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Champion Awards

The Sustainability Champion Awards are designed to recognize individuals or groups at SCU who go out of their way to develop a culture of sustainability. We want to celebrate their hard work and honor their achievements by awarding them at this public ceremony.

Individuals or groups are nominated (by self-nomination or nomination by another) which includes a short description of why they should receive the award. Members of the Center for Sustainability vote on the nominees and select an award recipient for each category (staff, faculty, student, group, collaborative project, and current Sustainability Liaison).

Photo by Joanne Lee

Photo by Joanne Lee

Is there someone you know that's going above and beyond sustainability? Keep an eye out for the Nomination Application and join us for our celebration in June! 

The selection criteria are as follows:

  • Lasting impact vs. single event or instance. We favor actions that will have a lasting impact on the campus community.
  • Sustainability-focused* vs. sustainability-related**. Actions that are sustainability-focused will be considered over actions that are sustainability-related. Multiple actions may be combined for this point, so long as together they show the nominee has approached sustainability from economic, social, and environmental perspectives.
    • *sustainability-focused actions include all three sustainability elements (justice, economics, and environment), showing others how different dimensions of sustainability relate to and support each other in theory and/or practice, addressing complex global issues.
    • **sustainability-focused actions include one or two sustainability elements (justice, economics, and environment).
  • Depth vs. breadth. Actions that are harder to make will be favored over surface-level actions. Actions that reach many people may be favored over actions that reach a few, so long as there is a sense of lasting impact among those affected. 
  • Temporal boundary. Though we may consider actions that have happened in the past, the Champion Awards seek to celebrate achievements in the current academic year. 
  • Campus Sustainability. We will more strongly consider projects/initiatives to change the culture on campus. Community-based projects are important, and will be considered alongside campus-based projects, though not as strongly for these awards. We may choose to highlight noteworthy achievements that were done off-campus.

Past Winners

Faculty: Ed Maurer, a Faculty Sustainability Liaison, involves the Civil Engineering department in sustainability related, local events such as creek clean-ups with the City of Santa Clara, rides his bike to work, and actively brings up new technology and ideas to the Center for Sustainability.

Staff: Julia Claire Landry, Director of Graduate Student Ministry, hosts graduate ministry events at the Forge and ensures that sustainability is woven into the programming or operations of the event. She also integrated Spirituality Facilitators into the Sustainability Liaison Network and is a second year Workplace Sustainability Liaison.

Student: Aaron Poor was the first ASG president (2015-16) to include sustainability in his platform, “community, sustainability, and snacks.” He always includes sustainability in conversation with student initiatives, especially off-campus.  Aaron participates in Center for Sustainability programs and events, and volunteers with SCCAP’s Best Buddies program at the Forge Garden. Aaron also developed his own major to study sustainable business.

Group: The Food and Agribusiness Institute (FAI) provides students with an education in the functional areas of management with the application of modern business practices to food and agribusiness firms. FAI creates awareness among students with food-related events. This year, they have partnered with the Center for Sustainability to include the Forge Garden and other urban gardens or farms in their activities and research.

Collaborative Project: In November 2015, the Laudato Si Conference Planning Committee hosted a conference about Pope Francis’ Encyclical, “Our Future on a Shared Planet: Silicon Valley in Conversation with the Environmental Teachings of Pope Francis.” The two-day event attracted hundreds of students and community members, and featured speakers including  Dr. Gretchen Daily, Dr. Veerabhadran Ramanathan, and San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo.

Sustainability Liaison: Justin Wojcik is a very active Workplace Sustainability Liaison who always makes an effort to never miss a liaison meeting and participates in various Center for Sustainability activities. He uses a personal compost pail, was instrumental in Loyola’s win of the Annual Energy Challenge, served as a panelist in the Eco-Fashion Show, and attends extra liaison events and field trips such as the Advanced Water Purification Center Tour in April.

Chad Raphael, professor in the Department of Communications, is part of the Faculty Liaison group pilot, has been a long-time supporter of sustainability and utilizes his communication classes to conduct campus-based projects related to sustainability, such as the latest Dialogue and Discourse to organize student discussion about the drought.
Lindsay Sperling, adjunct lecturer in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, restructured the entire general chemistry lab sequence to emphasize green chemistry in the curriculum.
Sean Reilly, class of 2016 and environmental science major, has increased the visibility of GREEN Club through his leadership and involvement in Fossil Free SCU.
Transportation Services goes beyond their job description to exceed the needs and expectations of accessibility, mobility and sustainability; They are providing 24 EV charging stations (the most for any university), piloting the Zagster bike share program and won an honorable mention for the Clean Air Awards.
Collaborative Project:
GREEN Club and SCCAP’s B-LEJIT collaborated on Fossil Free SCU for its second year, and significantly elevated on-campus awareness about the climate crisis through persistent, creative, and positive activism.
Sustainability Liaison:
Koura Fabiny, Workplace Liaison for the Global Engagement Office, models a holistic commitment to sustainable living. She’s had perfect attendance to liaison meetings, attended sustainability-related event/field trips to learn more, and hosted a zero-waste vegetarian potluck for her department and office building. She frequently responds to the Center for Sustainability with questions from her peers and is always active in discussions with them.
John Farnsworth, Environmental Studies & Sciences
Mako Ushihara, Housing
Lisa McMonagle, Class of 2014
Campus Ministry
Collaborative Project:
Food Recovery Network
Champion of Champions:
Joe Sugg, former Assistant Vice President for University Operations
Stephanie Hughes, Environmental Studies & Sciences
Chris Young, Facilities
Andrew Noonan, Class of 2014
Campus Recreation
Bill Mains, Leavey School of Business
Janice DeMonsi, Campus Recreation
Student Group:
Engineers Without Borders