In recognition of their leadership and commitment to Pitt Sustainability, members of the University community have been selected as 2022 Pitt Sustainability Awardees and Champions.
We would like to celebrate these student, faculty, and staff members for their tremendous support of Pitt Sustainability’s efforts across campus, in Pittsburgh, and in the world over the past year!
2022 Pitt Sustainability Awardees
Since 2015, the University of Pittsburgh has annually awarded Pitt Sustainability Awards, which recognize Pitt faculty, staff, students, and groups who make an extraordinary impact on campus sustainability. The 2022 Pitt Sustainability Awardees have demonstrated their impact in one or more categories of the Pitt Sustainability Plan (Stewardship, Exploration, and/or Community and Culture) via initiatives, leadership, and talents that contribute to a thriving culture of sustainability at Pitt.
Dr. Andrews received her PhD (Soil Science) in 2011 at Pennsylvania State University. She remained at Penn State as post-doctoral scholar and research associate. Dr. Andrews came to the University of Pittsburgh in 2017 as a lecturer and the advisor and coordinator of the Environmental Studies program. Read her Pitt News 2022 Silhouette!
Dr. Andrews-Brown and Dr. Quigley created two Freedom Seminar 1-credit courses centered on environmental justice. The first, “Place, Collective Economies, and Environmental Justice” and the second, “Global Water Activism and Pedagogies.” Freedom Seminar courses are offered by the School of Education’s Dept of Teaching, Learning, and Leading (TLL) to help students understand education within shifting social, cultural, and political frameworks. These two courses are the first of their kind in the School of Education to provide a crucial lens into environmental justice and concepts of sustainability.
Brandon is a senior Environmental Science major with minors in Environmental Engineering and Studio Arts, and certificates in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Sustainability. In late 2020, he led Team PreciPITTation’s Campus Rainworks Challenge submission alongside seven other undergraduates to develop a holistic GI plan. By paying special attention to student and campus desires, the project specifically addressed campus connectivity interests and stormwater reduction initiatives. Brandon also serves on the Campus Tree Advisory Committee, providing valuable data and student input. Brandon loves rock climbing, slacklining, trees, and spending time outdoors! Read Brandon’s Pitt News 2022 Silhouette!
Aaron Carr is an Environmental Science major pursuing two certificates in GIS and Sustainability. Aaron has served as an EcoRep for three years since the program started in fall 2019 and has since defined the role and the team. As Lead EcoRep, Aaron has designed a multitude of educational programs, created a well-researched building waste audit methodology, established a successful social media brand for the Pitt EcoReps, sustained progress through the pandemic, and developed the Pitt Green Resident Program. Through his leadership, Aaron grew the Pitt EcoRep program in participation, influence, and measurable Pitt Green Resident outcomes. He created the newest Pitt Sustainability Dashboard to share Healthy Ride Bike Share Utilization at Pitt. Aaron is also a member of Epsilon Eta and the Transportation Coordinator of Food Recovery Heroes.
Felicity is a senior majoring in Environmental Studies and obtaining a Public and Professional Writing certificate. She has been the Sustainability Communications Intern for the Office of Sustainability for two years, where she is co-leading the development of the 2022 Pitt Sustainability Progress Report that will detail progress on the 61 goals outlined in the Pitt Sustainability Plan. She creates collaborative social media that helps Pitt community members engage with sustainability on-campus and was the chair of Pitts 2022 Earth Month Planning Committee. Felicity is also a teaching assistant for GEOL:1333 Sustainability (taught by Ward Allebach) and the Secretary of Plant2Plate, Pitt’s student-run garden. Felicity has actively changed Sustainability at Pitt by creating the University’s Sustainability LLC, developing and executing the post-COVID Sustainability Showcase, and using her skills to promote sustainable living and learning on Pitt’s campus.
Dr. Cassie Quigley is the Associate Chair of the Department of Instruction and Learning and Associate Professor of Science Education at the University of Pittsburgh. She earned her doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction with a PhD minor in Environmental Sciences at Indiana University in 2010. She holds a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Spanish.
Dr. Quigley and Dr. Andrews-Brown created two Freedom Seminar 1-credit courses centered on environmental justice. The first, “Place, Collective Economies, and Environmental Justice” and the second, “Global Water Activism and Pedagogies.” Freedom Seminar courses are offered by the School of Education’s Dept of Teaching, Learning, and Leading (TLL) to help students understand education within shifting social, cultural, and political frameworks. These two courses are the first of their kind in the School of Education to provide a crucial lens into environmental justice and concepts of sustainability.
Mei Yu-Kephalogianis has worked as a housekeeper for Pitt Housing since 2010 and has been the lead housekeeper at Nordenberg Hall, Pitt’s first LEED residence hall, since it opened in 2013. As a native Chinese speaker, Mei understands the challenges first-year Chinese students face and is extremely welcoming to all. She embodies the mission, vision, and values of Pitt’s Housing department and was recognized with the department’s Harvie Keppler award in 2015. In Fall 2021, Pitt’s housekeeping team introduced glove recycling for housekeepers to divert glove waste from landfills. Mei jumped at the opportunity to reduce the impact of her work and, in just six months, had filled a 50-gallon barrel with thousands of used gloves from her and her colleagues in Nordenberg Hall. Mei also initiated the idea to repurpose bags that would have otherwise been thrown out for her housekeeping carts glove collection. Mei is a natural leader and dedicated to sustainable practices.
2022 Student Sustainability Champions
Starting in 2021, the University of Pittsburgh has recognized graduating students (undergraduate and graduate) for their leadership and commitment to Pitt Sustainability’s efforts across campus, in the community, and beyond. Students graduating in 2022 who have devoted considerable time, talent, and effort to advance sustainability have been selected as the 2022 Pitt Sustainability Champions.
