Katie Maynard, a UCSB Sustainability Coordinator who is based in the Department of Geography, has received a prestigious Margaret T. Getman Service to Students Award for 2014-2015. The annual awards are named for the former UCSB Dean of Student Residents, Margaret T. Getman, and they recognize university staff, faculty, and departments that have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the general growth and development of students and quality of student life. The nominees and recipients will be honored with a reception on Wednesday, June 5th at 9am, at the Student Affairs divisional meeting in Corwin Pavilion (source).
Katy was a College of Creative Studies Biology student at UCSB from 2001-2005, and she has served as a UCSB Sustainability Coordinator, currently based in the Geography Department, since that time. When asked to describe her current duties, Katie commented: “As a sustainability coordinator, my job in the broadest sense is to help the university itself to become a sustainable community, one that is in balance with nature and where we are ensuring that we can meet the needs of future generations. We are fortunate at UCSB to have several staff who are working on sustainability. My particular focus within this effort is to empower students to become sustainability leaders, engage faculty in campus sustainability efforts, and to connect the academic, co-curricular, and operational divisions of the university.”
“I am also the Event Manager for the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC). CHESC highlights cutting-edge research, as well as case studies with proven successes in curriculum development, operational programs, and community partnerships. This unique event is jointly organized by independent private colleges, California Community Colleges, California State Universities, and the University of California, creating the opportunity for dialogue across institutions. Of the approximately 1,000 attendees, about 1/3 of the attendees of this conference are student leaders. I do a lot of work reaching out to student leaders to encourage them to present at the conference and to share their best practices. I also work with students to set up policy discussions with them and key stakeholders during the event. I also play key roles on the following committees: 1) Co-chair of the UCGFI Sub-Committee on Food Accessibility and Security for UC Students, 2) Project Director, UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative Climate Action Champion Program, 3) Staff to the UC Global Food Initiative (UCGFI) Coalition, and 4) Staff to the Academic Senate Sustainability Work Group.”
Katie considers The Sustainability Internship Program to be one of her most successful efforts in terms of contributions to the campus community: “I currently directly advise 28 students in internships where they are developing professional skills, gaining leadership opportunities, and making meaningful changes on campus. I also advise (or co-advise) several student-run organizations, including Isla Student Collective (previously named Student Food Collective/Food Cart Working Group), Feel Good SB, Plastic Solutions, ECOalition, Educating Leaders for the Future, the Interactive Campus Map Sustainability Team, LabRATS, and PACES. I also advise the student fellows and interns selected through President Napolitano's UC Global Food Initiative and UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative.”
Katie goes on to note that she works with students through a variety of ways, including but not limited to internships, coalition efforts with activists, and as an advisor/mentor: “In the past year, I have also partnered with the Edible Campus Project (a coalition between Associated Students (AS) Department of Public Worms, AS Food Bank, and UCSB Sustainability) to get approval to grow food on campus that can be distributed through the AS Food Bank. This is a good example of how I have helped students navigate the university's policies and approval process. I helped to secure approval from Environmental Health and Safety, Campus Landscaping, the Campus Architect, the University Center, etc. I also helped the students to secure funds from a high profile donor. I see my role as helping to enable students with creative ideas to be successful through providing them resources and guidance.”
Katie’s interactions with students have impacted her personally and professionally: “Students inspire me! I love the creative ideas and the energy that students bring to a conversation. They keep staff moving at a healthy pace and remind me to constantly reach for more ambitious goals. I also appreciate that students keep me accountable to goals that our programs have set publically and to the expectations that students have of the university. Matt St. Clair from UC Office of the President often says in his speeches that students are our conscience. That resonates with me.”
As for the Getman Award, Katie states” “I am honored to be nominated for this award. The UCSB community supports student leadership in so many ways! I experienced this as a student at UCSB and continue to experience this as a staff member supporting students.” Needless to say, the Department of Geography is proud to host Katie. The department - and all those involved with sustainability at UCSB - salutes Katie for her outstanding contributions and commitment to the quality of life on our campus and for spreading the good word nationally.