Alta Sustainability Leadership Awards


The Alta Sustainability Leadership Awards recognize excellence in leadership for the health of our community and planet. The awards are generously donated by Alta Ski Area.


Rewarding Sustainable Leadership

An award of $2,500 is given to the winner of each of the four award categories.

Alta Award Categories

  • Campus as a Living Lab AwardRecognizes a student (graduate or undergraduate) who completes an outstanding project or initiative that makes the U more sustainable.
  • Sustainability Community Partnership Award: Recognizes an instructor or student who models the University’s commitment to sustainability leadership through a community research or service project.
  • Sustainability Integration AwardRecognizes an instructor (at any level) who successfully integrates sustainability education into their course(s).
  • Sustainability Research Award: Recognizes an individual (student, faculty, or staff member) who is conducting significant interdisciplinary sustainability research.

Past Recipients

2016-2017

  • Elizabeth Archuleta, associate chair of Ethnic Studies in the College of Social and Cultural Transformation received the Sustainability Education Integration Award for her course “American Indian/Indigenous Women,” as well as her work fostering sustainability education across campus. 
  • Robin Craig, professor in the College of Law received the Sustainability Research Award for her extensive interdisciplinary research regarding the governance of water resources. 
  • Hunter Klingensmith, undergraduate student in Environmental and Sustainability Studies, along with along with her team; architecture students Matthew Cranney, Matthew Drake and Nathan Jellen received the Campus as a Living Lab Award for their work on water smart design for the Carolyn and Kem Gardner building.
  • Aaron Phillips, assistant professor (lecturer) in Management at the School of Business received the Sustainability Integration Award for his course “Leadership & Sustainability in Living Systems” and his integration of systems thinking into “Foundations of Business Thought,” a pre-requisite course for business majors.
  • Cheryl Pirozzi, assistant professor of Internal Medicine in the School of Medicine received the Sustainability Community Partnership Award for her tireless efforts to increase the awareness of the physician community regarding the importance of air quality to our patients’ health.
  • Onno Wieringa, Alta President and General Manager was also honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his work to advance sustainability, 

2015-2016

  • Robin Rothfeder, doctoral student in City and Metropolitan Planning, received the Campus as a Living Lab Award for his work as the project manager and lead author of the Red Butte Creek Strategic Vision.
  • Benjamin Fasoli, graduate student in Atmospheric Sciences, also received the Campus as a Living Lab Award for his work with UTA to monitor air quality continuously throughout the Salt Lake Valley, including redesign of the mobile lab with more user-friendly equipment to allow real time display of air quality measures.
  • Brian Codding, assistant professor of Anthropology, was awarded the Community Partnership Award for his extensive community-engaged research with Navajo community members.
  • Carol M. Werner, professor of Psychology, won the Leadership Research Award for her work identifying psychological mechanisms impacting behavior change.
  • Amanda Smith, assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering, was honored for her work in sustainability education, integrating sustainability literacy into a mechanical engineering course.

2014-2015

  • Youcan Feng, doctoral student in Civil & Environmental Engineering, won the Campus as a Living Lab Award for his work in quantifying water and energy budgets for green roofs at the University of Utah.
  • Rob Kent, doctoral student in Psychology, was awarded the Community Partnership Award due to his efforts to use behavior change science to improve Utah’s annual Clear the Air Challenge.
  • Julia Corbett, professor of Communication, was honored for her work in sustainability education, including founding the University’s first environmental communications course 18 years ago and more recently a class on communicating climate change.
  • Barbara Brown, professor of Family & Consumer Studies, was lauded for her sustainability research on healthy communities, neighborhood revitalization, and public transit.

For more information contact Karren Nichols.