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Sustainability Champion Awards

Recognizing agents of change at Concordia.

Acknowledging contributions of the Concordia community

The Sustainability Champion Awards recognize and encourage students, faculty and staff who are making contributions towards the social, ecological and economic well-being of the university.

2024 Sustainability Champions

The eight recipients of the Sustainability Champion Awards were selected on the basis of their hard work and dedication to advance sustainability as well as their enthusiasm and ability to inspire change.

2023 Sustainability Champions

Amy Tran integrates sustainable practices into all of her work. As the academic coordinator of the Concordia Precious Plastic Project (CP3), Amy has focused on mentorship, knowledge-sharing, and collaboration. Amy has made knowledge surrounding plastic recycling and repurposing significantly more accessible by taking the necessary time to walk newcomers through the process and creating training resources. Amy has sought to connect issues of sustainability with space exploration by creating new collaborations between Space Concordia’s space health division, CP3, and Women in Engineering. 

As an organizer of the 2022 Space Exploration conference (SPEX2022) and the Space2Earth student competition, as a challenge development associate for the How to Change the World program, and as a representative for Concordia at the World’s Challenge Challenge competition, Amy facilitated the implementation of more sustainable practices and themes.

Amy’s labour-intensive dedication towards sustainability has been an inspiration to her team members at both Space Concordia and CP3.

Caleb Woolcott’s leadership in sustainability and food security at Concordia is tireless. He is involved in the Concordia Food Coalition, Cultivaction, the Concordia Greenhouse, and the Solidarity Economy Incubation for Zero Emissions (SEIZE) Concordia. Caleb’s numerous contributions to campus initiatives lead to tangible environmental outcomes as well as social and cultural benefits, embodying the many facets of sustainability.

Caleb  is seen at the Loyola gardens so frequently that he has been dubbed “the microgreens guy”. It’s an appropriate title, as Caleb was instrumental in building and initiating the successful microgreens project at Concordia. Rain or shine, weekday or weekend, Caleb can be seen gardening on campus. Leading with humility, he continues to offer volunteer sessions and workshops for those wanting to learn about food sustainability on and off campus.

Karine Balé’s deep awareness of sustainability on campus led her to want to introduce people to the multitude of sustainability initiatives at Concordia. During her time with the Office of Sustainability’s Student Sustainability Ambassadors Program, she developed an interactive, open-source map of Concordia's sustainability ecosystem. The map has been an indispensable resource for those trying to visualize sustainability leadership across Concordia, and was nominated for a Student Leadership Award by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Karine’s application of systems-thinking helps users identify sustainability as a shared responsibility rather than an issue that must be tackled by specific actors in isolation.

Karine is an emerging entrepreneur from the Youth Social Entrepreneurship Program offered through Community, Empowerment, Education, Development (CEED). During this program, she and her team started a small-scale farming model that would bring sustainable urban mushroom farming to communities and encourage independence within their food supply. As both a founding member of the Woodnote solidarity coop and a board member of UTILE, Karine is also a vocal advocate for student housing and affordable living in Montreal.

Karine was named a “LinkedIn Sustainability Influencer to Follow in 2022” by Green Career Center for her active involvement in the community.

Nick Bonneau has held two positions in the John Molson Sustainable Enterprise Committee (JSEC), first as Director of Speaker Relations, and then as President. During this time, he created the JSEC Mentorship program which has thus far connected over 50 business students to sustainability professionals. 

Nick has also been deeply involved in the Concordia Student Union, and was instrumental in the re-writing of the CSU Sustainability Policy so that it would align with Concordia's Sustainability Action Plan.

In his role as VP of Academic Affairs for the John Molson Undergraduate Case Competition, Nick worked to integrate sustainability considerations into the food and transportation relating to the week-long competition, and incentivized students to bring a sustainability focus to their work in the competition. Previously, sustainability had never been a consideration in the program or judging process.

Nick’s work of building awareness around sustainability has had a profound effect on a body of students who may not have previously considered sustainability as an integral part of economic development. 


Satoshi Ikeda’s continuous work at Concordia has embodied sustainability over the long-term. As a faculty member, Satoshi has done more than simply teach sustainability to his students; he structures his courses around climate action and community organizing, supporting his students to volunteer with sustainability initiatives for credit. Through this experiential learning, students are motivated to embody their roles as engaged citizens at and beyond the university, with many of Satoshi’s graduates even finding employment at Concordia to support or lead important sustainability projects. Beyond his faculty role, Satoshi has used his position at the university to legitimize a number of student sustainability initiatives, including the City Farm School.

Through his devoted teaching, steadfast support of emerging leaders, and key role in important sustainability projects, Satoshi has planted a lot of strong seeds within our community. As he retires, those many seedlings continue to grow, for a more sustainable Concordia.

