Published: April 21, 2017 By

sustainability group

A new sustainability certificate offering in the MBA program; 2,200 gallons of water per day captured at Williams Village North for re-use; and 1,500 pounds of food waste per day diverted from landfills. These are just a few examples of the results this year’s campus sustainability awardees have brought to bear through tireless work.


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Honored April 20 at the Environmental Center’s annual sustainability summit, the following recipients and projects received accolades for their ingenuity, stewardship and exemplary actions.

Campus sustainability awards

  • Rosa Hernandez is an environmental services supervisor who this year championed a compost program at the Buckingham Residence Hall, going above and beyond her duties. As part of the program, compost bins were placed in all the restrooms of the building. Rosa's team, which she trained and encouraged, is responsible for monitoring and emptying the bins, adding tasks to their daily assignments. As a result of the success, the program will be implemented in three other residence halls.
  • Lisa Jetton has been called the “driving force for sustainability at Williams Village,” taking a personal interest in leading the environmental services department's sustainability efforts at the residence hall, which is beyond the scope of her duties. Through Jetton’s leadership, the front-line staff – for whom she regularly leads sustainability meetings – is more informed on environmental impacts. Topics she has addressed are paper conservation, composting and the identification of recyclable containers. In addition to engaging staff, Jetton is known to take advantage of teachable moments with students.
  • Recreation Center – Thanks to the leadership of the CU Student Government and the tenacity of the project team, including designers and engineers, the renovation and expansion of the LEED-platinum-certified Student Recreation Center is an exemplary green facility. Those involved in the project worked hard to incorporate and maintain several innovative energy-reducing features. These include a system that recovers otherwise wasted heat from the ice system for the skating rink, redirecting it to heat water for the pools and sinks; a micro-turbine to produce electricity; low-flow faucets and shower heads to conserve water; multi-level switching that allows heavy lighting for competitions, but lower levels of lighting in the same spaces for general use; and more.
  • Monica Rowand is an MBA student and president of the Leeds School of Business Net Impact Club. In this capacity, she organizes five sub-clubs that engage MBA students to work with companies and organizations with environmental and social missions. Additionally, she helped faculty design a sustainability certificate offering for the MBA program. Rowand also works at the CU Environmental Center, often focusing on Ralphie's Green Stampede – an initiative that marries two of her prime interests: sustainability and sports.
  • Tandean Rustandy, a 1987 graduate of the Leeds School, is the founder and CEO of the Jakarta, Indonesia-based Arwana company – one of the world’s largest ceramic tile manufacturing companies. Not only does the company – which has received several green industry awards – comprise of sustainable features at its headquarters, such as heat-recovery systems and eco-friendly open space outdoors, but it also values social sustainability. Credited in part to Rustandy’s leadership, Arwana employs local people, contributing to the local job market, provides free medical care to its employees and is charitable in financial contributions and volunteerism. Rustandy also has hosted CU Boulder business students on an educational tour of his company in Jakarta.
  • Graywater system – Launched in 2016, the graywater system at the Williams Village North residence hall captures and processes up to 2,200 gallons per day of water waste from sinks and showers for re-use in toilets. The innovative system is the first of its kind in the state and took an extraordinary amount of problem-solving and collaboration by CU Boulder, the project team, the city of Boulder and the state of Colorado. The project, which has introduced the concept of water re-use to the campus at large, involved staff from Housing & Dining Services and Facilities Management who were relentless in driving toward successful completion. Partners included Curt Huetson, Jonathan Akins, Joann Silverstein, Heidi Rogé, Alan Brown, Eric Dencjlau, Edgar Pinon, Rusty Befus, Kurt Schemp and Kyle Thompson.

Special recognition

  • Bio-Digester A new technology at the Village Center Dining and Community Commons processes about 1,500 pounds of food waste per day, diverting the material from landfills and preparing it for further processing by city of Boulder systems. Through cooperation and collaboration, the team put in countless hours to design, test, and fine-tune the innovation, seeking approvals by CU Boulder and the city under stringent requirements. Included were: Curt Huetson, Juergen Friese, Jon Keiser, Mark Lapham, Tyler VanKanan, Derek Hayes and Fred Yoder (city of Boulder).

Green lab awards

  • Joe Dragavon is the BioFrontiers Advanced Light Microscopy Core Director.  He has a true passion for promoting laboratory equipment sharing. Over the past two years, Dragavon has helped to increase awareness of the campus’ many shared equipment facilities, coordinating open house events and launching the Shared Instrumentation Network website in collaboration with the Research and Innovation Office.
  • Jennifer Ryan is the Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology building operations manager. She goes above and beyond the duties of her job to support laboratory sustainability efforts within her department. For example, she is a long-time advocate of promoting re-use of equipment within her department and then offering unneeded equipment to other departments on campus. Furthermore, Ryan’s willingness to encourage labs to speak with CU Green Labs about energy/water efficiency opportunities related to equipment purchases has likely resulted in significant savings of utilities in the Gold and Porter buildings.
  • Jacqueline Richardson is the director of the organic chemistry teaching labs. In collaboration with Environmental Health & Safety and CU Green Labs, Richardson has played a vital role in efforts to re-use solvents by making them clean again through distillation. She manages a solvent distillation unit that has already recovered 560 gallons of acetone for re-use in classrooms and labs. Of equal importance is Richarson’s impact on students and future chemists. She has replaced at least five more toxic teaching experiments with green experiments. Students in the teaching labs are also participating in the solvent recycling efforts by collecting their acetone waste separate from their other chemical waste streams. These efforts will have real and lasting impacts on the students in their careers.

Green office certificates

  • Buff OneCard Office
  • Career Services
  • Center of the American West
  • Department of Information Science
  • Office of Admissions
  • Presidents Leadership Class