AASHE Names 54 Sustainability Award Finalists

AASHE Sustainability Awards provide global recognition to the individuals and organizations leading the higher education sustainability movement.


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AASHE Sustainability Awards provide global recognition to the individuals and organizations leading the higher education sustainability movement.
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AASHE Names 54 Sustainability Award Finalists

AASHE Sustainability Awards provide global recognition to the individuals and organizations leading the higher education sustainability movement.

AASHE Names 54 Sustainability Award Finalists

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has announced 54 finalists for its 2021 Sustainability Awards. These awards provide global recognition to individuals and organizations leading the higher education sustainability movement. With the help of volunteer judges from the community, the awards program raises the visibility of high-impact sustainability projects and collaborations, pioneering research, and student leadership, helping to disseminate innovations and inspire continued progress toward environmental, social, and economic health.

“I was thrilled to see hundreds of submissions for this year’s AASHE Sustainability Awards. This clearly shows the commitment and passion of the higher education community toward creating a thriving, equitable and ecologically healthy world,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “I am especially pleased to recognize the innovation and leadership demonstrated by this year’s finalists.”

The 54 finalists came from more than 360 submissions.

Sustainability Awards
(Photo: UC Santa Cruz, Sustainability Office)

Racial Equity And Sustainability Collaborations

Finalists for this award category, AASHE’s newest, are:

  • Catawba College – Equity, Diversity, Justice, Inclusion Task Force
  • University of California, Santa Cruz – Inclusive Sustainability: Collaborative Approaches through UC Santa Cruz’s People of Color Sustainability Collective
  • Portland Community College – Incorporating Social Equity and Climate Justice into Climate Action Planning in Higher Education
  • California State University System – California State University System-wide Climate Justice and Intersectional Sustainability Speaker Series
  • University of Utah – Integrating racial equity, social justice, and sustainability through general education learning outcome assessment

Campus Sustainability Achievement Award

Associate/2-year Institutions Finalists:

  • Cascadia College – Cascadia Cornucopia Food Forest as a prototype for food permaculture areas on campuses
  • Suffolk County Community College – Virtual Energy Treasure Hunt Event
  • Western Dakota Technical College – Planting the Pond

Institutions with over 10,000 FTE Enrollment Finalists:

  • Georgia Institute of Technology – The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design – A Certified Living Building
  • North Carolina State University – Addressing Food and Housing Security among NC State University Students
  • University of California, Berkeley – Reducing Scope Three Carbon Emissions Through Behavior Change & Menu Labeling
  • University of Illinois University Administration & University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign – Climate Action Plan Sustainability Ambassador Course
  • Urbana-Champaign – UIUC Solar Farm 2.0: Ultra-Sustainable on-campus solar array

Institutions with under 10,000 FTE Enrollment Finalists:

  • Brandeis University – How Brandeis reduced our food carbon footprint over 20% in its first sustainable dining program
  • Brown University – Brown University’s Thermal Efficiency Project
  • Georgia College & State University – Glass Recycling at a Rural Georgia College Campus
  • University of California, Merced – The People’s Fridge- A Community Fridge to Reduce Food Insecurity and Food Waste
  • University of St. Thomas – University of St. Thomas Stewardship Garden

Campus Sustainability Research Award

Unpublished Undergraduate Research Finalists:

  • Carbon Negative: Reducing Dining’s Carbon Footprint at Penn State by Divya Jain at Pennsylvania State University
  • Influence of landscape management practices on urban greenhouse gas budgets by Wiley J. Hundertmark, Marissa Lee, Ian A. Smith, Vivien Chen, Conor K. Gately, Pamela H. Templer, and Lucy R. Hutyra at Boston University and Ashley H.Y. Bang at Brown University
  • Synchronizing Sustainability Education Across Higher Education Community Orientations by Nicolas Navarre, Steve Farra and Sunjot Singh Hunjan at University of British Columbia
  • What makes an effective campus climate action plan? by Nicolas Fitzmaurice and Raye Myers at Montana State University

Unpublished Graduate Research Finalists:

  • Assessing Undergraduate Sustainability Knowledge at California Polytechnic State University by Elysa C. M. Briens at California Polytechnic State University
  • Campus Sustainability Plans: A Descriptive Analysis of Sustainability Plans from Institutions of Higher Education in the United States by Robert Freeman Eby at Texas State University System Office
  • Educational contexts and designs for cultivating leaders capable of addressing the wicked issues of sustainability transitions by James Ayers at Blekinge Institute of Technology
  • Embedding sacred ecology in sustainability solutions: The role of post-secondary environmental science programs by Priscilla Costa dos Santos at Central European University
  • Emotional reactions to climate change and associated coping strategies: a grounded theory study on graduate students of sustainability-related programmes by Uladzislau Zubkevich at Uppsala University
  • What’s in Your Paper? Organizational Fiber Consumption and the Purchasing Decisions that Drive it by Nathaniel Elser at Pennsylvania State University

Published Journal Article – Academics Finalists:

