Sustainability Champions Awards
Recognizing ambassadors of change at Concordia
The Sustainability Champions Awards recognize and encourage students, staff and faculty members that are making contributions towards the social, ecological and economic well-being of the university. The Champions are recognized at an annual Awards Gala ceremony.
2018 Sustainability Champions
As Concordia’s Chief Communications Officer, Philippe is a Sustainability Champion because of his enthusiasm, drive, as well as his ‘get it done’ mentality for sustainability on campus.
In his role as Chair of the Sustainability Governance Framework Campus Engagement Sub-committee he has kick-started sustainability projects that had hit roadblocks on the way to implementation. Through his connections and position he removed existing roadblocks to allow the work to be done on projects such as the Sustainable Event Guide, the Sustainability Literacy Assessment and a Faculty Engagement Brainstorm session for sustainability on campus, among others.
Philippe’s positivity, creative thinking and desire for collaboration is a wonderful boost for engagement related sustainability projects on campus. He spearheaded a partnership with CUTV, CJLO and Sustainable Concordia to enhance student participation in campus media on sustainability, has started a sustainability lifestyle video series and has supported the promotion of sustainability groups on the Concordia Instagram account by encouraging them to participate as one of the monthly #CUseenby account curators.
As sustainability at Concordia continues to evolve with more opportunities and challenges along the way, Philippe’s support and advocacy will be a key driver to success in these exciting times.
Christina has been a driving force behind efforts to increase the quantity and quality of sustainability curriculum at Concordia.
After receiving funding for three years, the Sustainable Curriculum Project hired Christina as their first Researcher in May of 2013. Christina took the lead on a challenging project to survey all undergraduate courses in the Faculty of Arts and Science for sustainability content. Christina next became the CEO of SAF, but continued as an advisor on the project which completed the survey of the other three faculties; she co-authored the report that was completed in late 2014.
After completing her term with SAF, Christina returned to the project as Lead Researcher to spearhead the preparation of a Letter of Intent for a Major in Leadership in Sustainability. For over five years, Christina’s agile mind, sense of humour and dedication have helped advance the cause of sustainability education at Concordia University.
As an employee of the Concordia Food Coalition (CFC), Brooke has advanced sustainability at Concordia by encouraging students to participate in food events, promoting these events and participating in the events.
In her roles as an employee of Indigenous Directions (ID) and President of the Indigenous Student Council (ISC), she makes valuable efforts to improve the lives of Indigenous students on campus all while earning her undergraduate degree at the John Molson School of Business. The successes of events held by the CFC, ID and ISC are evidence of her hard work and passion. These events - such as Transitions 2018 (CFC), the Sex & Beads: Sexual Health Workshop (ISC), Travelling Against the Current: Panel Series (ID), First Voices Week, and ongoing efforts such as Food Against Fascism, Mother Hubbard's Cupboard and People's Potato - have reached numerous people at Concordia, including Indigenous students and beyond.
She is a pioneer for sustainability in action, a role model for Indigenous students at Concordia, and an inspiration to all.
As professor, department chair, curriculum writer, scholar and person Rhona has inspired students, and faculty to expand the discourse around design, meaning making and the futures of design.
Design as an ethos, practice, and profession integrates sustainability/ecology/ecosophy across design thinking/practice/design studies and embeds key issues of community responsibility, collaboration, and socio/economic/cultural elements into the discipline and situates design as an engagement between human and nonhuman agents, at many scales—people, the built and natural environments.
As an educator, Rhona guides her students in the best possible way as there is a fluidity and openness in which students acquire both critical and relational knowledge. This results in the strength of the student thinking/reflection concerning human/flora/fauna interactions within the built environment. Her research focuses on the socio/cultural environments of food/spaces of the home, exemplified through multiple conferences and publications.
Design students Maude Fontaine-Brossard and Pamela Livernois wrote, ‘Rhona has had such an impact on our comprehension of sustainable design and has helped to form hundreds of other sustainable human beings, therefore she is, and will continue to be, a sustainable champion’.
Vanessa works hard at increasing the capacity and impact of the Dish Project. By expanding the project to the Loyola campus, establishing a new funding model with the Concordia Student Union, connecting with Distribution Services to make using the dishes more accessible, and establishing education and engagement about waste, Vanessa and the Dish Project team are reducing landfill waste while strengthening a culture of waste justice and sustainable lifestyles at Concordia.
These actions show Vanessa's commitment to both the institutional and individual changes needed in order to further transform Concordia into a sustainable community.
Vanessa has also been integral to the Board of Directors at the Sustainability Action Fund, an invaluable facilitator of the Organizing Sustainability workshop series, and the social media coordinator for the Waste Not Want Not compost collaboration.
Her strategic mindset and creative outreach strategies have significantly strengthened the culture of sustainability at Concordia. She has seemingly boundless energy and great vision for a more sustainable future and without her amazing work, Concordia would be significantly more wasteful!
Arrien has been contributing to sustainability at Concordia for 15 years through encouraging fun and inspiring sustainability projects on campus, such as sustainable ecologically-minded cooking, recycling, education and more. He uses effective graphic design, social media and student trends to get students, community members and staff excited and engaged.
Most recently, Arrien joined Concordia University’s Centre for Creative Reuse (CUCCR) as a sustainable builder to transform a basement storage cage into a community depot space that was built with 90% reused materials. Arrien is now an integral part of the day to day work and future development at CUCCR as the Depot Coordinator.
