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Contact: Andrea Huggins
Programs Marketing Manager
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
AASHE Announces 2019 Sustainability Award Winners
Spokane, Washington (September 9, 2019) – The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) is pleased to announce the 2019 winners of its annual Sustainability Awards for their outstanding achievements and progress toward sustainability. AASHE bestows its prestigious awards on the institutions and individuals that are leading higher education to a sustainable future.
AASHE named 11 winners, and 2 honorable mentions, from 350 submissions across four award categories:
- The Lifetime Achievement Award honors outstanding leaders who have made significant contributions to the advancement of sustainability in higher education over their lifetimes.
- The Campus Sustainability Achievement Award honors higher education institutions for the successful implementation of projects that significantly advance sustainability.
- The Student Sustainability Leadership Award honors students and/or student teams from higher education who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting sustainability on campus.
- The Campus Sustainability Research Award recognizes research that contributes to the advancement of higher education sustainability.
Award winners will be recognized on Oct. 27 at the 2019 AASHE Conference & Expo in Spokane, Washington.
Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
- Judy Walton, the founding director of AASHE, served the organization in a variety of capacities from 2006 to 2013. In her time with AASHE, she played leadership roles in the development of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Judy also helped found and coordinate the Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability and the Higher Education Associations Consortium for Sustainability.
Campus Sustainability Student Leadership Award Winner
- Zahira Chaudhry from the University of California, Berkeley for organizing the Students of Color Environmental Conference, a free conference for students of color from across California to connect and grow with local environmental justice activists.
- [Honorable Mention] Patrick Duke at the University of Calgary for founding Students on Sustainability. Students on Sustainability is a student society that educates grade school students on sustainability topics linked to climate change and supports student action projects.
Campus Sustainability Achievement Award Winners
- Chandler-Gilbert Community College for its Food Waste Recycling Project, a collaboration between campus facilities and students that collects food waste and turns it into fertilizer used on campus.
- The University of California, Merced for Fill Plates, Not Landfills: Implementing the Bobcat Eats Food Waste Awareness and Prevention Program. The program has reduced food waste and food insecurity in Merced County in partnership with the local food bank.
- McGill University for its Staff Engagement Ladder, a program comprised of four separate engagement initiatives that empower staff, students and faculty to take sustainability action.
- [Honorable Mention] The University of California, Office of the President for its Sustainable Procurement Program and Policy Overhaul. In the summer of 2018, UC implemented a new version of their Sustainable Practices Policy that sets sustainability goals for major areas of spend and the groundwork for innovative sustainable sourcing standards.
Campus Sustainability Research Award Winners
- Sean Vormwald from SUNY ESF for “Demystifying Sustainability Behaviors on College and University Campuses: A Mixed Methods Analysis.” This dissertation shares the results of three studies: a content analysis of focusing on behavioral interventions in campus climate plans; an examination of the relationship between the organizational climate for sustainability and sustainable behavior; and an evaluation of the relationship between the organizational climate for sustainability and operational sustainability performance.
- Sara Sherburne from Pomona College for “Let’s Get Sorted: The Path to Zero Waste.” This senior thesis assessed the status of waste production and diversion at Pomona and identified opportunities to move the college toward its 2030 Zero Waste goal.
- Nathan Elser and Judd Michael from Pennsylvania State University for “Personal waste management in higher education: A case study illustrating the importance of a fourth bottom line.” This study proposes a unique accounting method for evaluating sustainability initiatives that incorporate the educational value of the initiatives. for higher education leaders who must decide whether to accept sustainability initiatives that do not have a business case.
- Ted Thornhill from Florida Gulf Coast University for “We Want Black Students, Just Not You: How White Admissions Counselors Screen Black Prospective Students.” This research shows that white admissions counselors from historically and predominantly white institutions are more responsive to black students who present as deracialized and racially apolitical than they are to those who present a commitment to anti-racism and racial justice.
- Rashad Brugmann et al. from the University of Toronto for “Expanding Student Engagement in Sustainability: Using SDG- and CEL-Focused Inventories to Transform Curriculum.” This paper describes how the University of Toronto increased student engagement in sustainability through an inventory of academic courses that contribute to one or more of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, an inventory of sustainability-focused community-engaged learning opportunities and an inventory of sustainability co-curricular and extracurricular opportunities.
- Steven Wiryadinata, Josh Morejohn and Kurt Kornbluth from the University of California, Davis for the “Pathways to carbon-neutral energy systems.” This study analyzes the costs associated with three different options for UC Davis to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.
Award recipients receive a variety of recognition, including a plaque made of Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood from Rivanna, a woman-owned B Corp with a strong commitment to sustainability. To date, nearly 100 campuses been recognized through this prestigious award program since its inception in 2006.
To read more about AASHE’s awards programs, please visit https://www.aashe.org/get-involved/awards/.
AASHE empowers higher education administrators, faculty, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. AASHE enables members to translate information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a diverse, engaged community of sustainability leaders. We work with and for higher education to ensure that our world’s future leaders are motivated and equipped to solve sustainability challenges. For more information, visit www.aashe.org. Follow AASHE on Facebook and Twitter.