2008 Sustainability Leadership Award Winners
Anna Hoard, Senior, Voice Performance, School of Fine Art: Anna is committed to social and environmental issues that we face on campus and on a global scale. She is involved as a local leader for Oxfam, an organization committed to finding lasting solutions to problems of hunger, poverty, and social injustice, and in the leadership for KU Students for Fair Traid and Ecumenical Christian Ministries. She has lobbied senators for reform of the Farm Bill to make it more helpful to sustainable farmers and less harmful to the world market, and is an advocate for better trade policies, climate justice, and other social and environmental issues. She is also active with the Student Farmworker Alliance, Coalition of Imokalee Workers, and Lawrence Fair Food, a coalition of organizations that work for fair labor practices in the fields of Florida. In the words of the Music & Dance faculty who nominated her, Anna "truly inspires all around her to care about the important issues facing us globally today." Anna's work embodies the complete meaning of sustainability - incorporating not only environmental and economic aspects, but the crucial components of community and society as well.
Sara Vancil, Assistant Director, Office of Student Financial Aid: Like many efforts in sustainability, Sara's started by improving opportunities for recycling and encouraging participation within her office. But she certainly didn't stop there. In the spring of 2008, Sara helped organize the offices first "Green Day", on which staff wore green to work, brought vegetarian fare and reusable dinnerware for a potluck lunch, and were encouraged to use alternative transportation to get to work, avoid disposable water bottles, and turn off lights and computers when they left the office. The success of that event lead to the formation of a Green Team within the office that has helped create a number of new initiatives including the use of recycled paper, eliminating unnecessary printing - which saves around 150 sheets of paper each week - and planning a "Green Month" for the month of October during which individuals made personal "Green Goals" and participated in activities both in and outside of the office. Sara also serves as a sustainability ambassador for the Center for Sustainability.
Stephen Goddard, Professor and curator at the Spencer Museum of Art:Steve not only promotes eco-friendly behaviors within the workplace, but will be reaching a much broader audience through the upcoming environmentally-themed exhibition, Trees and Other Ramifications. Stephen has collaborated with the Biodiversity Institute and other faculty on campus to shape this exhibit that will, in the words of the nominators "insist that viewers consider the lives of trees in conjunction with their own, all the while revealing our often-taken-for-granted coexistence and codependence." This exhibition will actually be part of an entire semester of exhibitions and art commissions relevant to the environment. Outside of this incredible work, Stephen helps keep other staff at the museum informed of best practices through announcements about recycling and other environmental issues, including such things as drawing attention to the environmentally unfriendly qualities of dry-erase markers. He has also been advocating for a bike rack for museum patrons.
Student Rain Garden: The idea for this project started with a group of students who were studying stormwater in an independent study course. From that class came the idea of creating rain gardens for campus, and an initiative by students majoring in engineering, architecture, and environmental studies to design a garden that would incorporate native plants in a process to slow and filter stormwater before it reaches storm drains or surrounding neighbors. The result of their work is a roughly five thousand square foot garden that will be planted by student volunteers at the Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center on Earth Day 2009. Students Laura Foster, John Kenny, England Porter, Callie Statz, Neil Steiner and 2008 graduate Studie Red Corn have worked alongside campus Landscape Architects Peg Livingood and Marion Paulette and an outside engineer to design every aspect of the garden, from the downspouts and drain lines that will distribute water from the roof of the rec center throughout the garden to selecting native plant species that will bloom throughout the year. They secured funding from Student Senate and gained the support of Mary Chappell and Recreation Services in providing additional funds. The students have even worked with the Purchasing Department to write the bid document that will ensure that plant materials are grown in a sustainable manner. As a demonstration project funded in part by the Kansas Department of Health & Environment, the Student Rain Garden will serve as an example of urban stormwater management and native planting not only for other sites on campus but for other institutions and homeowners throughout the region.
KU Dining Services: KU Dining Services has made considerable strides towards providing a more sustainable dining experience at KU. Under the leadership of Nona Golledge and through the support and involvement of all her staff, including sustainability ambassador Sheryl Kidwell, Dining Services has embraced sustainability through a range of initiatives, including:
Using more locally grown ingredients, including their own herbs grown on the roof, in catered dishes and at the Impromptu Café
Establishing an organic and all-natural concept in the Market
Implementing an employee training program which includes a "thinkin' green" section
Implementing a trayless service in the residential dining centers which in testing reduced food waste by 38% and beverage waste by 53%
Using more eco-friendly dinnerware and packaging
Recycling coard board and sending used cooking oil to the biofuel lab on campus to be converted to biodiesel
In working with Student Housing, KU Recycling, the Biodiesel Initiative, the Center for Sustainability, local growers, and others on campus and our community, KU Dining Services exemplifies the collaborative nature that is so critical to seeking out more sustainable solutions.
The award ceremony was proceeded by a luncheon featuring local and organic items, provided by KU Dining Services.
Congratulations to our award winners and to all of the incredible nominees that are making a difference here at KU!