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Recognizing our green heroes

The 2014 Sustainability Champions set a high standard for the community
March 18, 2014
By Chantal Forgues, Environmental Health and Safety


An outstanding group of environmentally conscious Concordians were honoured for their efforts at the fourth annual Sustainability Champions Award Gala, held March 13 at the Loyola Chapel.

The Sustainability Hub hosts the gala each year to demonstrate Concordia’s collective gratitude to its ambassadors of change. It strives to appreciate those involved in sustainability endeavours at the university, encourage dialogue and collaboration among stakeholders, and raise the overall profile of sustainability on campus.

Graham Carr, the university’s vice-president of Research and Graduate Studies, welcomed the crowd of more than 80 attendees. Andrew Woodall, dean of students, was the evening’s master of ceremonies. He lent his humour and upbeat style to present the 10 sustainability champions. Each honouree received a distinctive wooden plaque designed by Cheryl Gladu of the David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise. Gladu, a PhD student in Faculty of Fine Arts, used leftover scrapwood found in Fine Arts departments to create the awards.

The gala, which attracted a record of more than 50 nominations from across the university, was a clear indication that Concordians care about increasing sustainability on and off campus — and that many are doing something about it.

A special thanks goes to the Concordia Council on Student Life (CCSL) and the John Molson School of Business (JMSB) Sustainable Internship Program Deloite & Touche grant for helping to make the event a great success.

And the award goes to…

Marie-Josée Allard, director of Hospitality Concordia, was nominated for her commitment to sustainability as chair of the logistical committees for two of the largest conferences on campus this year: le 82e Congrès de l’Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS) and Encuentro.

In her roles at Sustainable Concordia, the Loyola College Student Association, the Arts and Science Federation of Associations (ASFA) and the Concordia Food Coalition, Jessica Cabana strives to inspire Concordia community members to put sustainability at the forefront of their experience and challenge the university to become more sustainable and inclusive.

Nominated for her curriculum development, research and extra-curricular work in sustainability, Carmela Cucuzzella from the Department of Design and Computational Arts was awarded for being an inspirational mentor and setting an example for all designers.

An outstanding model of a socially responsible citizen in our community, David Steven Allen has been raising money for the past 16 years for charities like the Concordia Shuffle and the Multiple Sclerosis Concordia Luncheon. As nominator Edward Dorozowsky says, Allen is always smiling and has a great sense of humour, something that has made him a familiar face at Concordia as he does his rounds collecting office recycling around campus.

Rosemarie Schade, principal of the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability, was awarded for her outstanding contributions to sustainability-based pedagogy, which have helped create a new generation of students and faculty who believe sustainability should be integrated with curriculum development.

Concordia graduate student Marie-Pier Breton was nominated for teaching those around her about the importance of caring for the environment. She leads by example and with patience and dedication towards showcasing how small individual decisions like composting, buying less and saving energy make a large difference.

Roger Côté, vice-president of services at Concordia, was recognized for his transformative leadership in the strategic integration of sustainability at the university. In partnership with his colleagues and members of the President’s Executive Group, Côté has fast tracked the operational subcommittee of Concordia’s Sustainability Governance Framework and has ensured that sustainability is, and will continue to be, included in certain university procedures, policies and programs.

Sandro Dabaghian, an undergraduate student at the JMSB, has gone above and beyond in his role as undergraduate president of the JMSB Group (JSG). He is described by his colleagues as someone who cares about making fundamental changes rather than simply talking about them.

Paul Shrivastava, director of the David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise, was honoured for his tireless efforts to establish a certification program, host international conferences and collaborate across faculties to promote sustainability and the arts, music and religion.

Undergraduate student David Symon was recognized for constantly being active in school and city events related to sustainability, urban farming, green practices and healthy eating.

Check out a group shot of our green heroes!   

2014-sustainable-winners-620 2014 Sustainability Champions (from left): Back row: Rosemarie Schade, Paul Shrivastava, Roger Côté, Sandro Dabaghian, Marie-Josée Allard and David Steven Allen; front row: Jessica Cabana, Carmela Cucuzzella and Marie-Pier Breton. (Not in photo: David Symon.)

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