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2017 Faculty & Staff Collaboration Award

The Environmental Science Collaboration Group receive the 2017 Faculty and Staff Collaboration Award from President Kerwin and Provost Bass.

Environmental Science Collaboration Group

2017 Faculty & Staff Collaboration Award Winners

Environmental Science Collaboration Group
Stephanie DeStefano, Michelle Fish, Kiho Kim, Michael Mastrota, & Megan Zanella-Litke

Environmental Science Professor Kiho Kim has formed an ongoing and impactful collaboration with AU Sustainability and Facilities Management staff, fostering project based learning in students and contributing to AU’s campus, goals, and community.

In fall 2016, Kiho encouraged student teams to take on semester-long projects exploring and supporting the university’s sustainability goals. This collaboration between faculty, staff, and student leaders highlights how members of the AU community can work together towards the same goal. Megan Zanella-Litke mentored a student team to develop a mobile app that serves as a visual and audio guided tour of sustainability features on campus. Michelle Fish measured hundreds of trees on campus with a student team in order to calculate the amount of carbon the AU Arboretum sequesters each year and used the data to inform actions to be taken towards AU’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2020. Stephanie DeStefano and Mike Mastrota worked with a student team to pursue certification in Environmental Planning from the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for the campus, a lengthy and detailed process which required information and proof of tangible changes, such as adding bird baths and bird feeders around campus. Sustainability and Facilities Management staff both worked with a student group to conduct research on the effect of signage on proper waste sorting, using waste audits in SIS as an experiment.

At the end of the semester, Kiho invited Facilities Management and Sustainability staff to attend the final in-class presentations. Staff could see the breadth of each project and celebrate the significant improvements made in the AU community.

As a result of this collaboration, students received real world experience by working with professionals on a project, staff members got to share their challenges and successes with students, Kiho was able to provide exceptional learning experiences in the Environmental Science program, and the campus community experienced tangible, positive change.

Since December, Kiho has continued working with Megan on seven waste audits, engaging over 100 students in AU’s zero waste efforts. Additionally, Kiho has encouraged other faculty to build relationships with Sustainability staff using campus as a living laboratory by speaking about his experience in the ECOllaborative, a gathering of faculty whose classes, research, or interests align with sustainability.

In recognition of their exceptional collaborative work between faculty and staff to enhance the student experience and benefit the entire AU community and campus, American University is pleased to present Stephanie DeStefano, Michelle Fish, Kiho Kim, Michael Mastrota, and Megan Zanella-Litke with the 2017 Faculty & Staff Collaboration Award.

2017 Staff Performance Award Winners