The first winners of the University of Hawaiʻi President’s Green Initiative Awards were honored in a ceremony on Friday, March 11 at the East-West Center as part of the fourth Hawaiʻi Sustainability in Higher Education Summit.

The top awards, presented by Hawaiian Electric Companies with support from Johnson Controls, recognize student initiative, innovation, creativity and civic engagement in campus and community sustainability with cash prizes totaling $30,000.

UH President David Lassner said, “It is a great honor to celebrate the amazing work of our students, faculty and staff who are advancing sustainability across the UH system. We are very grateful to the Hawaiian Electric Companies and Johnson Controls for helping us recognize this outstanding work, which is building a better future for the university and Hawaiʻi through sustainable innovations and practices.”

Winners

Green Project Implementation Awards—student-led sustainability projects with measurable outcomes.

  • E Hoʻopaʻiapuni Kākou: An Integrated Approach to Resource Recovery, Leeward Community College
    $10,000 from the Hawaiian Electric Companies
    In support of student efforts to at Leeward Community College to develop a process to collect food waste on campus and turn it into high-quality organic fertilizer and compost for the campus farm.
  • Rescaling Urbanism, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
    $10,000 from Johnson Controls
    In support of applied research and design to develop an alternative framework of building, utilizing wood from the invasive albizia tree, for the sustainability of our island and our planet.
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Hawaiian Electric Companies vice president Scott Seu, left, and UH President David Lassner, right, present Christina Kaleiwahea with a Green Student Leader Award.

Green Student Leader Awards—students who take on leadership roles in sustainability related activities.

  • Christina Kaleiwahea, Leeward Community College
    $5,000 from the Hawaiian Electric Companies
    In recognition of outstanding leadership in sustainability on campus through her roles as Leeward CC sustainability committee member, STEM club president, student government member and dedicated community volunteer.
  • Jeff Kim, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
    $5,000 from Johnson Controls
    In recognition of outstanding leadership in sustainability on campus through his role as Honolulu Chapter Leader of Citizens’ Climate Lobby and his tireless advocacy and work in the community for divestment from fossil fuels.

“Sustainability is about unleashing our creative innovation to solve the problems created by a rapidly changing world for our communities,” UH Sustainability Director Matthew K. Lynch said. “The President’s Green Initiative Awards were created as a tool to help unleash the creativity that our students have and create pathways for great ideas to emerge.”

Staff and faculty awards for outstanding teaching in sustainability, excellence in sustainable facilities management and collaboration for sustainability were also presented.

Outstanding Teaching in Sustainability

  • Aaron Hanai, instructor, Kapiʻolani Community College
    In recognition of commitment to develop and teach transformative sustainability curriculum in STEM at Kapiʻolani Community College.
  • Aya Kimura, associate professor, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
    In recognition of commitment to develop and teach transformative sustainability curriculum in women’s studies at the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa.

Excellence in Sustainable Facilities Management

  • Kevin Hand, UH Hilo electrician
    In recognition of exemplary performance to improve energy-efficiency and reduce energy consumption at UH Hilo.

Outstanding Collaboration for Sustainability

  • David Strauch, Richard Criley and Roxanne Adams
    In recognition of outstanding collaboration by students, faculty and staff towards the internationally recognized accreditation of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus as an arboretum.

It was also announced that UH Mānoa student McKenna Lewis had been selected as the recipient of the 2015–16 Alaska Airlines Environmental Endowed Scholarship for $1,600.

The UH President’s Green Initiative Awards issued a call for nominations in November 2015 and the program was open to University of Hawaiʻi students from across all 10 campuses.

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