Annual Award

The Annual Hawaii Sustainability in Higher Education Awards

Program Goals

  • Highlight the achievements that Hawaii Higher Education institutions have made to advance sustainability on their campuses and in their communities
  • Showcase specific students, faculty, staff or projects as models for other campuses to achieve sustainability goals.

2014 Hawaii Sustainability in Higher Education Award Winners 

Campus Name
Presented to
Kaua‘i Community College Gordon Talbo His Excellent Work in Automotive Technology
Honolulu Community College Alapaki Luke Building and Planting the Garden of Niuhelewai
Hawai‘i Community College Christopher Jacobsen Building Community Connections that Increase Food Security
Leeward Community College Sandy Maeda Leadership and Management of Sustainability Campus Projects
Windward Community College Peer Mentors Their HI 5 Recycling Collection Efforts
Kapi‘olani Community College Ron Takahashi His Development of Sustainable Food Service Systems
University of Hawai‘i Maui College AG & Culinary Academy team Initiating a “Kitchen to Farm” Composting System
University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu Laura McDowell Initiating the Eco-Club and Stewardship of the Organic Garden
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Manoa Sustainability Council
University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Jonathan Wong Promoting Sustainability Initiatives on Campus
University of Hawai‘i System Doorae Shin for Leadership in Advancing Sustainability throughout the University of Hawaii 10-Campus System
University of Hawai‘i System Krista Hiser for Leadership in Advancing Sustainability throughout the University of Hawaii 10-Campus System
University of Hawai‘i System Helen Cox for Leadership in Advancing Sustainability throughout the University of Hawaii 10-Campus System
Chaminade University Campus Partners for Sustainability Installation of Photovoltaic Systems to Provide Power to the Campus
Brigham Young University-Hawai‘i Les Harper His Promotion of the “Give & Take” Recycling Center