2022 Sustainability Champions

Annick Maugile Flavien is the founding coordinator and manager of the Black Perspectives Office (BPO), a steering member of the President's Task Force on Anti-Black Racism at Concordia University, a Black community advocate, a Black scholar, and a multi-disciplinary creative maker.

As a three-time graduate of Concordia, Annick has been working on campus for the last ten years where she had the opportunity to participate in and support grassroots EDI and anti-racist initiatives across campus. She now leads the Black Perspectives Office in its development of services and resources for Black students, staff, and faculty at Concordia, as well as anti-discriminatory consultations, workshops and trainings, and engagement opportunities for the broader community. She is currently also pursing her PhD and where she roots her creative and academic research in communications, ageing studies, migration and geography in order to explore the transmission of intergenerational knowledge and identity for Black communities in Canada with the goal of better understanding Black community isolation in Canada and fostering connections across Black Canadian communities.

Through her dedication and leadership, Annick is fostering a supportive environment for anti-racist community building at Concordia and in Canada.

Christopher Vaccarella has taken a leadership role in advancing sustainability across a wide range of positions and projects at Concordia and in Montreal.

As the President of the Political Science Student Association (PSSA), Christopher has been a strong advocate of integrating sustainability and community engagement into PSSA’s policies and programming. In 2020, Christopher initiated a tree planting project at local elementary and high schools.  He focused on schools in overlooked and underfunded areas of Montreal, where tree cover is often lacking. Working with partners and volunteers, the project resulted in 250 new trees which will have support local biodiversity, decrease urban heat island effect, and enhance the natural beauty of these areas. As a councillor of the Concordia Student Union, Christopher was also instrumental in working to improve the accessibility and sustainability of menstrual products for students through the Menstrual Equity project, and played a pivotal role in advocating for a more expansive sustainability curriculum at Concordia through the 2021 CSU referendum.

In the short time that Christopher has been at Concordia, he has succeeded in implementing many sustainability projects as a result of his unfailing tenacity and commitment to improving the quality of life of his fellow students.

Erik Chevrier, in his many roles as student, part-time instructor, community activist and urban farmer, has been a driver of sustainable food systems at Concordia.

With a strong interest in the political economy of ethical food systems, Erik has meticulously chronicled Concordia’s student-run food cooperatives through his PhD in Humanities. His community involvement in sustainability at Concordia includes the Concordia Food Coalition, Divest Concordia, the Hive Café Co-op, and more.  He has also founded a number of organizations, research projects and educational programs, including the non-profit solidarity urban farming cooperative CultivAction. As a professor, Erik provides his students with opportunities for hands-on learning and critical-participatory-action-research. He enables his students to learn by doing and empowers them to become community leaders, urban farmers, sustainability activists, and multi-media communicators.

Erik has been an important and consistent voice for students in sustainable food system practices in the creation of the Sustainability Action Plan and through his contributions to the Food Advisory working group.

Faye Sun has been a force for positive change on campus, speaking up on important issues and pushing agendas of environmental sustainability, social justice and issues affecting Black and Indigenous communities.

Faye is an intersectional activist who understands that sustainability is connected with many social and environmental change issues. Throughout their undergraduate degree, Faye has volunteered their time to make Concordia a more environmentally and socially sustainable community, organizing numerous workshops in partnership with the CSU and sitting on the Concordia Student Union BIPOC committee. As an example of their leadership, she co- organized a high-profile Town Hall on Extreme Inequality and Climate Breakdown in November 2021. She also co-founded the Concordia Pollinator Initiative on campus. In their newly-elected role as Concordia Student Union Sustainability Coordinator, she has provided strong support for the Menstrual Equity Project and for the sustainability curriculum advocacy campaign. Meanwhile, she continues to volunteer in two sustainability-related research labs at Concordia.

Faye has dedicated tremendous time and effort to work that intersects all spheres of sustainability and makes Concordia a better place.

Felix Beaudry has been devoted to redesigning our waste systems and educating community members on plastic waste through the Concordia Precious Plastic Project (CP3).

As CP3’s design and operational coordinator, Felix has mentored students to create new items through plastic waste using 3D printing, guiding them through the creative process and supporting them to find new meaning in their academic projects. He has been instrumental in raising awareness about the plastic crisis and offering solutions to students at Concordia and in Montreal through online webinars and in-person events. Felix represented CP3 at the Forces Avenir competition, which aims to recognize student engagement in projects that contribute to the creation of conscious, responsible, active and persevering local and global citizens. Felix has also been instrumental in ensuring the on-going success of the project, seeking innovative solutions to challenges and forging new partnerships. CP3’s partnership with the CEGEP du Vieux Montreal, for example, has allowed for both groups to learn from each other while sharing space and equipment.

