The Johns Hopkins Office of Sustainability presented 14 awards this week to honor those in the Hopkins community who demonstrate a commitment to sustainability principles and action. The Green Blue Jay Awards Ceremony, held Thursday at the School of Nursing, was part of the university's Earth Week celebration.
The recipients were selected by the Office of Sustainability for their efforts contributing to sustainability-related dialogue and action in the areas of peer engagement, operational improvements, events and programming, and academics.
The following individuals, groups, and endeavors were celebrated:
Zane Baker and Meredith Davey from the Peabody Institute received the Three-Legged Stool Award for their incorporation of the three integral facets of sustainability—economic, environmental, and social—in a unique project. Their changes to the course-pack printing process at Peabody cut the number of packets printed by nearly 70 percent, a reduction that lowered costs, reduced waste, and helped foster a culture of conservation across the school.
Dean Threatte, a project manager in Design and Construction, received the Change From Within Award, which recognizes an individual who has demonstrated leadership in transforming practices and protocols in ways that produce wide-ranging university impact. Before clearing campus buildings for renovation, Threatte worked with Sustainability to divert and donate usable classroom materials to Baltimore City schools.
School of Medicine Facilities Management received the Sustainability Exposed Award for making the vision of sustainability more accessible and visible to the Johns Hopkins community. The department's Rich Sebour and Mike Humphreys have supported semi-annual Styrofoam recycling efforts in partnership with Hopkins LIFE (Leadership Initiative for the Environment), recycling more than 200 pounds over the past three years.
Nemo Keller received the Spirit of Sustainability Award, which recognizes a person who demonstrates an enthusiasm for sustainability at Johns Hopkins that inspires change in others. As a student, Keller was instrumental in the leadership of Real Food Hopkins and Blue Jay's Perch; now, as an Office of Sustainability intern, she is leading an ambitious food waste reduction program and conducting research that will improve sustainability in labs.
The Community Partner of the Year is the Parks & People Foundation. The award is given to an organization that has shown exceptional commitment to sustainability on one or more of the Johns Hopkins campuses. Kelly MacBride-Gill of Parks & People Foundation supported two volunteer opportunities for Facilities and Real Estate employees in 2016, during Earth Week in April and Campus Sustainability Month in October.
The Green Partner of the Year is Urban Pastoral, a food sector development firm that demonstrates exceptional commitment to sustainability. Urban Pastoral, owned by university alumnus J.J. Reidy, has frequently hosted JHU students for tours and discussions and provided guest speakers at campus events, offering the business's time and space to expose students to a sustainable business.
The Green Division of the Year Award was presented to Johns Hopkins at Eastern for its significant progress in sustainability over the course of the past year. Property manager Corinne Odo has supported extensive Green Team efforts such as a lunch-and-learn and an e-waste recycling event, expanded building recycling options, and invested in infrastructure to improve efficiency.
Students for Environmental Action received the Student Group of the Year Award, which recognizes the organization that has made the biggest impact during the past year. SEA has grown into a group with multiple committees that narrow their focus and strategy to make Hopkins a more Eco-Smart place to live, play, and study.
Carey Business School Campus Operations received the Zero to Hero Award, which highlights an event or project that exemplifies great progress in incorporating zero-waste principles. That office's team implemented entirely new processes for meeting and event support, department coffee, and recycling that dramatically cut the school's waste.
The By the Book Award was given to a team of Humanities professors—Naveeda Kahn, Rochelle Tobias, and Deborah Poole—in recognition of their accomplishments in integrating sustainability principles and priorities into academics. These three faculty members from the JHU Alexander Grass Humanities Institute have incorporated climate and society into their humanities curricula and discussions at the Homewood campus.
Alexandra Mims Pike, a graduate student in the School of Medicine, received the Above and Beyond Award for demonstrating the strongest commitment to campus sustainability efforts. Her leadership of the student group Hopkins LIFE over the past few years has contributed to a lasting culture across the East Baltimore campus, and helped to establish programs and initiatives that improve year to year.
A group of School of Medicine employees (Carolyn Chapman, Caroline Umana, Dezire Chaney, Izzie Huyette-Arriza, and Susan Markus), Homewood recycling manager Leana Houser, and Baltimore City partner Louise Gregg received the Wacky and Wonderful Award for creatively advancing sustainability values and action at JHU. This team collaborated with a community member to host a plarn event at which volunteers cut and tied together strips of plastic bags to make yarn, which is woven into sleeping mats that are provided to the homeless in Baltimore City.
Both the Center for a Livable Future and the Center for Social Concern were awarded Sustaining Champion awards and inducted into the sustainability hall of fame for their decades-long commitment to sustainable communities. CLF celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and the CSC, its 25th.