Cornell University Partners in Sustainability Award

Recognizing campus and community leaders who advance sustainability values and initiatives with Cornell

The Cornell University Partners in Sustainability Awards (CUPSA) recognize individuals and teams who have exemplified the sustainability values of Cornell, made significant and notable contributions to the sustainable development and social equity of the Cornell campus, or displayed outstanding partnership for advancing sustainability within our campus and community. Nominate yourself and your team, or other outstanding members of the campus, and community.

Nomination Form: Click here

  2017 Deadlines  
  Monday February 27th Call for Nominations
  Monday March 20th Deadline for Nominations
  Wednesday April 5th Finalists Selected
  Thursday April 20th (Springfest / EarthDay) Finalists Recognized


Nomination Categories

Awards will be presented in four categories: Individual Student, Individual Staff or Administrator, Group (Committee, Club, Class), and Community Partner.

  • Individual Student - any current undergraduate, graduate, or PhD student in any area of study, full or part-time
  • Individual Staff or Administrator - any current staff member in any college, unit, or administrative department, at any level
  • Group - broadly interpreted to cover any group of people working together on a sustainability project. May include student organizations, athletic teams, staff committees, working groups, an informal project team, class project team, formal project collaborators, etc.
  • Community Partner - any individual or group which works with Cornell University to support, accelerate, or advance shared regional sustainability goals and progress

Evaluation Criteria
CUPSA recognizes individuals and teams who have exemplified the sustainability values of Cornell, made significant and notable contributions to the sustainable development of the Cornell campus, or displayed outstanding partnership for advancing sustainability within our campus and community. Any project - big and small - should be considered. Rather than looking only at the size or success of our undertakings, the CUPSA recognizes personal and team collaboration to address challenging issues - even when projects fail!  Nominations may focus on a specific project or action, or the scope of work undertaken by an individual or group. Nominations should describe how the individual or group has helped to advance or exemplify one or more of these areas:

  • Collaboration: The nominee has contributed to or improved the capacity of the Cornell campus community to work together, creating new connections and collaborations which spark and strengthen trust, community building, intersectional work, discovery, ideas, research, and real progress towards our climate and sustainability goals. Alternately, the nominee has helped to advance sustainability or climate goals shared by Cornell and the region, supporting solutions which benefit community members in our region and/or across New York State.

  • Education: The nominee has contributed to academic or co-curricular education for climate and sustainability topics through the creation or advancement of classes, campaigns, and educational experiences that make the Cornell campus a "living laboratory" for sustainability. Education may have focused on students, faculty, or staff. Nominees are helping to prepare the generation of scholars, entrepreneurs, artists, and leaders and empowering campus community members to make informed sustainable decisions at work and home.

  • Campus Progress: The nominee has helped advance the Cornell campus as a model of sustainable operations and experience, including specific advancements in buildings, land, water, energy, food, waste, purchasing, people, climate, or transportation. Nominee may have successfully reached a climate action plan goal, reduced campus emissions, or improved performance in a specific area (or advanced knowledge towards a specific goal). Note that research or projects which attempted progress but failed are still useful, as they teach us how to improve and accelerate performance for future work!

  • Passion: The nominee walks the talk - displaying passion, pride, and innovation in sustainability thinking and practice. Sustainability change takes time and energy which the nominee is steadfast in presenting to the Cornell community. The nominee takes initiative to put sustainability at the forefront of projects and pursuits, and empowers others in their work unit or the University to do the same.

Questions about CUPSA? Contact us: sustainability@cornell.edu | 607.255.6375

Additional Notes
  • Previous nominations can be resubmitted
  • A list of previous award winners can be found using the links on the left hand side bar on this page
  • Campus Sustainability Office full-time staff graciously decline nominations - we are here to empower and equip many leaders deserving of this recognition across campus. In lieu of nominations we will accept donations of cookies or puppies to the CSO office. (CSO-affiliated student staff can be nominated!)

From left, Céline Jennison, of the Cornell Permaculture Club; Rebecca Macies; Erin Moore; and Joan Manheim, all winners of the Cornell University Partners in Sustainability Award.(Mark Lawrence)
2013 CUPSA winners. From left, Céline Jennison, of the Cornell Permaculture Club; Rebecca Macies; Erin Moore; and Joan Manheim, all winners of the Cornell University Partners in Sustainability Award.(Mark Lawrence)




Preview of the 2017 Nomination Form.  For full form, click here