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Sustainability Award Honorees Announced

The UC San Diego Sustainability Awards recognizes individuals and groups that have made the campus more sustainable—from managing campus gardens to supporting food recovery for students who need it most. Hosted by the campus Sustainability Office, the May 9 awards ceremony will honor the following recipients for their efforts to share information about and prioritize sustainability in UC San Diego’s education, research, planning, and operations and outreach programs.

Alumni: Luke Vickrey

As a founding member of the Food Recovery Network (FRN) student organization at UC San Diego, Luke Vickrey played a key role in addressing issues such as food waste and food insecurity.Despite graduating three years ago, Vickrey has remained an active and vital member of the UC San Diego FRN chapter, mentoring current students.He also led the regional summit for FRN National last April, which brought together several chapters from Southern California to discuss different perspectives and potential events that chapters could host.

Campus Vendor: Pinpoint Cafe

Located at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Pinpoint Café is dedicated to providing sustainable food service to its customers. Founded by two sisters from Brazil, the café offers delicious vegetarian options that promote the exploration of diverse and plant based-foods. Pinpoint Café uses minimal packaging that is either reusable, compostable or recyclable. They have a mug sharing program, where patrons can borrow a “cup for here,” and customers can purchase reusable utensils or take away salads and soups in glass containers for a small deposit. They also participate with UC San Diego’s composting program at Roger’s Community Garden.

Department: UC San Diego Health Facilities Engineering

UC San Diego Health Facilities Engineering has the responsibility of maintaining and operating 1.4 million square feet of hospitals to meet extensive regulatory requirements and provide world-class patient care.The team began an Ongoing Commissioning Program in early 2018, wherein the group’s energy manager regularly identifies a "Top 10 List" of operational improvements to reduce energy waste and greenhouse gas emissions. In the last year, the team has implemented 33 operational improvements that collectively reduced energy use by one million British Thermal Units (MMBTU), prevented greenhouse gas emissions of 600 metric tons and reduced energy bills by more than $200,000 per year.

Faculty: Dr. Keith Pezzoli

UC San Diego faculty members Keith Pezzoli was referred to as a sustainability superhero in his Sustainability Award nomination. Always willing to help students and the community alike, UC San Diego professor of Communication directs the Urban Studies and Planning Program on campus. He also directs the Bioregional Center for Sustainability Science, Planning and Design, and the MetroLab Network’s Green Infrastructure and Planning Project, which are both designed to promote sustainability to help eradicate root causes of ecological degradation, poverty, social strife and injustice. The programs also help democratize science and technology; and work to enhance communication to the public related to sustainability planning, policy and design.

Staff: Zack Osborn

Zack Osborn serves as manager of Roger’s Community Garden on campus. In that role, he has helped grow student participation at the unique space, with undergraduates from diverse majors and backgrounds. Harnessing the power of science and engineering, he has made the garden space attractive to student entrepreneurialism and technological research, and has advocated to for the real application of sustainability initiatives campuswide.He also works with school children in the community, as well as to low-income residents through the Ocean View Growing Grounds community garden.

Student: Quiana Stodder

Quiana Stodder is an intern in UC San Diego Facilities Management who is helping to create a carbon neutral campus by the year 2025. This year, she developed complex calculations to predict energy use based on outdoor air temperature, which will help staff identify real energy waste and address operational issues. As a part of the UC San Diego Green Labs program, she performed outreach to researchers regarding proper freezer maintenance. She is also an active member of the Engineers for a Sustainable World Club.

Student Group: Food Recovery Network

The Food Recovery Network (FRN) works to bridge the gap between food insecurity and food waste. They have given healthy meals to countless deserving individuals including students who identify as food insecure as well as homeless youth from Urban Street Angels. They also work to educate the student body about food insecurity. With close partnerships in The Hub Basic Needs Resource Center and the Center for Student Involvement, student members have started food distributions twice a week outside of The Hub, open to any student facing food insecurity. They have also expanded to recovering food from off campus, from a nearby Vons and soon the Hillcrest Medical Center.