13 members of the Concordia University community were awarded for their efforts in sustainability at the first annual Concordia Sustainability Champions Gala last week.
“We are honouring a wide variety of Concordians who have all in different ways contributed to the betterment of our community and to a more sustainable future for us all,” said vice-president, services, Michael Di Grappa – who stood in for University president Judith Woodsworth at the ceremony – before he and Provost David Graham gave out the awards.
The recipients, selected from from a pool of over 30 students, faculty and staff nominees, had become involved in sustainable activities including the founding of a monthly publication on the subject, developing new related courses, promoting environmentally-friendly offices, and aiding in the transformation of the greenhouse on the 13th floor of the Hall Building.
Among those awarded was former Concordia student Cameron Stiff, whose involvement with Sustainable Concordia since 2004 has allowed him to be extremely active in the environmental movement. “He started Climate Action Montreal, worked to organize activities around the UN climate conference, the Greening of Duluth project, helped start a sustainable venture capitalist firm called Challenge Your World and is now involved in making all our projects better,” said Sustainable Concordia’s sustainability coordinator, Jenn Davis who, along with the CSU’s VP sustainability and projects Alex Oster, presented Stiff with his community award.
A self-proclaimed activist, Stiff’s latest project is the retrofitting of one of the annex buildings. He hopes to install solar panels, rain-water catches, composting toilets and other green initiatives in the building as a pilot model that other buildings could follow. Stiff also plans on involving students in these installations in order to create opportunities for them to learn about the process of making older buildings more sustainable.
The other award winners were Concordia staff members Anna Sarkissian and Arlene Throness, administrators Pat Pietromonaco and Shelly Elsliger, Engeneering and Computer Science professors Bernice Goldsmith and Hugh J. McQueen, John Molson School of Business professor Raymond Paquin, fine arts professor P. K. Langshaw and students Jessice Sypher and Kelly Laidlaw. Ezra Winton and Svetla Turnin won for on-campus business or group.
Paul Shrivastava, the director of the David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise, wrapped up the gala by congratulating the award-winners and the Concordia community for its efforts in sustainability, and optimistically saying that someday Concordia may become the first carbon-neutral university in the world.