North Texas Daily

Annual Earth Week awards recognize green thinkers

Annual Earth Week awards recognize green thinkers

Annual Earth Week awards recognize green thinkers
April 21
22:49 2015

Adalberto Toledo / Staff Writer

In celebration of Earth Week, the Office of Sustainability organized an awards ceremony honoring one faculty member, staff member, student, department and student organization for their contributions to sustainability on campus.

The 7th annual Earth Week Awards and Unless Tree Planting Ceremony, a reference to The Lorax, dedicated a tree planted near Eagle Point Duck Pond to former Institute of Applied Science director and biology professor Tom LaPoint.

“After a tree was cut down to make way for a green house, UNT faculty and students came together to protect the trees on campus, which is how our office was born,” Office of Sustainability director Todd Spinks said. “We seek to recognize those people who figured out the best way to help UNT’s sustainability.”

The award for Outstanding Student Champion was presented to Camille Vaughn, a recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree in international studies, for her work in the Eco-Reps program, which aim to teach students living in residence halls about sustainability.

“We’ve organized large scale events such as freeze mobs focusing on issues like poverty and water,” Vaughn said. “We’ve also organized a fashion show for Earth Day that focuses on environmentally conscious clothing.”

Other awards included Outstanding Department, Outstanding Faculty Member, Outstanding Student Organization and Outstanding Staff Member. The awards were presented to UNT Facilities, public affairs and community service professor Stanley R. Ingman, TAMS Naturally Student Club, and Elm Fork Education Center assistant director Brian Wheeler respectively. A round, green glass award with their name inscribed on it was presented to each recipient. All awards are made from recycled materials.

“Our premium award is a tree planting ceremony,” Spinks said. “We’ve honored others in the past but this is the first year we are calling it the Unless Tree Planting Award.”

The Unless Tree Planting award was given to retired Director of applied sciences Tom LaPoint. The importance of the award symbolizes UNT’s continued commitment to sustainability. The award was presented to LaPoint by emeritus professor in the institute of applied science and UNT tree honoree Ken Dickson. It contains the honoree’s name, along with a few words, and the outline of the tree chosen by the recipient.

“He is a role model: honest, thoughtful, funny and most importantly, weird,” Dickson said. “He’s exactly the kind of person we want here in North Texas.”

Dickson’s speech was followed by anecdotes from LaPoint’s friends and colleagues, among which was current Director of the institute of applied sciences Sam Atkinson.

LaPoint created UNT’s “We Mean Green” slogan after helping some students in a marketing class with their group project aimed at marketing sustainability.

“I am very flattered and humbled,” LaPoint said. “I am both sad now that I’ll be leaving UNT but I’m also happy that I’ll be able to go to northern Colorado where some of my colleagues have also retired.”

Featured Image: Public affairs and community service professor Stanley Ingman’s Earth Week award. UNT Sustainability hosted the 7th annual awards on Monday honoring faculty and students. Photo by Adrian Warfield – Staff Photographer

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