Sustainability Awards recognize six who made substantial impacts

On April 22, six members of the Pitt community were honored with Pitt Sustainability Awards. Started in 2015, the awards recognize Pitt faculty, staff, students and groups who make substantial impacts in one or more of three sustainability areas: stewardship, exploration, and community and culture.

Sustainability Award winners

Danielle Andrews-Brown, a lecturer in the Department of Geology and Environmental Science in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, and Cassie Quigley, associate department chair and associate professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading in the School of Education, were recognized for their work creating the Environmental Justice Freedom Seminars. 

Mei Yu-Kephalogianis has worked for Pitt Housing Services since 2010 and has been the lead housekeeper at Nordenberg Hall since its opening in 2013. A champion for sustainable practices in the residence hall, Yu-Kephalogianis was awarded the department’s Harvie Keppler award in 2015 for going above and beyond the mission, vision and values of Pitt.

Brandon Brewster, a senior environmental science major with minors in environmental engineering and studio arts, utilized a new technique involving an XD-ray fluorescence spectrometer to study the effects of green infrastructure on soil around campus. Brewster also helped lead a Pitt student team to second place in the U.S. EPA’s Rainworks Challenge last year.

Aaron Carr, a senior environmental science major, has developed a multitude of educational programs, created a building waste audit methodology, and expanded the Pitt Green Resident program, during his three years as a Pitt EcoRep. Carr also serves as the transportation coordinator for Pitt’s student chapter of the Food Recovery Network.

Felicity Shafer, a senior majoring in environmental studies, has worked for the Office of Sustainability as a sustainability communications intern for two years, chaired Pitt’s 2022 Earth Month Planning Committee and is the secretary of Plant2Plate. Shafer also created the University’s Sustainability Living Learning Community, launching in fall 2023, and developed and executed the most recent Student Sustainability Showcase.

In addition, several students were named sustainability champions:

Annalise Abraham, English writing and urban studies

Emily Albrecht, psychology

Suchi Attota, computer science

Anita Bargaje, computational biology, chemistry and global health

Jared Deluccia, economics and history

Matthew Hess, environmental studies

Lucy Klug, environmental studies

Taylor Laing, environmental studies

Danny Nigh, business administration

Meri Raughley, ecology and evolution

Madison Stanley, political science

Abby Zolner, environmental studies