The Selkirk College Environmental Sustainability Awards are presented annually to a student and an employee who have made significant contributions to environmental sustainability. The recipients are those who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in encouraging a sustainability culture on campus and within the broader community.
2020-2021 - Zoë Leech
Zoë Leech has made significant contributions to sustainability at Selkirk over the past two years, in particular to Castlegar campus's onsite composting program. Zoë held Selkirk's Compost Attendant position for three semesters, where she helped divert nearly 1,500 pounds of organic material from the landfill. Handling the grunt work of the composting initiative, Zoë has been responsible for weighing, emptying, cleaning collection bins, turning the compost, monitoring temperatures and managing the collection data. Her efforts and dedication to this waste diversion program have contributing to reducing Selkirk's carbon footprint.
Zoë has been a dependable team player, who has always shown up with a positive attitude. She has been essential to the success of the Castlegar Campus organics program. Get the full story!
2019-2020 - Emily Markholm
Emily Markhom has shown strong commitment to sustainability at Selkirk College throughout her three years on campus. As an invaluable member of the Environment Club, she has played an integral role in sustainability-related events on campus, including waste audits, trail walks, energy conservation outreach events, waste reduction campaigns, garbage clean-ups and documentary film screenings. During the 2019-2020 academic year, Emily held a Selkirk Sustainability Ambassador position, and hosted sustainability workshops, provided outreach to students and staff, participated in sessions related to ecological grief, and supported the wide range of sustainability initiatives at the College. Emily’s contributions have made significant impacts on the College community.
Emily has also been involved in the broader community. She is a member of the Sierra Club of Canada’s Youth Executive Committee, an organization which takes a “think globally, act locally” approach to environmental issues.
Emily is a graduate of Selkirk’s Recreation, Fish and Wildlife diploma within the School of Environment and Geomatics. During the 2019-2020 academic year, she undertook two semesters within the University of Arts and Sciences in preparation for her transfer to the University of Northern BC to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries.
Emily approaches issues of sustainability with passion, dedication, and humility.
2018-2019 - Jenna Schulhof
Jenna Schulhof showed dedicated leadership within the Environment Club during her two years at Selkirk. She created an inclusive environment for her peers to participate and contribute towards furthering sustainability initiatives on campus. Jenna was significantly involved in waste audits, outreach events, workshops, documentary film screenings and initiatives to reduce waste in campus cafeterias. She hosted an Environmental Grief session, the first of its kind at the College, which laid the foundation for subsequent sessions in the future. Jenna is also an inspirational role model within their personal life, and leads by example as they make conscious choices to "live lightly."
2017-2018 - Environmental Club
The student-based Environment Club came together at the start of the academic year with the following goal: To raise awareness of environmental issues and strive to create culture of sustainability at Selkirk. Throughout the year, they provided environmental outreach at lunch hours, picked up garbage on campus grounds, participated in a waste audit, hosted a workshop to learn how to make your own reusable beeswax food wrap, held a screening of the documentary “Last Stand” and raised money for these conservation groups, collected tap water pledges, led a trail walk on campus, and partnered with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby Nelson chapter to host a letter writing campaign, which resulted in over 50 letters to our local MPs and federal ministers expressing our concerns about issues related to climate change. The club is always seeking new student members. Everyone is welcome!
2020-2021 - Ron Zaitsoff
A member of the senior management team at the college, Ron's environmental leadership has culminated with many successful projects over the last decade. With a forward-focused approach, Ron has been instrumental in recent projects that include the solar panel install on the Castlegar Campus roof, the solar install at the Mir Centre for Peace, the $23 million Silver King Campus refresh, purchase of the college’s first electric vehicle and numerous upgrades to college facilities resulting in reduced energy use. Ron has led so many successful carbon reduction projects during his time at Selkirk College You can speak to anyone who has had the opportunity to work with him and they cannot say enough great things about this leadership. He has accomplished so much and is so selfless in his approach. Ron strives to live lightly himself, embodying sustainability and leading by example. Get the full story!
2019-2020 - Michelle Colley
Michelle has been an instructor in Selkirk College’s School of Academic Upgrading for the past four years and during this time has made significant contributions to campus sustainability. Colley has taken the initiative to expand the recycling options on the Trail Campus and set up a system to separate out plastics, glass, packaging and foam, which can be taken to the Trail landfill for proper recycling. She not only ensures these items are sorted and cleaned properly, but has also taken it upon herself to drop them off as needed. Michelle has been described by her fellow colleagues as someone who is incredibly environmentally conscious and one who is always gently encouraging both coworkers and students to be more conscious too. Her contributions to Selkirk College’s waste diversion efforts are truly appreciated. Thank you Michelle!
2018-2019 - Alison Roy
Alison has shown strong efforts when connecting students to issues of sustainability. For example, her students have set up a free store at Silver King campus and she encourages and teaches sustainable living practices. She strives to reuse as many classroom supplies as possible, and turns to bus transportation for class trips. Alison has made significant improvements to campus operations, as the students in her class play a vital role in the campus recycling program. She has also been instrumental in securing funding and participating in initial planning for a greenhouse for her students to operate on Silver King campus. Alison truly leads by example in her community and makes conscious choices to reduce her environmental impact.
2017-2018 - Mike Giesler
Mike has shown strong leadership and commitment to sustainability at Selkirk, especially with regards to reducing energy use by optimizing building control systems. He has sat on the College's Environmental Sustainability Committee since 2013 and he completed his SEMAC (Sustainable Energy Management Advanced Certificate) from BCIT in 2015. Mike has been instrumental in many sustainability initiatives on campus, including the bioswales project, parking lot upgrades, interior lighting upgrades to reduce energy use, and the annual Sweater Day initiative to promote energy conservation. Mike has been a positive influence at Selkirk.
The Award's Creation
Thank you to David Ringheim, an instructor in the Fine Woodworking program, for creating the beautiful trophies, which are in the Sustainability display case on Castlegar campus. The wood used came from a Big Leaf Maple that fell down in Lakeside Park in Nelson during a storm nearly 15 years ago. The wood from this tree has been incorporated into student projects ever since.