Award recipients

Congratulations to all award recipients and nominees!

Each year, in celebration of Earth Day, members of the campus community are recognized for their outstanding contributions towards advancing sustainability at the University of Alberta with the Campus Sustainability Leadership Awards. The awards are presented at a luncheon with members of the Sustainability Council, senior administrators, and sustainability representatives from across campus in attendance.


2024 Winner - Faculty

Sarah Pelletier

Sarah Pelletier, Chemistry Professor and Director of Science Teaching Labs at Campus Saint-Jean, has spearheaded sustainability and safety initiatives since 2015. Her efforts include redesigning experiments in the chemistry lab to eliminate harmful chemicals and integrating safety and sustainability into outreach activities. The lab is annually certified at the gold level and recognized as a UofA Model Green Lab. Sarah played a key role in the lab's 2017 renovation, incorporating sustainability features such as a water recycling system. She introduced a Green Chemistry course focusing on the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry, providing students with practical applications in manufacturing and research. Additionally, Sarah facilitated the addition of Sustainability Courses DEVDU 201 and 202 to CSJ's curriculum and is currently involved in integrating sustainability into undergraduate programs. Since 2020, she has served as CSJ's Academic Advisor for the UofA Certificate in Sustainability, guiding students and contributing to program development.

Matt Kingston

Matt has crafted two iterations of the MBA Corporate Sustainability course, centered on the UN SDGs as business guidelines. These courses demonstrate the business case for sustainable practices, covering topics like climate change and circularity. He recently launched an online version, boosting enrollment, and is adapting it for undergraduates alongside MBAs to widen sustainability strategy adoption. Matt coaches sustainability case competition teams, like the U of A Net Impact Case Competition, and judges debates and pitch competitions. As a board member with the Net Impact Professional Chapter, he helps organize community events like the annual Net Impact Jeffersonian Dinner and Trivia Night. Matt also aids in building Edmonton's sustainability community through Sustain YEG, a monthly meetup. He aims for both individual and community impact, believing collective efforts can create positive change.

2024 Winner - Student (Michael Rawson Clark Award)

Heba Mahmood

Meet Heba, a fourth-year student majoring in biology and psychology.

As Co-Project Manager of Project Bio6, a student-led startup, Heba leads efforts to create eco-friendly alternatives to unsustainable products. Their flagship project repurposes spent grain from beer brewing into biodegradable coasters, reducing landfill waste. Heba also teaches English to recent immigrants, focusing on practical vocabulary and interview skills to enhance employment opportunities. Inspired by her immigrant background, she strives to empower her students and combat inequalities.

Kairandeep Kaur Dhillon

Meet Kairandeep, a fourth-year student majoring in psychology and minoring in biological sciences, with a certificate in sustainability.

As the founder of the "Green Flow Period Pantry" project, Kairandeep promotes period equity and green menstruation on campus by providing free and sustainable menstrual products to over 300 individuals. They secured funding from various sources and lead educational initiatives on sustainable period care practices. Additionally, Kairandeep serves as a Sustainable Action Team (SAT) leader with Sustain SU, overseeing the Reusable Dish Program (RDP) and leading research initiatives addressing food waste and insecurity at U of A.

Tianna Tanasichuk

Tianna, a fifth-year student graduating this year with a degree in mathematics and biological science, has been actively engaged in the Olav Rueppell Honey Bee and Social Insect lab since summer 2021. Her work primarily focuses on bee behavior and its influencing factors. Tianna has conducted extensive community outreach to promote honey bee protection, including presentations to schools in the Edmonton area about pollinators. She also collaborated with the City of Edmonton to illuminate the High Level Bridge yellow for International Pollinator Week for the past three years, in partnership with the ISTEAM program, where she was involved for her first two years in the lab. In addition to her degree, Tianna is pursuing a certificate in sustainability. Her certificate project, focusing on increasing the University of Alberta's SDG ranking, was recently presented at the FURCA conference.

2024 Winner - Academic Group

Climate Change and Global Health Education Team

The Climate Change and Global Health Education Team develops evidence-based lessons and hands-on activities about climate change and health for students in Edmonton. The team consists of undergraduate and graduate student volunteers who are passionate about integrating sustainability and climate change into education, applying insights gleaned from their research and coursework to their outreach activities. Their main goal is to equip students with the knowledge and skills to address current and future health risks from climate change. Since the program's inception in December 2022, the team has reached over 650 students across 18 schools in Edmonton. Additionally, the team frequently presents at campus and community events, including the 2023 WISEST CHOICES Conference and the 2022 and 2023 Science Rendezvous festivals at the TELUS World of Science.


2023 Winner - Faculty 

Rachel Helen McQueen

Dr. Rachel McQueen, an associate professor in the Department of Human Ecology, specializes in the relationship between odour and textiles. She is also deeply involved in promoting the environmental sustainability of textiles. Among her notable initiatives is the "Clothing Repair Cafe" on campus, which empowers the community to mend and extend the lifespan of their clothing. Dr. McQueen's research uniquely combines the study of textile odour with the environmental impact of clothing's lifecycle, including investigating the fate of donated second-hand garments.

