The Maine Campus Compact honored Elyse Caiazzo ’18 with the Heart & Soul Student Award and the Saint Joseph’s College EcoReps with the President’s Campus Leadership Award at an awards celebration held on April 25, 2018 at the Edmund S. Muskie Archives at Bates College in Lewiston. The Heart and Soul Award is given to a student in a recognition of active involvement in turning campuses and communities into places of democracy. Elyse is completing a double major in Environmental Science and Political Science as a member of the graduating class of 2018. She has a passion for sustainability and through her experiential learning on the College’s farm, she has become an advocate for small-scale farming. This developed into her role as student ambassador for the Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation (ILFSI) through which she communicated the benefits of the Institute to students and members of the public. Now she has been hired as ILFSI’s first assistant director. It is her efforts to call attention to issues of local and global importance that has earned her this award.
The President’s Campus Leadership Award recognizes a student organization for contributions to community service, service-learning, and/or civic engagement efforts on their campus. The EcoReps Student Group are members of Community and Sustainability Engaged (CASE) Scholars who raise awareness—on campus and in the community—of sustainability issues ranging from waste reduction and diversion, energy efficiency and conservation, to health and well-being, water conservation, and more. Current EcoReps include Journee Levasseur, Rebecca Barulli, Raquel Delgadillo, Megan Balch, Joseph O’Reilly, Olivia Marable, Leia Berube, Samantha Turner, Danielle Martin, Rachel Bruns, Sarah MacLeod, Lindsey Flint, and Caleb Gravel.
Some of their projects this year have included a recycling competition, an awareness campaign to use less plastics, and a documentary film series about oceans and the impact of plastics. They also ended the door to door dorm recycling program to support a new campus-wide recycling system, and set up a new recycling system for soft plastics.