Announcing: Your 2018 Sustainability Superheroes

By Rachel Landis, EC Coordinator

The Environmental Center is proud to announce our inaugural Sustainability Superhero Award Winners!

This community is unique in so very many ways, one of which is the way in which people are engaged and actively working to promote the environment and social justice. We see and hear about our everyday sustainability superheroes on the daily here at the Environmental Center and by jove, we thought it was about time, we recognize them. Please help me in congratulating this year’s Sustainability Superheroes:

  • Faculty Superhero – Dr. Gary Gianniny who “in his personal life has committed to a behavior that reduces his impact on the environment….Having him as a professor, I’ve witnessed his effort to inform geology students about the different possible career paths that support environmental stewardship”
  • Student Superhero – Molly McPherson who “goes above and beyond to eliminate plastic waste in her life and in the lives of those around her. She started a project called “Saving the World One Bottle at a Time” which she has used to raise awareness about the environmental impacts of using bottled water in the US… she has used her relationship with Polar Bottle (she is a brand ambassador) to distribute reusable water bottles to students all over campus (look outside any biology lab and you’ll see one of Molly’s water bottles)! She’s taking what she believes in (zero waste lifestyle) and not only practicing it to the fullest but encouraging and enabling those around her to do so as well”
  • Staff Superhero – Janis Kolscizniek who “goes above and beyond in our office to make sure that we are sustainable….She gets veggies from the farm stand all the time and goes to campus presentations on the environment and tries to have very little footprint. She is an inspiration”
  • Staff Superhero (it was a tie!) —Steve Schwartz who “has been a visionary for sustainability at FLC and was the driver behind the performance contracting process and the solar RFP. Steve’s ability to mesh vision, impact, and cost are key to the successes FLC has seen with the Climate Commitment and Green Schools accolades.”
  • Community Superhero – Susan Atkinson who “is a force of civic engagement and advocacy for clean energy and a stable climate. Susan organizes films on the daily, shows up at LPEA meetings religiously to advocate for clean energy, plans climate marches and is consistently featured in the Durango Herald’s Letters to the Editors. Beyond her actions, Susan is a wonder of character — she is upbeat, she treats everyone–regardless of view point–with respect, and she is persistent. Durango is so, so very lucky to have her”

Superheroes were selected based on their demonstration of personal commitment, engagement in championing sustainability in the community and impact. Of course, these are only a few of the many superheroes that we are graced with in our community. Other nominees include Louise Von Vonno, Emily Bowie, Emily Biggins, Zach Bauer, Shane Christopher, Allison Riggs, and Mark Gutt, Howard White and Mike Larson.

Please join me in congratulating (and thanking) all of our Sustainability Superheroes!


2018 Sustainability Superheroes  (From left to right: Dr. Gary Gianniny, Molly McPherson, Janis Kolscizniek, Steve Schwartz and Susan Atkinson.


Dr. Gary Gianniny and Rachel


Molly McPherson

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