2023 SLICE Awards

2023 SLICE Winners.

SLICE winners and Vice President for Finance & Administration, Laura Hubbard.

Thank you to all who submitted nominations highlighting the outstanding work of students, faculty and staff for this year's SLICE awards. The nominations were thoughtful, inspiring and spanned many departments and offices across campuses, further demonstrating the breadth and depth of work by many to integrate sustainability into our daily work and long-term thinking. 

About the UB SLICE awards

Exemplary efforts by University Community members express UB’s continuing efforts to become a sustainable institution. The University at Buffalo wishes to recognize outstanding individuals and departments who exhibit a sincere commitment to transforming our campuses into a holistically sustainable community through the kinds of leadership, innovation, and collaboration that demonstrates environmental stewardship, enhances social progress, or promotes responsible economic systems and growth.

Each nomination was evaluated based on how well the nominee’s actions reflect these sustainability criteria:

  • Going above and beyond routine or assigned responsibilities
  • Innovation
  • Overall impact
  • Ability to serve as a catalyst or model
  • Engages multiple campus stakeholders (students, faculty, staff, community, etc)
  • Incorporates multiple aspects of sustainability

Nominees must be faculty or staff members, students, or a department or cross functional team at the University at Buffalo. Candidates can be nominated for different categories, either as individuals, departments or partnerships. The categories are:

  •  Award for Sustainability Excellence by a Department or Cross Functional Team
  •  Student Leadership Award for Sustainable Action
  •  Staff Award for Sustainable Operations Initiative
  •  Faculty Award for Sustainability in Higher Education

The awards program is selective. Not every nomination is selected for an award. The number of awards in each category is not restricted nor is each award category filled each year. 



Law School Dean Aviva Abramovsky with Professor Kim Diana Connolly.

Faculty Award for Sustainability in Higher Education

Professor Connolly’s work to create sustainability-related learning opportunities for law and other graduate students at the University at Buffalo has provided meaningful and lasting impact for those involved, and the WNY community.  This work includes designating the U.S. side of the Niagara River Corridor as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance in the United States, fighting against a new toxic waste dump in Niagara County, and founding and directing #UBLawResponds Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Legal Clinic.

Her clinics and classes provide direct service to the community in terms of increased sustainability by deploying legal and policy mechanisms to simultaneously educate and make change to achieve environmental justice and awareness.   

Andy Whitehead.

Andy Whitehead, Social Work masters student

Student Leadership Award for Sustainable Action

As an Assistant Hall Director for Wilkeson Quadrangle, Andy educates students new to UB on sustainability through programming, building out initiatives in the halls, and participating in the Project Green Challenge. 

Andy has held numerous sustainability events engaging hundreds of students and has kickstarted a reusable dryer ball program in the halls, replaced all plastic cups in Wilkeson’s Coffee House with reusable mugs, and even implemented a composting program for all coffee grounds and food leftovers at the Coffee House for the past two years.

Andy’s work off campus is just as impressive.  While interning at East Community High School, Andy saw the economic challenges students faced and organized fundraising activities to help.  The money collected was donated to purchase materials for the senior prom, and Andy also arranged a dress drive to ensure students would have gowns.  Andy is now helping the students build a green space to garden and grow their own produce.  This will ensure community members gain gardening skills, and learn how to safely rehabilitate other lots for future gardens.  

Devon Gorbey.

Devon Gorbey, PhD student geology

Student Leadership Award for Sustainable Action

Devon’s dissertation explores how rainfall in the Arctic changed during ancient warm periods.  Throughout her research and field work in the Arctic, she witnessed first-hand the deep impact climate change is having on Arctic communities and felt despondent that local and national conversations around climate change were still focused on the validity of climate science, when its impacts were already having severe affects.

Fueled by a desire to change this, Devon began to gain skills in science communication in an effort to lower the barrier to engage and educate policy makers.  Devon then founded UB’s Science and Health Policy Club, which has provided over 100 graduate students from 35 departments with training and opportunities to directly engage with policy makers and to build transdisciplinary collaborations.     

Janice Cochran.

Janice Cochran, nutrition and physical activity promotion coordinator in Health Promotion

Staff Award for Sustainable Operations Initiative 

Janice has been a tireless advocate for sustainability on campus for over two decades.  Her efforts to infuse sustainability into daily office operations, by
implementing compost collection and recycling education not only reduce the impact of Health Promotions, but also serve as way to engage student-patients. 

Janice’s expertise on the impacts food choices have on the environment has improved the health of the UB community and the planet.  By coordinating UB’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program she has ensured students and staff have access to the freshest local fruits and vegetables available.  Janice has also been worked to ensure students in need have access to healthy foods at no cost.  

Food Recovery Network.

VP Hubbard with Food Recovery Network Executive Board members Sabrina Lonas, Kathryn Holzmacher, and Vicky Huang

Sustainability Excellence by a Department or Cross-Functional Team

Founded in 2020 with the mission to fight food waste and feed people.  FRN volunteers have worked closely with Campus Dining & Shop to collect surplus food from UB dining halls and distribute these items to local community non-profits.

During this time, FRN has conducted over 264 recoveries, collected  over twenty-one thousand pounds of food and delivered over seventeen thousand meals to WNY organizations serving people in need. 

Student volunteers have contributed over 1,250 service hours in the last year alone.  As a result of this important work, FRN has helped remove over eighteen thousand kilograms of CO2 equivalent through their efforts.