Felix has greatly contributed to CP3’s mission and has inspired Concordians and the community to reimagine and rethink plastic waste. 

Jochen Jaeger is a road ecology and urban sprawl researcher who has demonstrated an incredible commitment to educating others on issues related to climate change through Concordia’s Climate Emergency Committee.

Jochen initiated the Climate Emergency Committee in 2019, in response to the urgency of the climate crisis and the desire to increase public awareness and understanding of climate change. Made up of students and faculty, the Climate Emergency Committee is advocating for mandatory climate education in schools, CEGEPS, and the community. They have made hundreds of presentations, written countless letters to policy-makers, disseminated surveys, launched curriculum initiatives, and engaged the news media. They were also crucial supporters in the development of the Fly Less policy in the department of Geography, Planning and Environment. Jochen has been a force for positive change, enabling students on the committee to take on leadership roles and drive new initiatives, such as the popular Climate Geopardy game. and acting as a mentor to students. His tireless enthusiasm for this work has provided a solid foundation for this group over the last number of years. The Climate Emergency Committee is now a fixture in the geography department.

Jochen has been an agent of change on campus and a resource for those seeking to take action on the climate crisis.

Pamela Fillion supports people to lead a sustainable lifestyle in ways that are accessible and profound.

Pamela has been consistently engaged in social and environmental sustainability action at Concordia University and in Montreal over the past ten years, contributing to many campus organizations as a reliable workshop animator for the Concordia Greenhouse, Concordia Food Coalition and Concordia Student Union. Pamela is a tireless advocate for accessible sustainable lifestyles, offering countless DIY and skill-building “radical home economics” workshops and anti-oppression training on and off campus. She covers topics ranging from food processing and preservation methods to intersectional anti-classism and herbalism for survivor support. Pamela uses these workshops as an accessible entry point for people to rethink current systems and practices, her compassionate personality and intersectional approach enabling community members to develop more self-sufficiency and food security. As a student, her research on the intersections of gendered violence, racism, immigration, and well-being have earned a Sustainability Research Award from the Sustainability Action Fund.

Pamela’s leadership through example has encouraged and supported countless members of our community to act more sustainably and has had a significant impact on the culture of sustainability at Concordia.

2021 Sustainability Champions

Through her enthusiastic engagement in numerous initiatives at Concordia, Adriana Daca has served as a sustainability leader within her field and in campus initiatives.

As the Outreach volunteer for the student-led association Women in Engineering (WIE), Adriana has supported a shift towards greater support for women and gender parity in the STEM fields. Her work for WIE has included enrichment programs in elementary and high schools, where she engaged with students to encourage early interest in engineering. As a member of the Concordia Precious Plastics Project (CP3), Adriana has supported research, development and outreach efforts, including through co-authorship on an academic paper examining plastic reduction opportunities. Adriana has volunteered for numerous other sustainability initiatives through the student Sustainability Ambassadors Program, acting as a steadfast and welcome source of support for initiatives including the Concordia University Centre for Creative Reuse (CUCCR), Waste Not Want Not (WNWN), and the Sustainable Event Certification (SEC).

Adriana’s passion, dedication, and positive, thoughtful attitude not only significantly enhance the initiatives that she participates in, but also equip her to be an excellent leader and motivator to others.

Through his remarkable leadership and dedication, Amr Addas has played the lead role in establishing JMSB’s offerings and reputation in the area of sustainable investing education.

Amr’s involvement spans numerous roles and activities. In 2015 he developed the first-ever cource on sustainable investing in a Canadian business school, which continues to be an incredibly popular course among students at Concordia thanks to Amr’s current and relevant curriculum, innovative teaching practices, and unwavering support and engagement with his students. Amr co-developed and directs Concordia’s Sustainable Investing Practicum, which in 2020 was launched as the first of its kind in Canada. The practicum gives participating students the opportunity to manage a virtual portfolio in close collaboration with Manulife Investment Management using principles of Environmental Social Governance, resulting in valuable experiential learning opportunities for students and bolstering Concordia University's commitment to sustainability. Recently appointed to the role of Academic Director for Sustainability at JMSB, Amr will lead the Sustainability Ecosystem, which will promote and facilitate conversations on sustainable investing and sustainable finance as well as to create workshops and learning labs to educate professionals and students. Outside of JMSB, Amr regularly advocates for and advises on university efforts to achieve our sustainable investing goals and represents Concordia externally at the Canadian Youth Council for Sustainable Development and Finance Montreal’s Responsible Investing Working Group.

