Campus Sustainability Leadership Awards

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 Office of Sustainability’s Sustainability Advisory Committee, senior administrators, and sustainability representatives from across campus in attendance.

  • 2012

    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.

  • 2013

    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.

  • 2014

    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.

  • 2015

    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.

  • 2016

    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.

  • 2017

    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.

  • 2018

    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.