David McKinney/University Relations

Stacey Swearingen White, associate professor of urban planning, standing, works with her class. Swearingen White received the faculty Sustainability Leadership Award for her efforts in making KU more sustainable, encouraging students to purse careers in environmental fields and playing a leadership role in developing a campus sustainability plan.

Going for green

Awards recognize employees, students making KU more sustainable

One staff member helped educate teachers and students in green sciences. One faculty member helped students pursue environmental education and supported campus-wide green efforts. A student, campus group and campus project have promoted recycling, reduced waste and increased efficiency. All were recognized for their part in making KU more green.

The Center for Sustainability recently presented its fourth annual Sustainability Leadership Awards. Awards were given in five categories, recognizing outstanding efforts to address sustainability by students, staff, faculty and campus programs and projects. The award program recognizes outstanding leadership and creativity in addressing issues of environmental, economic and social responsibility on the KU campus and in the broader community.


Claudia Bode

Claudia Bode, education director for the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis, was presented with the Staff Award. In addition to leading the Students for Green Chemistry and Engineering organization at KU and communicating complex research to the public in creative ways, Bode has helped educate the next generation of scientists through a Research Experiences for Teachers program called SHIFT, or Shaping Inquiry from Feedstock-to-Tailpipe. Through the National Science Foundation-funded program, Bode coordinated activities for nine high school and community college teachers participating in a six-week summer program. Educators participating in SHIFT worked to transform research projects into innovative lessons for their classrooms, that will raise awareness about issues of sustainability among a broad and diverse audience.

“What a wonderful surprise,” Bode said of the award. “Through SHIFT we reached out to teachers so that they can better engage their students year after year in real-world research. Ultimately, our hope is that these engaging lessons will stimulate students’ interest in science and engineering careers.”


Stacey Swearingen White, associate professor of urban planning, was recognized with the Faculty Award for making sustainability an important part of campus culture by integrating concepts of sustainability into her classes, inspiring students to advance their education in environmental fields and supporting sustainability efforts on campus. Most recently, her courses have contributed to the Campus Sustainability Plan, “CAP-KU: A Climate Action Plan for the University of Kansas,” and she worked with Kansas communities on a range of sustainability-related issues. Swearingen White also served on the Sustainability Task Force that was established in 2004 and was a driving force behind the effort to create the Center for Sustainability.

“I’ve been honored to be part of KU’s progress on campus sustainability over recent years,” Swearingen White said. “Working with other faculty and students on these issues is really exciting, and shows how committed so many people on this campus are to making KU a sustainable institution. This year I am especially happy to have the opportunity to involve my students in the development of our campus sustainability plan, which can help position KU as a leader in this area.”


Submitted/Center for Sustainability

The KU Transit Maintenance Facility is nearing completion. The facility will house both city and KU buses .

The Campus Project Award was presented to the KU Transit Maintenance Facility, currently under construction. The facility will be shared by the KU and city of Lawrence bus systems starting in December. Because it is acting as one headquarters for two similar operations, it cuts down on duplicative expenses, providing storage and maintenance for the two bus systems. All furniture for the facility has been collected from the KU Surplus Property Recycling program, which significantly reduces waste from discarded furniture as well as expenses, resources and greenhouse gas emission related to production and shipping of new furniture. Additionally, the new facility is designed to meet new energy efficiency standards that are a 30 percent improvement over code, and includes a bioswale for improved storm water management on the site.


Environs, a KU student organization, was recognized for its involvement in issues of environmentalism and sustainability for the past 25 years. Its rich history includes efforts to expand recycling on campus, create a Student Environmental Advisory Board and halt the use of Styrofoam at KU. Over the past year, Environs has been active on a number of fronts, participating in protests, educational programs, and community outreach efforts. With approximately 40 active members focusing their efforts in five committees: preservation, conservation, local foods, education and creative hands, Environs has promoted the KU Student Farm, researched installing LED lights on Jayhawk Boulevard, screened environmental films and helped collect aluminum cans for Cans for the Community at football games.

Campus closeup
Kevin Liu, associate director, Confucius Institute


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