Champions of Change

Are You or is Someone You Know a Champion?

Do you know an individual who has made an impact on campus sustainability at Wake Forest? Each year, Champions of Change are honored at our annual Campus Sustainability Awards Ceremony during our campus-wide Earth Month. Nominations are accepted for students, faculty, and staff who advance sustainability through:

Academics and Engagement (teaching, research, engaged learning)
Nominations may include classes with sustainability-focused learning outcomes, research in sustainability-focused areas, and/or opportunities to learn about sustainability through practical application.

Resource Conservation (energy, water, or waste reduction)
Nominations may include projects and efforts that have resulted in energy conservation, water conservation, waste reduction, or a combination of these areas

Service and Social Action
Nominations may include service projects or campaigns that result in social and/or environmental justice outcomes for individuals and the communities served.

Bright Ideas (innovative ideas that have been or could be implemented)
Nominations may include sustainability-focused projects, efforts, or ideas that are unique and innovative on the Wake Forest campus.

Nominations from all categories are considered for the Leadership award.

Champions of Change nominations are evaluated based on:

  • The way(s) in which the nominee(s) has/have helped advance one or more of the WFU campus sustainability goals,
  • The level of participation by colleagues within the department or unit,
  • Measurable impact among constituents across campus or in the community served (students, faculty, staff, and/or community members) and
  • Any additional information or data available to support the nomination.

