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2020 UC San Diego Sustainability Awards and Virtual Ceremony

Each year the UC San Diego Advisory Committee on Sustainability recognizes individuals and groups that have made sustainability a part of UC San Diego's ongoing education, research, planning, operation and/or outreach programs.

Awards Ceremony

UC San Diego Sustainability created a 2020 Sustainability Awards Ceremony video to honor our award recipients.

Nomination Form

2020 Recipients

Alumni: Jarrod Russell

Jarrod RussellJarrod is a Triton alumnus who has dedicated his career to environmentalism and social activism. He graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in International Studies (2007) and a master’s degree in International Affairs (2011). In 2019, he co-founded VotePlus10, which is a free online platform that provides users with simple actions that take just 10 minutes a month, but make a huge difference in our elections and democracy. He is an environmentalist, humanitarian, entrepreneur and educator. He continues to be involved in the Triton community, recently presenting at the Triton Leaders Conference about the urgency of climate change and what individuals can do to help. In his presentation, he inspired fellow alumni to take action by posing the question, “What will climate action look like for you this year?”

Campus Vendor: Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific logoThermo Fisher Scientific is a worldwide life-science supplier that continually strives towards improvement and excellence in sustainability. It uses the EcoVAdis platform to assess sustainability performance and identify improvements. Currently, with 13 zero-waste manufacturing facilities and 24 others working towards it, Thermo Fisher Scientific stands at a 10% reduction in greenhouse gases, 9% reduction in water use and has diverted over 3,200 tons of waste from landfills. It has provided products and service solutions to support UC San Diego in achieving its sustainability goals, including supplying greener product alternatives, offering discount promotions on greener products for certified Green Labs and participating in UC Sustainable Procurement initiatives.

Department: Logistics 2.0 Carbon Neutral Last Mile Delivery

IPPS logoOver the past year, Logistics 2.0 has dedicated itself to thinking differently about how materials and goods are distributed and moved throughout campus. The project is comprised of five pillars with Carbon Neutrality as the leading pillar. To meet the UC 2025 Carbon Neutrality Initiative goal, this department is transitioning its distribution fleet to 100% electric vehicles. During the past year, it worked with several vendors to test various electric vehicles. It added a 16-foot electric Mitsubishi Fuso box truck and is negotiating a lease for a Chanje electric van. Over the next three years, this department will be replacing two carbon-emitting distribution vehicles per year with electric vehicles. When complete, it will have eliminated 60 tons of carbon emissions per year and will be the first 100% carbon neutral last mile delivery organization in higher education. Additionally, it worked with Transportation Services and will be implementing electric bicycle delivery by May 2020.

Faculty: Adam Aron

Adam AronAdam Aron is a professor in the Psychology Department and a Neuroscience Graduate Program faculty member. He is truly a climate warrior and has worked tirelessly over the past year to encourage UC San Diego operations, staff, faculty and students to take the climate crisis seriously. He is an advocate for climate change research, incorporating climate change into curricula and exploring actions that the campus can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. His involvement in the sphere of climate action and sustainability is widespread. His most notable efforts include developing a new course curriculum on the Psychology of Climate Change; helping to found the UCSD Green New Deal Coalition; actively working to have climate issues addressed by the UC Office of the President; and publishing in academic venues on the role that academics can and must play.

Staff: Gary Oshima

Gary OshimaGary Oshima (pictured in the center) is the campus’ Construction Commodity Manager and is responsible for bringing the first recycled plastic asphalt road in the United States to UC San Diego. In doing so, he has moved us one step closer to being a sustainable campus and has drawn national attention to this new process. Cities, like San Diego, Los Angeles and Oakland, are now considering the product for paving streets and they rely on Gary’s expertise. Gary also serves as a consultant for CalTrans and the Department of Transportation, which are both studying the performance and impact of recycled plastic asphalt. Due in part to the UC San Diego trial, two new manufacturers in California have signed license agreements to source the waste plastic locally and supply it to the growing market. Gary’s efforts and the success of this project have the potential for incredible impact, locally and globally. He is an outstanding member of our campus community and upholds the university’s mission to teach students to open their minds to new ideas and reach beyond the status quo.

Student: Laura Lilly

Laura LillyLaura Lilly is a Ph.D. candidate in Biological Oceanography studying zooplankton community composition in the California Current Ecosystem. She is pursuing her passion of “understanding and protecting the planet” and is a true sustainability champion at UC San Diego. She serves as a leader of the SIO for Sustainability group, which is responsible for spearheading a pilot composting program, a reusable dishware loan program that helps small groups host zero-waste events, and implementing specialty recycling collection bins. She has been a key player in achieving many SIO milestones, including working with the Surfrider Foundation to ban all plastic straws from the SIO campus and ensuring that the first SIO holiday party was a zero-waste event. She has been instrumental in SIO's grassroots sustainability movement for many years and consistently encourages SIO faculty, staff and students to embrace sustainability, directly impacting individuals’ commitment to do more.