Arrien’s current Masters research in Art Education is focused on the development of the Fine Arts sustainability curriculum. Through in-person interviews and sustained practice research he will be creating a practical guide of experiences, observations and recommendations for more ethical alternatives to physical materials used on campus.
2017 Sustainability Champions
Miriam works as an event coordinator at Concordia University, in the Advancement & Alumni Relations department. After attending the EHS’ Sustainability Workshop in September, Miriam decided she wanted to encourage her team to adopt more sustainable practices at their office and homes. She requested that all of her 15 colleagues receive small desktop sized containers in order to better sort their waste. As an event coordinator, Miriam is continuously looking at ways to decrease her department’s environmental impact – from ordering compostable materials, to prioritizing reusable dishes. She additionally redirected second hand office supplies to the Concordia University Centre for Creative Reuse (CUCCR), saving them from ending up in landfill.
Miriam fostered positive environmental actions with immediate local benefits. Her environmentally friendly leadership has demonstrated that the most powerful way to teach is by example.
Ev and Emily are undergraduate students at Concordia University and the Hive Free Lunch co-coordinators. Since they have been part of the Free Lunch they have grown the program from feeding 150 students to well over 200 each day, with their largest day being over 430 people.
They provide extensive kitchen training and serving experience to volunteers, as well as a group of teen boys from an internship for kids who have behavioral and learning difficulties. This opportunity gives youth valuable exposure to healthy and delicious food options, sustainable practices, safe spaces, and work experience they would otherwise possibly never receive.
Ev and Emily share their knowledge of veganism, environmentalism, activism, and accessibility to all who walk through the kitchen doors. They have reached out to other groups on campus for collaboration, such as hosting cooking workshops, and now receive food from City Farm School - a food provider right on campus. The Hive Free Lunch kitchen is a place where students, staff and faculty feel welcome and connected. This aspect of sustainability is something that is felt instead of studied.
Matthew is an undergraduate student in the Geography and Urban Planning Department who has an exceptionally high drive to do something positive for the Concordia community.
In collaboration with Concordia’s Environmental Coordinator, he created a new bin system for the community to sort refundable cans and bottles so that the proceeds could go to Concordia’s Centre for Arts in Human Development. The “Refundables” project recuperates waste more directly than mixed container recycling, benefits people with special needs, and funds an educational program with a problem-based service approach.
Matt’s enthusiasm and drive to do progressive work with tangible results was immediately apparent. He has channeled that drive into one of his most successful projects, his Sustainability 5 à 7.
Matt has been involved in many other sustainability projects, including CSU’s Low Waste Orientation and serving as a Board member with Sustainable Concordia. He has done all of this while taking on his full course load and being an exceptionally supportive and positive peer to his fellow students. Matt’s impact on sustainability at Concordia has been immense and, more importantly, has bridged the usual boundaries of peer groups.
Anna is a Master's student in Art Education, and is the catalyst to the dynamic campus-wide conversation on Reuse, the all too often overlooked "R" from the famous "3 R's" (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). Her project, the Concordia University Centre for Creative Reuse (CUCCR), is a space that couples art and sustainability at a level of practicality, convenience, and common sense.
Anna has founded a space at the downtown campus for items that would normally be discarded so that they can be repurposed and reused. In doing so, she single-handedly sparked conversations with multiple department heads and staff in order to prepare for a grand opening in March 2017. She has changed waste management at Concordia University to include Creative Reuse Bins, for items that can be reused and redirected to CUCCR, instead of the landfill.
Anna has helped students, alumni, faculty, and staff to consider alternate ways to dispose of their waste. She has had a lasting impact on Concordia University's approach to sustainability, and CUCCR is her living legacy.
Mark is an undergraduate student who started as the Office Coordinator at Sustainable Concordia (SC) in the summer of 2014. He has become the cornerstone of SC, helping to keep it running smoothly and maintaining communications between the Board of Directors and Coordinators Group. Through his involvement at SC he has also been an integral part in facilitating workshops such as Organizing Sustainability, which shapes new sustainability leaders.
In addition to his work with SC, Mark has been sitting on many sustainability committees and groups at the university including the Hive Growing Committee, the Dish Project and Divest Concordia. He has been active in supporting, promoting, and creating ways for students to get involved in many projects.
Mark is always compassionate, and giving of his time and resources. He puts in countless hours to ensure major projects, conferences, consultations, retreats, activities, and campaigns get off the ground and creates the dialogue needed for change. He has successfully and positively changed the level of student, staff and faculty engagement in sustainability issues across both campuses.
Shiann is a BA Student in First Peoples Studies and is an incredibly mature, articulate and effective leader. As part of her engagement, she founded the First Peoples Studies Member Association, and also served as the President for the association. While advocating for Indigenous students, she also has a keen awareness and understanding of the larger university context and a deep appreciation for working in a relational manner. Partly as a result of some of her advocacy efforts, the positions of Special Advisors to the Provost on Indigenous Directions were created. Shiann is now a member of the leadership group that convenes on a monthly basis with the Special Advisors.
Shiann is also involved in the First Voices Week, for which she volunteered in the past, and was one of the main organizers this year (2017).
Shiann is a wonderful advocate for Indigenous students at Concordia, and a key actor in the building of relationships with Indigenous communities, especially Kahnawake. Her work will leave an enduring legacy of social justice at Concordia, as she has put in place structures to represent Indigenous Students and First Peoples Studies students within the University community.