four people with sustainability award
UH President David Lassner, second from left, presents the 2017 President’s Sustainability Leadership Award to the UH Maui College Facilities Team, from left, Stuart Zinner, Robert Burton and Cliff Rutherford.

The winners of the 2017 University of Hawaiʻi President’s Green Initiative Awards were honored in a ceremony on March 16 at UH West O’ahu as part of the fifth annual Hawaiʻi Sustainability in Higher Education Summit.

The top awards, presented by Hawaiian Electric Companies and Johnson Controls, recognize student initiative, innovation, creativity and civic engagement in campus and community sustainability with cash prizes totaling $30,000. Staff and faculty awards for outstanding teaching in sustainability, excellence in sustainable facilities management and collaboration for sustainability were also presented.

“Each year we look forward to seeing the innovative ideas students come up with to help solve sustainability challenges on our campuses and in our communities, and to honoring the great work of our hardworking faculty and staff who are advancing sustainability across UH campuses,” said UH President David Lassner. “Once again we are very grateful to the Hawaiian Electric Companies and Johnson Controls for helping us recognize this outstanding work, which is helping to build a brighter better futures for all of Hawaiʻi.”

“Last year we were introduced to a new word in the Hawaiian lexicon: mauō, meaning the perpetuation of well-being,” said UH Sustainability Director Matthew K. Lynch. “The President’s Green Initiative Awards seeks to unleash student creativity and innovation that is specifically designed cultivate the perpetuation of well-being.”

See more pictures from the event in the Flickr album.

Student awards

Hawaiian Electric Company CFO Tayne Sekimura, left, and UH President David Lassner, center, present UH Hilo student Alexis Stubbs with the Hawaiian Electric Company Green Project Implementation Award.
Johnson Controls Honolulu Branch Manager Elaine Fong, left, and UH President David Lassner, center, present UH Mānoa student Madeline Gumbrecht with the Johnson Controls Green Project Implementation Award.

Green Project Implementation Awards
(student-led sustainability projects with measurable impacts on campus)

Waste Sustainability Initiative Through Vermicomposting and Composting, UH Hilo
$10,000 from Hawaiian Electric Companies

A zero waste initiative that will utilize local resources currently regarded as waste generated by the campus to be converted into valuable soil amendments through the use of two technologies—composting and vermicomposting.

Sustainable Food Production, UH Mānoa
$10,000 from the Johnson Controls

A sustainable food system on the Mānoa campus that repurposes food waste for food production to Student Organic Farm Training (S.O.F.T.) program.

Green Student Leader Awards

Hawaiian Electric Companies Green Student Leader Awards
$1,000 awards for students who take on leadership roles in sustainability related activities

  • Jenna Harvey, Hawaiʻi CC Pālamanui: For leadership in reforestation and trail restoration projects and commitment to teaching love and care for the oceans.
  • Myrna Rivera Vega, Leeeward CC: For pioneering the Student Sustainability Coordinator position.
  • Joshua Lelemia Irvine, UH Mānoa: For leadership in exploring the connections between sustainability, STEM and ʻIke Hawaiʻi, and a commitment to understanding and protecting our water.
  • Zoe Whitney, UH Hilo: For leadership and commitment to sustainability initiatives in the classroom, on-campus and in the community.

Johnson Controls Green Student Leader Awards
$1,000 awards for students who take on leadership roles in sustainability related activities

  • Rona Lapada, Honolulu CC: For dedication and commitment to bringing a Farmer’s Market to campus.
  • Donna “Sweetie” Kuehu, UH Mānoa: For tireless commitment to research, service and outreach through Hui Mālama Honua.
  • Alicia Rittenberry and Ananda Stone, UH Maui College: For dedication and leadership of the Student ʻOhana for Sustainability.
  • Nathan Parker, Kayla Bradley and Russell Tolentino, Leeward CC: For leadership in coordinating and implementing campus waste reduction initiative.
  • Kapiʻolani Community College student Honaka Katayama was also selected as the recipient of the 2015–16 Alaska Airlines Environmental Endowed Scholarship for $1,600.

    The Maui Electric Company Sustainability Scholarship was awarded to Gordean Kakalia, from UH Maui College.

    Staff and faculty awards

    two people holding award
    UH President David Lassner, left, presents the 2017 President’s Sustainability Leadership Award to UH Mānoa’s Brian Turano.

    2017 President’s Leadership in Sustainability Awards
    staff and faculty demonstrate leadership in sustainability related activities

    • UH Maui College Facilities Department: For leadership in developing clean energy solutions on-campus.
    • Ethnomathematics Institute: For leadership in exploring ancestral knowledge and modern sciences. Team included Ryan Girard, Kauaʻi CC; Michelle Phillips, Hawaiʻi CC; Kaipo Tam, University Laboratory School; Emily Uribe, Leeward CC; Catherine Walker, Leeward CC and Linda Furuto, UH Mānoa)
    • Brian Turano: For pioneering the development of sustainability curriculum.

    The UH President’s Green Initiative Awards issued a call for nominations in fall 2016, and the program was open to University of Hawaiʻi students from across all 10 campuses. Student, staff and faculty awards were nominated by their peers, and Green Project Award recipients were reviewed and selected by UH Systemwide Sustainability Councils.