Concordia’s commitment to sustainability is evident throughout the university, said President Alan Shepard at an event honouring the 2013 crop of sustainable champions. “You can see that tonight because of the quite disparate groups of people who have come together.
The Sustainable Champion Awards, presented by Concordia’s Sustainability Hub, recognize diverse contributions from students, staff and faculty members toward the social, ecological and economic well-being of the university.
Ten champions were named at this year’s gala event, hosted by Fiona Downey, media relations advisor with University Communications Services. In her introduction, Downey pointed out that champions are singled out by their peers for their selfless dedication to sustainability. “They’re people who often go without recognition, which makes it all the better that we celebrate their achievements and thank them for bettering our surroundings, and creating a better future for us all,” she said
Each person who nominated one of his or her peers for an award provided a brief summary of the reasons for the choice of champion. Below are some excerpts from the speeches.
Jackie Martin, coordinator of Concordia Greenhouse Project, and co-coordinator of City Farm School
When I think of sustainability at Concordia, I think of the greenhouse on the top of the (Henry F.) Hall Building, and then I think of Jackie. Through hard work and creativity, Jackie and her team have transformed that decrepit research space that I knew as a biologist about 15 years ago into an urban oasis of agriculture, and teaching and learning.
– James Grant, biology professor
Catherine Mulligan, inaugural director of the Concordia Institute for Water, Energy and Sustainable Systems (CIWESS)
Dr. Mulligan is a visionary. She is an accomplished and published researcher, a professor, a faculty administrator, associate dean of Research and Graduate Studies at ENCS, and now adds director of CIWESS.
It’s a privilege to work with Dr. Mulligan in this dynamic and ever-evolving centre. I truly think that a wider audience recognizing her bold step forward is warranted. Dr. Mulligan is a pioneer in her field and a worthy recipient of this award.
– Eve Pankovich, program coordinator, CIWESS
Amr Addas, adjunct professor, finance
Amr is part and parcel of what we do at the David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise. Since the beginning of our formation he’s been part of our teaching programs. He helped us launch the sustainable investment professional certification, and took on the burden of designing two of the six modules, and he also teaches them. He’s also doing excellent research in the area of sustainable investing.
– Paul Shrivastava, David O’Brien Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, John Molson School of Business
Peter Stoett, director, Loyola Sustainability Research Centre
Peter has been a champion of sustainability studies at Concordia forever. He was the driving force behind the Minor in Sustainability. He was the force behind the creation of the new Loyola Sustainability Research Centre.
As a professor in political science, and a fellow in the Loyola College of Diversity and Sustainability, Peter has always maintained a very diverse research agenda … His most recent book, Global Ecopolitics: Crisis, Governance and Justice, has been hailed as … “perhaps the most inspiring book on environmental politics of the last decade.”
– Brian Lewis, dean, Faculty of Arts and Science
Kirsten Sutherland, manager, design and planning, Facilities Management
It’s a real pleasure for me to nominate Kirsten in reference to the two LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certificates that we just earned for the PERFORM Centre (gold), and the John Molson School of Business (silver).
Our champion in the group who coordinated all this was Kirsten. She’s our manager of design and planning, and she has her LEED professional certification. Our thanks and congratulations to Kirsten and her team.
– Peter Bolla, associate vice-president, Facilities Management
Brad Poapst, supervisor, Custodial and Grounds Services
Brad was awarded this honour based on his faults and not his merits: It’s his fault if we see recycling stations everywhere we look, if we have standardized all our recycling bins across both campuses, and if we’re composting to the maximum capacity of our composter. It’s his fault if we’re sending about 60 tons of waste a year less to landfills. And last but not least, it’s his fault he was nominated and not me!
– Marc Champagne, manager, Custodial Services
Dan Kielback, Sustainable Concordia R4 Waste Campaign
I met Dan in 2010, when he was working on the bottled water campaign. He stuck through with the campaign and helped Concordia become bottled-water-free. Right after the bottled water campaign … he became a compost coordinator and helped set up the public composting bins … Dan went on to work on the zero waste campaign and helped us to reduce our waste by 100 tons per year. We’re an organization that depends on volunteers. So when people like Dan get involved, it keeps things going.
– Faisal Shennib, environmental coordinator, Sustainable Concordia
Anthony Garoufalis-Auger, co-founder, Fight the Causes
This past year, I’ve really gotten to see Anthony’s dedication in his work, and how he is able to create movements. Anthony is one of the co-founders of a new group, Fight the Causes, which looks at the root causes of social problems we have in our society: cancer, climate change, and other environmental and social problems … It’s been really a pleasure working with him, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does next.
– Jeffrey Riley, coordinator, Sustainability Action Fund
Hannah McCormick, volunteer, Sustainable Concordia
For the past two years, Hannah has been a crucial part of Sustainable Concordia … She’s a hard-working, highly motivated and personable representative for sustainability initiatives on campus, locally and nationally. She’s been a pivotal organizer for many of Sustainable Concordia’s initiatives … Hannah has successfully organized huge teams of volunteers to go out and educate the community about reusable mugs and participating in public composting.
– Brigitte Moran, volunteer coordinator, Sustainable Concordia
Catherine Basa, undergraduate president, John Molson Sustainable Business Group (JSG)
Catherine went to the undergraduate board of directors, with all the student associations, to fight to remove bottled water from all undergraduate events … There’s no bottled water, thanks to Catherine … She went above and beyond her role with JSG, not because someone told her to do it, not because she’s going to be able to put it on her CV … but because she truly believes in what she’s doing.
- Bassirou Niang, graduate president, JSG
• Concordia Student Union
• David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise
• Environmental Health, Safety and Security
• John Molson Sustainable Business Group
• Sustainability Action Fund
• Sustainable Communities Partnership
• Sustainable Concordia
• Loyola Sustainability Research Centre