A photo of people walking around Northeastern's University Commons on a sunny day.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Northeastern Illinois University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a memorandum of understanding on May 11, 2023 that will help increase environmental knowledge, research and community engagement while providing enhanced academic and career opportunities for students from historically underrepresented groups.

“EPA’s partnerships with higher education institutions are invaluable to our work in protecting public health and the environment,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore. “It is our hope that this partnership will help to bring together diverse communities and open up career pathways in environmental protection for students across the university.”

Under the agreement, Northeastern will work with EPA employees to explore creative solutions to environmental problems while providing students access to training programs and opportunities for career growth.

“By taking this step, NEIU joins EPA’s Office of Civil Rights and Office of Regional Council in demonstrating that we are committed to moving beyond the talk of equity, diversity and inclusion to actually creating the necessary opportunities to forge a truly diverse and equitable workforce,” President Gloria J. Gibson said. “We are confident that our students will benefit from this partnership, obtaining knowledge and experience in the field that can open new career paths for them.”

The agreement between Northeastern and the EPA highlights a shared commitment to protecting public health, improving environmental sustainability and creating opportunities for people of all backgrounds to gain valuable experience. The EPA is committed to its work with universities to promote environmental stewardship and create a more sustainable and equitable future through its College/Underserved Community Partnership Program.