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Meet the 2022 Pitt Sustainability Award winners


On April 22, 18 members of the Pitt community were honored with Pitt Sustainability Awards and as Student Sustainability Champions. Started in 2015, the Pitt Sustainability 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.

Reposted from Pittwire. Author: Melanie Lippert

Sustainability Award winners

Danielle Andrews-Brown, a lecturer in the Department of Geology and Environmental Science in the Kenneth P. 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. Andrews-Brown’s impact at Pitt was also recently highlighted in a Silhouettes profile from The Pitt News.

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 is a senior environmental science major with minors in environmental engineering and studio arts as well as certificates in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Sustainability. Brewster utilized a new technique involving an XD-ray fluorescence spectrometer to study the effects of green infrastructure on soil around campus. Brewster is also a member of Epsilon Eta and helped lead a Pitt student team to second place in the U.S. EPA’s Rainworks Challenge last year. Brewster has also been highlighted in a Silhouettes profile from The Pitt News.

Aaron Carr is a senior environmental science major with certificates in GIS and sustainability certificates. In his three years as a Pitt EcoRep, he has developed a multitude of educational programs, created a building waste audit methodology, expanded the Pitt Green Resident program and established the Pitt EcoReps on Twitter and Instagram. Carr is also a member of Epsilon Eta and serves as the transportation coordinator for Pitt’s student chapter of the Food Recovery Network.

Felicity Shafer is a senior majoring in environmental studies with a public and professional writing certificate. She 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.

Student 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

The Pitt Sustainability Awards and Champions are just one piece of Pitt’s University-wide efforts to incorporate sustainability into its core mission, as detailed in the Pitt Sustainability Plan and the Pitt Climate Action Plan.