His dedication to his students and passion for sustainable finance have made Amr instrumental to the development and success of sustainable investing curriculum and programs at Concordia.

Chloë Lalonde has been an exceptionally creative and tireless advocate for reuse efforts and education through the Concordia University Centre for Creative Reuse (CUCCR).

Since it opened in 2017, Chloë has been a valuable contributor to every aspect of CUCCR growth and development including system design, physical space layouts and community engagement opportunities. As a regular volunteer and student intern, she has spent countless hours assisting in the used materials depot and offering skillshare events and workshops to our community. She has also taken on independent writing projects to help support the documentation and promotion of CUCCR, and has co-organized important events, such as the annual artist-in-residence program and exhibition. Chloë is also an active community art educator, and has integrated reused materials from CUCCR into her lesson plans and projects at art schools, camps and after-school community programs. In 2020, Chloë created a series of lesson plans focussed on using only natural or homemade materials, encouraging the maker to consider the impact of traditional materials while empowering them to create art with the simple supplies they may already have in their homes.

Through her powerful and longstanding contributions to reuse efforts, Chloë has had a positive impact at CUCCR and on the growth of its community.

Le Lin is a truly outstanding student whose incredible generosity toward their peers, and their continued dedication to creating anti-oppression spaces for connection and kinship, reflect an extraordinary commitment to social sustainability in keeping with Concordia’s mandate to support principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Le has been recognized by their professors and fellow students alike, as a reliable and most welcome source of crucial infusions of EDI-related insight shared both inside and outside the classroom. Through their coursework, volunteerism, chosen employment, and creative projects, Le contributes their abiding determination to enable and foster equitable and safer spaces for QTBIPOC folks at Concordia and beyond. Projects created or collaborated on by Le include Queer Asian Myths and Legends (an interactive website featuring Asian LGBTQ folktales, myths, legends and practices collected from that community); Not Down (a jacket made of ecologically-sustainable milkweed); Masking Hong Kong (a web intervention focusing on masks as tools of resistance in the Hong Kong protests); and Unlearning Design: A Decolonizing and Inclusivity Toolkit (a series of five zines documenting contemporary Black, Indigenous, Lantinx, Asian, and queer designers from various regions in Canada and the US). Le’s other contributions include their work and volunteer efforts toward the Fine Arts Reading Room, VAV gallery, Fine Arts Student Alliance, District 3 Innovation Centre, People’s Potato, Concordian magazine, Queer Print Club, and the Department of Design and Computation Arts’ recently-established Inclusivity Committee. Le has also served as a lifeline to their fellow students during the pandemic, lending support and stability to their peers in Design and across the Faculty of Fine Arts.

Through their joyful and wholehearted participation, Le lifts up their peers, enriches discussions, and leads enthusiastically, making their Department and Faculty a more welcoming and inclusive home for all students.

Meredith Marty-Dugas has made invaluable contributions to sustainability engagement at Concordia.

Meredith’s work as coordinator of the Sustainability Ambassadors Program (SAP), housed within the Office of Sustainability and offered in collaboration with Sustainable Concordia, has increased sustainability awareness for hundreds of community members through targeted training, workshops, and supported volunteer positions. In her capacity as coordinator of SAP she worked with on-campus groups to develop volunteer opportunities, guidelines and frameworks for thoughtful and supported interactions that empower student volunteers. Her knowledge of environmental, social, and economic sustainability, paired with her attentive and inclusive coordination style, have helped many students move from having a fringe understanding of sustainability to possessing the capacity to confidently engage others on sustainability topics at Concordia and beyond. Additionally, Meredith frequently goes beyond the scope and time commitments of her mandate in the Office of Sustainability to participate on committees and support community organizations in racticing sustainability in intersectional, inclusive ways that centre social justice.

By equipping students with knowledge and training pertaining to campus sustainability efforts and globally important issues, Meredith positions them to step into leadership roles within our community.

Olha Hnatyshyn has embedded sustainability firmly into every aspect of her time as a Concordia student, staff, and part-time faculty member in the Department of Economics.

As a graduate student, Olha is researching the effectiveness of Multiple International Environmental Agreements from a policy perspective, and is co-organizing the CIREQ Interdisciplinary PhD Student Symposium on Climate Change, whose mission is to facilitate the exchange of scientific knowledge and lay the foundation for collaboration among doctoral students conducting research on climate change. As a professor in economics, Olha also strives to create opportunities for undergraduate students to learn more about sustainability by promoting their participation in sustainability events and by incorporating sustainability content in her course material. In less than a year working as the Service Assistant in the Economic department, Olha singlehandedly initiated and successfully cultivated zero waste culture change within the department. Through carefully planned and thoughtfully executed waste reduction initiatives, as well as through frequent and accessible engagement with others in the department, she raised sustainability awareness for numerous students, faculty and staff in the department. Olha also organizes free educational events on sustainability for the youth in her Montreal community.

