CONGRATULATIONS 2018 Cornell University Partners in Sustainability Award Recipients

Recognizing campus and community leaders who advance sustainability values and initiatives with Cornell


Congratulations to the 2018 Cornell University Partners in Sustainability Awards (CUPSA) winners!  The Cornell University Partners in Sustainability Awards (CUPSA) recognize individuals and teams who have exemplified the sustainability values of Cornell, made significant and notable contributions to the sustainable development and social equity of the Cornell campus, or displayed outstanding partnership for advancing sustainability within our campus and community.

2018 CUPSA Award Winners

  • Group: Cornell Thrift
  • Group: Society for Natural Resource Conservation
  • Faculty: Jonathon Paul Schuldt, Assistant Professor,  Communications Department 
  • Staff: Sam Benson, RHD, Ecology House
  • Student: Lauren Yeaman ’18
  • Student: Carli Fraccarolli ’18
  • Service Award: Amy Penick, Sustainability Metrics Fellow ‘17
  • Community Partners: BikeWalk Tompkins & Ithaca Carshare

Nominations open for 2019, click here for more info and to nominate an individual, group or yourself.

Learn more about this year's award winners:

Group Award Category
Cornell Thrift

Cornell Thrift  was started two years ago to provide an outlet year-round for Cornell students to pass on their unwanted clothing, electronics etc. to avoid contributing to the waste stream. They were inspired by the concept of “free‐piles” seen in university co‐operative housing and the annual dump and run sale.  Through initiatives such as Ezra Exchange Closets and their various mending and upcycling workshops, the team raises awareness amongst Cornell students about the unnecessary waste that each of us generate as well as provide substantial resources that empowers everyone to live differently. Cornell Thrift helped organize Sustainable Living Fair that is happening next Thursday that brings together environmental organizations on campus to teach about zero waste living.  They represent an extremely well-organized team of individuals deserving of recognition not only for their leadership in “walking the talk,” but their ability to collaborate and successfully mobilize new groups of both students and staff across campus in their programs. 

Group Award Category
The Society for Natural Resources Conservation (SNRC)

The Society for Natural Resources Conservation (SNRC) combines collaboration and passion to encourage community environmental and resource conservation through the implementation of educational events and programs. Just a sampling of SNRC projects:

  • initiated and is expanding TerraCycle collection bin locations across campus
  • hosts Fall Creek Gorge Stewardship events
  • promotes the use of reusable mugs through a social-media photo campaign
  • organizes an annual zero-waste Earth Day 5K to demonstrate sustainable living practices, raise awareness for environmental issues, and support local conservation groups
  • instituted a fee for plastic bags at the Cornell Store

SNRC collaborates with a diverse group of organizations to make the broadest and strongest impact possible.

Faculty and Staff Award Category
Dr. Jonathon Paul Schuldt, Communications Department

Asst. professor Jonathon Schuldt at the reception at the 2015 Communication (COMM) Advisory Board Meeting. (Jason Koski)
Asst. professor Jonathon Schuldt (Jason Koski)

Dr. Jonathon Schuldt is an assistant professor in the Dept. of Communications. Professor Schuldt brings in essential attitudinal and behavioral theories related to environmental communication into the classroom. He engages students in sustainability issues from a communication perspective. One student states that what he has learned in his class was very helpful in his work with the Campus Sustainability Office. In his collaborative environmental research, Schuldt addresses social, political, and policy implications of climate change often taking public opinion into account. His work plays an important role in educating the public about everyday intentions and decisions related to being sustainable. As a member of the PSCC people team, Professor Schuldt helped create the sustainability literacy survey which has been an important tool and metric to gauge students from incoming freshman to graduation their growth in sustainability and climate literacy.

Faculty and Staff Award Category
Sam Benson, RHD, Ecology House

Sam Benson
Sam Benson (Simon Wheeler)

Sam Benson is the Residence Hall Director of The Hurlburt Ecology House. Sam is deeply committed to the house mission, which is to introduce students “… to begin to change the world [and live] sustainably.”. Sam promotes mission building and the creation of a Service Chair as an outreach student leadership position and she is dedicated to the professional and personal development for the house members. She has helped change the dorm to using sustainable cleaning products. She worked with the Eco Sustainability Assistant to get the Ecology House changed over to be 100% solar powered and piloted the first residential installment of the mini bins for landfill waste, seeing a marked decrease in overall landfill waste and better recycling separation. Sam partnered with Terracycle to get five specialty recycling bins to help with waste management. She tries engaging and influence other Residence Hall