2023 Winner - Faculty 

Ying Hei Chui

Dr. Ying-Hei Chui is Professor and Director of Nasseri School of Building Science and Engineering in Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Alberta. Prior to joining the University of Alberta, he was New Brunswick Innovation Research Chair in Advanced Wood Products and Director of the Wood Science and Technology Centre at the University of New Brunswick. Dr. Chui is one of Canada’s leading experts in the field of timber engineering, specializing in engineered wood products, timber connections and timber construction. He has over 30 years of research experience and published over 300 articles in refereed journals and conference proceedings in these disciplines. Dr. Chui’s research in timber engineering has played a key role in expanding the use of wood products into tall building market in Canada. Dr. Chui is actively engaged in building code and design standard development in North America and at the international level. He is currently member of a Standing Committee on Structural Design of the National Building Code of Canada, and a number of CSA technical committees on design of timber structures and wood products. He also chairs ASTM Technical Committee D.07 ‘Wood’ and ISO Technical Committee 165 ‘Timber structures

2023 Winner - Student (Michael Rawson Clark Award)

Aimal Mir

Aimal Mir is a third-year biology major with a keen interest in sustainability, evidenced by her pursuit of a Certificate in Sustainability. Beyond academia, she is a passionate book lover, recognized notably for founding the "Spread the Word" book club. Serving dual purposes, this initiative is both a university student group and a community outreach program. Starting as a monthly gathering of U of A book enthusiasts, Aimal's vision extends to the establishment of micro-libraries throughout Edmonton. These "little libraries", reminiscent of kitchen cupboards, offer the community a unique opportunity to exchange used books, especially benefiting areas lacking in libraries and other cultural facilities.  Aimal's dedication to community involvement doesn't end with books. She also actively collaborates with the "Let’s Talk Science" charity, focusing on youth education and skills development. Recently, as a research coach for the charity's Climate Action Lab, Aimal mentored a team of high school students on ethnographic research methods. Their collective effort sought to understand the motivations behind youth engagement in climate change action. The results of their research culminated in the public release of the Climate Action Lab Report, a valuable tool for those aiming to inspire the younger generation towards proactive climate change endeavors.

2023 Winner - Student (Michael Rawson Clark Award)

Simran Dhillon

Simran, a fifth-year psychology major at the University of Alberta, is not only an elected UASU representative for the Faculty of Science but also a pioneering figure in the realm of drug overdose prevention. She co-developed a revolutionary syringe at FentaGone, a medical technology firm, which alerts users to the presence of the lethal drug, fentanyl. Through intuitive color indications, the syringe provides users with real-time feedback on drug contamination levels, highlighting Simran's profound understanding of drug addiction psychology and user vulnerability. Beyond this impactful invention, Simran has demonstrated her commitment to student welfare through her role in the Students Union. There, she played a pivotal role in devising a health and dental plan benefiting over 30,000 students, emphasizing holistic student wellness. Smran's contributions to mental health and addiction have earned her prestigious accolades, including "Alberta’s Top 30 under 30" and the coveted Lou Hyndman Glenora Award. Furthermore, her insights into innovation and entrepreneurship have graced renowned platforms like the UN headquarters and TEDx. Her journey, fueled by passion and dedication, promises continued impact in the fields of health and student advocacy.

2023 Winner - Student (Michael Rawson Clark Award)

Stephanie Chute-Ibsen

Stephanie is finishing their PhD with Dr. Anne Naeth in Land Reclamation and Remediation this summer and will take on their final form as an earth doctor. Stephanie is passionate about their research on the use of soil invertebrates in monitoring ecosystem recovery and resiliency of forested areas disturbed by industrial activities in Alberta. When they aren’t playing with bugs in the name of science, Stephanie loves to get creative with science communication and community outreach, because science isn’t finished until it is communicated, and sometimes communication is more effective with costumes and comedy. Stephanie is an advocate for queer and gender-diverse inclusion and acceptance in academia, specifically in STEM, and is committed to building communities that foster an environment of respect, inclusivity, and equity. Stephanie believes science is for everyone and should be communicated to everyone- and they will continue to talk the talk and walk the walk, in an extensive collection of footwear.

2023 Winner - Postdoctoral Fellow

Serge Nader

Dr. Serge Nader, a postdoctoral fellow at the Mansy Group lab in the Chemistry department, has made significant contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 12 and 13, focusing on responsible consumption and climate action. With a PhD in structural biology and nanotechnologies from the University of Grenoble Alpes, France, and the French Atomic Energy Commission, Dr. Nader has a profound understanding of the challenges faced by chemistry labs. Recognized for his ingenious approach to addressing lab accessory needs, Dr. Nader repurposed a 3D printer, initially acquired for research, to produce indispensable lab accessories. From tube holders to hand crank centrifuges, his in-house creations not only reduced wait times and costs (transforming $200 expenses into mere 50-cent solutions) but also significantly lowered carbon emissions by minimizing international shipments. Emphasizing sustainability, Dr. Nader uses environmentally-friendly, compostable plant-based polymers for his creations. Furthermore, he has generously made his accessory blueprints open source, allowing labs worldwide to benefit from his innovations.

To learn about CSLA 2023 Winners, read our story here.


2022 Winner - Faculty 

Greg King 

Greg King is an assistant professor of environmental science at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus. His journey to studying dendrochronology has included living and working across Canada. Born in Victoria, BC he grew up in Cole Harbour, NS. His bachelor (Environmental Science) and master’s (Physical Geography) degrees are from Carleton University (Ottawa, ON) and focused on studying and investigating paleoecology and forest disturbance ecology in Yukon and Northwest Territories. He then pursued a Ph.D. in Climate Science (and a lot of chocolate) at the University of Bern in Switzerland investigating tree growth dynamics in stunning alpine Swiss valleys. Upon returning to Canada he taught at Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB and in 2015 joined the Department of Geography & Planning at Queen’s University as the Robert Gilbert Postdoctoral Fellow and called Kingston, ON home. In 2018 he made Camrose, AB his new home and established the Augustana Tree-Ring Lab which investigates tree response to environmental drivers, focusing on both natural and human-mediated ecosystems.