Annalise is graduating with majors in Urban Studies and English Writing. During her time at Pitt, she has been a part of the Student Office of Sustainability and the Student Government Board. As the SOOS SGB Liaison and Outreach Coordinator, she has been a constant support for students. She is incredibly grateful to have learned from and been engaged with the Pitt Sustainability community.
Emily is graduating this year with a major in psychology, minors in applied statistics and economics, and a certificate in sustainability. She is currently the Community Engagement Intern for the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, a community research fellow, and serves as Vice President of the Hydroponics Club. Emily has established countless new programs and events to promote the Food Ecosystems Scholar Community and the Hydroponics Club. Emily enjoys live music, running, reading, and being outside! After graduation, she is taking a gap year before pursuing a master’s related to sustainability.
Suchi is a Sustainability Intern for Pitt Eats. Suchi is a crucial player in advancing a sustainable food system on campus by assisting with the Real Food Challenge, Fair Trade Campaign, and Cool Food Pledge. In addition, she helped find local, ecologically sound, fair, and humane food items for serving on campus. Suchi also helped Pitt Eats to increase vegan food options on campus, promote the Choose-to-Reuse program, weigh your waste, and provide the Pitt Farmer’s Market. She is a Computer Science major and loves to travel, try new food, volunteer, and read in her free time!
Anita is a senior majoring in computational biology with a certificate in global health. She was fortunate to get involved with the Pitt Pantry and currently serves as the president of the Pantry’s Student Executive Board. As a student leader, Anita has had the opportunity to oversee many organization-specific events and attend conferences specifically catered toward leadership development and sustainability planning. She has helped to guide the Pantry communications strategy through some of the most turbulent times of the pandemic. She continues to stand with the Pitt Pantry because she believes that it truly plays a significant role in reducing food insecurity. Anita also serves on the Campus Basic Needs Committee and was an integral part of the Campus Basic Needs writing group for housing and food insecurity recommendations.
Jared is a senior double majoring in Economics and History with a Certificate in Sustainability. He’s been a Sustainability Intern with the Office of Sustainability for two years. Jared loves to learn; some sustainability topics that most interest him are renewable energy, green cities, and social equity. Outside of work and school, Jared play the drums and writes music. After graduating from Pitt, he hopes to build a career that focuses on creating a sustainable future for all people.
Matt has been involved in the Real Food Challenge since sophomore year. Following Compass creating Pitt Eats, he became a Sustainability Intern for Pitt Eats for his junior and senior years. Through his time as an intern, he has worked to implement composting in back-of-house dining facilities, promote Choose to Reuse containers, calculate and improve Real Food Challenge and Cool Food metrics, conduct multiple waste audits, set up and run Pitt Farmers Markets, help with food donation systems, and more. His work has been critical in improving the sustainability of Pitt’s food systems!
Lucy is a senior Environmental Studies major with a Sustainability Certificate and a Sustainability Transcript Distinction. Lucy is a Sustainability Intern with the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation where she leads First Year Presentations and assists with student social media engagement. She is also the President of Epsilon Eta, Pitt’s Environmental Honors Fraternity. Lucy goes above and beyond to create a welcoming sustainability community on campus and works tirelessly to introduce sustainability opportunities to students. Lucy’s environmental interests include sustainable transportation, green infrastructure, and water quality assessment.
Taylor Laing is a senior environmental studies major with a minor is Spanish and a GIS Certificate . She is the Program Associate for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice at the Student Office of Sustainability and loves working on environmental justice issues. Taylor has worked tirelessly to benchmark and create goals to incorporate DEIJ programming into the SOOS. Taylor wants sustainability to be an inclusive and diverse space so everyone feels represented in their career and area of study.
Danny Nigh is pursuing his MBA and Business Analytics degree with a Sustainability Certificate at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh and will graduate in April 2022. Danny has been the backbone of the Center for Sustainable Business during the past year. He led over a dozen podcast interviews with high level personas from around the globe to advance sustainability awareness. He researched the comparative insights needed to advance conversations around decarbonization, ESG, and fairness in the workforce. Prior to graduate school, Danny worked for the World Resources Institute in Washington, DC for five years on fundraising from foreign governments, the U.S. government and multilateral organizations. He will be working as a Sustainability Consultant with Agendi in New York City upon graduation.
Meri has been a Sustainability Intern with Pitt Eats for the past two years, working to bring local and sustainable food to campus and carrying out waste audits in the dining halls. She has been very involved with composting on campus and the reusable container program. Meri has also worked as a research assistant with the Kuebbing and Heberling labs conducting research on how climate change is impacting forest understories. She has been both Secretary and Sustainability Chair of Epsilon Eta Delta, Pitt’s environmental honors fraternity.
Madison Stanley is a graduating Political Science student who served as a Resident Assistant in the Honors LLC in Sutherland Hall and as the Sustainability and Wellness Lead for the Residential Programming Team. Regarding sustainability, Madison has worked closely with the Pitt EcoReps to expand the Pitt Green Resident Program in residence halls this year. This year, her floor as RA was named the highest-scoring Green Floor.
Abby is a fourth-year Environmental Studies major pursuing Math and Political Science minors and the Sustainability Certificate. They are currently the Garden Intern for Plant2Plate Student Urban Garden, Treasurer of Epsilon Eta (Pitt’s environmental honors fraternity), and a teaching assistant for GEOL1333: Sustainability with Ward Allebach. Abby’s environmental passions include fighting food insecurity and picking up litter. During their time at Pitt, Abby has successfully proposed and created a well-designed Sustainability LLC to provide students with an enhanced sustainability learning and living experience on campus. As a part of the Plant2Plate Executive Board, Abby has led the challenging effort to move the student garden while exploring ways to promote native and vegetable gardening throughout campus and the community.