Student Award Category
Lauren Yeaman ’18

Lauren Yeaman is an Environmental and Sustainability Sciences major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Lauren has worked hard since her freshman year to promote sustainability on Cornell's campus and in her personal life. She is president of NatureRX , a transdisciplinary group of faculty and Cornell Health staff that studies and clinically applies nature experiences for accessible, equitable mental and physical health care and healing. In addition to many other organizations and clubs she is involved in, Lauren has her own blog Deliberationist which is about living a Zero Waste Lifestyle.  Her motto "To eliminate the excess and thereby free up space... so I may invest in the things that give my life purpose."

Lauren works with people across Cornell's campus to promote a greener lifestyle, from hosting NatrueRX events, to Vegan Society potlucks, composting workshops and more.

She developed her own undergraduate ESS concentration of planetary health, or the study of the relationship between human health and the state of the environmental resources on which we depend. She leads the Planetary Health student group on campus. Through her work, she represents Cornell University in Ivy League sustainability initiatives, allowing the community to be visible, collaborative, and active among these critical environmental solutions. She believes the sustainability movement needs scholars from all disciplines--economists, digital media/visual artists, journalists, physicians, etc. in addition to climate scientists (who are often seen as the only ones who should be concerned with climate change). Lauren Yeaman aims through her work to build relationships between scientists and non-scientists, engage the humanities, and consciously avoid elitism within the sustainability movement.

Student Award Category
Carli Fraccarolli ’18

Carli Fraccarolli (Simon Wheeler)

Carli Fraccarolli is the founder and current president of the Kappa Chapter of Epsilon Eta, a professional honors fraternity focused on sustainability. She founded the fraternity to bridge the gap between environmentalism and professionalism. Through the fraternity Carli is connecting students of different majors with the common thread of sustainability. Epsilon Eta’s members represent 5 colleges and over 11 majors. She encourages members to think about what sustainability means to them, going beyond traditional ideas of environmentalism towards a broader approach to the topic. She also plans to start a program of member education that includes soft skills related to business professionalism, and hard skills pertaining to the fields of environmental and sustainability studies. With the help of her Executive Board, Carli is working to connect these undergraduate students with a network of alumni, educators, community members and business professionals that will provide valuable knowledge and opportunities (internships, research opportunities, volunteering) to Epsilon Eta’s membership.> 

Carli’s goal for the rest of her undergraduate career is to prepare underclassmen to enter the workforce with an idea of what sustainability means to them and to use the knowledge and skills in life after Cornell.

Service Award Category
Amy Penick ‘17

Amy Penick (provided)
Amy introduced herself to us as an engineer by training and a musician at heart. Happily, we’ve found that she has sustainability in her soul! A class of 2017 Cornell Engineering graduate, she has volunteered 100’s of hours as the Sustainability Metrics Integration Fellow for the Campus Sustainability Office since September of 2017 providing invaluable support coordinating campus engagement for the update of the Campus Sustainability Plan, and thoughtfully researching how to align our plan with UN Sustainable Development Goals and ensure the plan is true to our own sustainability framework of people, planet, purpose, and prosperity. Amy has helped to set the course for Cornell’s sustainability efforts for the next five years. We are so thankful for Amy’s dedication and insightful contributions and couldn’t be happier to present her with this well-deserved CUPSA Service Award.

Community Partner Award Category
Ithaca Carshare

Ithaca Carshare, formed in 2006 and launched in 2008, is a membership service offering 24/7 self-serve access to fuel-efficient cars, a minivan, and a truck located in Ithaca. Cornell students, faculty and staff can easily become members of this program and enjoy the benefits of a car while saving money and contributing to a healthier planet by rethinking the car-owning habit, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel use.

Community Partner Award Category
Bikewalk Tompkins

In 2017, Bikewalk Tompkins hosted the 10th and 11th editions of Streets Alive! In May and December. Each event closes 10 – 15 city blocks to cars and opens the up to people to bike, walk, roll, dance and play for 4 hours. Each event uses 50 – 80 volunteers and draws an estimated 2500-3000 participants.

Bikeshare has become an integral part of the Ithaca and Cornell communities and contributes to the mind shift that is needed in our mutual quests to become a carbon neutral community.

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