Olha’s passion, dedication and knowledge for sustainability have all served to greatly increase sustainability awareness, engagement and impact within the Department of Economics.

2020 Sustainability Champions

Eduardo Malorni’s contribution has led to substantial changes in the way events are planned for and implemented in the Concordia Student Union.

As the Student Life Coordinator, Eduardo leads the organization and execution of all orientation and other events for the CSU. Through these initiatives, all purchasing for these events were made as low-waste as possible, going to great lengths to find products with cleaner production processes, better materials, and little to no packaging. In some cases, that meant opting to disrupt long-standing traditions for the sake of greater sustainability--such as not ordering orientation T-shirts, something that most student groups adamantly defend as a practice. Instead, Eduardo went as far as to collect leftover T-shirts and tote bags from previous years and struck an agreement with suppliers to have them reprinted.

Through their innovation, hard work, and creativity Eduardo has established a new set of best practices for all student leaders to follow.

Julia Levantian has taken initiative in creating, consulting on, and implementing a Sustainability Policy as VP Internal for the Engineering and Computer Science Association (ECA).

Julia spent months researching and drafting the policy, as well as organizing meetings with different society leaders to gather feedback and make improvements. By engaging in productive dialogue with individual societies, they ensured that the policy was representative of the ECA as a whole, and that everyone felt included. This policy, which includes provisions for sustainable event planning and purchasing, will influence the activities of 13 student societies and over 6000 undergraduate students in the Gina Cody School of Engineering.

The meaningful and lasting effects of this policy will be felt in the activities of Engineering and Computer Science students for years to come.

This team of dedicated students, faculty and staff are responsible for the 185 new trees that were planted on the Loyola campus in November 2019.

The project arose when a quartet of Arts and Science faculty members (Rebecca Tittler, Emma Despland, Carly Ziter, and Satoshi Ikeda), along with a separate group of students from the Concordia Greening Project (led by Théo Vergnet) came together with a common goal: to increase the number and diversity of trees on campus. Liz Faure, Communications Advisor for the Faculty of Arts & Science, took on the enormous task of coordinating communications between the appropriate people to make sure the project took place and was properly attended. Additionally, a number of staff and students volunteered to plant trees or got involved in the planning, approval, implementation, and communications of the project.

Every member of this team went above and beyond their regular professional or academic duties to ensure the project came to fruition, literally getting their hands dirty in the name of sustainability on campus. In addition to providing greenery and a cooling and healthy urban tree canopy to the Loyola campus, these trees will also function as a living lab, allowing professors to bring students right into the environment of a mini-urban forest as part of their classwork. As the trees grow and thrive, Concordians will be able to enjoy their beauty for decades to come.

Megan Clarke has worked tirelessly to bring greater awareness of food security and sustainability to Concordia and to Montreal.

Last year, Megan developed the Food Cycle project. The aim was to redistribute leftover food from events on campus to various charitable organizations as well as to Concordia students in need.

Although Hospitality Concordia donates food from their events to local shelters, Megan noticed that there was still a large portion of food being wasted at other events on campus, and that Concordia’s own students could benefit from the food leftovers as well. Megan began contacting various departments at Concordia in order to coordinate her efforts. Food Cycle now provides free pick-up and redistribution of leftover food and is open to all campus events upon request. Food Cycle additionally functions as an awareness campaign, bringing issues of hunger and unsustainable food practices to the forefront.

Megan’s initiative is an effective and deeply humanitarian endeavour that seeks to eliminate food waste while giving back to the community.

Sara Ordonselli has been taking action towards solving our global plastic problem by thinking locally.

As co-founder of the Concordia Precious Plastics Project (CP3), Sara has worked to ensure that all plastic waste from 3D printing at Concordia could be reused to create more plastic filament for printing.  They developed a structure and procured funding, resulting in a plastic re-purposing program that will survive at Concordia long after she has graduated. This year, Sara took it further by launching an educational campaign on the harmfulness of plastic waste as well as by researching and implementing the incorporation of new types of plastic pollution into the program.

Thanks to Sara, the 3D printing projects at Concordia can keep safely within planetary boundaries while continuing to push the boundaries of innovation.

