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Inaugural Sustainable UGA Awards given for outstanding student, faculty, staff

May. 18, 2011



Writer: Kevin Kirsche, kkirsche@uga.edu

Contact: Kevin Kirsche, kkirsche@uga.edu


Three members of the University of Georgia community received high marks from the UGA Office of Sustainability in the inaugural round of Sustainable UGA Awards for Outstanding Student, Faculty and Staff.  As part of GreenFest 2011, a months-long community-wide celebration toward a more sustainable future, the UGA Office of Sustainability recognized three individuals at the University who have made a significant contribution toward a more Sustainable UGA.

“We solicited input widely from the university community.  With so many actively engaged students, faculty and staff worthy of commendation, it is significant that these three individuals were recognized repeatedly by their peers as having made meaningful contributions to advancing sustainability at UGA,” stated Kevin Kirsche, director of the UGA Office of Sustainability.

Sustainable UGA Award winners go above and beyond to demonstrate dedicated efforts to conserve natural resources, advance sustainability initiatives and improve quality of life, both on and off-campus.

The Sustainable UGA Outstanding Student Award was given to Sheena Zhang, a UGA Honors Student majoring in Ecology and Biology with an emphasis on sustainable design, and president of Students for Environmental Action.  From developing feasible recommendations for renewable energy and alternative transportation at UGA to spearheading Earth Week 2011 events on campus, Sheena is already a proven leader toward a more sustainable future.  One nominator referred to Sheena as “a shining example of why we should be hopeful for the future.”

The Sustainable UGA Outstanding Faculty Award was given to Dr. Laurie Fowler, Assistant Dean in the Odum School of Ecology.  From developing a multi-disciplined environmental practicum course that has been lauded by multiple state-level agencies for its effectiveness in ecological preservation to initiating the Odum School of Ecology Sustainability Committee and spearheading sustainable living practices among students, faculty and staff in her department, one nominator stated, “Laurie is sustainability at its best!”

The Sustainable UGA Outstanding Staff Award was given to Jason Perry, a research engineer in UGA’s Engineering Outreach Services in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.  Dr. Perry is acknowledged specifically for his efforts to conserve energy and save the University money through targeted education and research in campus buildings, as well as his tireless efforts to provide bicycles to underserved members of our community through the BikeAthens Bike Recycling Program.  In addition, one nominator stated, “He’s also just a heckuva nice guy.”

“Through the daily actions of engaged students, faculty and staff, UGA continues to enhance stewardship of natural resources and advance sustainability initiatives to create a model for healthy living on campus and beyond,” said Kirsche. “Our campuses increasingly serve as living laboratories in which sustainability is researched, taught, practiced and constantly refined.  We are indebted to the people that dedicate their time and energy to bring this vision to fruition.” 

For more information regarding sustainability initiatives at UGA, please visit the UGA Office of Sustainability.

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