2022 Winner - Support Staff

Debbie Preston

Debbie Preston is the administrator of the Biological Sciences Storeroom. She started at the U of A in 1984 and worked with several different administrative offices before joining the biological sciences storeroom in 2005. She grew her mission to reduce waste from the storeroom by introducing new recycling programs. Many of the batteries used by the department—especially for fieldwork equipment—are sent to the waste disposal service CHEMATIX for recycling, thanks to Preston’s initiative. She also agreed to pilot a service for recycling pens and markers through the company TerraCycle, and runs a service for recycling ink cartridges, both of which have seen consistent use within the biological sciences department. The biological sciences storeroom has saved an estimated 13,464 plastic jugs from going to the landfill by reusing containers that store ethanol. It has sold over 6,600 packages of 30 per cent and 100 per cent recycled paper; roughly 7,000 biodegradable and recycled pens; and over 500 rechargeable batteries. Most of the over 52,000 non-rechargeable batteries it has sold have been recycled, preventing toxic waste from being absorbed into the soil around landfills.

2022 Winner - Student (Michael Rawson Clark Award)

Priscilla Ojomu

Priscilla Ojomu is a third-year Bachelor of Arts student majoring in Psychology and minoring in Sociology. She is a Student Representative on the Arts Faculty Council and sits on the executive team of the Undergraduate Psychology Association and Black Students Association. Priscilla aspires to continue her education at Law School (Human Rights or Public Interest Law), so when she’s not busy studying, you may find her designing, reading and writing articles, listening to podcasts, drinking tea, or advocating for sustainable change in her communities and beyond.
Ojomu and fellow psychology student Nancy Tangon created Canada Confesses, an online platform for anonymously sharing these stories. When the team of over 40 volunteers at Canada Confesses receives an anonymous “confession,” they get to work researching the core social injustices, such as racism, discrimination, ableism, sexism and harassment, that are reflected in the victim’s experience. They then share their findings over social media, along with tailored links to resources, such as anti-racist non-profits and advocacy groups, and suggestions for allies who want to help end prejudice.

2022 Winner - Student (Michael Rawson Clark Award)

Emily Williams

Emily Williams is a second-year Bachelor of Education After Degree student and a co-host of Becoming Less, a podcast by Waste Free Edmonton that is focused on sustainability. Downloaded over 5,000 times, the podcast’s episodes cover everything from eco-friendly weddings, home renovations and travel to eco-grief, microplastics and the documentary film Seaspiracy. Along with the podcast, Williams volunteers with Zero Waste Edmonton creating sustainability-focused content for their social media channels and doing public presentations about composting, recycling and waste disposal. When she gets her first teaching gig, Williams hopes to share the many sustainability lessons she has learned with science students in high school and jr. high.

“I want to encourage people to do their best,” she said. “At some point in their life, every person is going to do something unsustainable. I think reminding people to leave shame behind is the biggest way that I can encourage people to live sustainably.”

To learn about CSLA 2022 Winners, read our story here.


2021 Winner - Postdoctoral Fellow

Neelakshi Joshi
Neelakshi Joshi is a post-doctoral research fellow working on the Future Energy Systems project at the Urban Environment Observatory where she focuses in municipal transitions to low-carbon pathways in Canada. She obtained her PhD from the Dresden Leibniz Graduate School in Germany where her research dealt with the risks of rapid unplanned urban development in the Himalayas. Previously she has worked at the World Resource Institute as a consultant for sustainable transport and at the Auroville Earth Institute, UNESCO Chair for Earth Construction (2010-12) specializing in low cost and sustainable earth based construction.

2021 Winner - Faculty 

Brenda L. Parlee
Brenda L. Parlee is Professor in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences. She has worked in northern Canada and globally for over 20 years on a range of collaborative and community-based research projects related to community-based monitoring, social-ecological change in the Mackenzie River Basin, wildlife health, Indigenous knowledge of caribou populations, sustainable resource development, the impacts of mining on community well being, biodiversity conservation and cooperative (co-management) of lands and resources in Alberta. She is Principal Investigator of Tracking Change, a collaborative research initiative focused on the role of local and traditional knowledge in the sustainable governance of the Mackenzie-Amazon-Mekong river basins.


2020 Winner – Teaching

Biology Core Courses Prep Team

The Biology Core Courses Prep Team is integral to the University of Alberta’s biology education and these technicians have long held a strong culture of environmental responsibility, working hard to integrate sustainability into their courses. They currently maintain gold certification with Green Spaces.

These technicians lead by example, setting behavioural norms and demonstrating the best sustainability practices for future biologists. Through their day-to-day efforts, the team maintains a fiscal responsibility and ecological ethic common to biologists. Students are exposed to a green lab experience with the reuse and repurposing of supplies, use of compostable cups, and electronic submission of assignments. They are also taught how to properly recycle and dispose of lab waste. These efforts allow students to adopt and internalize sustainable practices as they further their careers in science and beyond.

These technicians continue to brainstorm new initiatives. They are honoured to have been selected as award winners, and are thankful to their supervisor Carla Starchuk for acknowledging their efforts. They also extend their thanks to the lab coordinators who make their work possible. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the technicians wish for the campus community to stay safe and healthy, and continue to be mindful of sustainability in this challenging time.

2020 Winner – Operations

Chemistry Students’ Association

The Chemistry Students’ Association (CSA) is an undergraduate student group that actively champions sustainability despite running on a tight budget. Their office is one of the few to be certified gold with Green Spaces within the Gunning-Lemieux Chemistry Centre. Not only has the group worked towards adopting sustainable office practices, they have also amended their constitution to include a commitment to sustainability.

The CSA procured its own bins for sorting organics, beverage containers and paper products and has passionately advocated for the adoption of Zero Waste bins and green lab practices within the chemistry department at-large. They are also committed to promoting inclusivity and gender equality. CSA executives are required to take gender-based analysis and unconscious bias training before stepping into their roles. They have also advocated for this training to be adopted by research groups in the chemistry department.