Descriptions of 2014 Hawaii Sustainability in Higher Education Award Winners 

Presented to
Brigham Young University-Hawai‘iLes Harper His Promotion of the “Give & Take” Recycling Center
Chaminade UniversityCampus Partners for Sustainability Project: Campus Partners for Sustainability—installation of photovoltaic systems to provide power to the campusPeople: President Brother Bernard Ploeger; Vice President Aulani Ka’anoi; Plant and Facilities Manager, Mike Haisen; Judge Walter Kirimitsu; Bro. Robert Hoppe
Under the leadership of President Ploeger, the Saint Louis School President, Judge Walter Kirimitsu, and the Vice President of the Marianist Center of Hawaii, Bro. Robert Hoppe; the three entities collaborated to have a more energy efficient and sustainable campus at Chaminade University. The campus is shared by all three entities, and thus, all three campus partners share the honor. This Campus partnership was a three-way effort to develop a more sustainable community within our shared island ecosystem. To do this they installed photovoltaic systems across campus on various campus buildings.
In January 2012, the “Campus Partners” completed the Photovoltaic project on campus, installing over 400 Kw AC on the roofs of campus buildings. The original projections estimated that the project would save over $3.3 M in utility costs over the next 20 years. However, actual results, since installation, have been even better than expected. The Photovoltaic system current supplies 14% of the total campus electricity, and over the last 2 years, has saved a total of $189,000 – 80% over original estimates!
The results of this project have been so successful, that they are currently in the planning stages of installing an additional 150 Kw AC, on the campus. It is currently underway and this new phase of the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. It is projected to increase Chaminade’s campus Photovoltaic capacity by an additional 30%. This would increase estimated savings by $1.4 M to a total of $4.7 M over the next 20 years.
Kaua‘i Community CollegeGordon Talbo Gordon Talbo was chosen for his excellent work in Automotive Technology. He has added a certificate in electric vehicles, recognizing the need for Kaua‘i Community College students to be able to service these cars.
Honolulu Community CollegeAlapaki Luke Alapaki Luke is a Hawaiian Studies teacher that obtained funding from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and funding from the campus to build and plant the garden of Niuhelewai. This mala, or taro patch, is located behind the preschool facility of the Honolulu Community College campus. Over 20 Hawaiian varieties of Kalo have been planted, harvested, and replanted. Throughout the fall and spring semesters, students, campus groups, faculty and staff and community groups have cared for the mala. The mala serves as an educational platform to teach students using a traditional Native Hawaiian holistic approach. The Garden of Niuhelewai also received the Award of Excellence in the Xeriscape category at the 2012 Betty Crocker Landscape Awards.
Hawai‘i Community CollegeChristopher Jacobsen Believing that community health, well-being and stability are foundational to sustainability, the Agriculture Program and Chris are working to build community connections that increase food security of island families through promoting and demonstrating home gardening and edible landscaping concepts to folks of all ages. We are currently working regularly with the Kamoleao Laulima Resource Center and a youth group from Sangha Hall.
Within production areas, the Agriculture Program has begun to improve many of its facilities and adopt progressive practices that protect resources and insure they are used efficiently. Irrigation systems and controllers have been improved to conserve water. Nutrients are increasingly provided through renewable or organic sources and include mulch, compost, compost teas and vermicomposts. Mushroom production is integrated as a component of the program’s organic-material recycling strategy- demonstrating that food resources can be produced from wood “waste” prior to returning it to the soil to enhance fertility.
A final area of focus of the program is to introduce students to entrepreneurial opportunities that increase the prospects of economic viability through value-added products which resourcefully use excess or off-grade fruit and produce. One of our best examples to date is a gingerale developed from lemons, calamansi, ginger and honey. This soda also highlights the collaborative nature of the program as we have developed a partnership with UHH’s Adopt-a-Beehive Program. The resulting soda from this collaboration is called HawCC UHH Collabrew.
Leeward Community CollegeSandy Maeda Leeward Community College would like to recognize Sandy Maeda, Facilities Manager, as the recipient of the Sustainability Award. During the course of the past four years with Leeward, Sandy has provided the leadership and management to oversee the construction and implementation of the following sustainability-related campus projects:1. Construction of the College’s first new facility in over 30 years – our new teacher education building – a LEED silver facility that features a green roof, photovoltaic panels, and a water reclamation system
