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Annual Sustainability Awards

Every year at our Annual Sustainability Celebration, in April, we recognize those who are creating a positive impact at SIU! Recognitions include Environmental Ambassador Awards, Sustainability Collaborator Awards, and more! Learn more about these programs below.

Environmental Ambassador Award

This April (2019) we will mark our 18th year of awarding environmental ambassadors!


With a minimum of 30 service hours required to receive the award, we know that our students have volunteered over 9000 hours toward environmental initiatives since the initiation of the Environmental Ambassador Award.

We hope to break the 10,000 hour milestone this year! Students, help us to reach this goal!

Students who participate in at least 30 hours of environmentally related service in an academic year are eligible for the Environmental Ambassador Award, sponsored by the Sustainability Council and awarded by the Chancellor.

There are two options for receiving the Environmental Ambassador Award (EAA). In order to participate, students should review and follow the instructions here:

Option A

  1. If you have not already registered to use the volunteer database with the Center for Service-Learning and Volunteerism, follow the instructions found on their website at When you register, you have the option of identifying which student groups you are a part of. Be sure to choose Environmental Ambassador.
  2. After registering, browse the opportunities listed in the volunteer database. A link to the database can be found here: Click on the description link of each opportunity to find out if the volunteer opportunity qualifies for the Environmental Ambassador Award. Opportunities that qualify are noted with the sentence: “This program qualifies for the Environmental Ambassador Award.” Follow all instructions on the website to sign-up to volunteer at the event.
  3. Print out the Service Hours Verification Sheet, found on the SIU Center for Service-Learning and Volunteerism website. Circle “Environmental Ambassador” as the “Reason for Service.” 
  4. Volunteer and ensure that the agency sponsor signs the form on the date of the event after you have filled out all other event information.
  5. Save the form: it is the responsibility of the student to save this form until all 30 qualifying hours are complete. You will use this form for all EAA hours.  If there are questions about qualifying hours, please contact the Sustainability Office.
  6. Submit your form: the completed form MUST be submitted to the Sustainability Office before April 22. Forms can be scanned and submitted electronically to with “Environmental Ambassador Award Option A Submission” as the subject line.

The Sustainability Office sometimes offers opportunities to volunteer that are not listed in the volunteer database. If you are working on this award while volunteering with our office, ask us to sign your Service Hours Verification Sheet at the time you volunteer with us.

Option B

We understand that students sometimes complete environmental work outside of the opportunities available in the SIU Center for Service Learning and Volunteerism database. Students who have completed environmental work outside of this process during the active school year may apply to receive the Environmental Ambassador Award by completing this form and complying with the requirements set forth.

NOTE: Environmental Ambassador Award hours must be completed before April 22.  Forms can be scanned and submitted electronically to with “Environmental Ambassador Award Option A Submission” as the subject line.

We recognize our past awardees. See below for a list of our Environmental Ambassador recipients over the years.

Sustainability Collaboration Recognition 

The Sustainability Council recognizes campus groups who have collaborated with SIU Sustainability, or other groups, to help make our campus more sustainable.

2018 Sustainability Collaborators
Amber Billings – Dental Hygiene clinic.

Saluki Green Action Team Committee Members
Saluki Green Action Team committee - Sally Wright, Amy McMorrow Hunter, and Christi Mathis.
2018 Honorary Environmental Ambassador Award
Ron Dunkel, Student Center Craft Shop.


2017 Sustainability Celebration Highlights


Representatives from Plant and Service Operations Building Services team accept a Sustainability Collaborators award.

Photo (left to right): Vice Chancellor Jim Garvey, Mike Brewer, Marianne Wilson, Student Sustainability Council Member Alyssa Kolenda, Sustainability Coordinator Geory Kurtzhals, Student Sustainability Council Member Amanda Marshall.



Sustainability Fellow Austin Nunn accepts a Sustainability Collaborators award on behalf of the student design Registered Student Organization (RSO), AIGA for the group's work on campuswide recycling signage.


Paul Restivo accepts an honorary environmental ambassador award for his long-standing commitment to sustainability on the SIU campus.

Photo (left to right): Vice Chancellor Jim Garvey, Paul Restivo, Sustainability Coordinator Geory Kurtzhals, Student Sustainability Council Members Alyssa Kolenda and Amanda Marshall.

2016 Sustainability Celebration Highlights

Alpha Kappa Psi

Members of Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional coed business fraternity, are recognized for their collaboration with the Career Closet event.


Dave Tippy, Grounds

Dave Tippy, from SIU Grounds, accepts a Sustainabilty Collaboration Recognition Award for his team's support of the Football Tailgating Recycyling initiative.

Dr Tao Huang

Dr. Tao Huang (assistant professor, design), and her design processes and presentation class are recoginzed for their design support of the Innovation and Sustainability Hub.


Representatives from University Housing are recognized for numerous collaborations associated with sustainability. Accepting from University Housing are Chef Bill Connors, Brandon Macier, and Anna McNamara.