2010 Sustainability Leadership Award Winners


Student Award

Nick Benson, Environmental Studies Major: As one of 12 coordinators for Environs, Nick has tackled a number of sustainability-related projects both on campus and off, including an ongoing effort to get LED lights installed on Jayhawk Boulevard. He has also coordinated activities with the Wetlands Preservation Organization, an effort to preserve and protect the Haskell-Baker Wetlands. In addition to his volunteer activities, Nick is employed by KU Recycling, where he has been instrumental in the development of a printer cartridge recycling program. Through this program, KU has recycled an estimated 1,400 cartridges since it was started this summer. Nick can often be found working at the KU Student Raingarden, attending Student Environmental Advisory Board meetings, or tabling at campus events to raise awareness about important environmental and social issues, providing leadership through example. "His passion for environmental issues," in the words of the nominator, "is an inspiration to others."

Faculty Award

Dr. Stacey Swearingen White, Urban Planning: Stacey White is recognized for making sustainability an important part of campus culture by integrating concepts in sustainability into her classes, inspiring students to advance their education in environmental fields, and supporting sustainability efforts on campus. Most recently, her courses have contributed to the Campus Sustainability Plan, developed CAP-KU: A Climate Action Plan for the University of Kansas, and worked with Kansas communities on a range of sustainability-related issues. Stacey also served on the Sustainability Task Force that was established in 2004 and was a driving force behind that effort to help create the Center for Sustainability.


Staff Award

Dr. Claudia Bode, Education Director for the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis: In addition to leading the Students for Green Chemistry and Engineering organization at KU and communicating complex research to the public in creative ways, Claudia is helping educate the next generation of scientists through a Research Experiences for Teachers program called SHIFT - Shaping Inquiry from Feedstock-to-Tailpipe. SHIFT engages high school and community college teachers in research on different aspects of renewable fuels - from how they are made to how they impact the environment. Through this program, Claudia coordinated activities for nine teachers participating in a six-week summer program, facilitating partnerships with the Transportation Research Institute, the KU Biodiesel Initiative and the Southeast Kansas Education Service Center in Greenbush, Kansas. Her work with the SHIFT program has helped teachers transform their research projects into innovative lessons for their classrooms and will help raise awareness about issues of sustainability among a broad and diverse audience.

Student Organization

Environs: This student organization has fought for issues of environmentalism and sustainability for the past 25 years. Their rich history includes efforts to expand recycling on campus, create a Student Environmental Advisory Board, and halt the use of Styrofoam at KU. Over the past year, Environs has been incredibly active on a number of fronts, participating in protests, educational programs, and community outreach efforts. With approximately 50 active members, including 12 coordinators that focus their efforts in 5 committees (Preservation, Conservation, Local Foods, Education, and Creative Hands), Environs has promoted the KU Student Farm, researched installing LED lights on Jayhawk Boulevard, screened the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Food, Inc.", hosted a campus recycling tour, and helped collect aluminum cans for Cans for the Community at football games.

Campus Project

University of Kansas Transit and Maintenance Facility, KU Parking & Transit and MV Transportation: Currently under construction, this facility will be shared by the KU and City of Lawrence bus systems starting this December. Because it is acting as one headquarters for two similar operations, it cuts down on duplicative expenses, providing storage and maintenance for the two bus systems in one location. All furniture for the facility has been collected from the KU Surplus Property Recycling program, which significantly reduces waste from discarded furniture as well as expenses, resources, and greenhouse gas emission related to production and shipping of new furniture. Savings from this practice are estimated at close to $100,000. Additionally, the new facility is designed to meet new energy efficiency standards that are a 30% improvement over code, and includes a bioswale for improved stormwater management on the site.

Past Award Recipients

To find out about past recipients of the Sustainability Leadership Award, click on the year below.

Coronavirus Update

As part of our efforts to reduce an on-campus presence and promote social distancing, KU Surplus is ceasing all operations and KU Recycling is limiting any special collections that are not mission critical. For more information, email us at sustainability@ku.edu

Sustainability Plan

KU Bike Plan

KU Bike Plan

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