Moving forward, the CSA hopes to establish meaningful partnerships that allow for more sustainable alternatives. The group aims to further raise the standard for sustainability in their events, and to raise awareness of this issue with other groups. They acknowledge the numerous opportunities that the University of Alberta community has provided for growth and improvement, and are thankful to have been selected as award winners.

2020 Winner - Campus Life & Involvement

Larry Zhong

Larry Zhong is an electrical engineering student who has been a part of many sustainability initiatives ever since he was in junior high. His interest in renewable energy was furthered when he happened to watch Earth 2100, a TV movie that explores the impacts of natural resource depletion and climate change. Since then, he has shown insurmountable dedication to championing sustainability as a student leader.

One of Larry’s biggest contributions to sustainability on campus is the creation of the club Renewable Energy Design (RED). Since 2017, the club has provided students with opportunities for learning and experimenting with renewable energy concepts. As RED’s president, Larry has spearheaded three main projects: a solar-powered phone charging station to be installed in the Students’ Union Building a wind turbine design contest; and a net-zero green housing project. He has also hosted sessions for students to discuss new energy solutions and explore topics such as the integration of engineering and permaculture.

Larry hopes his projects inspire other students to get started with their own sustainability initiatives. He hopes to continue promoting the practicality of renewable energy. Larry is thankful to be named an award winner and has commented: “During the challenging time of COVID-19, I would like to wish that everyone stays healthy. If you have any questions regarding Renewable Energy Design or would like to chat digitally, feel free to send an email to or reach me directly at”

2020 Winner - Campus Life & Involvement

Peter Anto Johnson

Peter Anto Johnson is a graduate student in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. He is completing a master’s degree in pediatrics. His engagement with sustainability began as an undergraduate student, and he has had a large impact on campus through several leadership roles. Peter’s personal definition of sustainability revolves around promoting efficiency and growth in the community.

As Vice-President External for the Health & Wellness Movement, he chaired a committee called Nourish, which served to promote nutritional wellness and provided university students with low-cost healthy food alternatives. In his role as the president of the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research’s Alberta chapter, Peter started an online spotlight series to highlight the university’s environmental health and global policy research achievements. He has also headed the group’s participation in several climate strikes. Additionally, Peter is founder of the student-led PLAY program, which promotes physical literacy and instills long-term physical activity habits amongst sedentary youth. It has been implemented in two daycare centres and one elementary school thus far.
Peter looks forward to developing sustainable technology for the medical field in the future. He values innovation and creativity, and is currently researching the idea of reusable face-masks in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. As an award winner, Peter would like to acknowledge all the student groups that have been a part of his academic career. He is also thankful to his research supervisors and members of the community for being open to his initiatives.

2020 Winner – Research

Sourayan Mookerjea

Sourayan Mookerjea is an associate professor of sociology and Research Director of the Intermedia Research Studio. His efforts as a researcher have explored the sociological background of sustainability and renewable resources. He demonstrates a dedication to sustainability that permeates his classes and several of his research projects. As an advocate of environmental stewardship, he uses his platform to help students develop a holistic understanding of clean energy.

Dr. Mookerjea’s projects have focused on intermedia and decolonizing social theory, in the context of sustainability. As co-lead of Feminist Energy Futures, he addresses how nonrenewable energy markets disproportionately affect men and women. He has investigated how co-operatives, such as those that have allowed illiterate Dalit women farmers to thrive, can aid in managing the economic impacts of the oil & gas industry. Dr. Mookerjea has also developed a feminist energy transition simulation called Perfect Storm, which is used as a research and teaching tool.

As an award winner, he is thankful to his students and to the University of Alberta community for nourishing his research. He offers special thanks to his colleagues in the Just Powers research network, especially Sheena Wilson and Natalie Loveless, as well as his colleagues in the Arts Environmental Studies Consortium for creating a supportive community for sustainability and political ecology research and teaching.

2020 Honourable Mention – Operations

Career Centre and Undergraduate Research Initiative

The Career Centre and the Undergraduate Research Initiative (URI)are departments that have shown exemplary dedication to the promotion of sustainability in their programming and operations. Both of their offices hold gold certification with Green Spaces, and they have worked hard to incorporate green practices into their events. Career Centre and URI staff readily prioritize sustainability in their operational planning and management, and demonstrate a clear willingness to engage students with sustainability focused events.

Both departments have implemented Green Spaces guidelines to reduce their carbon footprint. This includes ordering reusable supplies, proper sorting and disposal of waste, and efficient recycling. Their offices are transitioning to being predominantly paperless, and maintain paper-efficient record-keeping practices. In terms of events, the Festival of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities has integrated sustainability into their programming by partnering with the Sustainability Council. The Career Centre has hosted a sustainability-themed speaker series for 10 years, and makes use of reusable dishes and Zero Waste bins for their events.

The Career Centre and URI look forward to ensuring the implementation and longevity of even more sustainable practices in their offices and events. They also hope to continue improving upon their current green initiatives. The departments are grateful to receive an honorary mention, and view this recognition as a source of encouragement for their efforts. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, they stress the importance of keeping sustainability in mind as the situation evolves.


2019 Winner - Instructor

Joseph Wiebe

Joseph Wiebe is an assistant professor of religion and ecology in Augustana Campus’ philosophy and religion program. Joseph’s classes are designed for students from different disciplines to learn about social sustainability. The learning that happens in a class like Religion and Ecology, for example, is truly transformative. Students don’t only learn about issues in sustainable development. Through an inquiry-based process, students come to propose interventions and reach out to the community to implement them. His students have worked on, for example: solar panels for local churches, proposing a bike-share program, mapping a food forest, reducing waste on campus, and organizing the conference, ‘Spirit of the Land’.

