Sustainability Inspiration Awards


You are here

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.

2017 Award Recipients

2017 award winner

2017 Sustainability Inspiration Award Winners (from Left: David Syring, Aidan Fawcett, Tim Bates)

2017 faculty recipient: David Syring
Dr. David Syring. creates dynamic and interactive sustainability education in his classroom, from the very local (UMD campus sustainability projects) to the global (designing a class to study sustainability in Costa Rica). His most recent sustainability teaching innovation was working with Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) opportunities to connect students in his Anthropology and Environment class to students studying in a university in Mexico. Dr. Syring’s research and teaching focuses on humanistic approaches to resilient food systems, human-environment relationships, globalization. His work uses sustainability as a theoretical framework and practical approach to addressing contemporary issues of social inequality. He encourages students to explore sustainability issues through a culturally diverse, global lens that does not separate environmental concerns from human needs of social and economic equality. Of particular note, Dr. Syring introduces students to non-Western perspectives on sustainability—and not simply through readings and films. Through the COIL experience, UMD students worked alongside students in another country to discuss and develop sustainability projects relevant to their local communities.
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
Tim Bates is involved with campus-wide sustainability committees, serving as co-chair of the Sustainability Education committee and a member of the Sustainability Operations committee. He has been instrumental for many years in managing the Bagley Nature Area in a sustainable manner, especially with his 14 years of holding the annual Buckthorn Pull. Tim has been involved with sustainability management and education at UMD long before sustainability goals were outlined in the campus strategic plan. Tim is an inspiration to UMD students and he helps make the Recreational Sports and Outdoor Program (RSOP) a key player in sustainability efforts on campus.  For example. Tim was one of the founders of campus biking efforts, and now runs a bike rental and access program out of the RSOP. Whether working on biking programs, Bagley Nature Area trail management, or any other outdoor experience that he offers students, Tim always makes sure to incorporate sustainability education.

  

2016 Award Recipients

2016 awards

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

allison and mary

Mary Christiansen, Civil Engineering and Alison Hoxie, Mechanical/Industrial Engineering for their collective work bringing students and the community together to change the way we all think about energy and sustainability.

cindy christiansen

Cindy Christian, Alworth Institute, for her significant efforts to develop and implement the Alworth Institute’s Climate Change events. Cindy has developed many positive and productive partnerships that have led to awareness of issues surrounding climate change and demonstration of how community level sustainability practices address global issues.

olivia dehler

Olivia Dehler, College of Liberal Arts. Olivia is an engaged, connected and inspiring student leader of the UMD Student Sustainability Coalition. Her activities include leading sustainability-themed booths and activities, participation in statewide and national conferences, creation of the ‘Journey of a Jar’ and projects to re-purpose glass and expired posters around campus.

2014 Award Recipients

2014 awards

Steve Johnson from Natural Resources Research Institute (left) won the staff award for his dedicated service and numerous innovative solutions to save time, money, energy, and waste at NRRI. Randel Hanson (right) from the UMD Geography Department represented the faculty winner, for his leadership with the Sustainable Agriculture Project and contributions to campus food service operations, the regional good food movement, and sustainability education.

Samuel Knuth and Katie Earling from the Labovitz School of Business represented student winners, for their project addressing access to drinking water in the residence halls. Learn more about their project at http://tinyurl.com/mh2zs8f

2013 Award Recipients

2013 inspiration awards

Edwin Nganji instigated and coordinated the UMD initiative One World, One Environment during the spring 2013 semester. The event brought together UMD students, faculty, staff, and community members to discuss issues and values connected to our shared environment.

Mike Mageau works on a number exciting community sustainable development projects throughout our region in the past decade including wind resource development analysis along northeast Minnesota’s Northshore, and Victus Farm in Silver Bay, MN. Through this work, he provides real life work experiences to many students each year.

Lanae Smith lead many sustainability initiatives on campus. She has worked with Victus Farm, MPIRG’s environmental initiatives, and has attended and presented at two U of M system-wide student sustainability leadership events.

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.

Ready to nominate? Use this Google Form