Selkirk College Sustainability Efforts Bolstered by Committed Award Winners

Guided by a passion to humbly lead the way on solutions for a healthier planet, Selkirk College’s latest recipients of the Environmental Sustainability Award have made a difference by sharing knowledge and taking action.

The annual awards recognize both a student and staff member who help advance the college’s sustainability efforts. Forest Technology Program graduate Avianna Clempson and School of Environment & Geomatics instructor Rob Macrae are the 2021-2022 award winners being honoured for energetic contributions towards the college’s leadership in the area of sustainability.

“It takes the entire institution working together to build a sustainability culture that truly makes a difference, and you need leaders like Avianna and Rob to help show the way,” says Laura Nessman, Sustainability Coordinator at Selkirk College. “Both of this year’s award winners have helped build momentum amongst colleagues and peers that is both appreciated and essential.”

In her two years at Selkirk College, Clempson used her courageous voice to speak out on issues of sustainability and encourage fellow students to join the cause. With a holistic understanding of sustainability, she places necessary emphasis on the complex interconnections between the societal and environmental challenges faced globally.

Prior to arriving to Selkirk College, Clempson attended the High Level Political Forum in New York City where she gained a strong appreciation for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework and the values they represent. She encouraged fellow classmates to participate in sustainability initiatives, was a guest speaker at the college’s Global Goals Week in 2021, and hosted Selkirk College’s TEDxCountdown 2021, which featured 10 local speakers working on climate action that drew an audience of more than 150 from throughout the Kootenay region.

Described as an energetic, confident and convincing public speaker, Clempson helped elevate discussions and make connections between her studies and the SDGs. Now working in the forest industry, Clempson carries forward a land ethic value that supports the new paradigm within her chosen career.

Macrae began his career as post-secondary instructor in 1996, teaching many courses over the years including applied microbiology, environmental chemistry and environmental sustainability within the School of Environment & Geomatics. A popular teacher known for his enthusiasm during field schools and amazing field trips, he championed the development and delivery of the college’s own Renewable Energy Certificate program.

Passionate about sustainability, climate action and renewable energy, Macrae has been commended for his ability to lead by example and motivate others to do more to contribute to a better future. Continually making an effort to connect with students beyond his department, Macrae inspired the campus community.

Macrae retired from his position at Selkirk College in the spring, but his tireless actions towards environmental sustainability continue within the broader community. He is missed in the hallways and classrooms, but his work in bolstering sustainability efforts at the college is present on a daily basis.

Original article by Selkirk College