CONGRATULATIONS 2017 Cornell University Partners in Sustainability Award Recipients

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


Congratulations to the 2017 Cornell University Partners in Sustainability Awards (CUPSA) winners!  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.

2017 CUPSA Award Winners

  • Group: Environmental Collaborative's (ECO) Environmental Justice Committee
  • Faculty: Bruce Monger, Senior Lecturer, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Staff: Julie Houston, Building Care, Savage Hall
  • Student: Elizabeth Chi, Undergraduate Student, CALS, Cornell University
  • Student: Kate Bedding, Graduate Student, STARS Coordinator
  • Community Partner: Get Your GreenBack Tompkins

Nominations open for 2018, click here for more info and to nominate an individual, group or yourself.

Learn more about this year's award winners:

Group Award Category
ECO’s Environmental Justice Committee

The Cornell Environmental Collaborative (ECO) was founded in response to a call from leaders across campus for a stronger student alliance towards campus carbon neutrality. ECO’s serves as an umbrella organization for the 40 plus sustainability focused student clubs. ECO’s Environmental Justice Committee collaborates with outside partners to organize and host events that have positively contributed to the sustainability movement at Cornell in addition to contributing to the integration of sustainability within other sectors of campus. The committee has also reached out to the Talking Circle discussion series in partnership with the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative (TCCPI) and the Ithaca Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) about race and racism within the context of the climate movement, and has helped to host conversations around other intersectional topics such as ecofeminism. 

Faculty and Staff Award Category
Dr.Bruce Monger

Bruce Monger

Dr. Monger, is a Senior Lecturer in the Dept. of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. His Oceanography, EAS 1540 course introduces 100s of undergraduates at Cornell to issues of climate change, sustainability, and resource depletion each year – and provides students with a framework for creating solutions. He has creatively and continuously found ways to support student civic action, from writing campaigns to policymakers to supporting trips to Washington, D.C. for marches, protests, and meetings. He is on the organizing team for the March for Science & People’s Climate Marches this year. In addition, he has acted in service to Cornell through his membership on the Cornell Action Advisory Group, which works to advance Cornell’s standing as a leading institution in climate change action, as a Faculty Fellow with the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and as advisor to the Climate Justice Cornell student organization.

Faculty and Staff Award Category
Julie Houston

Julie Houston

Julie Houston has worked in building care at Cornell for six years and has demonstrated passionate advocacy for sustainability in her daily work. In a building care role, Julie has many opportunities for “teachable” waste sorting moments, and has allowed her personal passion to provide education to others. Julie has navigating the many challenges of teaching responsible waste reduction and disposal, helping students and staff from around the world learn Cornell’s rules, and providing insight into changes or updates to the campus waste systems over time.Julie is a Green Ambassador, and has helped with her unit’s Green Office Certification, awarded accolades for her role as a “Composting Crusader,” and played a key role in her LED relamping initiative” which , a campus-wide energy conservation program which has saved Cornell over four thousand dollars.

Student Award Category
Elizabeth Chi

Elizabeth Chi

Elizabeth Chi, ’18 is an Environmental and Sustainability Sciences major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Elizabeth has been a true “agent of change” for sustainability during her tenure as a student, especially as it pertains to the “Quadruple Bottom Line” of People, Plant, Purpose and Prosperity. Elizabeth Successfully organized a campaign for a university recommitment to a target of reaching carbon neutrality by 2035; news stories are plentiful from her time at Cornell calling for climate action or organizing sustainability demonstrations. A skilled coordinator and connector of people and ideas, Elizabeth has organized countless events, panels, and rallies to campaign for Fossil Fuel Divestment and sustainability, always building bridges across student constituencies. Elizabeth is one of the key organizers for Climate Justice Cornell, Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, Cornell Environmental Collaborative (ECO) and an Undergraduate Representative of the Cornell Climate Action Advisory Group.

Student Award Category
Katherine Bedding

Kate Bedding

Kate Bedding is receiving her Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA) this May. Through her program she has taken a variety of sustainability coursework and consulted on sustainability projects with clients such as the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility and FUNDECOR, a Costa Rican conservation NGO.She has been instrumental in advancing Cornell’s Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) report to ensure the University maintains and achieves a 5th Gold award rating. Gathering the data needed for STARS is not for the faint of heart. It involves coordinating and collaborating with over 30 subject matter experts and responsible parties across campus to submit this report; Kate has championed sustainability metrics as a means of measuring and advancing our goals as a campus, working with stakeholders at all levels across the University Her passion and interest in sustainability has been an integral part of the success of the STARS program. Kate also works at the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future where she has worked to help streamline the sustainability course tagging process and advocate for sustainability learning outcomes across campus.

Community Partner Award Category

Get Your GreenBack Tompkins

Get Your GreenBack Tompkins (GYGB) is a community-initiated and community-supported campaign that works collaboratively to help people and organizations take key steps in the areas of food, transportation, waste, and building energy that simultaneously reduce our community’s carbon emissions, save money, and create a socially just local economy. “ GYGB worked tirelessly to support and accelerate the adoption of sustainable behaviors by Cornell faculty, staff, and students as well as residents from the broader Tompkins County community. GYGB Energy Navigators program trains community members to “help their friends, neighbors, and other community members make environmentally and financially sound energy decisions by providing them with useful, locally relevant, unbiased, research-based information and resources.” This program enables participants to “understand their own energy use and make progress towards their goals,” while also preparing them to help others in the community achieve their own unique goals. This program adds significant value to the social, economic, and environmental aspects of Cornell and Tompkins county communities. GYGB engagement and outreach with the Cornell provides additional resources and support for sustainable behaviors at home, in the community, and in their roles on campus. The GYGB campaign collaborated with Campus Sustainability  Office (CSO) to integrate practical sustainability tips into the Cornell Green Office Certification program. GYGB assists in empowering, equipping, and engaging Cornellians to create and support a strong, community-oriented local economy that works for all, and is instrumental in helping to make the Cornell campus place where every Cornellian can make a positive impact on social, environmental, and economic progress.

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