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AUS wins top awards at the Sustainable Campus Initiative
A team of faculty members and students from the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences of the American University of Sharjah (AUS) College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) has won two major awards at the Sustainable Campus Initiative (SCI), Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, EAD, held in partnership with Borouge. The awards reinforce the university’s focus on research, innovation and sustainability.
In its fourth edition, SCI recognized the exemplary audits and sustainable action projects of participating universities. AUS received the awards in two categories: the Green Campus Audit 2017 and the Sustainable Action Project.
The AUS team was led by Dr. Sandra Knuteson, Lecturer of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences; Dr. Fatin Samara, Associate Professor of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences; Ashwatha Mahesh, Administrative Coordinator at the Sustainability Office; and Dr. Jeniece Tyria Lusk, Assistant Professor of International Studies. The team also included students Isra Alam, Fares Feghaly, Lameez Luqman, Zaina Nasrallah, Merilyn Clare Taculog, Azmat Fatima Siddiqui, Mais AlQadi, Sara Rafaey, Rheam Alsabti, Malicka Al-Sabti, Rawan Al-Hadeethi, Nour Attia and Ragui Nemeh.
Speaking about the recognition, Dr. Samara said:
“Creating awareness about environmental sustainability is a priority for our team. We joined the initiative in 2014 and are so excited that our efforts have been appreciated. I am very proud of the students who worked hard performing environmental audits of our campus facilities and a green action project for the community. I am sure that this experience will serve as a foundation to make them environmental leaders in the future.”
Dr. Knuteson commented on the importance of the SCI Program:
“The SCI Program provides students the ability to objectively review their university with regards to sustainability measures. These measures therefore feel more relevant and can encourage students to work with the administration to improve the university’s environmental and sustainability performance.”
Team member Isra Alam, a senior environmental sciences major, said:
“We’ve been a part of the SCI initiative with Dr. Samara and Dr. Knuteson since 2014. We started with a group of five students and have now expanded to almost 20. Being involved in the activities gave us the opportunity to take an active role in the sustainable development of our campus, and we are ecstatic to see our efforts being appreciated by such a platform.”
SCI serves in creating a framework to facilitate networking among the youth, challenges them to understand their own contribution to environmental impact and engages them in working constructively towards sustainable solutions for the present as well as for the long-term.
The Sustainable Campus Initiative, along with a range of other programs implemented by EAD, is supported by the Ministry of Education, Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, Abu Dhabi Distribution Company, Al Ain Distribution Company, Tadweer and the Department of Transport.