Since joining the faculty, Shannon Lloyd has quickly and impactfully engaged in enhancing sustainability within JMSB and Concordia in a number of areas.                                                                                           

Shannon has taken on the revision and redesign of several key courses to create opportunities for deeper learning about sustainability, and has led the development of a JMSB sustainability minor—with a major impact for JMSB students, who previously needed to extend their degrees by up to two semesters in order to avail of sustainability learning outside of the Faculty. Although these endeavours all require substantial time and energy on her part, Shannon has also made time to engage in numerous sustainability initiatives with students. This includes acting as Faculty advisor to JSEC, JMSB’s undergraduate sustainability group; coaching and judging multiple sustainability themed case competitions; and providing supervision or co-supervision for multiple sustainability projects within JMSB and other Faculties.

These efforts go above and beyond Shannon’s regular mandate and demonstrably enhance sustainability at Concordia.

2019 Sustainability Champions

Akira’s dedication and comprehensive approach to sustainability make her a model for all in her community.

Akira has harnessed her role as Sustainability Coordinator of the CSU to provide brand-new resources and programs for all students, including low-waste, plant-based eating workshops and the “There is no planet B” event series. As organizing team member of Queer Concordia she also launched the Queer Retreat, offering an affordable space for support and community-building to Concordia`s queer community. Her integral approach to sustainability not only ensures that each of the events and programs that the CSU develops is fully sustainable but that students at Concordia have access to the plentiful support, dialogue, and knowledge that they need to make sustainable choices for themselves and for the planet.

Her activities and approach have raised awareness of environmental and social issues on campus and have inspired a multitude of students to make positive changes.

Annie has had a significant and far-reaching impact on how sustainability is understood and practiced.

As a CEED Concordia intern, she partnered with local youth in northern Uganda to engage in workshops and exercises supporting the identification of ways that climate change can be adapted to and combatted at multiple scales, as well as how students can engage in sustainable waste management at home and at school. She has also been active in multiple sustainability groups on campus, is working to further sustainability in academia as a United Nations Millennium Fellow for ‘Commitment to promoting sustainability through education”, and has co-founded the Humans of Concordia platform which fosters a social community amongst past, present, and future Concordia students.

She is a great team member who is committed to learning with others and enjoys being involved on campus in every way she can.

Claire has taken an active role to support and further sustainability efforts in multiple communities.

She has designed and led gardening workshops through the City Farm School, the Mile End Marche de Mai, and Brila Youth Projects. Through these she has empowered the community with planting knowledge and has supported a sustainable and secure food system on and off campus. As part of her work with Brila Youth Projects, she also led community inquiry sessions that engaged school-age children in open and approachable discourse about environmental ethics, fostering a generation of critical thinkers and future sustainability leaders. At Concordia, Claire has interned with the Waste Not Want Not compost collaboration and has been an active board member for the Sustainability Action Fund. Since representing Concordia at the Sustainability in Higher Education conference in 2018, Claire has been collaborating with her co-representatives on a whiteboard video project advocating for sustainability living labs on campus.

Claire’s dedication to improving sustainability efforts through community partnerships demonstrates real leadership.

Eric is a relentless advocate for sustainability at Concordia.

In his role as president of the John Molson Sustainable Enterprise Committee (JSEC) and as a student, Eric has made an enormous difference in the sustainability culture of JMSB. He and his team on JSEC dedicate themselves to offering events that promote sustainable business development and resource management, and he has been an integral member in the development of Concordia’s Sustainable Event Checklist. He is also an active contributor on the board of Sustainable Concordia and seizes every possible opportunity to raise awareness about sustainability within the business community and without.

Eric is an excellent leader and has overcome many obstacles in order to further sustainability at Concordia by making it interesting and engaging for students.

Maya’s dedication and passion have led to an undeniable impact on countless students at Concordia.

Her service to her community includes and extends far beyond her role as External Coordinator of the Dish Project, a program that supplies reusable dishes for events and saves thousands of disposable items from the landfill per year.  She is also a Director of the Concordia Food Coalition and volunteers with the Concordia Greenhouse. Through these initiatives, Maya has developed, coordinated, and supported multiple collaborative events that have engaged numerous students in the principles and practices of sustainability. Taking an empathetic and thoughtful approach, she works tirelessly to engage the community in causes related to waste reduction on campus and sustainable food systems.

Maya is described as a special community member that goes above and beyond all that is expected of her, and does it all with a smile.

Rebecca has been a mainstay of sustainability at Concordia for years as an instructor in Biology, Geography, and Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability (LCDS), where she is also the College Coordinator.

