Auburn Office of Sustainability recognizes campus, community efforts with Spirit of Sustainability Awards

The Auburn University Office of Sustainability held its second annual Spirit of Sustainability Awards program on Earth Day, April 22, to recognize the accomplishments of students, faculty, staff and alumni who “exemplify the Auburn spirit by promoting sustainability on campus and in the community.”

“Sustainability is a high priority for Auburn University, and there are a lot of people affiliated with Auburn who are doing impressive things. We want to make sure those folks are recognized and their work is celebrated,” said Mike Kensler, director of the Office of Sustainability.

Recipients were chosen by a panel of five judges and evaluated based on three criteria: motivation and commitment to sustainability; impact on behalf of sustainability; and the degree to which others are engaged and involved.

The 2014 award recipients are: Alexis Harrison, a junior studying environmental design in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction and minoring in sustainability; Sara Geonczy, a senior studying environmental science in the College of Agriculture; Sushil Bhavnani, the Henry M. Burt Jr. Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering; Amanda Gale, an assistant professor in the Department of Consumer and Design Sciences in the College of Human Sciences; Michael Hein, the William A. Hunt Professor in the McWhorter School of Building Science in the College of Architecture Design and Construction; Christopher McNulty, a professor in the Department of Art in the College of Liberal Arts; Judd Langham, a landscape architect with 2D Studio L.L.C.; and Trey McDonald, the sustainability coordinator at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Group initiatives also were recognized and included the partnership of Auburn University Libraries and Facilities Management led by Robert Yerkey; Healthy Tigers, led by Tammy Hollis; and the Off Bottom Oyster Farming project led by Bill Walton of the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory at Dauphin Island.

Consideration is given to initiatives in the areas of research, instruction, outreach and operations, and campus and community projects which have taken place within the last two years and have made a significant difference in the areas of nature, the economy, society or individual well-being.

“The program was created in part to generate awareness of sustainability initiatives and to acknowledge those who are making significant contributions,” Kensler said. “The Spirit of Sustainability Awards program is also intended to inspire further innovations, initiatives and actions toward a flourishing future.”

Read more about the awardees at

Contact: Jennifer Morse, Office of Sustainability, (334) 844-7777 (,
or Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (