Mason Launches New Rewards to Encourage Sustainability

Posted: July 10, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Nick Walker

The Office of Sustainability is undertaking several new initiatives to highlight individual contributions to the greening of George Mason University. These include two new awards and a Sustainability Spotlight focusing on one person each month.

“The purpose of these awards is to highlight the everyday actions of faculty, staff and students who are doing things to champion sustainability within their own spheres of influence,” says Lenna Storm, Mason’s first sustainability coordinator.

The first, the Sustainability Hero Award, is presented twice annually. All faculty and staff members are eligible, and the winners are chosen by the Sustainability Council and the Executive Steering Committee for Sustainability.

“This award includes a monetary reward and recognition of a faculty or staff member who has gone above and beyond their core duties to seek out creative solutions that have reduced Mason’s impact on our local or global communities,” Storm says.

The second award is called the Green Me! Spirit Award and is presented quarterly. Students, faculty and staff members are eligible for the award.

“We’re looking for someone who has gone the extra mile to educate his or her peers on general climate and sustainability issues,” Storm says. “These awards provide recognition of those who exemplify our commitment to sustainability.”

Sustainability Spotlights on the Sustainability web site provide an in-depth interview with one member of the Mason community each month. Those in the spotlight are not necessarily environmental activists, but can be anyone who has chosen to take an extra step toward sustainability.

The first spotlight article features David Brazer, a professor in the College of Education and Human Development.

Brazer’s curriculum is usually geared toward students interested in educational administration. Usually, this doesn’t leave much room for talk of conservation. But Brazer has taken the innovative step of including two telecommuting sessions each semester, to cut back on the amount of fossil fuels burned driving to and from class.

Other noteworthy individuals will be featured in future articles.

One such person is Carrie Meyer, an associate professor of economics and chair of the Climate Commitment Campaign Working Group. Meyer’s work toward sustainability in both her personal and professional life will be documented in the August Sustainability Spotlight article.

Write to at