Award Recipients

Congratulations to all award recipients and nominees!

Each year, in celebration of Earth Day, members of the campus community are recognized for their outstanding contributions towards advancing sustainability at the University of Alberta with the Campus Sustainability Leadership Awards. The awards are presented at a luncheon with members of the Office of Sustainability’s Sustainability Advisory Committee, senior administrators, and sustainability representatives from across campus in attendance.

Lilas and Trina Innes pose with the award

2017 Winner

Lilas Bielopotocky

Lilas Bielopotocky, the supervisor of food services at Augustana Campus, has advocated for sustainable food in her campus cafeteria for almost 30 years. She works with local food producers to get quality ingredients whenever possible, and she hosts “local lunches” in the cafeteria at least once per month. She makes the food process transparent by building displays to show campus community members which products they’re eating and where they came from. She also provides diverse options for people with various dietary restrictions, such as vegetarian and gluten-free. Food connects people, and Lilas facilitates this connection.

Eva Lemaire holds her award and smiles

2017 Winner

Eva Lemaire

Eva Lemaire, a professor at Campus Saint-Jean, leads Projet Afrique (Africa Project), a study abroad opportunity that sends students to Togo for experiential work in communities. She also teaches the preparation course, in which she emphasizes the importance of students approaching the Togolese communities with a readiness for knowledge exchange and sharing. She is an advocate for global citizenship as well as community service-learning within our local communities. She helps facilitate opportunities for students to work with populations including homeless Edmontonians and newcomers.

Two members of Sustain SU pose with their award

2017 Winner

Sustain SU

Sustain SU is a keystone facilitator for sustainability at the University of Alberta. Over the past year, the group has demonstrated growth through development of new programs and through project delivery by student volunteers. The team includes approximately 70 student volunteers and 11 members of the leadership team under the direction of Daniel Kielback and Destyni DeLuca. Sustain SU has contributed to reducing emissions by promoting sustainable transportation through their Bike Library. Their Farmers’ Market has also seen an increase in campus traffic.

Two people from GSA pose with their award

2017 Exemplary Green Spaces

Graduate Students' Association

The Graduate Students’ Association was Green Spaces certified in 2016 for the fourth year in a row. The group continues to integrate sustainability into their space and operations, and they received Gold certification. They recently implemented three new innovative actions, including downsizing from having two multifunction devices to one; installing a smart board in their conference room to reduce paper use; and transitioning their student funding process to being paperless.

Two organizers from the Margaret Scott Wright CNSA Regional Conference pose with Trina Innes

Margaret Scott Wright / CNSA Regional Conference

The organizers of the Margaret Scott Wright / Canadian Nursing Students Association Regional Conference 2016 showed dedication to sustainability in all areas of their conference planning. To offset the carbon footprint of their out-of-town conference speakers and as a way to build community among the organizing team, they planted trees together through a City of Edmonton program. They took photos of each tree they planted and used these photos to make cards; then they purchased mugs second-hand and hand-painted them. The photo cards and mugs were presented to each speaker as a thank-you gift, demonstrating an incredibly creative and heartfelt side to sustainable event planning.

Four people from West Group Lab pose together

West Group Lab

The West Group chemistry lab is one of four Model Green Labs at the University of Alberta. These labs are exemplary when it comes to best practices for lab safety and sustainability. This past year, the West Group has made some incredible changes to their equipment and processes, including replacing their water aspirators with waterless vacuum pumps, which will save the lab over 6,000 L of water every day! They also replaced the majority of their solvent stills with a solvent purification system, which is not only much safer for their lab users, but also saves the lab over 35,000 L of water per year.

Professor Joel Gehman holds his award

2016 Winner

Joel Gehman

Joel Gehman has been dubbed "the sustainability professor" by many of his students in the School of Business. He presents sustainability in an approachable way and even engages students outside the classroom on social media. His sustainability course had such high enrolment from eager MBA students that the faculty added a second section. He spreads the word about the university’s sustainability initiatives and routinely takes his students on a tour of our district energy system. Joel helps students learn about sustainability beyond the classroom.

Glen Hvenegaard smiles in front of a white backdrop

2016 Winner

Glen Hvenegaard

Glen Hvenegaard is an environmental studies instructor at Augustana Campus and a key leader in the set-up and management of the Augustana Miquelon Lake Research Station. He actively supports sustainability not only in the classroom and in research, but also through community outreach, such as his involvement in the Purple Martin bird festival in Camrose. Glen is a mentor and role model to other academics, both in the University of Alberta and beyond.

Three members of Augustana Chaplancy pose with their award

2016 Winner

Augustana Chaplaincy

Augustana Chaplaincy is a mainstay of sustainability at Augustana Campus. The group supports diversity and welcomes all campus community members, regardless of faith. Chaplaincy hosts SCORE!, an annual free-cycling event for campus members and Camrose residents, as well as a Reciprocity Shelf where people can give and take basic needs items on an ongoing basis. Weekly soup suppers feed about 100 students on average, at no cost, and with the use of resuable dishes. Chaplaincy’s influence on campus sustainability is farch-reaching and valuable for the whole community.