Rebecca brings sustainability into students’ lives through experiential learning and a passion for the intersectional nature of societies’ sustainability issues. In her role as coordinator of both LCDS and Loyola Sustainability Research Center (LSRC), she has proven to be a masterful connector for students and fellows, supporting research in action. Examples include the Sustainability Across Disciplines conference and the ongoing LSRC research seminar series. From these, and related efforts, Rebecca has supported increased opportunities to share sustainability research and explore future work across the university. She has also played a key role in in seeking out and securing new partnerships with the Faculty of Fine Arts, actively participates on the Campus Sustainability Engagement subcommittee, coordinates the Research Stream of the University’s 2019-2024 Sustainability Plan, and moves sustainability initiatives forward while balancing overarching departmental goals and the grassroots needs of the community.

Rebecca Tittler has been, and continues to be, an integral part of the change we are seeking on campus.

Stéphanie has been a force to reckon with in advocating for sustainable practices at Facilities Management.

In her role as Architectural Technician in Facilities Management, Stéphanie first piloted a surplus furniture re-use project in 2014 and has since begun working closely with the Concordia University Centre for Creative Reuse (CUCCR) to apply reuse activities to the massive quantities of surplus furniture that were being put into storage or sent to landfill due to the constant renovation or updating of University spaces.

Stéphanie now ensures that all unused furniture pieces are either stored for future use, reused by another group, sold to community organisations, donated to the CUCCR or dismantled and recycled.  In the 2018-2019 year, Concordia has already diverted 13 metric tonnes of furniture waste; the CUCCR program is receiving additional recognition and funding due to its role in the collaboration; and the University is developing procedures and protocols for inventorying and sustainably managing surplus furniture.

Stéphanie’s efforts have dramatically reduced the environmental footprint of our campus.

Since its inception in 2016, the Waste Not, Want Not (WNWN) compost collaboration has contributed to significant and enduring shifts in the way we compost at Concordia.

The collaboration is designed to increase both the availability and use of composting at Concordia through the strategic increase of compost bins and peer-to-peer education. Waste Not Want Not volunteers attend events and educate attendees about composting and show them how to properly sort out their waste. Since 2016, compost use at Concordia has nearly doubled.

The original proponent of WNWN, Keroles Riad worked tirelessly to drive the campaign forward by forging relationships throughout the University, raising awareness about the importance of composting, and recruiting motivated volunteers. His contribution towards a composting culture at Concordia has made him a pillar in the sustainability community.

Ribal Abi Raad joined WNWN in 2016, while Alanna Silver began as a volunteer extraordinaire and joined the organizing team in 2018. Together they Ribal and Alanna effectively steered the collaboration to even greater heights, managing 37 different volunteers covering 19 major events attended by over 19,000 community members, as well as sparking new successful engagement and volunteer team building initiatives.

The countless and freely-given hours that they have invested into Concordia’s composting system have been to the benefit of the entire Concordia community.

Photo credit: Annelies Cossens

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.

Champions Hall of Fame

The Safety and Sustainability Champions who were present to accept their awards in 2016 (from left to right): Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Olivia Oudinot, Michael Banks, the Fine Arts Safety Committee, Keroles Riad, Arlene Zimmerman, Barry Robinson, Sylvie Lacelle and Janis Timm-Bottos.

In 2016, the Sustainability Champions Award Gala was combined with the Safety Recognition Awards to promote sustainability and safety together at the university. 

Sustainability Champions:

  • Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-President — Academic Affairs 
  • Michael Banks, student — Founder and President of Sustainable Engineering Concordia
  • Sylvie Lacelle, Food Contract administrator — Hospitality Concordia
  • Olivia Oudinot, student — Executive VP of the John Molson Sustainable Enterprise Committee (JSEC) 
  • Janis Timm-Bottos, Associate Professor — Department of Creative Arts Therapies 
  • Arlene Zimmerman, Office Assistant — Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
  • The Fine Arts Safety Committee — Faculty of Fine Arts
  • Keroles Riad, PhD candidate — Individualized program
  • Barry Robinson, Laboratory/Safety Technician — Psychology Department 

The Sustainability Champions who were present to accept their awards in 2015 (from front to back): First row: Gabrielle Caron, Second row: Dr. James Grant and Renée Obregon, Third row: Micheal Finck and Cody Jacobs, Fourth row: Paige Hilderman, Adan Suazo, Dr. Ricardo Dal Farra and Henry Lemmetti.

Sustainability champions:

  • Gabrielle Caron, Undergraduate student — Concordia Food Coalition, Sustainable Concordia
  • Cloé Daguet, Community member
  • Ricardo Dal Farra, Associate Professor — Department of Music / Hexagram Concordia
  • Micheal Finck, Undergraduate student — Sustainable Concordia, Climate Justice Montreal
  • James Grant, Professor — Department of Biology
  • Paige Hilderman, Undergraduate student — Concordia Food Coalition
  • Cody Jacobs, Undergraduate student — La Cooperative des Brasseurs Illuminés
  • Henry Lemmetti, Technical Supervisor — Communication Studies
  • Renée Obregon, Undergraduate student — Sustainable Concordia, Concordia Safe Cosmetics Club
  • Adan Suazo, Coordinator — Loyola Sustainability Research Centre
Vandana Shiva was the special guest speaker of the Sustainability Champions Award Gala in 2015.

