Campus News

Annual Sustainable UGA Awards given to outstanding students, faculty, staff

Athens, Ga. – Four members of the University of Georgia community received high marks from the UGA Office of Sustainability in the annual round of Sustainable UGA Awards for outstanding faculty, staff and undergraduate and graduate students.

Sustainable UGA Award winners go above and beyond to demonstrate dedicated efforts to conserve natural resources, advance sustainability initiatives and improve quality of life, both on and off campus, said Kevin Kirsche, director of the UGA Office of Sustainability.

“We solicited input widely from the university community,” he said. “With so many actively engaged students, faculty and staff worthy of commendation, it is significant that these four individuals were recognized repeatedly by their peers as having made meaningful contributions to advance sustainability at UGA.”

The 2015 Sustainable UGA Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award was given to Tiffany Eberhard, a senior environmental health science major from Athens. As leader of the Bag the Bag initiative, Eberhard has led the effort to encourage the UGA community—and state legislators—to reduce the use of disposable plastic bags. She is dedicated to improving health and quality of life in communities and empowering others.

According to one nominator, “Tiffany is one of my biggest inspirations. … She’s constantly looking to support positive change while simultaneously being rooted in her culture, faith and community. She is a shining example of the future of environmental activism, research and innovation.”

The 2015 Sustainable UGA Outstanding Graduate Student Award was given to Jane Diener, a UGA doctoral student in the Warnell College of Forestry and Natural Resources. She is extremely productive in her part-time role as sustainability coordinator for University Housing. From implementing the EcoReps peer mentoring program to advancing recycling, composting and more, she is dedicated to inspiring others and leading by example.

According to one of her nominators, “She gave up her car, eats vegan and reduces, reuses and recycles whatever she can. An exhaustive list of Jane’s individual sustainable actions could fill a book of its own.”

The 2015 Sustainable UGA Outstanding Faculty Award was given to Malcolm Adams, a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor and head of the mathematics department in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. His sustainability credentials range from serving on the 2009 Working Group on Sustainability and as a founding member of the Committee for the Integration of Sustainability Across Campus, working to strengthen the environmental literacy requirement on the University Council Executive Committee, and supporting the Sustainability Faculty Learning Community. Adams’ efforts are underscored by a deep personal commitment to living, teaching and serving others well.

“Malcolm works tirelessly and humbly behind the scenes,” said one nominator. “UGA would not be the same without his tremendous efforts.”

The 2015 Sustainable UGA Outstanding Staff Award was given to Jason Hubbard, who serves as a horticulture assistant in the Facility Management Division’s grounds department. He has a certificate in permaculture design and has been studying and practicing permaculture principles for more than 15 years. Hubbard works hard to develop a more holistic approach to grounds maintenance. The annual flowerbeds he installs and maintains are done so with a soil-first approach, replacing synthetic chemicals with organic and biological fertilizers and compost teas.

According to his nominator, “The other half of his professional life is devoted to deep nature connection and mentoring.” Hubbard helped to start Wild Intelligence and currently serves as a youth and teen mentor. He co-facilitates a yearlong teen program and a summer backpacking camp for youth.

“Through the daily actions of engaged students, faculty and staff, UGA continues to enhance stewardship of natural resources and advance sustainability initiatives to create a model for healthy living on campus and beyond,” Kirsche said. “Our campuses increasingly serve as living laboratories in which sustainability is researched, taught, practiced and constantly refined. We are indebted to the people that dedicate their time and energy to bring this vision to fruition.”

For more information regarding sustainability initiatives at UGA, visit