Student Sustainability Champion and Leader Awards

These awards recognize graduating seniors that have displayed exemplary service on our campus to advance our sustainability initiatives and campus sustainability conversation. The efforts of these students have been sustained over the course of their tenure at Morris and have helped to create positive change with leadership that has been a model to others. Sustainability is a big idea that connects with our liberal arts leadership. These students have asked “big questions” and have worked to find solutions.


Eligible students may submit a dossier for the Morris Sustainability Champion Award. Multiple students are eligible to earn recognition as a Morris Sustainability Champion. From the eligible pool of Champions, up to two Morris Sustainability Leaders will be chosen based on the exceptionality of their accomplishments and contributions.


Dossiers for this award should be prepared in collaboration between the student and a faculty or staff person. Students who wish to be considered should identify a staff or faculty person to write a brief statement on their behalf. OR: Faculty or staff can identify a student candidate/s that they believe should apply for the award, and then the faculty/staff member would work with the student on the dossier. Dossiers should be submitted electronically.

The candidate's application should contain two items:

  • A statement of no more than one page by a faculty or staff person (using a 12-point font type), explaining the case for the nomination. The statement should briefly describe the nominee’s co ntributions to advancing sustainability on campus over the course of their tenure at Morris.
  • A personal statement by the candidate of no more than three pages (using a 12-point font type) describing the contribution of the candidate as a champion of sustainability during their tenure at M orris. The statement should also include a description of what "sustainability" means from her perspective, and also what, “A renewable, sustainable education” means from her perspective.

General Criteria

  1. Any Morris student who is a graduating senior.
  2. The award will be based on sustained efforts over the course of their Morris tenure, rather than a single accomplishment.
  3. A wide variety of sustainability initiatives and efforts should be considered. While there is no single definition of sustainability, it is useful to think of sustainability as a way of systems-thinking, which engages a multidisciplinary education in social, environmental, and economic decision making.

Some examples may include:

  • Efforts to improve the social and environmental impacts of the University of Minnesota and surrounding communities
  • Efforts to improve food/water systems that improve human health and ecosystems health
  • Efforts to conserve resources that improve our financial performance, benefit the environment and build social capital

A dossier for the award should be completed, in partnership, between the candidate and a faculty or staff member. The dossier for the award must be sent to Student Engagement & Events. The Morris campus Green Team will review the dossier materials and select the award recipients.

The Award

The Morris Student Sustainability Champion/s and Leader/s Awardees will have the option of wearing special cords at graduation, if they so choose. The Awardees will also be given a certificate identifying them as a Sustainability Champion/Leader, respectively, signed by the Chancellor. Champions will be recognized at the Student Leader Award Celebration. Leaders will be recognized at the Honors and Awards Ceremony and will be invited to cross the stage. Both Champions and Leaders will be listed in the Honors and Awards Ceremony written program.

Nomination Process

Nominees should create a dossier as described above and submit it in electronic copy to Troy Goodnough.