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‘Greening WKU’ winners announced

The Innovation in Sustainability endowment has announced the winners of a student contest for the best ideas for “Greening WKU.”

First prize and $500 went to Ryan McPeak of Collierville, Tenn., for a project proposal to replace diesel shuttle buses with electric buses and to recharge them at solar power stations.

Second prize and $300 was awarded to Chase Goff and William (Tom) Cannon, both of Bowling Green, for their proposal to create a 5-acre algae farm for biodiesel production, and fed with animal waste.

Third prize went to Brett Meyer of Boonville, Ind., and Bobby Lindsey of Morgantown for their proposal to install a dormitory electricity usage monitoring system. Fourth prize went to Hoang (Mario) Nguyen of Bowling Green for a proposal to save energy through temperature settings in dormitory water heaters. The third and fourth prize winners received $100 each.

Winners were announced Wednesday (April 22) at the WKU Earth Day Festival, sponsored by Greentoppers Students for Campus Sustainability.

A total of 38 submissions were received by the March 31 deadline. Students who entered were asked to write out in detail a specific idea, including budget, to help “Green WKU.” Contest details were posted online here. Winners were selected by a committee based on contest requirements, suitability and creativity. Authors of all projects will be credited for their ideas and will be encouraged to help implement projects if possible.

Honorable mention was given to three projects: a proposal by Lauren Nelson of Wheaton, Ill., to reduce paper waste by changing print margins, single spacing and digital submission; a proposal by Daniel C. Brown of Frankfort to compost food and waste from WKU restaurants and catering, and a proposal by Jordan Steele of Monticello to institute a recycling incentive program to maximize recycling efforts on campus.

Many other worthwhile and interesting projects were received, and contest organizers hope that all students who submitted proposals will work with individuals and campus groups on those projects.

The Innovation in Sustainability fund, which sponsored the contest, is an endowment designed to fund WKU student projects that improve sustainability, reduce energy consumption, create renewable sources of energy, foster environmental stewardship, increase recycling, or further the education of students in one of these areas.

This endowment was created last year when WKU won the Chase “Go Green” Contest. The WKU Greentoppers Students for Campus Sustainability, led by Seth Cude, won the Facebook competition for the $40,000 grand prize, and $40,000 in matching funds were secured to create this endowment for student Innovation in Sustainability at WKU. At this funding level, about $3,200 from earned interest should be available annually for student projects. Additional donations of support to this or other funds for sustainability projects at WKU are always welcome.

Contact: Seth Cude at (270) 779-7683 or seth.cude@wku.edu or Ouida Meier at (270) 745-6001 or ouida.meier@wku.edu.

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