Sarah Onysio

Who am I

Name: Sarah Onysio

Major: Environmental Engineering

Minors: Psychology Minor, Sustainability Certificate

Honors/Honors LLC: Yes

Focus Area: Sustainability

Year: Third-year

Hometown: Sussex, WI

A Little More About Me

What is one piece of advice you would give to an incoming freshman?

My best piece of advice is to attend a bunch of club meetings when you first get to campus. Even if you aren’t planning on committing to them for the whole year, clubs are a great way to meet people who share your interests early on in the school year.

What has been your favorite or most impactful course?

My favorite course I’ve taken so far has been Marine Ecosystems and Conservation. The activities we did were hands-on, like looking at fossils, and the things we learned about were different from subjects that I typically encounter in my other classes. I’m also interested in a career in water conservation, so this class gave me a different perspective on that field.

Have you done any research with a professor? If so, what department was the professor and what was your research about?

I research for Dr. Cwiertny with the Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination. The lab is under the environmental engineering department but has researchers with backgrounds in a bunch of different scientific fields. The project I work on focuses on is the detection of harmful pesticides and antibiotics in Iowa drinking water sources. There are also projects at the lab focused on lead contamination (Get the Lead Out) and PFAS in drinking water.

What organizations inside the college of engineering do you belong to?

The organization I am most active in is Society of Women Engineers (SWE), a club that advocates for women in engineering fields. I also am involved in Student Water Quality Professionals (WEF), a student org that is focused on water quality and wastewater treatment. WEF holds a lot of professional development events like hosting guest speakers and organizing plant tours. I also am a part of Artineers, an art club for Engineering students.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time at The University of Iowa?

I Iove to go swim at the Rec Center and go for runs as often as I can. To relax, I paint, draw and try different crafts. Right now, I’m trying to learn how to crochet so I can make decorations for my apartment. I also like to cook and am trying to make a new recipe every week.


WEF's Iowa City Wastewater Plant tour last year