Environmental Leadership Awards

Each year, the Office of Sustainability and the Committee on the Campus Environment (CCE) come together to celebrate environmental leadership in the UT community through the Environmental Leadership Awards. We look to recognize students, faculty and staff members, and outstanding members of the greater Knoxville community who help to Make Orange Green.

Nominations for the 2017 Environmental Leadership Awards will be accepted through the online form (tiny.utk.edu/ELANoms), and will close at 2 PM on Monday, April 17th. The CCE will review and vote on these nominations, and the awards will be presented at the Environmental Leadership Awards Banquet on Thursday, April 27th (for more information on the event and to RSVP, go here).

Categories and Criteria

This year, we are doubling our award categories to be more inclusive of the UT community as a whole. Below, you’ll find the list of eight categories, along with each category’s description and criteria.

Student Environmental Leadership Award - Academics
Student Environmental Leadership Award - Engagement
Faculty Environmental Leadership Award
Staff Environmental Leadership Award
Community Member Environmental Leadership Award
Student Organization Environmental Leadership Award
'Most Likely to Save the Planet' Award
Lifetime Achievement in Environmental Leadership Award

2016 Awards

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On Earth Day 2016 (April 22nd, 2016), the Environmental Leadership Awards recognized faculty member, Dr. Jiangang Chen; community member, Patience Melnik; staff member, Holly Jones; and student, Andrew Frantz. (Pictured above, left to right).

Dr. Chen is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health here at UT Knoxville, and in addition to that, he serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition and a faculty member in the interdisciplinary program of Comparative and Experimental Medicine. In the past, Dr. Chen worked with Facilities Services to help move the campus away from animal-based hand soaps to a synthetic and more sustainable option. More recently, he works closely with UT Recycling to incorporate Zero Waste ideals into his teachings.

Patience Melnik serves as the executive director of Keep Knoxville Beautiful, whose mission is to promote litter eradication, recycling, and beautification in Knox County communities – which obviously encompasses UT. She has worked with numerous UT organizations to promote these things and engage the UT Knoxville community in volunteer opportunities like litter pick-ups, trash runs, and beautification mobs. Patience truly demonstrates environmental stewardship and leads UT Knoxville toward better, more sustainable practices.

Holly Jones is the UT Gardens Kitchen Manager. She oversees the sustainable production, maintenance, and display of perennial fruit, begetable, herb, and cut flower crops. She works closely with faculty at UT to involve students in hands on experiential learning to inspire, educate, and cultivate an appreciation of plants through educational programs and research.

Andrew Frantz is a senior, expected to graduate this coming May. During his time here at UT Knoxville, he has gone above and beyond to promote sustainability on campus. As Co-Director of the SGA Environment & Sustainability Committee, he provides ideas, optimism, and energy. He is reliable, always accomplishing what he says he’s going to do. He also serves on the SGA’s Communications Committee, and used that position to raise awareness about UT environmental initiatives. He is a wonderful asset to campus, and we will be sad to see him move on!

For more information on last year’s event, go here.

This is one of many Earth Month Traditions. For more information on Earth Month festivities, go to tiny.utk.edu/earthmonth.