The Sustainability Council Presents
Recognizing students, faculty, and staff taking steps towards a sustainable and green future.
2021 RECIPIENTS SELECTED!
About the Green Hen Awards
The Green Hen Awards is an annual celebration of extraordinary sustainability efforts on and off-campus at the University of Delaware. These awards are an opportunity to recognize outstanding research, curriculums, and projects that help the wider UD community move closer to a greener and more sustainable future.
Helping UD, Newark, and the greater Delaware community build a greener and more sustainable future.
Seeking innovative solutions to sustainability issues through scholarship and research.
Furthering the development of UD’s sustainability curriculum and academic opportunities.
The Benefits of Being a Green Hen Awardee
Deadline for Nominations: April 30th, 2021
Winners will be announced by May 15th.
The 2021 Award Winners
Student Award of Excellence: Thomas Benson
Thomas S. Benson is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science & International Relations. His academic interests include Environmental Justice, Ecological Justice, and Urban Politics, and this is reflected in his championing of the University of Delaware’s Environmental Sustainability Report (2021). This academic year-long (2020-2021) effort was the result of Thomas’s role as Chair of the Graduate Student Government Sustainability Committee and illustrates his ongoing commitment to enhancing sustainability practices at the University of Delaware, in Newark, and beyond. This Report brought together a variety of stakeholders, inside and outside of the university, of varying levels of expertise and authority, to share their collective insights and energies on sustainability. Together, in this bottom-up process, we have demonstrated the importance of collaboration in combatting the climate crisis, even in a smaller setting than typically envisaged by most working on climate and environmental policy. Thus, collaboration is essential to achieving improvements in sustainability. It is crucial for stakeholders to feel valued and heard, especially those from communities or backgrounds that are typically marginalized. By utilizing the knowledge and experiences from a diverse range of individuals and institutions, sustainability becomes more than a buzzword – it becomes a collective effort to re-imagine and re-envisage what a sustainable future looks like, both in the short- and long-term. It becomes an opportunity to achieve more than if these individuals, communities, and institutions were otherwise neglected.
Staff Award of Excellence: Larry Armstrong
Larry was hired in 1997 as Farm Assistant for the UD Webb Farm. Having grown up on the family farm near Smyrna, DE he developed a love for nature and being outdoors at a very young age. The family farm was his playground and also his first teacher. Life lessons learned there inspire him today. Larry’s passion to best care for the land was most strongly exampled by his Grandparents, John and Helen McQuail. With the support of a group of local farmers, they took Royal Dutch Shell Oil Co. to the U.S. Supreme Court, helping to create what is now the Coastal Zone Management Act. The Act protects critical estuarine habitat along Delaware’s coast from industrial development. A lifelong student of the natural sciences, Larry best loves to nurture life. This includes animals, plants and even soil microbes! Promoted to Farm, Manager in 2014, Larry continued the good work of his predecessor and manages the land for the maximum benefit of all species, domestic and wild. This is challenging yet rewarding work. His favorite saying is: “Farming is a race between weather events!” Reluctant to be in the spotlight Larry prefers his work to speak for itself. He is humbled when told that he is a good teacher because this is a profession he holds in the highest regard. He has the privilege to work with one of the most respected Animal Science professors in the world. Past awards through his work at the family farm, include the Governor’s Award for Conservation, the Delaware Ornithological Society’s Conservation Award and New Castle County Conservation District’s Award for Conservation. He is very proud to have his life’s work spotlighted by UD’s Green Hen Award.
Faculty Award of Excellence: Angelia Seyfferth
Dr. Angelia Seyfferth is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and one of the founding Directors of the Center for Food Systems and Sustainability (CENFOODS) at the University of Delaware. CENFOODS supports research, education, and outreach efforts on the sustainability of food production and surrounding ecosystems, and aims to position UD as a leader in sustainable food production. She and the CENFOODS team have created a new Sustainable Food Systems major and a community supported agriculture (CSA) program. Furthermore, with support from the Unidel Foundation and external donors, CENFOODS has funded sustainability-focused research projects across 5 of UD’s colleges. Seyfferth’s research focuses mainly on using tools and concepts rooted in soil biogeochemistry to develop sustainable ways to lower human exposure to harmful contaminants from food. Her research has led to sustainable, plant-based soil amendments that decrease arsenic and cadmium in rice that also improve soil health, and ways to lower lead concentrations in local mushrooms. She uses both laboratory and field experiments as well as conventional and advanced spectroscopic techniques to illuminate the dynamic chemistry of the rhizosphere and to understand localization of contaminants in planta. Her work has direct implications for human health and public policy related to contaminant exposure from food and water. She is currently the chair-elect of the soil chemistry division for the Soil Science Society of America and she has a passion for training the next generation of diverse students in STEM that arises from her being the only person in her family to earn a Ph.D.
A special thanks to everyone who took the time to submit nominations!