Kristen Bester smiles and pumps her fists in the air

2016 Winner

Kristin Bester

Kirstin Bester is a senior UAlberta Ambassador with a passion for sustainability. She leads a team of six other ambassadors who offer the Sustainability Campus Tour. She has contributed hundreds of hours to the program, both in supporting other ambassadors and in educating campus members and guests on the university’s sustainability features and initiatives. She also advocates for sustainability in her personal life, carrying reusable bottles and sharing nutritious vegetarian recipes with anyone who asks. Her enthusiasm for sustainability is contagious.

Two women from the Injury Prevention Centre smile and hug

2016 Exemplary Green Spaces

The Injury Prevention Centre is the first office in the School of Public Health to be certified Green Spaces Gold. The team has made a group One Simple Act commitment (Taking the stairs whenever possible) and has publicly posted it. They also made several innovative actions as part of their certification, including regular sustainability progress updates for staff, commitment reminders on a whiteboard, and a request for the light (which was previously always on) to be changed in their conference room.

Three people smile and pose with their award

Around the World 2015 has been a Green Spaces certified event for two years in a row, with its certification going up from Silver to Gold. The event is held by the Kule Institute for Advanced Study, and the conference is live-streamed worldwide and archived afterward, eliminating the environmental costs of traditional conferences. The team showed exemplary performance in the following areas of the Green Spaces application: Logistics and Planning, Communications, Transportation, Exhibits and Venue, and Food and Drink.

Four people from Campus Saint-Jean pose together

Campus Saint Jean’s three science laboratories received Green Spaces Gold certification across the board. While all of the labs had exemplary Green Spaces applications, the chemistry lab stand out. The lab users are actively using green chemistry techniques, including removing dichloromethane from teaching lab experiments and exploring green extraction techniques using carbon dioxide. They have also designed and implemented an innovative, low-cost, energy-efficient system that recycles 7,200 litres of water per year.

Group of five young people smiling

2015 Winner

Alyssa Belanger

Since 2011, Alyssa Belanger has been involved in Augustana Earthwise, a student club that builds awareness and takes action on environmental and social justice issues. Alyssa advocates for integrating sustainability into community, outreach and university life. She brings an integrated and active sustainability lens to projects that move from the classroom to Facilities and Operations. Alyssa is a student in the Bachelor of Arts program with a major in Environmental Studies.

2015 Exemplary Green Spaces

Certified Gold three times in a row, Lister Centre Student and Guest Services emphasizes integrating sustainability in their operations. The office has hosted a Farm to Fridge workshop and plans to host the Story of our Stuff Workshop in May 2015. In particular, three innovative actions display the team’s exemplary sustainability performance: a Front Desk Wiki eliminating the need for a paper log book, a paperless online reservation system and new signs and instructions encouraging guests to reuse towels and linens.

All lab members of Dr. Jason Dyck’s pediatrics laboratory, 430 Heritage Medical Research Centre, actively participated in making their workspace more sustainable and earning Gold certification. The lab uses optimizes resources by using an online lab management system to manage their inventory, process orders and book facility equipment. The team also saves energy by shutting off equipment when not in use and by setting the ambient temperature lower than average room temperature. They make use of innovative instrumentation, such as DNA electrophoresis instrumentation and a Kodak Gel Logic digital imaging system, to reduce the use of toxic chemicals and other valuable resources.

Green & Glow Winterfest’s team-based approach to sustainable event planning helped them achieve Silver certification. They reused light fixtures and bamboo sticks. They used locally-sourced poplar and alder trees to build wooden installations. The team used renewable or low impact resources, such as hay, snow, ice and LED lights for props and installations. In addition, Green & Glow Winterfest supported social sustainability by raising $1,292.60 for the Campus Food Bank.

Group of five young people smiling

2014 Winner

University of Alberta EcoCar Team

The EcoCar team is a dedicated student group that is advancing sustainability by designing, building and testing a hydrogen fuel cell-powered race car. They compete in the annual Shell Eco-Marathon, joining students from across North and South America in the contest to design the highest performing new designs and technologies in sustainable transportation.

The EcoCar team has shown a commitment to knowledge and skills sharing with participation in educational events, including Sustainability Awareness Week and NAIT’s Future of Transportation Symposium.

Students involved in EcoCar develop an understanding of how different green technologies can power, not only cars, but the world of tomorrow. It has taken a diverse team to build the EcoCar and they are committed to continuous improvement and excellence.

Portrait of older man with really big smile

2014 Winner 

Len Sereda

Since starting at the University of Alberta in 1986, Len Sereda has made deep, lasting and successful contributions to campus sustainability. Labouring long before sustainability gained the profile that it enjoys today, Len’s early leadership laid the foundation for the current institution-wide sustainability initiative.

