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UNCP professor and alumna named as finalists for 2022 AASHE Sustainability Award

By Staff Report, posted Nov 23, 2022 on

Scott HIcks Photo provided by: UNCP 

UNC Pembroke professor Scott Hicks and alumna Olivia Sadler are receiving praise and possible global recognition for their work in sustainability. 

The two have been named as finalists for a 2022 AASHE Sustainability Award recognizing outstanding scholarship in higher education.

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s Sustainability Awards provide global recognition to the individuals and organizations leading the higher education sustainability movement. With the help of volunteer judges, this program raises the visibility of high-impact projects, pioneering research, and student leadership that helps to disseminate innovations and inspire continued progress toward environmental, social and economic health.

AASHE announced that the UNCP affiliate’s work titled “A Survey of Environmental Attitudes and Knowledge of University Undergraduate Students for the Purpose of Faculty Development in Teaching and Learning for Sustainability” is among the finalists in the “Campus Sustainability Research” category.

Finalists were selected based on overall impact, innovation, stakeholder involvement, clarity and other criteria specific to each award category. Winners will be celebrated during a virtual awards ceremony on December 8.

“I’m grateful to AASHE for this recognition, for it’s a confirmation of how UNCP can help students learn more about sustainability and take action on climate change,” said Hicks, director of the Teaching & Learning Center and professor of English, in a press release. “It’s even more rewarding because it shines a spotlight on undergraduate research and faculty-student partnership at UNCP, and I’m grateful to former sustainability directors Jay Blauser and Justin Duncan for funding Olivia as a student assistant for teaching and learning for sustainability.”

Sadler graduated as a psychology major and member of the Esther G. Maynor Honors College, in 2021 with honors. Completing this study helped Sadler learn what it means to conduct research and how to be a researcher.

“The work myself and Scott were able to conduct completely transformed my undergraduate experience,” said Sadler in a press release. “This study let my love for research flourish and gave me first-hand experience of research that still influences the work I do today while in graduate school.”

Now a graduate student in psychology at NC State University, Sadler said the study’s conclusions show another way we can help our community through education. “The truth of the matter is that helping the environment helps people,” she said. “And education is one of the most powerful tools we have to provide that help.”

“The 2022 AASHE Sustainability Award winners demonstrate an inspiring passion for progressing sustainability at their campus. They are raising the bar and evolving what sustainability in higher education looks like,” shared AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser.

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