everything that I have learned at W&L so far to a real-world issue, to try my hardest to find a solution to that issue, and then advocate for its implementation,” said Brister. “With a problem as big and far-reaching as the pollinator crisis, every avenue to try and help remediate the issue should be pursued, and I am honored to be able to play a role in that.”