The Office of Global Education as well as nutritional sciences graduate student Ifeoluwa Odeniyi in the College of Human Sciences were each recognized at the Spirit of Sustainability Awards by the Auburn University Office of Sustainability on April 19, for making significant contributions toward sustainability on campus or in a community.
Mike Kensler, director for the office of sustainability, presented the awards to Director Kate Thornton, accepting on behalf of the Office of Global Education for the group initiatives category, as well as Odeniyi for the students’ category.
“The Office exists to prepare students to enter a global society with the skills necessary to address the complex issues facing individuals, families, and communities,” Kensler said. “With an emphasis on cultural intelligence, justice, and sustainability, the Office of Global Education has cultivated programs that prioritize and implement the four points of the sustainability compass, Nature, Economy, Society, and Wellbeing.”
The Office of Global Education was recognized for demonstrating a long-standing commitment to sustainability through its many study abroad programs to locations such as Nepal, Jordan, Fiji and Italy. These programs engage students in learning and connecting with communities and experts overseas who work to develop innovative solutions to pressing issues.
“It was an honor to be recognized with a Spirit of Sustainability Award,” Thornton said. “Our office strives to embody the College of Human Sciences’ mission to improve quality life, and sustainability is at the core of that work.”
According to his bio, Odeniyi is the President of the African Students Association (ASA) at Auburn University. Through his leadership, he has made a significant impact in making Auburn a home for many African students, ensuring that the interests of his African student colleagues are well represented and that they feel supported and included in the campus community. He has made a foreign land feel like a home far from home for many African students, who come from 20 of the 54 countries on the African continent.
“Odeniyi teaches others how to succeed and he facilitates that success,” Kensler said. “He’s encouraged numerous ASA members to get involved in other parts of campus and he’s done so as other students are engaged in other organizations across campus. He’s created numerous initiatives for engagement including the African Welcome Dinner, an event to welcome both the newly admitted students and returning students back to school.”
While all nominations echo various points of the Sustainability Compass, awardees are chosen based upon their motivation and commitment to sustainability; the impact of their work; and the degree to which they engage and involve others in their efforts.
For more information on the Auburn University Spirit of Sustainability Awards program, visit sustain.auburn.edu/people/ssa.
For students wishing to stay up to date on current study abroad programs in the College of Human Sciences, visit humsci.auburn.edu/global or the Office of Global Education Instagram @AUGlobaledu, Facebook @auglobaleducation.