EKU-Corbin Student Earns Earth Day Award from Environmental Quality Commission

Randal Napier photo

Randal Napier wakes up every day with a simple goal:

“To make the world a little better. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t.”

More often than not, the Eastern Kentucky University sophomore business major from Corbin has succeeded, and that’s why he has earned an Earth Day Award from the Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission. Napier will receive the honor in a ceremony in Frankfort Friday, April 15.

As chair of the Student Government Association on EKU’s Corbin Campus, Napier is widely known among his fellow students and throughout the community for his passion for environmental awareness.

“The Corbin campus students probably think I am crazy, but they know I want to do what’s best for the community,” Napier said. “This is important to me in a lot of different ways. I want people today to understand their effects on nature and balance we must keep, and also to look at the world in a bigger way. We are approaching 7 billion people and we must keep the natural resources protected for the future and learn to live differently. It’s not about what you have or what you take. I think it’s about what you give and what you pass on and leave for others.”

Napier’s contributions to the Corbin campus and community are numerous:

*        Received a grant of $3,500 to construct a rain garden just off the Corbin Campus parking lot.

·         Developed a proposal for strategic recycling distribution and collection system for the Corbin/North Whitley County area. His strategy of placing portable recycling containers in highly visible, high-traffic areas addresses a critical issue that many smaller communities face – the difficulty of establishing a cost-effective curbside recycling program where rural population is scattered over a large geographic area. Recycling was up 70 percent in the first three months of the container placements.

·         Started an EKU-Corbin Environmental PRIDE Club in January of this year. Membership has surpassed 30. Two drives have netted over 25,000 pounds of waste.

·         Received a $350 grant in 2009 for plastic bottle and can containers from the Business Industry Recycle Program in Frankfort.

·         Worked to give Corbin Campus students more opportunities to recycle waste in classrooms.

·         Arranged for lectures on renewable energy.

Napier graduated from North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Ga., in 1996 and returned to school after some time in the hotel industry. He found an encouraging atmosphere at EKU’s Corbin Campus.

“EKU is my home,” Napier said. “EKU has supported everything I have done, and I could not have done anything if it was not for the staff, faculty and students who have helped me and given the tools of critical thinking that I can use in real life to change the world for the better.”

Published on April 11, 2011