Green Brick Awards honor NC State’s sustainable

green brick award 2014
2014 Green Brick Award winners: (front row) Alumni Association Student Ambassador Program, (back row, l-r) Matt Abele, Scott Showalter and Keith Smith.

Amid local food and music, NC State honored some of its finest sustainability champions on April 14 during Farm Feast, an Earth Month event sponsored by University Dining.

Three members of the NC State community and one student organization were honored with Green Brick Awards from the Campus Environmental Sustainability Team for outstanding contributions to sustainability. The awards are sponsored by Coca-Cola.

The student recipient, Matt Abele, is a graduate student in communications. He volunteers his videography skills for numerous local and environmental organizations in addition to personal filmography he does on environmental issues impacting the local community. He is also an intern with the North Carolina Solar Center.

“His commitment to sustainability in our community is unmatched by any student I have met. He has gone above and beyond to be an active, creative and exceptional contributor to improving our planet,” wrote Eli Typhina in her nomination of Abele.

The staff recipient, Keith Smith, is University Dining’s director of dining operations. In 2012, Smith launched My Roots are at NC State to increase the amount of local food served in campus dining halls. In addition to this award-winning program, Smith also started a dining hall compost program, campus-grown produce procurement and an herb garden outside Fountain Dining Hall.

“Keith has helped put NC State University Dining in the forefront of sustainability efforts on campus,” wrote Lisa Eberhart in her nomination of Smith.

The faculty recipient, D. Scott Showalter, is a professor of practice in Poole College of Management. He integrates sustainability into all the accounting courses he teaches and also developed an MBA course on Sustainability and Business. He also collaborates on sustainability-related research within the college and industry.

“Before taking his classes I had a very limited view on sustainability but now understand that it is and should be an integral part of a business,” wrote Ashleigh Joines in her nomination of Showalter. “He was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about topics we covered, which motivated all of us in the class to want to learn.”

In the first-ever organization category of the Green Brick Awards, the Alumni Association Student Ambassador Program was honored for its efforts to incorporate sustainability into NC State’s Homecoming events. As one of the university’s largest events, the students’ efforts resulted in significant reduction of paper, water and material use associated with the event.

“We [also] incentivized student [groups] to create ecologically sound floats for our Homecoming Parade by awarding 50 extra points in our Spirit Competition to the most sustainable float,” wrote Emily Collier, co-director of 2013 Homecoming.

Each winner received a recycled glass plaque and check for $300, which was presented by Jack Colby and Dr. Bill Winner, co-chairs of the Campus Environmental Sustainability Team.

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