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Sustainability Efforts Lauded at Spirit of St. Francis Event

Spirit of St. Francis WinnersThe sustainability movement on the Creighton University campus demonstrated its own vitality Friday when it granted four Spirit of St. Francis Sustainability Awards and noted the ongoing work of students, faculty and staff in reducing energy use.


The 2019 Feast of St. Francis Lunch and Award Presentation, held Friday afternoon at the Skutt Student Center ballroom, featured an update on student activism by Caroline Adrian, an environmental science student, as well as presentations on efforts to reduce student electricity use and to enhance student environmental awareness.

Four other students described on-campus efforts to reduce energy use and to build environmental awareness among students.

The event featured a zero-waste lunch featuring locally sourced ingredients from nearby Big Muddy Urban Farm and from Saving Grace, a private agency that saves perishable foods and delivers them to needy individuals and families.

Students Colin Thomas, Kaity Szymborski, Donna Shahbazi and Gabby Baker all described successful efforts to reduce energy use in Creighton’s nine residential halls, or efforts to encourage sustainable behavior across campus.

Energy savings recorded across all nine residential halls were reported as the equivalent of 55,507 miles driven, 378 trees planted, 2 million lights turned off for one hour, 991 bags of trash or 2.9 million smartphones recharged.

A faculty member, student, staff member and community partner received the Spirit of St. Francis Sustainability Awards.

Andrew Baruth, PhD, associate professor of physics, was honored for not only advocating for sustainability, but for working to implement concrete sustainable projects on campus.

Colin Thomas was honored for playing an instrumental role in developing new solar energy infrastructure at Creighton’s ILAC center in the Dominican Republic and evaluating the potential for new rooftop solar at Creighton.

Jessica Heller, landscape supervisor in facilities management, was honored for undertaking projects that educate the campus community about trees, plantings and nature – programs that encourage people to be mindful of the natural world and to value sustainability.

Finally, Bluejay Print and Post, which is staffed by employees of Canon, Inc., received the Community Partner Award. The company was honored for promoting a print-sustainability program that has used technology to reduce the amount of paper and other print costs. Jason Johnson, manager of the Canon Printing Management Program at Creighton, accepted the award.


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