Thursday, April 12, 2012

FURTHER INFORMATION: ARIEL CARMONA JR. (626) 914-8872, PAULA GREEN (626) 914-8873                                                                                              

Citrus College Selected as One of Three Winning Colleges in Inaugural Energy and Sustainability Awards Competition

by Ariel Carmona Jr.

The California Community Colleges Board of Governors has selected Citrus College as one of three winners of the inaugural Energy and Sustainability Awards competition.

The other two winning colleges are Butte College in Oroville and Cuyamaca College in San Diego County.

Forty-six nominations were received in three categories: district leadership, facilities and operations, and faculty/student initiatives.  Representatives from the three winning colleges will be presented with these awards at the May 8 Board of Governors meeting in Sacramento.

California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott commended the award recipients, saying sustainability makes sense from both an ecological and economic stance.  “These are extremely challenging financial times for the California Community Colleges with our system losing $809 million since 2009,” Scott said. “The colleges that won the awards are not only leading the way in sustainability, they are leading the way in implementing programs that are saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. I congratulate the winners and nominees for being innovative, having a vision and being resourceful in improving their college’s bottom line.”

Citrus College won the District Leadership Award for its sustainability project. The college entered a partnership with the California Community College Chancellor’s Office and the California Energy Commission to create a “template” to be utilized as a guide for the state’s 112 community colleges to emulate. The template provides information on using resources more efficiently, waste reduction, and reducing environmental impacts from facilities construction and operation, all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“It is exciting to see Citrus College taking a leadership role in helping to guide the community college
system to a sustainable and better future,” said Dr. Geraldine M. Perri, Citrus College superintendent/president. “Our sustainable practices have allowed us to remain cost-effective while maintaining our ultimate goal of offering students a quality education. We are delighted to know that the Chancellor and the Board of Governors are pleased with our work thus far and have honored us with this recognition.”

A college-wide committee responsible for implementing the plan began the pilot demonstration in early March and the template was presented at a Board of Trustees meeting on April 2. It is scheduled for completion in early June.  The template consolidated a number of sustainability projects that had already been established at the college under one program, including recycling programs, energy efficiency and green building projects. Additionally, planning is underway for a college-wide sustainability forum to coincide with Earth Day. 

Mrs. Joanne Montgomery, president of the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees, was equally hopeful about the effect of sustainability practices on the future of the community college system. “This is a wonderful example of how proactive measures that conserve energy can offset troubling fiscal circumstances,” she said, “Citrus College is in the forefront of the state’s sustainability effort, and we could not be more proud.”

“A lot of work went into defining the mission, goals and timelines for this project,” said Carol Horton, Citrus College vice president of finance and administrative services. “This award not only validates the efforts thus far by a large contingency of the college community on this important project, but it signals the start of an ongoing collaboration which will benefit the entire community college system long term.”

Adrienne Thompson, Citrus College student life and leadership development supervisor said students from the Earth Club and Volunteer Corps, members of the college’s sustainability committee, contributed to the success of the project.  ”I am proud to say that the students in my Foundations of Leadership course have taken on and translated many of the committee’s broad goals into specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely (SMART) goals,” said Thompson.

Honorable mention awards in all three categories went to Long Beach City College, San Diego Community College District, San Mateo County Community College District, Desert Community College District, Los Angeles Pierce College, Coastline Community College, and Cosumnes River College.  Honorable mention awards will be presented at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference June 18-21 at the University of California, Davis.  

Citrus College Presented with Energy and Sustainability Leadership Award
Photo courtesy of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office

Citrus Receives Sustainability Leadership Award

District Leadership: Citrus College accepts the inaugural California Community Colleges Board of Governors Energy & Sustainability District Leadership Award at a recent Board of Governors meeting in Sacramento. Pictured from left to right, Board of Governors President Scott Himelstein, Chancellor Jack Scott, Citrus Community College District Superintendent/President Geraldine M. Perri, Citrus Community College District Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services Carol R. Horton; Matt Sullivan, professional engineer with Newcomb Anderson McCormick and Board of Governors Member Henry Ramos.