2019 Winner - Student Researcher

Megha Sharma

Megha Sharma is a fifth-year chemical engineering student and the student winner of the award for research. Megha’s role with Diversity in Engineering student group has led her to receive an Undergraduate Researcher stipend in the summer of 2018. Out of this research, she helped create a survey which will now be used to track and stimulate improvements in inclusivity of the Faculty of Engineering. She received another stipend through the Research at the Intersections of Gender signature area. This project demonstrated the applicability and benefit of an intersectional gender approach in the STEM fields.

Throughout all of this, Megha has demonstrated clear leadership, taking initiative, starting discussions, and creating opportunities for her fellow students. She has served as a member for Diversity in Engineering and is serving a regional leadership role with the national Engineers Without Borders. As her nominator says, her enthusiasm, can-do attitude, and commitment to cutting edge research have delighted her peers.

2019 Winner - Faculty Researcher

Laurie E. Adkin

Laurie Adkin is a powerhouse in the University of Alberta’s sustainability community. As her nominators state, she is an “exceptionally engaged and dedicated environmental and human rights advocate. Her impact has been constant, far-reaching, and effective throughout her three-decade career.”

Laurie’s research in the 1990s was remarkably forward-thinking and groundbreaking. Her first book is the only major work to examine the environmental movement’s interaction with Canada’s labour movement. Her second book substantially integrates issues of settler-indigenous relations. More recently, her research has led to major publications from the Parkland Institute on mapping corporate power. And her research is directly engaged with communities and policy-making in a way that few academics have accomplished. Her contribution to climate dialogues, in particular, helped shape the City of Edmonton’s energy transition plan.

Beyond research, Laurie has contributed immense effort to teaching and developing new academic programs. As early as 1999, she introduced the university’s first course on environmental politics, and she has been a key supporter of the Arts Environmental Studies program.

2019 Winner - Operations

Phil Rinn

Phil Rinn is the Manager of Campus Planning & Development in the Office of the University Architect. Since arriving at the university in 2016, he has thrown his energy behind efforts to increase sustainable and active transportation on campus by continuously engaging the campus community.

In 2018, Phil secured grants from the Sustainability Enhancement Fund and the Graduate Student Internship Program in order to hire an Active Transportation Intern. Together with Energy Management and Sustainable Operations, he initiated and co-chaired the Active Transportation Advisory Group, whose mandate is to identify opportunities to implement improved Active Transportation principles, infrastructure, and amenities at the University of Alberta.

Phil is leading the 89 Avenue Students' Boulevard Multi-Modal Concept Plan, the construction of improved pedestrian infrastructure on South Campus and is conducting a review of Campus Open Space Development Standards.

2019 Winner - Green Spaces

Pandas Volleyball Team

The Pandas Volleyball team is the second ever Green Spaces certification for Athletics. The team, led by Tessa Hill, have shown a willingness to learn and incorporate different resources and approaches to sustainable practices. They started using fabric braces as an alternative to single tape for chronic injuries, turning off lights & equipment when not in use, demonstrating a commitment to using eco-friendly water bottles, organizing periodic social functions fostering supportive environments outside the realm of volleyball.

As a part of their Green Spaces Gold certification, the Pandas Volleyball team has gone above and beyond with their Innovative Action of using a group chat to track the number of times they use reusable cups, already saving over 130 cups as of December 2018.

2019 Winner - Green Spaces

Daily Grind

Daily Grind transitioned from polyethylene (PE) or plastic lined coffee cups and polystyrene (PS) cup lids to compostable coffee cups and lids completing the checklist action to achieve the second ever Green Spaces Gold certification for food vendors.

The Daily Grind has also taken measures to encourage customers to compost their coffee cups and lids, and promote discounts to customers who bring their own reusable coffee mug by utilizing signage made in collaboration with Energy Management and Sustainable Operations (EMSO).

2019 Winner - Certificate in Sustainability

Emily Bender

Emily Bender is a great example of a student with a passion for sustainability, and in this case living small. She went to a lot of work and wrote a human ethics approval protocol to do her research which involved soliciting opinions of people about tiny homes. Her hours of work greatly exceeded what was required for the certificate. Emily’s poster was excellent and she seemed to enjoy working on it. I describe Emily as someone who is always enthusiastic and energetic about her project. Incidentally, she is also the first Campus Saint-Jean student enrolled in the certificate.

2019 Winner - Sustainability Scholars

Jared Candlish

Jared Candlish participated in Sustainability Scholars in 2018. Jared worked with the City of Edmonton on a project entitled "Cycling in Edmonton a review of bikeshare and end of trip facilities." Jared went above and beyond in the completion of his nearly 200-page report, which includes the history of bikeshare systems, and analysis of docked versus dockless bike-shares, an in-depth jurisdictional scan for successes and failures from other municipalities implementing bikeshares, and creating specific recommendations to implement a successful bike share system in Edmonton.

In both his report and his presentation Jared was professional, well spoken, and succinct. He exceeded our expectations for what a Scholar should be expected to complete in their 250 hours.


2018 Winner

Kabir Nadkarni, student

Kabir is an Engineering Physics and Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies student who has demonstrated great philanthropic efforts in the area of sustainability. Through his involvement on campus and within the local community, he has demonstrated a clear passion for making his local community a better place. This young man is very accomplished in many aspects of sustainability. His work spans engaging students by teaching them to solve environmental problems with their engineering skills through his ZeroPlan zero-emissions UAV drones student group to exploring solar options for Edmonton's City Hall. He has contributed extensive work related to energy production within Edmonton as well through his internship work on the Alberta Community Solar Guide. Kabir's leadership in sustainability reminds us that our contributions great or small can have a significant impact on our future.

2018 Winner

Juanita Gnanapragasam, student & staff

Juanita is a Teaching Fellow at the Peter Lougheed Leadership College and a Masters of Public Health student. Juanita's work directly influenced the rollout of the Certificate in Sustainability on campus. Her work is commendable and demonstrates sustainable leadership, dedication, and creativity. She is highly recognized by students for her work with the Sustainable Food Working Group, which she joined to address food insecurities among students.

