Dr. Neil Drobny, senior lecturer and faculty coordinator of Fisher’s Energy and Sustainability Cluster, was recently recognized by Ohio State for his efforts in creating a critical educational partnership with a Columbus-area company.

Drobny was awarded the Emerging Service-Learning Faculty Award in recognition of his sustainability work with Hexion, a worldwide leader in specialty chemicals. Since 2013, Hexion has served an annual partner in Drobny’s spring semester course, provided 40-50 students with projects that seek to optimize Hexion’s sustainability strategy and strengthen the execution of its sustainability agenda.

The course, which is taught by Drobny at Fisher, is part of the core curriculum of the Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability (EEDS) major, launched by Ohio State in 2012.

“This award is a great honor and recognition of a partnership that is at the heart of Ohio State and Fisher’s commitment to experiential learning,” Drobny said. “For the past three years, Hexion has been a wonderful partner in providing our students with real projects that draw on the lessons they gain in the classroom. These students have applied those insights and have helped Hexion strengthen internal assessments and identify new markets and emerging technologies—all while gaining valuable, hands-on experience.”

Dr. Neil Drobny, senior lecturer and faculty coordinator of Fisher’s Energy

Neil Drobny is joined by Tanis Marquette, global sustainability leader at Hexion, during Ohio State's Engagement Recognitions Awards Ceremony. Drobny was honored with the Emerging Service-Learning Faculty Award for his partnership with Hexion.

In addition to coordinating Fisher’s Sustainability Cluster, Drobny serves as co-director of the EEDS program at Ohio State, where his duties include development of the Sustainability Innovation Virtual Laboratory to bring together companies and students together to work on sustainability projects using the relationship with Hexion as a model.

The skills students have gained throughout Drobny’s course have led to internships and full-time positions in sustainability roles at Hexion.

“Partnering with students from Ohio State's Sustainable Business Practices course provides Hexion Inc. with unique insights in our market segments, an opportunity to align our sustainability strategy with the next generation of procurement managers, and a local engagement that carries forward into each student's future sustainability role—wherever they are employed,” said Tanis Marquette, global sustainability leader at Hexion, Inc.

The Emerging Service-Learning Faculty Award was presented by the Office of Outreach and Engagement and theOffice of Service-Learning, in partnership with the Office of Undergraduate Education, the Office of Student Life and the Office of International Affairs.