Student Group: Engineers for a Sustainable World

ESW logoEngineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) is an international nonprofit network of students and professionals united by their shared passion for technical sustainability. The UC San Diego student chapter has more than 100 members and 14 projects that aim to address environmental issues. This is the fourth year that ESW has received a Sustainability Award for its efforts on campus. While its focus is to create engineering projects that improve the world through environmentally conscious designs, ESW is dedicated to the campus and San Diego communities. It offers design workshops for its members, hosts sustainability-themed design competitions for UC San Diego students, and hosts community events that engage elementary-age students in sustainable design. ESW is dedicated to student development and leadership through sustainability and has a history of being at the forefront of student sustainability efforts.

Past Recipients


  • Alumnus: Luke Vickrey
  • Campus Vendor: Pinpoint Café
  • Department: UC San Diego Health Facilities  Engineering
  • Faculty: Dr. Keith Pezzoli
  • Staff: Zack Osborn
  • Student: Quiana Stodder
  • Student Group: Food Recovery Network

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  • Alumni: Ben Baker
  • Campus Vendor: Clark Construction and HKS Architects
  • Department: Urban Studies & Planning
  • Faculty: Dr. Greg Daniels
  • Staff: Allyson Long
  • Student: Nikko Bouck
  • Student Group: Roger’s Community Garden


  • Campus Vendor – My Green Lab
  • Department – Integrated Procure-to-Pay Solutions
  • Faculty – Dr. Seth Cohen
  • Staff – Alison Sanchirico
  • Student – Mukta Kelkar
  • Student Group – Food Recovery Network


  • Outstanding Undergraduate Student: Natalia King
  • Outstanding Graduate Student: Maitreyi Nagarkar
  • Outstanding Faculty: Leslie Lewis
  • Outstanding Staff: Chris Johnson
  • Outstanding Student Group: Engineers for a Sustainable World
  • Outstanding Department: Early Childhood Education Center
  • Outstanding Individual: Baris Aksanli
  • Outstanding Collaboration: Ocean View Growing Grounds
  • Outstanding Campus Vendor: VWR

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No awards presented.


  • Outstanding Undergraduate Student: Donald Zelaya
  • Outstanding Graduate Student: Jeremy Turak
  • Outstanding Faculty: Dr. Tom Murphy
  • Outstanding Staff: S. Earl Kang
  • Outstanding Student Group: Ellie's Garden
  • Outstanding Collaboration: Preuss School & Engineers for a Sustainable World
  • Outstanding Campus Food Vendor: Food Co-op


  • Outstanding Undergraduate Student: Allison Platt
  • Outstanding Graduate Student: Susan Kram
  • Outstanding Staff: Kim Kane
  • Outstanding Faculty: Dr. Lynn Russell
  • Outstanding Student Group: Engineers for a Sustainable World
  • Outstanding Collaboration: Facilities Management Building Services & Landscape Services
  • Outstanding Collaboration: San Diego Biodiversity Project
  • Outstanding Food Vendor: Yogurt World
  • Outstanding Individual: Ronnie Das


  • Outstanding Undergraduate Students: Jessica Baltmanas and Annie Le
  • Outstanding Graduate Student: Jennifer Hull
  • Outstanding Student Group: Neighborhood Community Garden
  • Outstanding Faculty: Yuvraj Agarwal
  • Outstanding Staff: Jerry Phelps
  • Outstanding Collaboration: USGBC Students of UCSD/SDSU


  • Outstanding Undergraduate Students: Allison Weston
  • Outstanding Graduate Student: Andrew Markley
  • Outstanding Faculty: Prashant Bharadwa
  • Outstanding Staff: Kristin Hansen
  • Outstanding Department: HDH Food Scrap Recycling Program
  • Outstanding Student Group: Own Your Impact
  • Outstanding Student Group: UCSD Triathlon Team
  • Outstanding Academic Group: Media Services
  • Outstanding Individual: Sharmila Krishnamurty
  • Outstanding Collaboration: Sustainability Resource Center


  • Outstanding Individual: Matt Finkelstein
  • Outstanding Collaboration: Latham & Watkins, Stone & Youngberg, Michael Gollner, Kevin Peng, Karl Olney, Ihab Kayhal
  • Outstanding Faculty: Robert Pomeroy
  • Outstanding Graduate Student: Lindsay Hatch
  • Outstanding Undergraduate Student: Anne Marie Ferruzzi
  • Outstanding Staff: Judy Keplinger
  • Outstanding Academic Group: Global Responsibility and Innovation Network (GRAIN)
  • Outstanding Student Group: Ecology Club
  • Outstanding Department: Surplus Sales


  • Overall Individual: Bill Scripps
  • Faculty: Steve Kay, Kim Prather
  • Undergraduate students: Erika Kociolek, Ashley Ferrer
  • Graduate students: Kathy Lin, Melanie Zauscher
  • Staff: Martin Klein, Breda Walsh
  • Academic organization: GreenLight Project
  • Student organization: Environmental Science & Policy, Net Impact
  • Department: Early Care & Education Mesa Child Development Center, EH&S Green team


  • Community Leader: Byron Washom
  • Leadership in Sustainability: Lisa Shaffer
  • Faculty: Jan Kleissl, Gabriele Wienhausen
  • undergraduate student: June Reyes
  • Graduate student: Meagan Moore
  • Staff: Jim Ruby, Christi Gilhoi
  • Student organization: Green Campus Program
  • Departments: Bookstore, Auxiliary & Plant Services Marketing & Communications