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Champions of Change winners announced on Earth Day

Wake Forest’s celebration of Earth Day this year included the announcement of Champions of Change award winners. This is the first year of the program, which recognizes the creativity and innovation of individuals and teams who work to improve sustainability on campus. Provost Rogan Kersh and Sr. VP/CFO Hof Milam presented the awards.

Winners were recognized in four categories: Resource Conservation, Service and Social Action, Teaching Research and Engagement, and Bright Ideas.

  • Residence Life & Housing and Financial Services were jointly named champions of change in the Resource Conservation category. Residence Life and Housing has dramatically reduced solid waste and conserved water through retrofit programs; Financial Services was honored for converting to electronic campus-wide business processes.
  • In the Service and Social Action category, Campus Kitchen was recognized. Campus Kitchen repurposes prepared, but not served, food from our campus dining facilities into balanced meals for members of the broader Winston-Salem community.
  • For Teaching, Research and Engagement, Lynn Book and her faculty colleagues Angela Kocze and Wanda Balzano were recognized for their work in the new course, “Women, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability.” Students collaborated with community partners Margaret Norfleet-Neff and Salem Neff who grow pesticide-free produce on their urban farm, Beta Verde, and who founded the Old Salem Cobblestone Farmers Market.
  • Abby McNeal was recognized for her Bright Idea in turf management with the installation of the UgMo Wireless Soil Sensor System at Spry Soccer Field. UgMo is an underground monitoring system that measures soil moisture at the root level, 24 hours per day/7 days per week, and determines when and how much to water on a zone-to-zone basis.

Thirty nominations were received for the four awards. A committee evaluated the nominations based on:

  • The ways in which the nominees have helped advance one or more of the Wake Forest University campus sustainability strategic goals
  • The level of participation by colleagues within the department or unit
  • The measurable impact among constituents across campus or in the community served

Additionally, Green Team captains Peter Romanov, Darlene Starnes and Carol Lavis were named champions of change for their departmental leadership. 65% of our departments and units across campus are now led by Green Team captains – they support their colleagues with the resources and encouragement to integrate sustainability into everyday workplace decisions.

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