UofL Sustainability Council celebrates 15th Anniversary!

On March 24, 2023, the University of Louisville Sustainability Council celebrated fifteen years of engaging the community and creating positive change on and off campus! This slideshow captures many moments, big and small, from those 15 years. For full enjoyment, we recommend watching at half-speed or downloading the slideshow as a pdf here!

15th Anniversary Celebration March 2023The university-wide Sustainability Council was created by the Provost's Office in 2008. To mark our 15th anniversary, the UofL Sustainability Council hosted a celebration from 3-5pm on March 24, 2023 to honor all of the students, faculty, and staff who have devoted their time, energy, ideas, and skills to advancing environmental, social, and economic responsibility on campus and in our community. Everyone was invited to join the celebration in the Delphi Center's Teaching Innovation Learning Lab (TILL) in Ekstrom Library and enjoy vegan appetizers, fair trade coffee & tea, and networking with our community of care. At 4pm there was an awards presentation and remarks from UofL's 19th President, Dr. Kim Schatzel. See photos from the celebration.

The reception followed the 8th annual Engaged Scholarship Symposium in Ekstrom Library from 9am-2:20pm. The Symposium was an opportunity to network and share current research and teaching activities involving community partners and service to the community. The day included panel presentations, lightning talks, and recognition of UofL faculty in community-engaged scholarship and sustainability.
15th Anniversary Celebration March 2023 - President Kim Schatzel addresses the audience.

Sustainability Awards

15th Anniversary Celebration March 2023 - Larry Owsley receives Award from Angela Storey & Brent Fryrear
15th Anniversary Celebration March 2023 - Erin Kurtz receives award from Angela Storey & Justin Mog
15th Anniversary Celebration March 2023 - Marian Vassar receives award from Jessica Eggleston, Justin Mog & Gail DePuy

15th Anniversary Celebration March 2023 - Justin Mog receives hand-made award from the Sustainability Interns, represented by Robin Frederick

15th Anniversary Celebration March 2023 - Brian Barnes presents the Josh Smith Memorial Sustainability Award to Eboni Cochrane

For the first time in our fifteen year history, the Sustainability Council took the occasion to present awards to some of the real heroes who have gone above and beyond in service to the Council over the years. We hesitated to do this because of the highly collaborative nature of our work and because there are so many people who have given so generously of their time and talent throughout our history! But we issued a call for nominations and on March 24th, we presented awards (hand-printed by UofL MFA student, Eisey Eisenhardt) to the following individuals:


  • Barbara Burns
  • Joy Hart
  • Margaret Carreiro
  • Russ Barnett
  • Larry Owsley
  • Kandi Walker
  • Rodger Payne
  • Avery Kolers


  • Henny Ransdell
  • Erin Kurtz
  • Laura Krauser
  • Angie Carlson
  • Josh Cagle


  • Henry Cunningham
  • Ellen Trahan
  • Lindsay Klingenschmidt
  • Marian Vassar
  • Dave Simpson
  • Angela Storey
  • Sajid Mian
  • Brent Fryrear
  • Brian Barnes
  • Justin Mog

In addition to recognizing our own students, faculty, and staff, the Sustainability Council took the opportunity to present our annual Josh Smith Memorial Sustainability Award to honor a community member who has collaborated with UofL to advance sustainability. The following was shared by our Engagement Committee Chair, Dr. Brian Barnes during that presentation:

"Since 2017, the Council has given an annual award to someone who has contributed significantly to sustainability efforts at the university, but who is not currently a student, faculty, or staff member. 2023 marks the sixth of these recognitions, which we call the Josh Smith Memorial Sustainability Award. This award includes a local piece of art and a $250 cash award.

Josh Smith was a consistent and eager volunteer with U of L’s Community Composting Project, which provides soil and compost education to the community. Josh, a wonderful friend and mentor to many, gave his labor for a few hours each week over several years, turning compost and hauling wood chips, until his untimely death in 2015 while still a young man. His family and friends provided generous gifts to start a memorial in U of L’s Sustainability programs that would honor Josh and his passion for service to the planet and the community.

The Sustainability Council presents this award to community members who enrich existing U of L sustainability efforts; who inspire members of U of L’s community to live and work sustainably; who are dedicating their time and talents without U of L compensation; and who have been nominated by U of L stakeholders who are witnesses to the nominee’s good works for Louisville and for the U of L family.

While we have had a history of outstanding recipients for this award, the nominee pool for 2023 was the strongest it has ever been. There was a broad mixture of support for nominees across university constituencies, and the projects represented by those nominations supported education and activism in all areas of sustainability, highlighting environmental, social, and economic concerns in Louisville and Southern Indiana.

avatar for Eboni CochranThe recipient of our sixth Josh Smith Memorial Sustainability Award is a well-known sustainability activist locally and across the country. Eboni Cochran is the founder of Rubbertown Emergency Action (REACT), which organizes stakeholders at the grassroots level to hold Louisville’s chemical companies and other polluter accountable for environmental, social, and economic harms. REACT’s mission extends beyond Rubbertown, though, back to our own campus. One of Eboni’s nominations for this award read in part,

“Her voice is a trusted one in the fight for environmental justice at both the local and federal level--she frequently is invited and participates in listening sessions with the EPA and is often the lone voice fighting for stronger regulation at local Air Pollution Control District hearings.

“She is frequently cited by local environmental reporters as an expert; she works as an external researcher for U of L's grant-funded "Air Justice" project; and she leads undergraduate students on "Environmental Injustice" tours across West Louisville. There are few individuals in this city who exemplify environmental stewardship and who uphold the "equity" leg of the sustainability stool like Ms. Cochran.”

The University of Louisville Sustainability Council is delighted to award the 2023 Josh Smith Memorial Sustainability Award to Eboni Cochran."