The Sustainability Champions who were present to accept their awards in 2014: Front row (left) Jessica Cabana, Carmela Cucuzzella and Marie-Pier Breton. Back row: Rosemarie Schade, Paul Shrivastava, Roger Côté, Sandro Dabaghian, Marie-Josée Allard and David S. Allen.

Sustainability champions:

  • Jessica Cabana, Undergraduate student
  • Carmela Cucuzzella, Assistant Professor, Design and Computation Arts
  • Marie-Pier Breton, Graduate student
  • Rosemarie Schade, Principal, Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability
  • Paul Shrivastava, Director, David O'Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise
  • Roger Côté, Vice-President, Services
  • Sandro Dabaghian, Undergraduate President, John Molson Sustainable Business Group (JSG)
  • Marie-Josée Allard, Director, Hospitality Concordia
  • David S. Allen, West Montreal Readaptation Centre
  • David Symon, Undergraduate student

The Sustainability Champions who were present to accept their awards in 2013: Front row (left) Hannah McCormick, Jackie Martin, Catherine Basa and Anthony Garoufalis. Back row: Peter Stoett, Catherine Mulligan, Amr Addas, Kirsten Sutherland and Brad Poapst.

Sustainability champions:

  • Amr Addas, Adjunct Professor, JMSB
  • Catherine Basa, 2012-13 Undergraduate President, John Molson Sustainable Business Group (JSG)
  • Anthony Garoufalis, Fight the Causes
  • Dan Kielback, R4 Waste Campaign, Sustainable Concordia
  • Jackie Martin, Concordia Greenhouse Coordinator
  • Hannah McCormick, R4 Waste Campaign, Sustainable Concordia
  • Dr. Catherine Mulligan, Director, Concordia Institute for Water, Energy and Sustainable Systems, Assoc Dean, Res & Grad    Stu, Engr. & Comp Science
  • Brad Poapst, Supervisor, Facilities Mgmt.
  • Dr. Peter Stoett, Director, Loyola Sustainable Research Centre
  • Kirsten Sutherland, Manager, Design and Planning, Facilities Mgmt.


The Sustainability Champions who were present to accept their awards in 2011: Front row (left) Alex Oster and Laurence Fauteux. Back row: Judith Walls, Gerry Barrette, Gerald Beasley, Yves Gilbert and Martin Racine.

Sustainability champions:

  • Josh Beitel, VP Logistics, John Molson Sustainable Business Group
  • Gerry Barrette, Property/Operations Manager, Loyola Facilities Mgmt.
  • Gerald Beasley, University Librarian
  • Susanne Dragffy, Buyer, Bookstore
  • Laurence Fauteux, Coordinator, Vert Ta Ville
  • Yves Gilbert, Director, Engr. & Bldg. Performance, Facilities Mgmt.
  • Dr. Satoshi Ikeda, Assoc. Professor, Sociology and Anthropology
  • Alex Oster, Student Experience Coordinator, Dean of Students
  • Dr. Martin Racine, Assoc. Professor, Design and Comp Arts
  • Dr. Judith Walls, Professor, Management, JMSB


The Sustainability Champions who were present to accept their awards in 2010: Front row (left) Shelly Elsliger, Jessica Sypher, Svetla Turnin and Kelly Laidlaw. Back row: Arlene Throness, Ezra Winton, Cameron Stiff and PK Langshaw.

Sustainability champions:

  • Dr. P.K. Langshaw, Assoc. Professor, Design and Comp Arts
  • Dr. Raymond Paquin, Professor, Management, JMSB
  • Dr. Bernice Goldsmith, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Centre for Engineering in Society & Dr. Hugh J. McQueen, Distinguished Prof Emeritus, Mech./Industrial Engineering
  • Jessica Sypher, VP Sustainability of the Loyola International College Student Association
  • Kelly Laidlaw, VP Case Competition, John Molson Sustainable Business Group
  • Pat Pietromonaco, Property Manager, Facilities Mgmt.
  • Shelly Elsliger, Ugrad Career Advisor, Career Mgmt. Services
  • Anna Sarkissian, University Communications Services
  • Cameron Stiff, Sustainable Concordia board member
  • Arlene Lynette Throness, Greenhouse Coordinator
  • Svetla Turnin, Executive Director, Cinema Politica & Ezra Winton, Director Programming, Cinema Politica
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