Sustainability awards honor extraordinary efforts by faculty, staff and students

One faculty member and two staff members were honored for their campus sustainability efforts at Pitt’s annual Sustainability Symposium on April 19.

  • Emily Elliott, faculty member in the Department of Geology and Environmental Science in the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences, was recognized as “an innovator, advocating for sustainability in research, education, and community engagement,” her nomination letter noted. Her grant from the National Science Foundation, it said, “has reshaped (the) Geology and Environmental Science curriculum to focus on urban systems while highlighting the importance of sustaining the underlying terrestrial and aquatic systems that support the cities we live in.” Elliott, it added, also directs sustainability-focused undergraduate research-service projects and helped establish the undergraduate sustainability certificate. Her work in the community includes creating interactive sustainability-themed pop-up exhibits at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the installation of public air-quality monitoring stations in Etna, Millvale and Sharpsburg.
  • Corey S. Flynn, administrator for the Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, was honored for her extraordinary impact on campus and community sustainability,” her nomination letter said. “The most impactful initiative that Corey spearheaded was (the) fourth-floor atrium of Forbes Tower garden. … The food grown is being used in the department’s classes and community-focused healthy eating demonstrations.” Flynn also initiated composting in her school’s staff and faculty lounge, promoted the practice among students and started similar composting programs surrounding her home in Mt. Lebanon. She also writes a monthly “green tip” in the SHRS Insider Newsletter.
  • Melissa Warthen, associate director of the First-Year Experience in Student Life, “has dedicated herself to implementing sustainability into every First-Year program,” noted her two nomination letters. “This includes over 15 events attended by first-year students during Orientation Week and beyond.” She has been involved in increasing compost efforts, use of the water buffalo as well as recycling efforts at events. “Melissa takes pride in Green initiatives and she inspires others to do so as well,” one of her nominators said.

Student winners were:

  • Forest Goebel, College of Business Administration
  • Isabelle Ouyang, English Writing
  • Group: Real Food Challenge

— Marty Levine