Campus Catalyst Awards recognize excellence in sustainability

Nov. 18, 2013


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Bloomington Office of Sustainability has presented its second annual Campus Catalyst Awards, which recognize faculty, staff and students for outstanding contributions to campus sustainability in the areas of leadership, teaching, research and teamwork.

The awards, which included a new award for student leadership, were announced Nov. 13 in a ceremony at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center's Grand Hall. Winners are Noma Maier, Excellence in Leadership; Ben Brabson, Excellence in Teaching; Rinku Roy Crowdhury, Excellence in Research; the Cyberinfrastructure Building’s Green Living Team, Team Excellence; and Maggie Messerschmidt, Student Leadership.

"We could do this every week and still not recognize all of the sustainability heroes doing great work in all of these areas," said Bill Brown, director of sustainability at IU. "Their positive impacts are evident on campus, in the community and around the world."

The ceremony began with introductory remarks from Tom Morrison, IU vice president for capital planning and facilities, who also announced the award for Excellence in Leadership. Maier, who has been working for the IT Community Partnerships for only 11 months, has already made an important impact in a number of electronic waste and education initiatives.

Tom Gieryn, vice provost for faculty and academic affairs, presented the award for Excellence in Teaching to Brabson, professor emeritus of physics, who teaches a popular class in environmental physics, informed by his research in climate change science.

Jeff White, director of the Integrated Program in the Environment, presented the Excellence in Research award to Rinku Roy Chowdhury, assistant professor of geography, for her research in the field of human dimensions and global change, from rural mangrove systems in Indonesia to small-holder agricultural systems in Mexico to urban ecosystems in the United States.

The award for Team Excellence, presented by Brown, recognized the CIB Living Green Team for its efforts in pre-demolition salvaging of reusable and recyclable materials from its former building after moving to the new CIB building.

Award recipients were chosen based on a set of criteria established by the planning committee. Nominations were reviewed by a panel of judges including Mckenzie Beverage, sustainability coordinator at Butler University, and previous Campus Catalyst Award winners, including Paul Sullivan, deputy vice president of capital planning and facilities and past winner of the Leadership Award; Todd Reid, manager of IU Surplus Stores and past winner of the Team Award; Jes Vogt, IU SPEA doctoral candidate and past winner of the Research Award; and Scott Schackelford, IU Kelley School of Business professor and past winner of the Teaching Award.

To learn more about sustainability-related programming and events at Indiana University, visit the IU Office of Sustainability website