Sustainability Showcase Awards

The annual Sustainability Showcase was presented by the Office of Sustainability, The President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee, the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment, and the Office of Undergraduate Research.

These initiatives featured fall into four general categories:

  1. The Student Sustainability Poster Competition sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research
  2. Sustainability Challenge Grant projects that are wrapping up
  3. Projects funded by the Student Sustainability Council
  4. Campus Partners that are leading ongoing Sustainability-related work

UK Sustainability and the Office of Undergraduate Research Partnered to offer an opportunity for students in all majors to submit their sustainability-related research as a poster for a general audience. Judges with relevant expertise have reviewed these posters and selected 1st and 2nd place winners for both undergraduate and graduate categories, along with the audience selection of two People’s Choice winners.


1st Place: Ellen Williams

2nd Place: McKenna Clinch

People’s Choice: Olivia Dixon


1st Place: Christina Thompson

2nd Place: Donavan Lewis

People’s Choice: Motunrayo Oladele

The Sustainability Challenge Grant (SCG) program, now in its 9th year, is designed to engage multidisciplinary teams from the University community to foster scholarly and creative research projects that promote sustainability and advance fields of study, while simultaneously advancing economic vitality, ecological integrity, and social equity.

The program is funded by a partnership between the EVPFA, the Provost, the Vice President for Research, and the Student Sustainability Council. Since the program’s inception eight years ago, 55 projects have been awarded a total of $1.55 million to pursue a wide range of sustainability-driven projects on campus and beyond. This year, thanks to program sponsors, $200,000 has been awarded to six new teams.

Canopy Con: An Urban and Community Forestry Conference

  • Dr. Lynne Reiske-Kinney, Professor, Entomology
  • Dr. Lynn Phillips, Associate Professor, Geography
  • Dr. Chris Sass, Chair, Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture
  • Grace Coy, Urban Forestry Initiative Coordinator, Forestry and Natural Resources
  • Shelby Grow, Urban Forest Initiative Outreach Coordinator, Landscape Architecture

Documenting Change: Creating an Educational Experience Documenting the Adaptive Resue of the Gray Design Building Phase II

  • SK O’Brien, Assistant Professor, Department of Product Design
  • Joe Brewer, Director of Technology and Facilities, College of Design
  • Carolina Segura Bell, Senior Lecturer, Department of Landscape Architecture
  • Ryan Hargrove, Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture
  • Jordan S. Hines, Senior Lecturer, School of Agriculture
  • Daniel Livingston, Principal Graphic Designer + Part-Time Instructor, College of Design
  • Jordan Phemister, Lecturer, Department of Landscape Architecture

Increasing the Organizational Capacity of the Kentucky Climate Consortium to Support Transdisciplinary Approaches to Climate Research and Teaching

  • Lauren E. Cagle, Associate Professor, Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies and Incoming Director, Environmental and Sustainability Studies
  • Mary Arthur, Professor Emeritus, Forestry and Natural Resources
  • Yoko Kusunose, Associate Professor, Agricultural Economics
  • Alice Turkington, Associate Professor, Geography, Academic Ombud
  • Ryan McCoy, Ph.D. Canidate, Philosophy

Kentucky Equity Mapping 1.0

  • Marilyn Clark, Supplier Diversity Manager, UK Purchasing; and Chair, Equitable Economic Development Subcommittee of the UK Economic Development Collaborative
  • Melody Flowers, Assistant Vice President, UK Economic Development and Real Estate; and Co-Chair, UK Economic Development Collaborative – Team Lead
  • George Ward, Associate Vice President, UK Economic Development and Real Estate; and Chair, UK Economic Development Collaborative
  • Matthew Wilson, Professor and Interim Chair, UK Geography; Director, New Maps Plus; and Director, Mapshop

Campus Woods 2.0 – Next Steps for the Campus Wood Utilization Program

  • Bruce Swetnam, College of Design
  • Chad Niman, College of Agriculture Food and Environment

UK-DiPP: Developing the UK Digital iPad Product Passport for iPads Initiative

  • Fazleena Badurdeen, Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and core faculty, Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing (ISM)
  • Edward Wang, Assistant Professor, Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering, core faculty ISM
  • Junwon Ko Ph. D. student, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,

The Staff Sustainability Champion Award program, now in its third year, celebrates UK staff members who have made significant contributions to sustainability at the University of Kentucky in recent years.

The awards are medallions cut from the branch of a bitternut hickory that lived its life at UK’s Adena Mound. UK’s Arborist team cut the medallions and students from UK Product Design Program milled and engraved them. The back of each medallion memorializes the campus tree where it came from.

The first award was combined and awarded to both Lance Broeking, Director of Transportation services, and Sandra Broadwill, UK’s former and first Alternative Transportation Manager.

Lance Broeking has been at the University of Kentucky for almost 27 years. In 2011, he was selected as the Director of Transportation Services. Once he took over, which at the time was Parking Services, Broeking promptly changed the department name to Transportation Services. This change allowed for other commuting services to be sealed into one department including bicycles, buses, and motor vehicles. Lance put the University of Kentucky into national leadership space when he hired Sandra Broadwill to be the University’s first Alternative Transportation Manager. Sandra felt as though different commuting methods should not be considered “alternative,” but upgraded. By bringing Sandra onto the team, these methods of commuting to campus are not just a method to reach classes, but to travel in an urban environment such as Lexington. The Department of Transportaion Services grows to include new transportation methods and supports sustainable transportation throughout the University.

The second award was awarded to Esther Moberly, UK’s former Zero Waste Administrator.

Esther Moberly joined the University of Kentucky in the fall of 2015 and has been a tireless advocate of sustainability and environmental quality for the duration of her time here. She has led the current progress toward our goal of becoming a zero-waste campus by finding solutions such as organic waste diversion, healthcare specific recycling opportunities, and tremendous campus educational efforts. Her willingness to be forward-leaning in embracing new technologies and methods has set the University up to meet challenges that appeared impossible when she first arrived. She has also been eager to invest her time into cross-functional initiatives while investing in her own education and providing internship and mentorship opportunities to others. She has transitioned to another opportunity outside of the University, but her talent, passion, and contributions to the University will be remembered for many years to come.

The final award was awarded to Scott Henry, Executive Director, Gatton Student Center, and Campus Hospitality with Auxiliary Services.

The final award goes to Scott Henry, Executive Director, Gatton Student Center & Campus Hospitality with Auxiliary Services. For the past three years, Scott has championed the efforts to reduce the number of single use plastic bottles distributed during the fall Move-In. Last year he supported a pilot project and this year he funded a full-fledged scaled up version. Results: UK ordered a fraction of the single-use bottles compared to previous years and the hydration stations dispensed enough water to fill 21,000 water bottles.

Thank you to all the staff, students and administrators for collaborating and making the 2023 Sustainability Showcase a success.

Katherine Johnson

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