Celebrating campus sustainability
Published: April 29, 2015
On April 22, MSU Sustainability celebrated the 45th anniversary of Earth Day at its 2015 Be Spartan Green Gala. The annual event recognizes Spartans who have made significant contributions to on-campus sustainability. This year's gala was held in the Wharton Center's Jackson Lounge and featured keynote speaker Mary Templeton, Senior Consultant of Public Sector Consultants.
Be Spartan Green Outstanding Awards were given to staff, students, faculty and campus partners who have demonstrated their support of sustainability on campus. Units that have achieved Spartan Green Certification status this year were also recognized.
Be Spartan Green Outstanding Awards
Outstanding Staff MembersCayden Bunnell, Surplus Store and Recycling Center Compost Manager
Cayden Bunnell has led the post-consumer organic recovery program at the MSU Surplus Store and Recycling Center since 2014.
Bunnell is an integral part of the waste management team at Michigan State University, working with campus partners (such as the Main Library) on pilot compost programs to explore campus-wide solutions for post-consumer food waste.
Diane Barker, RHS Planning and Projects Officer
Diane Barker has 35 years of experience in Residential and Hospitality Services at MSU. She has worked in food service, facilities, housing management and operations, sustainable initiatives and project coordination within RHS.
Barker has led a variety of sustainability related projects and initiatives during her time at MSU and has continually advocated for programs that drive behavior change within RHS. One of Barker's most notable initiatives is the "Pack up, Pitch in" program that has annually diverted move-out waste since 1996.
Outstanding Student EmployeeRebecca Tencza, Sustainability Communications Student Intern
Rebecca Tencza began her communications internship with MSU Sustainability in February 2014. Tencza has been an essential member of the Sustainability team and has collaborated on a range of communications projects such as the 2014 Sustainability Report and the Sustainability Guidebook. Tencza has also assisted with numerous sustainability engagement events across campus, informing peers about how to "Be Spartan Green" at MSU and beyond.
Outstanding Faculty MembersDr. John Biernbaum, Professor MSU Department of Horticulture
Dr. Biernbaum is a professor in MSU's Department of Horticulture and was instrumental in the development of MSU's Student Organic Farm. In addition to being the faculty coordinator for the Student Organic Farm, Biernbaum teaches courses in greenhouse management and vegetable crop production and does research on year round diversified organic farming.
Saleem Alhabash, Assistant Professor Communication Arts and Sciences
Saleem Alhabash is an Assistant Professor of Public Relations and Social Media, jointly appointed by the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, and the Department of Media and Information in the College of Communications Arts and Sciences.
His research focuses on the processes and effects of new and social media. Alhabash has partnered with MSU Sustainability on multiple class projects where students are asked to develop social media campaigns that drive social change.
Outstanding Student OrganizationSPARTA
SPARTA (Students Planning Advanced Retrofit Technology Applications) was developed for the purpose of involving MSU students in a solutions-based approach to help solve the university's energy paradigm by using the tools of experiential learning, analytical planning and campus-wide cooperation. SPARTA's mission is to determine cost-effective retrofit technology applications for targeted buildings around MSU's campus by utilizing the research and consultation of professors, staff, administration and creative undergraduate and graduate students.
Outstanding Student Research ProjectRooftop Bees at Bailey Hall, Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE)
The Bailey Bee Club has located a colony of bees on the green roof of Bailey Hall to provide the RISE program with honey, beeswax and pollinators for their vegetable crops. The main component for the bee collaboration is honeybee education. Through the program, MSU students are educated about the importance of honeybees in our food systems.
Outstanding Campus PartnerFriedland Industries
Friedland Industries was one of the first green recycling companies established in Mid-Michigan. The company recycles an array of commodities and is an active member of Lansing's Old Town community, hosting and participating in numerous community events throughout the year. Friedland has had an ongoing relationship with Michigan State University since the 1970's when co-owner, Larry Bass, assisted in the launch of MSU's first paper recycling efforts. The company continues to work closely with the MSU Recycling Center and even sponsored the construction of our coveted "Scrap Metal Sparty".
Outstanding Green SpaceMSU Main Library
MSU's Main Library is located on West Circle Drive, south of Grand River Avenue in East Lansing. The Library plays an important role on MSU's campus. Their extensive print and online collections support teaching and research across the entire spectrum of disciplines. The Library's Environmental Committee focuses on the building's use of natural resources with an eye toward sustainability, while maintaining and improving its overall working and learning environment.
Special RecognitionRuth Daoust, MSU Retiree
Ruth Daoust retired from Michigan State in December 2014 after 34 years of service to the university. During her time at MSU, Daoust worked in various areas of recycling and waste management, including managing MSU's Surplus Store and Recycling Center. Daoust was instrumental in bringing together MSU Recycling, Surplus Store, Storage and Waste Management functions, culminating in the construction of a new 74,000 square foot facility in 2009.
Spartan Green Certification recipientsSpaces that received 2014-15 Spartan Green Certification support MSU's sustainability goals by reducing their environmental footprint through:
- Energy efficiency and conservation
- Waste reduction and recycling
- Water conservation
- Sustainable purchasing practices