Efforts recognized across university 

Sustainable Concordia honours those making a difference

By Karen Herland

Pictured with Blueprints for Change Coordinator Arlene Throness (left), Jill Smith receives one of a dozen awards handed out at the event. Magnifying glass

Pictured with Blueprints for Change Coordinator Arlene Throness (left), Jill Smith receives one of a dozen awards handed out at the event.

Administrators, students, staff and faculty all crowded in the EV Atrium to celebrate each others’ ongoing commitment to sustainability at a gala event hosted by Sustainable Concordia.

Sustainable Concordia took the opportunity to launch the third sustainability assessment they produced (see story). They also invited community members to talk about projects currently underway that will enhance the university’s efforts to support energy conservation and community involvement.

First to the microphone was Dean of the School of Extended Learning, Noel Burke, who was introduced by Sustainability Coordinator Jenn Davis as an inspiration for her own work.

Burke described universities as “incubators of change” and spoke of the importance of “expanding people’s notions from environmental sustainability to broad, institutional sustainability.”

He was followed by Pragasen Pillay speaking on his research on alternative energy sources (see Journal, Jan. 29, 2009). The last person to speak was Dean of Students Beth Morey, who introduced a project to encourage volunteerism among high school students across Montreal.

Morey had barely returned to her place when she was invited back up to the podium to receive the first of a dozen awards Sustainable Concordia handed out to recognize the individuals and institutions on campus who have supported sustainable practices, programs and initiatives. She was honoured for her promotion of volunteerism and leadership.

Five-year Sustainable Concordia volunteer Jeff Riley was among those singled out for special mention. Also noted were Earle Lamothe for his work on the curriculum assessment project and Jill Smith for her creativity and innovation in organizing sustainable events.

Janette Barrington of the Centre for Teaching and Learning Services was recognized for organizing workshops and resources for faculty to incorporate sustainability concepts across the disciplines. Similarly, Bradley Tucker, Director of the Institutional Planning Office, was thanked for the technical support he provided developing measures and tools to capture data for the assessment.

JMSB Dean Sanjay Sharma, Monica Mulrennan, pk langshaw and Chair of the Political Science department Peter Stoett were acknowledged for their roles and educators and guides on numerous sustainability projects. Former Sustainable Action Fund Director Mohamed Shuriye, himself a poli-sci graduate, thanked Stoett for his support of Sustainable Concordia in its early years. “He gave us a copy code and it all started from there.”

Two collective awards were also given out. One went to Facilities Management for their ongoing support and initiation of numerous energy-saving measures throughout university operations along with waste management, incorporating green building techniques and furnishings, support for sustainable transport initiatives and increasing green space. Finally, the Faculty of Fine Arts was acknowledged for making sustainability a signature area of their teaching.

The awards were designed by Andrew Dolan and constructed to be able to fit together in a single structure, demonstrating the interconnected strength of individual sustainability efforts.


Concordia University