CWU News

CWU Celebrates Sustainability, Names Sustainability Champions

Some of the recipients of the second annual CWU Sustainability Champion Awards, Increasing sustainability was among three university goals Central Washington University President James L. Gaudino announced during his 2019 State of the University address. This year’s campus achievements in sustainability were celebrated at the second annual Sustainability Champion Awards, which were announced Wednesday, May 27. The program, held virtually this year, honored the dedication, initiative, and leadership shown by the campus community.

“Through their collaboration, advocacy, and tireless efforts, the champions we honored have helped make Central a more sustainable university,” said CWU Sustainability Coordinator Kathleen Klaniecki.

Outstanding Staff Awards went to Kirsten Garland, Wildcat Printing, who led the shift from copy paper to TreeZero paper made from recycled sugarcane waste fiber; Kate Doughty, Wildcat Neighborhood Farm, for already providing more than 1,000 pounds of produce to CWU Dining Services since last June; Blair McNeillie, Facilities Management, who led CWU’s successful designation as a Tree Campus USA; Joanne Hillemann, Capital Planning and Projects, a champion of implementing green building principles on campus; and Cheyanne Manning, Facilities Management, who was instrumental in gathering data for CWU’s Bicycle Friendly University application, for which CWU received an honorable mention in 2019.

The Outstanding Faculty Award was given to Geological Sciences professor Susan Kaspari, who directed CWU in receiving the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education STARS Bronze certification, and who mentors students completing sustainability projects, including through CWU’s new Sustainability Certificate.

Outstanding Student Awards went to seniors Savannah Fields for her work on adopting native planting guidelines; Erica MacKenzie, who created educational materials for elementary and middle school students to be used at Wildcat Neighborhood Farm; Matthew Johnston, who looked at how campus recycling bin locations, student traffic flow, and accessibility affect students recycling habits; Kelsey Bechtholdt, who developed a transportation survey that will be instrumental in improving sustainability transport at CWU; and Gia Landis, who has been an advocate for sustainability initiatives on campus.

Outstanding Group Awards were presented to the CWU Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, which facilitates such environmentally responsibility projects as the annual Yakima River Clean-Up; and PULSE magazine for its dedicated coverage in its print publication and on its website on the topic of sustainability.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, Public Affairs, 509-899-0235,