Her work includes grocery buses and various free cooking classes, which help to remove barriers for international students and residents that struggle with preparing nutritious meals. Juanita's efforts recognise the diversity of our students and focus on student mentorship and empowerment. Her work has a tangible positive impact on the campus community.

2018 Winner

Joan E. Greer, faculty

Joan is a History of Art, Design and Visual Culture professor. Since 2001, Joan has taught "The History and Theory of Sustainable Design" course. Joan's efforts provide meaningful learning opportunities for students. Her work is far-reaching and fosters ongoing excellence in her students who have gone on to work in various areas of sustainability.

Joan is one of the founding committee members of the Faculty of Arts/ALES Environmental Studies Programme, and is one of two instructors invited to act as a mentor in the University of Alberta's Green Instructors certificate program. Hers is a steadfast voice in environmental research and advocacy, and she is perhaps most recognized on campus for her ground-breaking and ongoing work in sustainable design pedagogy. Her local and international recognition is evidence of the impact she has in this field. Joan is simply an inspiration and a trailblazer for sustainable pedagogy.

2018 Exemplary Green Spaces

Biological Services in the Department of Chemistry

Gareth Lambkin manages this lab and has been a consistent sustainability leader in his area. Gareth is always more than willing to show visitors the way this lab is set up and the sustainability systems embedded in its function. With a grant from the Sustainability Enhancement Fund, this lab invested in a water cycling system for their cold room. By recovering this previously wasted water, the university is saving 438,000 L of water, almost $1,000 a year, and is recovering heat from the water for use elsewhere in the building. This lab also purchased an Ultra Low Temperature freezer of competitively high efficiency, reducing their electricity demand significantly. And as the UAlberta winner of the 2017 North American Freezer Challenge, they have demonstrated their commitment to responsible and sustainable freezer management.

Filistix (CAB)

This vendor, managed by Roel Canafranca and Ariel Del Rosario, is the very first Gold certified vendor. Filistix's dishware and utensils are BPI certified compostable. They are the only certified vendor on campus that has entirely eliminated styrofoam and plastic in their takeaway containers. All condiments are served in bulk, rather than individual packaging. Their rotating menu tries to follow seasonal vegetables, and much of their meat is locally sourced. They provide many alternative diet options, always including a vegetarian option, as well as vegan, halal, and gluten free. Filistix produces very little food waste, as they usually sell out by the end of each afternoon. This is also due to careful planning and research, showing a dedication to waste reduction.

Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research, Edmonton

ISTAR first earned Green Spaces certification in 2015 and has diligently improved their certification ever since. The office's Green Space champion, Marlo DeVouge, has participated in the program in many different ways, including helping with a video profile earlier this year. Although ISTAR has not yet reached Gold certification, the rigour with which they assess their space and the growth they show from year to year demonstrates their understanding of sustainability as a process and not a destination more clearly than most spaces on campus.

Modern Languages and Cultural Studies Graduate Student Conference

This conference has been Gold certified for three straight years, most recently under the leadership of Amelia Hall. Their thoughtful and specific innovative actions are frequently cited by other events aiming for Gold certification. Attendees are encouraged to donate to purchase carbon offsets for out-of-town speakers. Name tags are printed on seed paper so that attendees can take them home to grow a variety of plants. This unique way of making an item of waste into an item of production demonstrates the innovative spirit of renewal we hope all events strive for.


2017 Winner

Lilas Bielopotocky

Lilas Bielopotocky, the supervisor of food services at Augustana Campus, has advocated for sustainable food in her campus cafeteria for almost 30 years. She works with local food producers to get quality ingredients whenever possible, and she hosts "local lunches" in the cafeteria at least once per month. She makes the food process transparent by building displays to show campus community members which products they're eating and where they came from. She also provides diverse options for people with various dietary restrictions, such as vegetarian and gluten-free. Food connects people, and Lilas facilitates this connection.

2017 Winner

Eva Lemaire

Eva Lemaire, a professor at Campus Saint-Jean, leads Projet Afrique (Africa Project), a study abroad opportunity that sends students to Togo for experiential work in communities. She also teaches the preparation course, in which she emphasizes the importance of students approaching the Togolese communities with a readiness for knowledge exchange and sharing. She is an advocate for global citizenship as well as community service-learning within our local communities. She helps facilitate opportunities for students to work with populations including homeless Edmontonians and newcomers.

2017 Winner

Sustain SU

Sustain SU is a keystone facilitator for sustainability at the University of Alberta. Over the past year, the group has demonstrated growth through development of new programs and through project delivery by student volunteers. The team includes approximately 70 student volunteers and 11 members of the leadership team under the direction of Daniel Kielback and Destyni DeLuca. Sustain SU has contributed to reducing emissions by promoting sustainable transportation through their Bike Library. Their Farmers' Market has also seen an increase in campus traffic.

2017 Exemplary Green Spaces

Graduate Students' Association

The Graduate Students' Association was Green Spaces certified in 2016 for the fourth year in a row. The group continues to integrate sustainability into their space and operations, and they received Gold certification. They recently implemented three new innovative actions, including downsizing from having two multifunction devices to one; installing a smart board in their conference room to reduce paper use; and transitioning their student funding process to being paperless.

Margaret Scott Wright / CNSA Regional Conference

The organizers of the Margaret Scott Wright / Canadian Nursing Students Association Regional Conference 2016 showed dedication to sustainability in all areas of their conference planning. To offset the carbon footprint of their out-of-town conference speakers and as a way to build community among the organizing team, they planted trees together through a City of Edmonton program. They took photos of each tree they planted and used these photos to make cards; then they purchased mugs second-hand and hand-painted them. The photo cards and mugs were presented to each speaker as a thank-you gift, demonstrating an incredibly creative and heartfelt side to sustainable event planning.