  • “I teach it because it is the biggest threat to health”: Integrating sustainable healthcare into health professions education by Gabrielle Brand, Jorja Collins, Gitanjali Bedi, James Bonnamy, Liza Barbour and Chanika Ilangakoon at Monash University
  • A futuring approach to teaching wicked problems by Jesse Hoffman, Peter Pelzer, Loes Albert, Tine Béneker, Maarten Hajer and Astrid Mangnus at Utrecht University
  • A Resource-Efficient Modular Course Design for Co-Teaching Integrated Sustainability in Higher Education: Developing the Next Generation of Entrepreneurial Leaders by Joanna C. Carey, Lauren S. Beitelspacher, Jennifer Tosti-Kharas and Elizabeth Swanson at Babson College
  • Discourse of ‘helping the poor’: rethinking global poverty and its pedagogical possibilities in higher education by Xiuying Cai at Xiamen University
  • Indigenous perspectives on education for sustainable healthcare by Nicole Redvers and Be’sha Blondin at Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation, Clinton Schultz at Bond University, Melissa Vera Prince at University of Washington, Myrna Cunningham at El Fondo para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas de América Latina y El Caribe (FILAC) and Rhys Jones at University of Auckland
  • The Emotional Experience of Sustainability Courses: Learned Eco-Anxiety, Potential Ontological Adjustment by Peter Graham and Adeela Arshad-Ayaz at Concordia University and Cassandra Kuyvenhoven, Rena Upitis, Eli Scheinman and Colin Khan at Queen’s University
  • Towards an equity competency model for sustainable food systems education programs by Molly Anderson at Middlebury College, Nicole Tichenor Blackstone at Tufts University, Eleanor Sterling and Erin Betley at American Museum of Natural History, Sharon Akabas at Columbia University, Pamela Koch at Teachers College, Columbia University, Colin Dring and Will Valley at University of British Columbia, Joanne Burke and Karen Spiller at University of New Hampshire

Published Journal Article – Engagement Finalists:

  • Can public universities play a role in fostering seed sovereignty? by Alexandra Lyon and Hannah Wittman at University of British Columbia and Harriet Friedmann at University of Toronto
  • Community-based climate action planning as an act of advocacy: a case study of liberal arts education in a rural community by Andrew Pattison, Christopher R. Henke and John Pumilio at Colgate University
  • Indigenous perspectives on education for sustainable healthcare by Nicole Redvers and Be’sha Blondin at Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation, Clinton Schultz at Bond University, Melissa Vera Prince at University of Washington, Myrna Cunningham at El Fondo para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas de América Latina y El Caribe (FILAC) and Rhys Jones at University of Auckland
  • Towards climate justice education: views from activists and educators in Scotland by Callum McGregor and Beth Christie at University of Edinburgh

Published Journal Article – Operations Finalists:

  • Carbon footprinting of universities worldwide: Part I—objective comparison by standardized metrics by Eckard Helmers at Trier University of Applied Sciences and Chia Chien Chang and Justin Dauwels at Nanyang Technological University
  • Designing an extension Climate Stewards volunteer program: incorporating sense of community, social practice, and self-efficacy theories by Danielle L. Eiseman, Anne K. Armstrong and Allison M. Chatrchyan at Cornell University
  • Energy use and CO2 emissions in the UK universities: An extended Kaya identity analysis by Shaikh M.S.U. Eskander at Kingston University London and Jakob Nitschke at Universität Duisburg-Essen
  • Impact of “healthier” materials interventions on dust concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and organophosphate esters by Anna S. Young, Russ Hauser, Tamarra M. James-Todd, Brent A. Coull, Hongkai Zhu and Kurunthachalam Kannan at Harvard University and New York University
  • Teaching Sustainability Practice through Service Learning: A Case Study of Reducing Food Waste by Jamie A. Picardy and Richard Bilodeau at University of Southern Maine and Sara Ghezzi at University of Wyoming
  • Towards an equity competency model for sustainable food systems education programs by Molly Anderson at Middlebury College, Nicole Tichenor Blackstone at Tufts University, Eleanor Sterling and Erin Betley at American Museum of Natural History, Sharon Akabas at Columbia University, Pamela Koch at Teachers College, Columbia University, Colin Dring and Will Valley at University of British Columbia, Joanne Burke and Karen Spiller at University of New Hampshire

Published Journal Article – Planning & Administration Finalists:

  • Action learning partnerships: carbon, commerce and community co-learning at a Canadian university by Annie Booth, Sinead Earley and Christie Ray at University of Northern British Columbia, Kyle Aben at Carbon Realities Consulting and Barbara Otter and Todd Corrigal at Prince George Chamber of Commerce
  • Campuses as living labs for sustainability problem-solving: trends, triumphs, and traps by Christian J. Rivera and Caroline Savage at Princeton University
  • Can public universities play a role in fostering seed sovereignty? by Alexandra Lyon and Hannah Wittman at University of British Columbia and Harriet Friedmann at University of Toronto
  • Education for Sustainable Development Goals (ESDG): What Is Wrong with ESDGs, and What Can We Do Better? by Helen Kopnina at The Hague University of Applied Science and Northumbria University
  • Sustainable development goals and higher education: leaving many behind by Savo Heleta at Nelson Mandela University and Tohiera Bagus at International Education Association of South Africa

Student Sustainability Leadership Award

Finalists in this category are:

  • Annie Selle at University of Vermont for “Just Sustainability” Environmental Justice Campaign Case Study
  • Eric Urbaniak and Teresa Homsi at Central Michigan University for Central Sustainability
  • MaryPIRG Student Climate Action Coalition (MSCAC) at University of Maryland, College Park
  • Varsha Madapoosi at University of California, Berkeley for SCECon 21: Our World, Our Time, Our Voices

Click here to read more about each of the finalists listed above.

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