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UH Maui College Wins 3 Sustainability Awards

March 12, 2015, 3:48 PM HST · Updated March 19, 3:53 PM
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UH President David Lassner presents award to Executive Director Alex de Roode of the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui. Photo credit: Photo by Ryan Kramer.

UH President David Lassner presents award to Executive Director Alex de Roode of the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui. Photo credit: Ryan Kramer.

By Maui Now Staff

The University of Hawaiʻi Maui College received notable awards for academic and student work in sustainability last week at the 3rd annual statewide Hawaiʻi Sustainability in Higher Education Summit held at the UH Mānoa campus.

UHMC student Pierre Parranto received a system-wide award for his role in leading the Student ʻOhana for Sustainability, which works to raise awareness about sustainability on campus.

“Our student projects focus on community service including beach clean-ups, rain gardens, water-bottle refill stations, and awareness campaigns,” said Parranto in a university press release.

Parranto, who is working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Science Management, continued saying, “Bringing this award home to Maui encourages us to continue our efforts like organizing an upcoming campus Earth Day event.”

Also recognized was Alex de Roode for his role as executive director of the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui

UH President David Lassner and award recipient Pierre Parranto, Student President of the Student Ohana for Sustainability at UHMC. Photo credit: Ryan Kramer.

UH President David Lassner and award recipient Pierre Parranto, Student President of the Student Ohana for Sustainability at UHMC. Photo credit: Ryan Kramer.

De Roode accepted the Campus Sustainability award for the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui on behalf of a team that also includes Melanie Stephens and Austin Van Heusen.

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“The knowledge that we are within a system that supports and recognizes sustainability efforts and achievements inspires and motivates us to broaden our scope and increase our impact within our local community and beyond,” de Roode said in a university press release.

UHMC’s Tim Botkin was also recognized for leading the first degree program in sustainability within the UH system.

“To me the award recognizes that the Sustainable Science Management program is more than just ‘curriculum’—it’s a connector for developing knowledgeable leadership for Maui, Hawaiʻi and beyond,” Botkin said.

UH President David Lassner with Sustainable Science Management Program Director Tim Botkin. Photo credit: Ryan Kramer

UH President David Lassner with Sustainable Science Management Program Director Tim Botkin. Photo credit: Ryan Kramer

During the summit, UH President David Lassner marked the occasion by electronically signing a new executive policy on sustainability.

The policy sets specific goals for UH including achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.  It also provides a framework for the university to fulfill its commitment to sustainability in “operations, curriculum, scholarship and engagement.”

“The establishment of a core fabric of sustainable thinking, working across all disciplines, is an important academic mission. But even more important is the work our graduates will do as they join the workforce to help map the future of our islands,” said Botkin in the announcement.

Botkin’s program is also developing new “shorter-term” certificates in Sustainable Tourism and Sustainable Technology.  The certificates apply the principles of sustainability to local industries on the island.

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