He can be credited for major accomplishments that have grown a culture of sustainability at UAlberta. These include leading a multi-stakeholder process with students, staff, faculty, senior administrators and the Board of Governors. These actions led to the university adopting a Sustainability Commitment & Guiding Principles document as well as the formation of the Office of Sustainability in 2009.

In addition, Len has been involved in guiding the university’s Energy Management Program and  waste reduction effortswhich will culminate in a new $10 million anaerobic digester for composting on campus.

Dedicated to promoting a culture of sustainability, he launched Sustainability Awareness Week in 2008, has delivered countless presentations to community groups and classrooms over the years, and helped engage thousands of elementary students by overseeing the annual Voices of Nature concert.


2013 Winner

Mathieu Trépanier, staff, Campus Saint-Jean
Mathieu Trépanier is the recipient of the 2013 Campus Sustainability Leadership Award. Over the years, he has volunteered countless hours of his time to advance sustainability at Campus Saint-Jean. His contributions include creating and leading a campus-wide sustainability committee, providing leadership for Campus Saint-Jean’s Projet Carbon Neutre by measuring CSJ’s footprint, developing goals and strategies for reducing emissions and offsetting the remaining emissions through carbon offsets - all in efforts to move towards a carbon neutral campus. In addition, his work has resulted in the implementation of many other actions designed to improve CSJ’s sustainability performance relating to waste reduction and energy conservation. From implementing a program to shut down all computers at 10 p.m., mandatory double-sided printing and recycled paper use for all campus printers/photocopiers, using reusable dishware in the campus cafeteria, a campus carpooling program and more, Mathieu has succeeded in implementing a culture of sustainability and successfully influenced positive change among students, faculty and staff at Campus Saint-Jean. 


2013 Honourable Mention

Nikki Way, student, Faculty of ALES
Nikki Way is in the B.A. Environmental Studies program and heavily involved in food sustainability issues at UAlberta.  Nikki lead the project to implement a Farmers’ Market, currently running on North Campus every second week, and is currently the Project Coordinator for the university’s Sustainable Food Initiative. Nikki has supported over 65 Community-Service Learning  students by providing them with opportunities to increase sustainability on campus, resulting  in the introduction of grocery items in SUBmart and looking at improving food labeling on campus. Nikki has also successfully increased campus members’ access to healthy, local food and works with others to find ways that students can engage in to increase sustainable food options on campus.


2013 Honourable Mention

Stephy Sylvestre, student staff, Sustain SU

Through her work as director of Sustain SU: The Students Sustainability Service for the 2012/13 academic year, Stephy Sylvestre has made great strides to improve sustainability on campus.  Stephy contributed to SustainSU's fostering of a balanced sustainability mindset in all of its 60 volunteers, and in organizing sustainability events on campus, including SustainExchanges and partnering with the Office of Sustainability on the Student Sustainability Summit.  She participated in sustainability policy making for Students’ Union committees, SU service events, and the SU's operations. In addition, she has been dedicated to continuing the progress made in advancing the three-pillared approach to sustainability on campus, deliberately addressing questions of social and economic sustainability.


2012 Winner

Candice Tremblay, staff, Augustana Faculty
Candice Tremblay is the Sustainability Coordinator for the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus.  She has worked to incorporate sustainability at Augustana Campus into teaching, community outreach and operations for many years. Her contributions to sustainability include: serving as student representative on the Green Campus Committee in 2007; mentoring Augustana’s Earthwise environmental club; facilitating the campus’ sustainable food policy initiative; researching and guiding sustainability policy changes; assisting with the logistical aspects of a signature solar panel project at Augustana; growing sustainability-related placements with Community Service Learning; and extending sustainability into the broader Camrose community. For more information on sustainability at Augustana campus, click here.


2012 Honourable Mention

Sustain SU 2011-2012 student staff
The Sustain SU 2011-2012 team of student staff were recognized for their hard work and the incredible amount of time they’ve invested in involving students in advancing sustainability at the U of A. Sustain SU, the student sustainability service of the undergraduate Students’ Union, had three student staff in the 2011-2012 academic year: Director Ian Moore and Associate Directors Stephy Sylvestre and Stefanie Drozda. These three students were recognized for their leadership of the more than 80 Campus Sustainability Volunteers in their discovery of sustainability knowledge and skills. These volunteers, under the guidance of Stefanie, Stephy and Ian, organized and delivered dozens of sustainability-related programs, services and events this past year, such as monthly SUSTAINexchanges, two Student Sustainability Summits, daily dishware rentals from the Reusable Dish Program, electronics recycling at Infolink booths and many more. To learn more about Sustain SU and its many programs, click here.


2012 Honourable Mention

Ray Dumouchel, staff, Facilities and Operations
Ray Dumouchel, associate director of buildings and grounds, was honoured for his years of dedication to recycling on campus and innovative sustainability ideas and initiatives. Dumouchel has been involved in many innovative sustainability initiatives on campus, including the creation of the recycle transfer station and the enhanced recycling program, while also introducing golf carts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, solar powered compactors, green cleaning initiatives and self-watering planters.  For more information about Buildings and Grounds services at the U of A, click here.