Ohio University

2020 Sustainability Award winners announced

Published: May 14, 2020 Author: Samuel Crowl

Ohio University’s Office of Sustainability recently recognized the 2020 Sustainability Award winners.

The annual Sustainability Awards are given to individuals and organizations nominated by their peers for contributions during the previous academic year. 

The Faculty Sustainability Award is given to an OHIO faculty member who has made exemplary contributions to his or her field through sustainability-related teaching, research, scholarship or service.  


Guy Riefler


John Sabraw


This year’s award is given to a unique team of collaborators, Professor of Civil Engineering Guy Riefler and Professor of Art John Sabraw.  The two were nominated as a pair for the impressive progress in 2019 of their collaborative project to create paints from iron oxide extracted in the process of remediating polluted local streams.  

Their nominator remarked that they were “not aware of a more worthy, active project at Ohio University which embodies the triple bottom line of environmental, social, and financial sustainability benefits.  If successful, their project, more than any other, might just bring about the biggest positive impact to the quality of the water in our area.  It’s this kind of work that makes me proud to be a Bobcat!”

The Student Sustainability Leader Award recognizes one student (or student group) who has excelled in sustainable actions and leadership at Ohio University during their time as a student.


Winter Wilson

The 2020 award winner is Winter Wilson, an Athens native who graduated this spring with majors in Environmental Studies and Journalism in the Honors Tutorial College.  Wilson has worked with Upgrade Athens County, Sugar Bush Foundation, Student Senate, Ohio University Sustainability Committee, and the Sierra Student Coalition among other organizations on and off campus.

Wilson was nominated for leading efforts to “diversify approaches to sustainability on campus and in our community. Winter's combination of environmental studies, journalism, entrepreneurship, and innovative design in her studies and in countless campus and community forums has helped Ohio University break out of the important but all too familiar sustainability toolbox.”

The Staff Sustainability Advocate Award is given to a staff member who has served as an advocate for advancing sustainability initiatives at Ohio University or served in a support role to assist student, faculty, staff or community led initiatives.


Karsen Bailey

 The 2020 Staff Sustainability Advocate Award goes to IT Support Coordinator Karsen Bailey.  His nomination noted his “passion for sustainability,” his addition of "Green Tips" to the weekly staff newsletter, his assistance to students working on sustainable initiatives and his ongoing efforts to have the entire OIT department certified in the Office of Sustainability’s Sustainable Tracking and Evaluation Program (STEP). 

The Exemplary Sustainable Department Award honors an office or department at Ohio University that has shown leadership in a variety of sustainable behaviors including, but not limited to, advancing the Sustainability and Climate Action Plans, encouraging health and wellness among its employees, investing in local goods and services, reducing its landfilled waste generation, participating in energy reduction efforts, and engaging in shared office resources.
This year’s award is presented to IT Acquisitions for earning Silver certification in the Sustainable Tracking and Evaluation Program.

And finally, each year the Ohio University Office of Sustainability extends Community Sustainability Recognition to a community member or organization nominated for their participation in programs that help support community-wide sustainability efforts.


Don and Mary Anne Flournoy

This year the voting ended in a tie and the office is pleased to congratulate both Mary Anne and Don Flournoy as well as Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio for their tremendous support of Athens and our surrounding communities.

Mary Anne, who sadly passed away last year, and Don Flournoy have worked for decades to support sustainability efforts in Athens and our Appalachian region. Through their creation of the Sugar Bush Foundation, support of Rural Action, teaching, and personal land conservation efforts they have shown unparalleled dedication to community sustainability initiatives.


Habitat for Humanity


As the nominator of Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio indicated,  “its mission of providing affordable housing in the region and increasing the diversion of salvaged construction and demolition materials back into the community instead of to the landfill has been changing the norm for the rural circular economy and related social and environmental goals.”  It has created “a regional dialogue for waste-related social enterprise development” and is “an amazing example of a community partner raising regional standards for how social enterprises can achieve their mission.”

The Office of Sustainability is pleased to recognize the contributions to sustainability at OHIO and in the local community during the 2019-20 academic year and look forward to receiving nominations for 2020-21.

For more information visit our website or follow us on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) @OHIOsustainable