2. As part of our renewable energy initiative, Sandy has overseen the installation of the largest photovoltaic system among the ten UH campuses – a system that includes nearly 3,000 solar panels capable of producing 692 kilowatt hours of electricity
3. Partnering with Johnson Controls, Inc. Sandy coordinated the successful implementation of nearly 20 energy conservation measures that have resulted in a 10% reduction in the campus’ kilowatt hour consumption and includes such initiatives as; interior and exterior lighting replacement, a new central chiller plant and energy management control system, a central trash compactor, and irrigation control system
4. Finally, Sandy was instrumental in the campus’ efforts to remodel nearly 20 campus restrooms which included energy and water conservation devices, the installation of water bottle refilling stations to replace outdated and inefficient outdoor water fountains, coordinated the campus’ recycling bin campaign, and increased the number of bike racks which included the installation of a bike repair stationSandy’s continuing efforts in the sustainability arena include membership on the campus’ sustainability committee and a member of the UH system’s sustainability planning working group.
Windward Community CollegePeer Mentors The peer mentor recycling program started in 2007 when we purchased the first 6 large blue recycling bins for Hale `Akoakoa. Every week peer mentors collect, sort, and recycle the cans and bottles. The initial intent of the program was to provide recycling services for the building, help to minimize trash, and support campus sustainability. In Spring 2008, in partnership with the VCAA office, we purchased 30 hexcycle recycling bins to expand the service to the whole campus. The mentors were excited about the expansion but didn’t always embrace the increase in bugs and critters.”What I love about the recycling program is the commitment to malama `aina, to care for the campus, as well as supports the goals of mentoring and developing student leaders. It embodies the WCC and mentor team core values of na`auao, learning in a student-centered environment, and laulima, collaboration in shared accomplishments and experiential learning.” Loke Kenolio
Kapi‘olani Community CollegeRon Takahashi His Development of Sustainable Food Service Systems
University of Hawai‘i Maui CollegeAG & Culinary Academy team University of Hawai‘i Maui College nominates the AG & Culinary Academy team that initiated a “kitchen to farm” composting system starting in September 2013. This system provides a means to illustrate American Culinary Federation Accreditation student learning competencies that track and encourage sustainability measures within our Culinary Arts Program and supports learning outcomes for our Sustainable Tropical Crop Production students.The Maui Culinary Academy (MCA) established the practice of collecting organic waste to supply local hog farmers for several years. Last year, (2013), our culinary department approached William Jacintho and Ann Emmsley in the AG program to develop a system to strengthen program sustainability efforts based on organic waste. Color-coordinated five gallon buckets with locking lids were purchased, labeled for tracking, and distributed to each Pa’ina kitchen lab. Maui Culinary Academy (MCA) students were encouraged to collect all organic and compostable waste, and operations dishwashers were instructed to collect post-consumer waste; then stack sealed buckets in the loading dock area for AG pick up. MCA students developed considerable sustainable habits to pick up empty containers and automatically fill them, instead of simply dumping anything in a trash can. MCA estimates that they have prevented over 70 pounds daily, or six tons of solid waste expended annually to the Maui landfill. In addition, AG may be saving the cost of purchasing compost, and Operations and Maintenance may have less frequent pickups from our Waste Collection bins. Once the cycle is completed, MCA envisions fresh produce to be grown to supplement culinary purchases and/or public sale from natural nutritional fermentation of this collected compost.On the AG department side, William Jacintho, Mailani Souza, and students Ryan Toshikiyo and Traci Palermo, have been working hard picking up waste daily from the Maui Culinary Academy to build compost piles. Mailani Souza is in charge of tracking temperature readings to ensure pile temperatures reach appropriate levels to kill any weed seeds or pathogens and determines when the piles are finished and ready to apply to the field. William Jacintho has worked with the Operations and Maintenance staff to secure waste generated from our campus landscape including wood chips and grass clippings. He transports this from one side of campus to the farm area and adds appropriate amounts to the kitchen waste in order to balance the Carbon/Nitrogen ratio within the pile. This not only uses organic waste from two campus sources but eliminates odors and deters pests. These four individuals have shared the daily trek down to Culinary to pick up three to five 5-gallon buckets of food waste and returning the empty buckets.

