Locke Prize Winners

We are pleased to announce the winners of the first-ever Susan Locke Prizes in Environmental Sustainability in two categories: Research and Arts.


First Prize: Chelsea Wepy for her honors thesis, “International Migration from the Latin American-Caribbean Region: Taking Environmental Indicators into Consideration.”

Chelsea Wepy is a 2021 graduate from Baruch College and received a BBA in Entrepreneurial Management with a double minor in Spanish and Environmental Sustainability. Throughout her undergraduate studies, Chelsea participated in an array of volunteer, internship, and fellowship experiences centered on community action and environmental sustainability. Most recently, Chelsea joined the Baruch Climate Scholars Program where she learned about climate change through an interdisciplinary lens, and she is now the 2021-2022 coordinator for the program. Chelsea hopes to help lead sustainability initiatives through policy development, community engagement and project management.

Read her thesis here.


Second Prize: Austin Tucker for his project “The Growing Necessity of Transmission,” which was completed as a capstone project for the spring 2021 Locke course, Natural and Human Dimensions of Climate Change.

“I discuss why energy transmission is important to New York City’s unique location as well as the current issues regarding the state’s transmission system and solutions either taken by the state or available for consideration. The main point behind the project is that while building energy generating systems is great, if the state doesn’t have the capability to transport that energy to high-demand, downstate locations, then it is a national security threat, high curtailment of energy is experienced, and consumer energy prices increase. If transmission capacity is not increased, then the city will be unable to effectively deal with climate related issues in the future.” 

Read his capstone here.


Third Prize: Shana Persaud, Vika Tambaeva, Lauren Snyder, Lisa Kehr, and Lady Masopeh for their policy brief, “The Future of New York City.”

“‘The Future of New York City was created by a team of research analysts from the Weissman Center for International Business. We conducted our research together on Electric Vehicles remotely to ultimately create a plan that should be implemented in our city. The ideas we presented explain how Electric Vehicles (EVs) will impact New York City to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A big city like New York moving forward with greener initiatives like EVs will influence other cities to follow in their footsteps. Our goal is to show readers how it could be simple for a citywide mandate of EVs.”

Read their policy brief here.



First Prize: Julian Tineo for his interactive art piece, Econic Media.

“Econic Media is an interactive art piece in the form of a website featuring four fictional news articles built to evoke powerful emotions towards topics related to human impacts on the natural world and climate change.  Each “article” is based on existing articles from CNN, ABC, and other outlets that report on instances in which wild or farmed animals died as a result of human activities. However, on the Econic Media website, the pieces are changed significantly so that it appears as though they were written about humans, not animals, being killed by the same activities.” View Julian’s interactive art piece here.

Julian recently graduated from Baruch with a B.A. in Economics and will begin working in finance-technology in August. He’s looking forward to continuing to learn about issues surrounding the climate crisis and contributing to lasting solutions.


Second Prize: Steven Rodriguez for his untitled 16 x 20 inch acrylic painting.

“For my public art piece, I convey the two sides of climate change. On the left shows our planet left in its raw state absent from man’s influence. On the right shows our advancement of technology at the expense of our planet which will ultimately lead to the destruction of our planet.” View Steven’s painting here.

This summer will be Steven’s final semester at Baruch. He will be the first one in his family to graduate with a bachelor’s; his degree will be in Entrepreneurship.

“This has been a very tough road getting to the end without much support and as many times as I wanted to give up, I stuck it out and had the willpower to make it through the tough times. No matter if I did it alone, I’m proud of myself.”


Fall 2021 Prizes

Students are invited to submit their work for the Susan Locke prizes in environmental sustainability and climate change for the next round, to take place at the end of the coming fall semester.  The prizes are funded by a generous gift from Professor Emerita Susan Locke (Psychology) with the intention to encourage Baruch College students, from across disciplines, to engage in scholarly activities that address threats to the natural world and the climate change crisis.

Prizes will be awarded in two categories: Research and Arts. Students may submit papers that are a product of their research, or journalistic work, or something from the written or visual arts, as long as it is related to environmental sustainability, climate change, or wildlife conservation. Submissions are welcome from any discipline and we particularly encourage interdisciplinary work where connections beyond the student’s own discipline can be evidenced clearly in the submission. Research submitted may be an honors thesis or independent study project, or an assignment submitted in fulfillment of a relevant course
Susan Locke Prize in Environmental Sustainability: Research  

This prize is awarded to students who engage in an outstanding research project that addresses either or both of the following topics: environmental sustainability initiatives; the impact of climate change on the natural world and society.  Projects may focus on environmental science; however, students are also encouraged to submit projects that cross disciplines, including, but not limited to, public policy, business practices, psycho-social impact, and ethics. Reported journalistic work in any medium also falls under this category.

Susan Locke Prize in Environmental Sustainability: Arts

This prize is awarded to students who use artistic expression to portray the impact of human practices on the natural world or to convey their personal connection to nature.  Any of the following forms of expression may be used: poetry, short stories, photography, painting, drawing, video, musical composition, or dance.

Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis until a date to be announced at the beginning of fall semester. They will be judged by faculty committee. The prizes for first place will be $200, the second-place prizes will be $150, and the prizes for third place will be $100.