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Announcing 2018 Student Sustainability Award Winners

Student Sustainability Award Winners

From left to right: Matthew Morgan 18' Finance, Ryan Roach (1st year MBA Student), Matthew Park 18' Economics, Sophia Schuster (1st year MBA Student and Erik Foley, Director of Sustainability.


Matt Morgan - 80% diversion rate for the world's largest student run philanthropy

Matt served as the OPPerations Director for THON 2018 and one of his major initiatives for the year was to make the organization zero waste. Matt created an educational program and webpage to teach all THON volunteers about sustainability and why it is important. Matt also oversaw logistical planning for three of THON’s main events: the THON 5K, the THON Family Carnival, and THON Weekend. He worked with THON Captains to ensure proper waste stations at each event so all waste being produced would be properly recycled. Through his effort, THON was able to achieve zero waste status for each event by achieving diversion rates greater than 80%, which was never achieved before.


Matt Park - Net Impact President leads effort to reach over 800 students with road show

Matt most recently served as the President of Net Impact, a Smeal student organization focused on sustainable business. Matt has co-led the Zero Waste Initiative at Blue Chip Bistro (the cafe in the business building). This led to significant reduction in waste and rearrangement of waste bins to encourage more recycling. Matt also led a team in performing a Recycling Road Show to over 800 students. Matt and the team made the shows interactive and made sure students understood the bigger picture, the "triple bottom line" importance of something simple as recycling. Their efforts won the Net Impact Most Innovative Project of the Year award at Smeal for 2016-2017. As president, Matt continued to support Net Impact's flagship Corporate Citizenship Conference which has engaged over 6,000 students to date. And he worked to attract companies to talk to students about their sustainability initiatives including Wal-Mart, Amazon Web Services, and Ecolab.


Sophia Schuster and Ryan Roach - take the waste out of the daily Coffee Buzz social

First year MBA students Sophia Schuster and Ryan Roach (now second year MBAs), were given a loosely defined objective of reducing waste as part of the program's daily Coffee Buzz social. This is a time for MBAs to decompress, enjoy free coffee and snacks and build community. Sophia and Ryan created a comprehensive proposal entitled “MBA Coffee Buzz: A Financial and Environmental Assessment of Eliminating Disposable Cups”. Their nominator said,

"Their proposal hands down was one of the best we have seen in recent history and the first ever with this objective. Sophia and Ryan did a thorough job of researching, evaluating, and then presenting us with several well thought out recommendations towards meeting our objective of reducing waste as part of our Coffee Buzz.

In the end, the MBA program eliminated disposable cups and partnered with Starbucks to Provide Reusable Mugs to our community of 150+ students, faculty, and staff. The positive impact this has on our community is reducing carbon emissions by 300+ pounds in a given academic year.

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