The compost that is being built now will be used in the 8,000 square feet organic field in Fall 2014. This field was developed in Fall 2012 for an AG 251 Sustainable Crop Production I market garden in an area formerly used for turf management. The soil in this field is a Puuone sand and therefore has fertility challenges, so this in-house compost production is vital to improving the soil and being able to produce vegetables commercially in an organically approved manner. During the previous two production cycles the amount of compost available was insufficient as only a limited amount of off-site waste was available to supplement the yard waste. The daily upkeep has also kept a focus on building larger amounts of compost in a timely manner so it will be available when needed.

Next fall the finished compost from this year will be applied to the field from which students will be producing fresh vegetables and flowers which will be sold to the campus via a campus “farmers” market, a campus CSA (Community supported program..subscription sales of product), and selling product to the Culinary department. This simple system illustrates a symbiotic relationship with Culinary and AG, and approaches the challenge of waste by creating an economically valuable product and fulfills student learning objectives in both programs.

University of Hawaiʻi – West OʻahuLaura McDowell Nomination: Laura McDowell, UH West O‘ahu student.We are lucky to have Laura McDowell at the University of Hawai‘i-West O‘ahu (UHWO) campus. Her efforts for Sustainability have enhanced our campus and provided students with opportunities to engage in campus and community Sustainability initiatives. Laura is a student leader on campus and initiated the Eco-Club at UH West O‘ahu, which is a student-led organization tasked with the stewardship of the UHWO Organic Garden and promotion of sustainability. As the president of Eco-Club, Laura contributed to the mission of the club, which is to support enriching opportunities for the educational, social and cultural development of UHWO students by providing a space where they can learn, train in, and participate in hands-on gardening. The Club strives to promote sustainable practices of gardening hoped to stimulate the advancement of the values of care and responsibility which are derived from a close relationship to working on the land.
The faculty, students and staff at UH West O‘ahu have been inspired by Laura’s ability to organize campus work days, lead the efforts for sustainability on campus, and take the lead on planning an all campus Earth Day at UH West O‘ahu. Laura is an eager student and seeks out ways to delve deep into environmental and social issues within her campus and community. Particularly concerning for Laura is the rapid growth of O‘ahu and food security issues for the island. This year she has researched the effects of globalization and the need for sustainability and resiliency. She has explored local issues of development, food production, and education, and developed an understanding of the relationship of economy, society, and environment in understanding local issues. Laura is a dedicated student, a self-motivated learner, and a natural leader and facilitator. She also contributes a Sustainability column for the UH West O‘ahu student newspaper/publication and engages students and faculty in thoughtful discussion of sustainability issues. She deeply cares about the sustainability of her community and wishes to engage students in caring more about the local and global environment.
University of Hawai‘i at MānoaManoa Sustainability Council The Manoa Sustainability Council was founded in September 2009 as the Manoa Sustainability Corps to advise the Manoa Chancellor and administration on sustainability policy and practice and facilitate communication and collaboration among sustainability researchers, organizations, groups and individuals. Since its inception the Council has served as an incubator for numerous campus initiatives and actively promotes the efforts of student groups and development of student leaders. The Council has provided a consistent forum for the twenty sustainability-related organizations at Manoa to meet, collaborate, and coordinate their activities to accelerate sustainability education, research, and service to the campus and throughout the surrounding community. Such coordination helped facilitate the adoption of a system-wide UH Sustainability Policy, the UHM Sustainability Policy, and the UHM Sustainable Food Service Products Policy, supported two state-wide higher education sustainability summits and Manoa Earth Day activities over several years, and helps coordinate collaborative research by groups such as HNEI, REIS, and EGGs targeting local, national and international impacts.
University of Hawai‘i at HiloJonathan Wong Promoting Sustainability Initiatives on Campus
University of Hawai‘i SystemDoorae Shin Doorae Shin is a UH Manoa undergraduate and leader of the Student Sustainability Coalition of Hawaii (SSCH). In addition to her extensive work on the UH Manoa campus to help foster a culture of sustainability, she has taken a leading role in convening the SSCH and organizing student testimonies for the now approved Board of Regent’s sustainability policy.
University of Hawai‘i SystemKrista Hiser Professor Krista Hiser, Kapi‘olani Community College, in addition to her campus service at KCC, she has a long history of engaging with the University of Hawaii system to help foster sustainability across the curriculum. Her system contributions include: organizing for two years running a two-day faculty workshop on integrating sustainability into the curriculum that was open to all UH faculty, spearheading the organizing of the 2013 Sustainability and Diversity Change Agents Student Leadership Retreat attended by students from Kapiolani Community College, UHWO, and UHM; co-organizing in 2009 a gathering of faculty from across the UH system to share best practices for education for sustainability, spearheading the Curriculum Working Group for the UH system since fall 2013
University of Hawai‘i SystemHelen Cox Chancellor Helen Cox, in addition to helping Kauai Community College be a leader in sustainable practices and engagement with the local community, she has chaired the UH Community College Strategic Planning Task Force focused on generating system-wide sustainability metrics. She was specifically nominated for the award by staff at KCC and has and continues to be a respected sustainability leader in the UH system.

Recent Posts