Lycoming College students recognized by environmental consortium

Lycoming College students recognized by environmental consortium

Julian Jones and Johanna Hripto discuss their efforts at consortium.

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Senior biology majors Johanna Hripto and Julian Jones received a Campus Sustainability Champion award through the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium. The award recognizes people who have made meaningful contributions to sustainability efforts that benefit their college, community or society either economically or environmentally.

As the leader in food recovery, Jones has organized the recovery of more than 25,000 lbs. of leftover food from the college’s dining services and delivered them to a local food pantry maintained by the American Rescue Workers. Meanwhile, Hripto has coordinated and expanded the recycling efforts at the college, particularly with TerraCycling, which creates useable products from hard-to-recycle materials that are sold to raise funds that are then donated to communities across the world that don’t have ready access to clean water.

The two also have played a key role with the completion of the college’s annual environmental audit, and encourage participation by students, faculty and staff in the Recycle Mania, TerraCycle and Food Recovery Network programs. They also have hosted the regional Food Recovery Network meeting at the college.

“Their accomplishments require hours of time, tremendous organizational skills and vision,” said Ryan Adams, Ph.D., assistant professor of anthropology who guided Lycoming’s sustainability efforts during the previous year. “Through their efforts, our college is reducing our landfill footprint, making better use of resources, and helping to alleviate human suffering here in Williamsport and abroad.

“They are remarkable students and worthy of the important recognition they have received,” he said.

Hripto and Jones have been members of Lycoming College’s Sustainability Committee for four years and have helped coordinate the group’s efforts for two years. The two students also earned the Outstanding Community Service Award at the annual Lycoming College Leadership and Service Awards Banquet, which is held in April every year. The Sustainability Committee, including the food recovery program, earned the award in 2014.

“Both women are campus leaders with a passion and commitment to promote environmental and sustainable practices through their influence and hard work on campus,” said Mel Zimmerman, Ph.D., biology professor and director of Lycoming College’s Clean Water Institute.

As part of the recognition, Hripto and Jones were invited to be panelists for the Sustainability Champions session at the annual conference at the Pennsylvania State University campus in October. During the panel session, they shared ideas and successes to inspire others.

Zimmerman and Dan Miller, Ed.D., vice president for student life, nominated them for the award.

Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium brings faculty and staff at more than 70 colleges and universities across the state together to connect and share knowledge about research and best practices. More information is available at: http://www.pagreencolleges.org/about_us/.

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