  • 2022 Recipients
    • Curriculum Catalyst: Dr. Keith Bonin (guiding development of the ENV program)
    • Teacher Scholar Ideal: Dr. Paul Thacker (teacher-scholar engagement and inspiration for experiential learning)
    • Visionary Leadership: Dr. Miles SIlman (creation of CEES, establishment of CINCIA, research/scholarly leadership)
    • Engaged Learning: Dr. Tangela Towns (SOC329 Health Inequalities
    • Engaged Learning: Dr. Mark Curtis (ENV241 Natural Resource & Environmental Economics)
    • Co-Curricular Education: Savannah Baber (dedication to engaging and educational environmental justice-focused programming) 
    • Student Leadership: Una Wilson (environmental justice-focused journalism and communications)
    • Student Initiative: Sophie Eldridge, Aidan Norris, Harper Shanly, and Alisa Zhu (Hammock Haven)
    • Bright Idea: ESG Leadership Team (creation of inaugural ESG@Wake programming)
  • 2021 Recipients
    • Academics & Engagement: Becky Dickson (geospatial analysis of sustainability)
    • Resource Conservation: Mike Draughn (indoor air quality and energy savings)
    • Service & Social Action: Justin Green (environmental debate program)Julia McElhinny and Carolina Conway (Energy Explorers program)
    • Bright Idea: Sophie Wimberley (textile waste diversion)
    • Leadership: Rowie Kirby-Straker (climate feminism leadership)
    • Student Organization: Ocean and Marine Conservation Club (engaging and educational programming)
    • Everyday Champions: Karl Darr (Reynolda Village Landscaping Team); Madison Fishler (Health and Wellness Manager & Culinary Dietitian, Harvest Table Culinary Group); Sean McGlynn (Center for Global Programs and Studies – Green Team Captain); Elizabeth Whiting Pierce (Program for Leadership and Character – Green Team Captain)
  • 2020 Recipients
    • Academics & Engagement: Chris Zarzar, Kyana Young, and Courtney Di Vittorio (watershed modeling and remediation at High Rock Lake)
    • Resource Conservation: Tim Mitchell and Doug Ecklund (energy conservation through building scheduling)
    • Service & Social Action: International Justice Mission (IJM) – WFU Chapter (Threads thrift shop)
    • Bright Idea: Jeff Eller, Amanda Foster Kaufman, and Kathy Shields (ZSR Wellness and Sustainability Committee; self-run organics collection program)
    • Leadership: Sakina Barthe-Sukhera (Climate Strike WFU); Monet Beatty (“Breathe” dance production; reaching new audiences)Reed Fedowitz (sustainable purchasing standards with APO)
    • Everyday Champions: Jason Belo (Everyday sustainability leader for Human Resources – Green Team Captain); Barbara Lardin (Establishing the laptop take-back program and expanding e-cycling efforts)
  • 2019 Recipients
    • Academics & Engagement: Abdou Lachgar (chemistry for the environment — catalyst that converts waste to advanced biofuels)
    • Resource Conservation: Mike Draughn and the Maintenance and Utilities Services Team (Wake Forest energy plan)
    • Service & Social Action: Mark Jensen (faith, health and ecological well-being)
    • Bright Idea: Emily Smith (reusable Lovefeast luminaries)
    • Everyday Champions: Tim Covey (Information Systems everyday leadership)Morey Graham (University Advancement Green Team captain)Brooke Orr (Registered Dietician, Harvest Table Culinary Group); Kat Pitchford (Compost Crew shift leader and dedicated student volunteer)
  • 2018 Recipients
    • Academics & Engagement: Jill Crainshaw (Sacraments and Ordinances: History, Theology and Practice)
    • Resource Conservation: Josh Suzuki (organic waste diversion program at LJVM Coliseum and BB&T Field)
    • Service & Social Action: Alan Brown, Wendell Dunn, and Bailey Allman (Paisley Middle School Sports Literacy Program)
    • Bright Idea: Becky Dickson, Jed Macosko, and John Shenette (Project Nightlight)
    • Leadership: Anna-Marie Carr (sustainable event planning within HR)
    • Everyday Champions: Hilary Floyd (School of Divinity Green Team captain)Michelle Ford (Department of Biology Green Team captain)Jordan Mullens(Delta Zeta Greeks Go Green Representative)T Taylor (Graduate Hall Director for Kitchin Residence Hall); Tim Vandermeersch (District Manager, Harvest Table Culinary Group)
  • 2017 Recipients
    • Academics & Engagement: Amanda Lanier (environmental education at Reynolda Gardens); Preston Stockton (Reynolda Meadow Project)
    • Resource Conservation: Facilities & Campus Services and Residence Life & Housing (Hearn Plaza residence hall renovations)
    • Service & Social Action: Angela King (Enno Farms – model of sustainable practices)
    • Bright Idea: Customer and Custodial Services (dry floor stripping); Steven Fisenne (chemical inventory system); Lesli Tuttle (electronic tax form adoption)
    • Leadership: Sebastian Irby (Interdisciplinary major in Sustainability Studies)
    • Everyday Champions: Sarah Fahmy (Student-Athlete Sustainability Network)
  • 2016 Recipients
    • Academics & Engagement: Sarah Mason (FYS: “Counting on Sustainable Energy: Does it Add Up?”); Vanessa Zboreak (Sustainability Law and Policy courses)
    • Resource Conservation: Office of Research & Sponsored Programs (paperless processes); Jessica Wallace and John Wise (zero-landfill program at North Dining)
    • Service & Social Action: Justin Catanoso (climate change reporting)Marianne Magjuka (NC Power Dialog)
    • Bright Idea: Lee Collette and Eric Stottlemyer (Contemplative Approaches to Global Sustainability in Alaska)David Link (honeybee program at WFU Campus Garden)
    • Leadership: Alyshah Aziz (Re-Cycle Bike Share Program)Dan Rossow (sustainable event planning at Reynolda House)
    • Everyday Champions: Gail Bretan (inclusive programming – Tu B’Shevat); John Kiger and Preston Stockton (mentorship in the Campus Garden)John Noble (waste reduction at The Bridge)Tanisha Ramachandran (social justice – Department for the Study of Religions)Natascha Romeo and Sharon Woodard (intersections of health and sustainability in HES courses)Janine Tillett (all-star volunteer in the Campus Garden)
  • 2015 Recipients
    • Academics & Engagement: Ron Von Burg (Humanity and Nature and Coasts and Climate Change in Belize)
    • Resource Conservation: Office of the Registrar (paperless PIN project); Surplus Property Program (radical waste diversion)
    • Service & Social Action: Steve Boyd (religion and public engagement)
    • Bright Idea: JL Bolt and Frank Shelton (repurposing discarded wood [“Saw-stainability”])
    • Everyday Champions: Barbara Macri (Human Resources Green Team captain); Kate Ruley (Aramark Green Team captain)
  • 2014 Recipients
    • Academics & Engagement: Wanda Balzano; Lynn Book, and Angela Kocze (Women, Entrepreneurship, and Sustainability)
    • Resource Conservation: Financial Services (paperless processes); Residence Life & Housing (radical energy, water, and waste reduction)
    • Service & Social Action: Shelley Sizemore (food justice)
    • Bright Idea: Abby McNeal (UgMo wireless soil sensor system at Spry Stadium)
    • Everyday Champions: Carol Lavis (innovation in leadership in leadership as the Department of Theatre and Dance Green Team captain); Peter Romanov (innovation in leadership as the ZSR Library Green Team captain); Darlene Starnes (innovation in leadership as the Office of Multicultural Affairs Green Team captain)