The Wake Forest University Campus Sustainability Awards presentation was held on Earth Day– Friday, April 22, 2016–in the Green Room of Reynolda Hall. A combination of students, faculty, and staff who have demonstrated or initiated successful sustainable practices on campus were recognized as Champions of Change.
Two individuals were honored with special awards for their meritorious leadership. Green Team captain for Reynolda House, Dan Rossow, was recognized for his work in producing zero-landfill receptions and developing recycling education for staff and visitors. Sustainability intern Alyshah Aziz, Class of 2016, was honored for her successful work in implementing the Re-Cycle bike sharing program for Wake Forest.
Wake Forest University Provost Rogan Kersh and Executive Vice President Hof Milam recognized the following award recipients in four categories: Teaching, Research and Engagement; Resource Conservation; Service and Social Action; and Bright Ideas.
For the Teaching, Research and Engagement award category, two teacher-scholars were awarded for their work to develop engaged learning opportunities for sustainability. Dr. Sarah Mason was recognized for her ability to bring mathematics to life by teaching students how to calculate energy generation and analyze the feasibility of various generation sources. Professor Vanessa Zboreak, who teaches sustainability law and policy courses, was presented an award for her work in “empowering students to accomplish their dreams, resulting in leaders who will build a sustainable future.”
For the Resource Conservation award category, the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs was recognized for its many sustainability-related accomplishments, such as going paperless. Thanks to new systems, they can create, approve, and submit proposals electronically. A team of campus leaders, Jessica Wallace from Aramark and John Wise from Hospitality, were awarded for their efforts to create a zero landfill dining operation in the North Dining Hall.
For the Service and Social Action award category, Professor Justin Catanoso, director of Wake Forest’s journalism program and a “constant voice for change on our campus,” was awarded for his ongoing research and reporting on global climate change. Assistant dean of students and director of democratic engagement and justice programs, Marianne Magjuka, was awarded for her work in training MA in Sustainability students on the deliberative dialog process–a public discussion format that encourages communication across difference and discovery of common ground for action.
For the Bright Ideas award category, Lee Colette from Outdoor Pursuits and Eric Stottlemyer from the Department of English were awarded for their collaboration to implement a first-of-its-kind Environmental Studies Course entitled “Contemplative Approaches to Global Sustainability.” At the conclusion of the innovative course, students will take what they have learned out of the classroom and into the Alaska wilderness for two weeks in the backcountry. David Link from the Z. Smith Reynolds Library, an avid home gardener and beekeeper, was recognized for providing and tending to a valuable, much-needed resource in the Campus Garden: honeybees.
A special group of awards also went to individuals who were nominated for their efforts to inspire others to live more sustainably: John Noble from The Bridge; Tanisha Ramachandran from the Department for the Study of Religions; Natascha Romeo and Sharon Woodard from Health and Exercise Science; Preston Stockton and John Kiger from Reynolda Gardens; Janine Tillett, an All-Star Volunteer; and Gail Bretan from Jewish Life.