Earth week

Champions of sustainability honored at annual Green Blue Jay Awards

The Office of Sustainability honored members of the Johns Hopkins community who demonstrate a commitment to sustainability principles and action on Tuesday at the Green Blue Jay Awards ceremony. The event, part of the university's Earth Week celebration, was held in Glass Pavilion on JHU's Homewood campus.

This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Office of Sustainability and the 6th annual awards ceremony. Thirteen award winners 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.

Award recipients were:

Green Careers Fair

Christine Adib, Laetitia Zhang, Nancy Wang, Taryn Wong, and Nicole Hada

This student-founded group was honored for hosting a career fair for the past seven years to help students find sustainability-related jobs. The group received the Three-Legged Stool Award, given annually in recognition of an effort that incorporates the three integral pieces of sustainability—economic, environmental, and social.

Jess Carney

Carney is senior who has worked as a mentor with the Office of Sustainability's Green Lead program, introducing first-year students to sustainability efforts at Hopkins. She received the Change from Within Award for her leadership in transforming practices and protocols in ways that produce wide-ranging university impacts.

Applied Physics Laboratory

APL, which recently replaced all waste bin signage to promote better recycling and composting practices, received the Sustainability Exposed Award for its efforts to make the vision of sustainability more accessible and visible to members of the Johns Hopkins community.

Fenna Sille and Jessie Buckley

Sille and Buckley, both assistant professors in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, are working with the Office of Sustainability to create a rebate program for -80 degree freezers. They received the Spirit of Sustainability Award, given annually to an individual or individuals who demonstrates a unique enthusiasm for sustainability that inspires change in others.

Blue Water Baltimore

This organization, which works to restore the quality of Baltimore's rivers, streams, and harbor, has been a steadfast partner of the Office of Sustainability, participating in tree plantings, volunteer opportunities, research on carbon offsets, and student Education. The group received the Community Partner of the Year Award, presented to a community organization that has shown exceptional commitment to sustainability on one or more of the Johns Hopkins campuses.


Eric Bonardi, local marketing and sales rep for the online food ordering company, worked with the Office of Sustainability to create a green/sustainable category on their app that makes it easier to select green catering options. Foodify was named Green Partner of the Year, a distinction that recognizes an organization that has shown exceptional commitment to sustainability on one or more of the Johns Hopkins campuses.

JHU's Washington D.C. Center

Through energy efficiency upgrades, the Washington D.C. Center is nearing the universitywide goal, set in 2008, of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 51 percent by 2025. It received the Green Division of the Year Award for its significant progress over the past year.

Planet Runway

Clarissa Chen and Simone Robbenolt

These two undergraduate students submitted an Idea Lab proposal to promote green fashion—both ethical clothing and swapping old clothing on campus. They didn't win Idea Lab funding, but they made it happen anyway and received the Student Group of the Year Award as the student group that has made the biggest impact during the past year.

Homewood Recycling

This group was honored for its Free Food Alert service, which helps reduce food waste by announcing where leftover food can be picked up for free at the end of an event. In less than a year, the service has accumulated about 2,000 users. Homewood Recycling received the Zero to Hero Award, which highlights an event or project that exemplifies great progress in incorporating zero-waste principles.

Louise Pasternack and Smaa Koraym

Pasternack, a teaching professor in the Department of Chemistry; and Koraym, a lab technician, worked together to create a safe glove recycling program at the Undergraduate Teaching Labs on the Homewood campus. They were recognized with the By the Book Award for integrating sustainability principles and priorities into academics.

Kaitlyn Estes

Estes, senior assistant director of undergraduate admissions, received the Above and Beyond Award for her efforts to collect toiletries from hotels to donate to the Weinberg Housing and Resource Center, an emergency shelter in Baltimore that provides services to more than 275 homeless men and women each night.

Sarvenaz Sarabipour

Each day on her way to work, Sarabipour, a postdoc in computational medicine, went out of her way to walk through alleys behind fraternity and sorority houses to collect cups and other items littering the alleys and recycle them. She also documented the number of cups collected and used them to teach her students about sustainability. Sarabipour received the Wacky and Wonderful Award, which recognizes an effort that goes outside the box to creatively advance sustainability values and action at Hopkins.

Champion Trees at Homewood

What speaks more to sustainability than trees? John Beauchamp, grounds supervisor, is tireless in taking care and cataloguing trees on the Homewood campus, including several trees named as champions this year for their age and size by Baltimore City and the state of Maryland. Beauchamp accepted the Sustaining Champion honor, which recognizes a long-time partner that supports sustainability projects, programming, education, advocacy, and/or research.