West Group Lab

The West Group chemistry lab is one of four Model Green Labs at the University of Alberta. These labs are exemplary when it comes to best practices for lab safety and sustainability. This past year, the West Group has made some incredible changes to their equipment and processes, including replacing their water aspirators with waterless vacuum pumps, which will save the lab over 6,000 L of water every day! They also replaced the majority of their solvent stills with a solvent purification system, which is not only much safer for their lab users, but also saves the lab over 35,000 L of water per year.


2016 Winner

Joel Gehman

Joel Gehman has been dubbed "the sustainability professor" by many of his students in the School of Business. He presents sustainability in an approachable way and even engages students outside the classroom on social media. His sustainability course had such high enrolment from eager MBA students that the faculty added a second section. He spreads the word about the university's sustainability initiatives and routinely takes his students on a tour of our district energy system. Joel helps students learn about sustainability beyond the classroom.

2016 Winner

Glen Hvenegaard

Glen Hvenegaard is an environmental studies instructor at Augustana Campus and a key leader in the set-up and management of the Augustana Miquelon Lake Research Station. He actively supports sustainability not only in the classroom and in research, but also through community outreach, such as his involvement in the Purple Martin bird festival in Camrose. Glen is a mentor and role model to other academics, both in the University of Alberta and beyond.

2016 Winner

Augustana Chaplaincy

Augustana Chaplaincy is a mainstay of sustainability at Augustana Campus. The group supports diversity and welcomes all campus community members, regardless of faith. Chaplaincy hosts SCORE!, an annual free-cycling event for campus members and Camrose residents, as well as a Reciprocity Shelf where people can give and take basic needs items on an ongoing basis. Weekly soup suppers feed about 100 students on average, at no cost, and with the use of resuable dishes. Chaplaincy's influence on campus sustainability is farch-reaching and valuable for the whole community.

2016 Winner

Kristin Bester

Kirstin Bester is a senior UAlberta Ambassador with a passion for sustainability. She leads a team of six other ambassadors who offer the Sustainability Campus Tour. She has contributed hundreds of hours to the program, both in supporting other ambassadors and in educating campus members and guests on the university's sustainability features and initiatives. She also advocates for sustainability in her personal life, carrying reusable bottles and sharing nutritious vegetarian recipes with anyone who asks. Her enthusiasm for sustainability is contagious.

2016 Exemplary Green Spaces

The Injury Prevention Centre is the first office in the School of Public Health to be certified Green Spaces Gold. The team has made a group One Simple Act commitment (Taking the stairs whenever possible) and has publicly posted it. They also made several innovative actions as part of their certification, including regular sustainability progress updates for staff, commitment reminders on a whiteboard, and a request for the light (which was previously always on) to be changed in their conference room.

Around the World 2015 has been a Green Spaces certified event for two years in a row, with its certification going up from Silver to Gold. The event is held by the Kule Institute for Advanced Study, and the conference is live-streamed worldwide and archived afterward, eliminating the environmental costs of traditional conferences. The team showed exemplary performance in the following areas of the Green Spaces application: Logistics and Planning, Communications, Transportation, Exhibits and Venue, and Food and Drink.

Campus Saint Jean's three science laboratories received Green Spaces Gold certification across the board. While all of the labs had exemplary Green Spaces applications, the chemistry lab stand out. The lab users are actively using green chemistry techniques, including removing dichloromethane from teaching lab experiments and exploring green extraction techniques using carbon dioxide. They have also designed and implemented an innovative, low-cost, energy-efficient system that recycles 7,200 litres of water per year.


2015 Winner

Alyssa Belanger

Since 2011, Alyssa Belanger has been involved in Augustana Earthwise, a student club that builds awareness and takes action on environmental and social justice issues. Alyssa advocates for integrating sustainability into community, outreach and university life. She brings an integrated and active sustainability lens to projects that move from the classroom to Facilities and Operations. Alyssa is a student in the Bachelor of Arts program with a major in Environmental Studies.

2015 Exemplary Green Spaces

Certified Gold three times in a row, Lister Centre Student and Guest Services emphasizes integrating sustainability in their operations. The office has hosted a Farm to Fridge workshop and plans to host the Story of our Stuff Workshop in May 2015. In particular, three innovative actions display the team's exemplary sustainability performance: a Front Desk Wiki eliminating the need for a paper log book, a paperless online reservation system and new signs and instructions encouraging guests to reuse towels and linens.

All lab members of Dr. Jason Dyck's pediatrics laboratory, 430 Heritage Medical Research Centre, actively participated in making their workspace more sustainable and earning Gold certification. The lab uses optimizes resources by using an online lab management system to manage their inventory, process orders and book facility equipment. The team also saves energy by shutting off equipment when not in use and by setting the ambient temperature lower than average room temperature. They make use of innovative instrumentation, such as DNA electrophoresis instrumentation and a Kodak Gel Logic digital imaging system, to reduce the use of toxic chemicals and other valuable resources.

Green & Glow Winterfest's team-based approach to sustainable event planning helped them achieve Silver certification. They reused light fixtures and bamboo sticks. They used locally-sourced poplar and alder trees to build wooden installations. The team used renewable or low impact resources, such as hay, snow, ice and LED lights for props and installations. In addition, Green & Glow Winterfest supported social sustainability by raising $1,292.60 for the Campus Food Bank.


2014 Winner

University of Alberta EcoCar Team

The EcoCar team is a dedicated student group that is advancing sustainability by designing, building and testing a hydrogen fuel cell-powered race car. They compete in the annual Shell Eco-Marathon, joining students from across North and South America in the contest to design the highest performing new designs and technologies in sustainable transportation.

