Campus Sustainability Committee Announces 2016-17 Grant Winners
Fairfield University’s Campus Sustainability Committee recently announced the winners of the 2016-17 student grant competition. The two winning teams were each awarded $1,500 to implement innovative and original proposals that positively impact environmental and sustainability issues affecting campus.
The first project, “The Art of Recycling,” a three-part mural series proposed by international studies majors Nadra Al-Hamwy ’18, Sara Keilty ’19, Bridget Mulkerin ’17 and Julia McNicholas ’19, began construction last weekend in the Barone Campus Center and will be on display throughout the spring semester. Featuring original artwork by Stamford, Conn. artist Katelyn Conte and her assistant, Isabel Stern, each of the three murals will address a different sustainability issue and use art as an educational tool to generate dialogue across campus.
“Our intention is to create an artistic display that educates students about our campus recycling program, the environmental impact of our food and clothing choices, and our impact on the oceans and Long Island,” the group explained in their proposal. “These murals should urge students to engage in the effort and take action in protecting our Earth.”
One student already taking action is fellow international studies major Camille Giacovas ’18, whose “Recycle for Refugees” project was also awarded a sustainability grant. Designed to address the issue of recycling in the University’s residence halls, the program will focus on reducing waste by collecting cleaning supplies, furniture and kitchen basics that are discarded from dorm rooms and off-campus housing during student move-out in May. Once collected, the items will be donated to the International Institute of Connecticut Inc. (IICONN), a non-profit human service agency that helps new immigrants and refugees become more settled and self-sufficient members of the community. IICONN will distribute the goods to Connecticut refugees from a wide range of countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Columbia, Ethiopia, Iraq and Afghanistan, to name a few.
“I am so proud of the breadth of interests that students in our program display and the motivation they have demonstrated in taking local action on these important global issues,” said Anita-Deeg-Carlin, Assistant Director of International Studies and advisor for the Art of Recycling project. “These projects mirror what students learn and experience in their International Studies coursework every day."
Spearheaded by Assistant Vice President for Administration and Student Affairs James Fitzpatrick, the Campus Sustainability Grant awards were announced on the heels of the signing of the University’s first Campus Sustainability Plan by past president Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., last December. The plan is designed to provide guidance and clarity of focus for the many sustainability initiatives already happening on campus, including actions to enhance student engagement, manage energy and build new facilities to increase sustainability throughout campus. For more information, visit the University campus sustainability webpage.
Photo: “Fairfield Recycles,” the first mural in the "Art of Recycling" series, is currently on display in the lower level of the Barone Campus Center and aims to engage students in the community effort to recycle responsibly.