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KU recognizes 2019 Sustainability Leadership Award recipients

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Center for Sustainability will recognize five individuals and initiatives with Sustainability Leadership Awards on Friday, April 19. The awards highlight outstanding leadership and creativity in addressing issues of ecology, efficiency and equity on the Lawrence campus and in the broader community. Award recipients are nominated by their peers and selected by a committee that includes past award winners.

The 2019 Sustainability Leadership Award recipients:

  • Jayhawks Breaking Barriers: JBB is being awarded for work to raise awareness about the gender and diversity gap in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine.
  • Kelsey Fortin, doctoral candidate in health, sport & exercise sciences: She is being awarded for her research and advocacy to raise awareness about hunger on campus.
  • Paul Schwennesen, doctoral candidate in environmental history: He is being awarded for his work and research on sustainable ranching practices and land conservation.
  • Whitney Baker, librarian, KU Libraries: She is being awarded for her efforts around energy conservation in KU Libraries’ facilities.
  • Rachel Krause, associate professor of public affairs & administration: She is being awarded for her research, coursework and governmental collaborations around sustainability and environmental policies.

Along with award recipients, the center will recognize nine Green Office recipients. The Green Office program acknowledges campus departments and offices that are working to use campus resources more efficiently and create a more sustainable workplace. Offices can achieve three levels of recognition based on the sustainable practices and activities adopted throughout the department.

The award event is part of a larger afternoon of celebrations, including the planting of a Frontier elm tree on the lawn of Lindley Hall in honor of Arbor Day and a Center for Sustainability Open House in 120 Lindley. The collective festivities, which are all open to the public, will run from 3 to 5 p.m.

Details about the award program and this year’s awardees can be found at

10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
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#1 public program in nation for special education
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Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
$938,377 in scholarship funds awarded to 420+ students
Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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