Sustainability Inspiration Awards
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UMD is committed to communicating, educating, and inspiring action to integrate sustainability into all aspects of campus life. The Sustainability Inspiration Award acknowledges significant contributions to sustainability efforts at UMD, including but not limited to: sustainability awareness, education, and leadership efforts, energy savings, greenhouse gas reduction, waste minimization, local agriculture and economy, and other resource-saving activities.
The Sustainability Inspiration Awards honor an undergraduate student, a staff member, and a faculty member from UMD who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting campus sustainability in education, operations, and/or any aspect of campus life.
To nominate, see the categories and form at the bottom of the page.
2018 Award Recipients
2018 Sustainability Inspiration Award Winners (L to R: Maddie Sinclair, Ann Pellant, and Geoff Bell)
2018 Student Recipient: Maddie Sinclair
Maddie Sinclair works tirelessly on campus to promote both understanding of sustainability and sustainable development action and projects. Maddie has been an active SUN Delegation member, she traveled with faculty on an international sustainability and renewable energy research trip (Europe Energy Transition Tour), and has played a key role in the German Culture Club. Maddie has also served as a valued employee in UMD's Sustainability Office for three years, leading efforts to organize events, connect the campus and community, and recently played a lead role in organizing SELFsustain 2018, a U of MN leadership conference on sustainability.
In academics, she is an outstanding student and helped play a leadership role in the German Culture and Sustainability course with Dr. Dan Nolan in Fall 2017 to help deepen the impact of learning for everyone in the class. Maddie focused her research project on a comparison of a local sustainability-focused community organization with a similar organization in our partner city in the Climate Smart Municipalities Program. By comparing Ecolibrium3 and the Energy Club of Siegen, Germany, Maddie and her research team were able to produce concrete recommendations and derive important real-world lessons from her international comparative analysis of these organizations and the societies in which they function.
With the UMD Solar University Network, she has helped guide UMD investment in solar energy, and presented the group’s work on solar expansion on campus to the Isaak Walton League, University for Seniors (Climate of Hope course), to the UMD Student Association, and at a national Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education conference.
2018 Staff Recipient: Ann Pellant
Ann Pellant helps lead sustainability efforts for UMD Stores, including convening a Stores Sustainability group, made up of engaged and active student employees. This group implements sustainability initiatives, including campus clean-ups, Bag Free events, and represents UMD Stores at sustainability and community events. Ann portrays a true passion for sustainability, and others, especially our student employees, feed off of her enthusiasm.
2018 Faculty Recipient: Geoff Bell
Dr. Bell is an ardent supporter of sustainability on the UMD campus. To create awareness among his students to view sustainability issues from an organizational perspective, he created a new Foundations of Sustainable Management course. Dr. Bell has served on the Sustainability Education Committee in the Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) where he champions not only curricular initiatives on sustainability, but also day-to-day tactical issues such as recycling bins within the building and their placements. Among other things, the committee maintains a Sustainability Advising Guide to help students identify courses from across the UMD campus that have a sustainability emphasis. He played a leadership role in designing and implementation of a new, cross-disciplinary minor in Sustainable Business and Organization. Dr. Bell is also an active member of a UMD campus-wide Sustainability Education Committee, which he has chaired since Fall 2017. In the community, he serves on the board of Sustainable Twin Ports and frequently uses his Duluth-area connections to invite guest speakers to his classes to talk about sustainability.
2017 Award Recipients
2017 faculty recipient: David Syring
2017 student recipient: Aidan Fawcett
Aidan Fawcett, a mechanical engineering student and leader in the UMD Solar University Network (SUN) Delegation. Over the past year, Aidan dedicated a great deal of time to learning and understanding how solar energy systems work and the obstacles that must be overcome to bring more solar to the UMD campus. The SUN Delegation team gathered resources and worked to overcome both financial and technical barriers to solar development. The SUN Delegation will celebrate the groundbreaking of an 11-kilowatt solar pavilion project in May that will double renewable energy production at UMD.
2017 staff recipient: Tim Bates
2016 Award Recipients
The 2016 Faculty Sustainability Inspiration Award recipient is:
Dr. Ken Gilbertson, Department of Applied Human Sciences Applied Human Sciences, College of Education and Human Service Professions for his advocacy and active involvement with the promotion of sustainability and sustainability education at UMD for over 25 years. He is recognized internationally as an important leader in guiding work in protected nature areas. “Ken engages the students in a way that is inviting and helps them see their strengths and how they can contribute to make the world a better place”.
The 2016 Staff Sustainability Inspiration Award recipient is:
Ryan Hueffmeier, Natural Resources Research Institute for his leadership in formalizing a sustainable culture both internally and externally at NRRI; focusing on opportunities with the largest potential environmental, economic, and social returns. He has mentored numerous UMD student interns in projects related to solid waste and recycling, energy and water conservation, sustainable food production, and outreach and education.
The 2016 Student Sustainability Inspiration Award recipient is:
Carissa Kloncz, Chemical Engineering for her dedicated work as a Solar University Network Delegate. Carissa was instrumental in securing a NREL solar assistance grant for UMD as well as in a successful Student Service Fee request for capital investment dollars to bring more solar to campus.
2015 Award Recipients
2014 Award Recipients
2013 Award Recipients
How to Submit a Nomination
Nominate a student, staff, or faculty member using this Google Form. Further information and eligibility requirements are below.
Sustainability Inspiration Award – Student
The Student Sustainability Inspiration Award honors an undergraduate student from UMD who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting campus sustainability in education, operations, and/or any aspect of campus life.
Eligibility: Any undergraduate student enrolled at UMD who has played a leadership role in implementing campus sustainability is eligible for this award.
Award: The student winner will be acknowledged at the annual UMD Student Awards ceremony. A $100 gift card will be given to the student winner of this award.
Sustainability Inspiration Award – Staff
The Staff Sustainability Inspiration Award is presented to a staff member (or team/collaboration) from UMD who has demonstrated leadership in establishing, promoting, or in other ways to support the campus in a sustainability manner and/or advance sustainability in education on campus. The award will recognize one Staff member (or team/collaboration) that has created or implemented a project or activity that impacts campus or community sustainability awareness, education, and action. This effort should be above and beyond the staff person’s regular responsibilities as an employee.
Eligibility: Any staff/faculty member (or team/collaboration) at UMD who has played a leadership role in establishing, promoting, or in other ways furthering the goals of sustainability in education, operations, and/or campus life is eligible for this award.
Award: The Staff winner will be acknowledged at the annual UMD Student Awards ceremony.
Sustainability Inspiration Award – Faculty
The Faculty Sustainability Inspiration Award is presented to a faculty member (or team/collaboration) from UMD who has demonstrated leadership in establishing, promoting, or in other ways to support the campus in a sustainability manner and/or advance sustainability in education on campus. The award will recognize a faculty member (or team/collaboration) that has created or implemented a project or activity that affects the campus or community sustainability climate, awareness, and action that has great promise to increase sustainability or has potential to greatly reduce the carbon footprint of a campus unit or population. This effort should be above and beyond the faculty’s regular course curriculum.an employee.
Eligibility: Any faculty member (or team/collaboration) at UMD who has played a leadership role in establishing, promoting, or in other ways furthering the goals of sustainability in education, operations, and/or campus life is eligible for this award.
Award: The Faculty winner will be acknowledged at the annual UMD Student Awards ceremony.