West Chester University’s Amy Maxcy and Abigail Kennedy have been named Campus Sustainability Champions for 2020 by the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium (PERC).
The title is awarded annually to students, faculty, administrators, and staff of Pennsylvania colleges and universities who have made meaningful contributions benefiting social, economic, and/or environmental sustainability on their campuses, in their communities, or beyond.
Maxcy is one of only 12 non-students honored with the award. She provides administrative support within the Office of Sustainability, “but regularly goes above and beyond in her job duties to support the work of WCU’s Sustainability Council,” Director of Sustainability Brad Flamm wrote in his nomination. “Amy is a knowledgeable and valued contributor to WCU’s sustainability community, and our work would be challenging to complete without her steady dedication to the cause.”
In addition to supporting the Sustainability Council and its nine subcommittees, Maxcy took the initiative to build an online workspace to facilitate the group’s cooperative work on revisions to the university’s Climate Action Plan. She works with the Council’s Zero Waste Committee and has completed the first of a three-part waste and recycling course.
To support environmental, social, and economic sustainability education for employees, Maxcy serves as a facilitator for multiple training workshops, including the upcoming Brandywine Project Staff Sustainability Workshop Live Webinar on Thursday, July 23, and Friday, July 24. Open to all staff from all areas of campus, this virtual workshop takes place from 8:30 to 11:30 AM each day.
Kennedy, a Wallingford native and member of WCU’s Class of 2020, has been involved in several sustainability initiatives, including as the chair of WCU’s Students for Sustainable Action (SSA) and co-chair of Fair Trade WCU. She earned her bachelor’s degree in professional studies this May, concentrating on communications and human geography. Kennedy also earned the WCU Student Leadership in Sustainability Award.
She augmented her environmental skills after high school, working for four months on an off-grid, self-sustaining organic farm in Maui. There, she learned about policy issues and social justice from a roommate. A transfer to WCU, she says, “I immediately injected myself into the new Office of Sustainability” as a volunteer.
“I want to create awareness around environmental activism,” Kennedy said, so she completed the undergraduate certificate in Education for Sustainability (EFS) guided by Paul Morgan, EFS director and associate professor of Educational Foundations & Policy Studies. The certificate prepares her to teach others and to catalyze institutional and cultural change. She already models interesting ways of sustainable living: “I carry a container bag with me with reusable utensils and my purse is a reusable bag.”
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