The EcoCar team has shown a commitment to knowledge and skills sharing with participation in educational events, including Sustainability Awareness Week and NAIT's Future of Transportation Symposium.

Students involved in EcoCar develop an understanding of how different green technologies can power, not only cars, but the world of tomorrow. It has taken a diverse team to build the EcoCar and they are committed to continuous improvement and excellence.

2014 Winner

Len Sereda

Since starting at the University of Alberta in 1986, Len Sereda has made deep, lasting and successful contributions to campus sustainability. Labouring long before sustainability gained the profile that it enjoys today, Len's early leadership laid the foundation for the current institution-wide sustainability initiative.

He can be credited for major accomplishments that have grown a culture of sustainability at UAlberta. These include leading a multi-stakeholder process with students, staff, faculty, senior administrators and the Board of Governors. These actions led to the university adopting a Sustainability Commitment & Guiding Principles document as well as the formation of the Office of Sustainability in 2009.

In addition, Len has been involved in guiding the university's Energy Management Program and waste reduction effortswhich will culminate in a new $10 million anaerobic digester for composting on campus.

Dedicated to promoting a culture of sustainability, he launched Sustainability Awareness Week in 2008, has delivered countless presentations to community groups and classrooms over the years, and helped engage thousands of elementary students by overseeing the annual Voices of Nature concert.


2013 Winner

Mathieu Trépanier, staff, Campus Saint-Jean

Mathieu Trépanier is the recipient of the 2013 Campus Sustainability Leadership Award. Over the years, he has volunteered countless hours of his time to advance sustainability at Campus Saint-Jean. His contributions include creating and leading a campus-wide sustainability committee, providing leadership for Campus Saint-Jean's Projet Carbon Neutre by measuring CSJ's footprint, developing goals and strategies for reducing emissions and offsetting the remaining emissions through carbon offsets - all in efforts to move towards a carbon neutral campus. In addition, his work has resulted in the implementation of many other actions designed to improve CSJ's sustainability performance relating to waste reduction and energy conservation. From implementing a program to shut down all computers at 10 p.m., mandatory double-sided printing and recycled paper use for all campus printers/photocopiers, using reusable dishware in the campus cafeteria, a campus carpooling program and more, Mathieu has succeeded in implementing a culture of sustainability and successfully influenced positive change among students, faculty and staff at Campus Saint-Jean.

2013 Honourable Mention

Nikki Way, student, Faculty of ALES

Nikki Way is in the B.A. Environmental Studies program and heavily involved in food sustainability issues at UAlberta. Nikki lead the project to implement a Farmers' Market, currently running on North Campus every second week, and is currently the Project Coordinator for the university's Sustainable Food Initiative. Nikki has supported over 65 Community-Service Learning students by providing them with opportunities to increase sustainability on campus, resulting in the introduction of grocery items in SUBmart and looking at improving food labeling on campus. Nikki has also successfully increased campus members' access to healthy, local food and works with others to find ways that students can engage in to increase sustainable food options on campus.

2013 Honourable Mention

Stephy Sylvestre, student staff, Sustain SU

Through her work as director of Sustain SU: The Students Sustainability Service for the 2012/13 academic year, Stephy Sylvestre has made great strides to improve sustainability on campus. Stephy contributed to SustainSU's fostering of a balanced sustainability mindset in all of its 60 volunteers, and in organizing sustainability events on campus, including SustainExchanges and partnering with the Office of Sustainability on the Student Sustainability Summit. She participated in sustainability policy making for Students' Union committees, SU service events, and the SU's operations. In addition, she has been dedicated to continuing the progress made in advancing the three-pillared approach to sustainability on campus, deliberately addressing questions of social and economic sustainability.


2012 Winner

Candice Tremblay, staff, Augustana Faculty

Candice Tremblay is the Sustainability Coordinator for the University of Alberta's Augustana Campus. She has worked to incorporate sustainability at Augustana Campus into teaching, community outreach and operations for many years. Her contributions to sustainability include: serving as student representative on the Green Campus Committee in 2007; mentoring Augustana's Earthwise environmental club; facilitating the campus' sustainable food policy initiative; researching and guiding sustainability policy changes; assisting with the logistical aspects of a signature solar panel project at Augustana; growing sustainability-related placements with Community Service Learning; and extending sustainability into the broader Camrose community. For more information on sustainability at Augustana campus, click here.

2012 Honourable Mention

Sustain SU 2011-2012 student staff

The Sustain SU 2011-2012 team of student staff were recognized for their hard work and the incredible amount of time they've invested in involving students in advancing sustainability at the U of A. Sustain SU, the student sustainability service of the undergraduate Students' Union, had three student staff in the 2011-2012 academic year: Director Ian Moore and Associate Directors Stephy Sylvestre and Stefanie Drozda. These three students were recognized for their leadership of the more than 80 Campus Sustainability Volunteers in their discovery of sustainability knowledge and skills. These volunteers, under the guidance of Stefanie, Stephy and Ian, organized and delivered dozens of sustainability-related programs, services and events this past year, such as monthly SUSTAINexchanges, two Student Sustainability Summits, daily dishware rentals from the Reusable Dish Program, electronics recycling at Infolink booths and many more. To learn more about Sustain SU and its many programs, click here.

2012 Honourable Mention

Ray Dumouchel, staff, Facilities and Operations

Ray Dumouchel, associate director of buildings and grounds, was honoured for his years of dedication to recycling on campus and innovative sustainability ideas and initiatives. Dumouchel has been involved in many innovative sustainability initiatives on campus, including the creation of the recycle transfer station and the enhanced recycling program, while also introducing golf carts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, solar powered compactors, green cleaning initiatives and self-watering planters. For more information about Buildings and Grounds services at the U of A, click here.