On April 9, the Office of Sustainability hosted the 11th annual Champions of Change Campus Sustainability Awards. Each year at this awards ceremony, students, faculty, and staff who have gone above and beyond in their contributions to campus sustainability are honored across 5 categories: Academics & Engagement, Resource Conservation, Service & Social Action, Bright Ideas, and Leadership. 

From left to right: EVP/CFO Jackie Travisano, VP for Sustainability and Chief Sustainability Officer, Dedee DeLongpré Johnston, and Provost Michele Gillespie

This year’s celebration honored 12 award winners and numerous nominees whose commitments to sustainability were exemplified through efforts like energy-saving LED light conversions of athletic venues, stewardship of our campus trees, commitment to environmental justice principles and dialogue, dedication to engaged and experiential learning, right-sizing the Wake Line shuttle fleet, and more. 

Provost Michele Gillespie and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Jackie A. Travisano co-presented this year’s awards. The awards program was followed by a reception. 

Congratulations to each of this year’s winners and nominees! Please join us in continuing to celebrate these change-makers:


John Wise, Vice President for Hospitality and Auxiliary Services – championing sustainability in all areas of Hospitality & Auxiliary Services

Jim Mussetter, University Arborist – dedicated stewardship of our campus trees for 31 years 

Academics & Engagement

Dr. Kyle Luthy, Assistant Professor of Engineering – commitment to engaged & experiential learning for sustainability

Scott Schang, JD, Director of the Environmental Law Clinic and Professor of the Practice – leadership of the Environmental Law Clinic

Resource Conservation

Craig Zakrzewski, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Capital Projects and Operations, and Randy Casstevens, Executive Associate Athletic Director and Chief Financial Officer –  stewardship of capital project to convert the lighting in two major athletic venues (Allegacy Federal Credit Union Stadium and the Tennis Center) to LED

Service & Social Action

Deb Marke, Assistant Director of Advocacy and Social Justice Education, Office of Civic & Community Engagement – demonstrated commitment to environmental justice education and empowerment of learners of all ages

Bright Idea: 

Jason Campbell, Assistant Director of Transportation & Parking Services – hiring retired educators to serve as drivers for the Wake Line shuttle system 

Everyday Champions: 

Karl Erik, Director of Operations at Reynolda House – efforts to improve sustainability in operations at Reynolda House, resulting in a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions at Reynolda House from the previous year

Jo Hamilton, Academic Coordinator, Environment & Sustainability Studies Program – advocacy and implementation of sustainable practices in her roles for both the Economics Department and the Environment & Sustainability Studies Program 

Brian Smith, Lab Manager for Wake Downtown and Salem Hall – reduction of the carbon footprint of WFU’s lab spaces through years of implementing operational and behavioral change management among students, staff, and faculty 

Quin Wolters, Sustainability Coordinator for Harvest Table Culinary Group – implementation of innovative sustainability programs in Wake Forest dining practices, including waste reduction and diversion efforts, sustainable purchasing, and cultivating a sustainability-minded culture within the Deacon Dining team