Black Hills State University named as 2017 AASHE Sustainability Award Finalist

Author: BHSU Communications/Tuesday, September 5, 2017/Categories: 2017

Black Hills State University is one of three finalists for the national 2017 Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability Awards.

BHSU is being honored by AASHE for the Black Hills Food Hub, a program launched by BHSU to increase local food production. Sustainability Award winners will be announced during the opening ceremony at the AASHE Conference & Expo in San Antonio, Texas on Oct. 15.

Black Hills State University is one of three finalists for the national 2017 Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability Awards.

Winners will be announced during the opening ceremony at the AASHE Conference & Expo in San Antonio, Texas on Oct. 15. Finalists' entries were judged on overall impact, innovation, stakeholder involvement, clarity and other criteria specific to each category. BHSU is a finalist in the category for Institutions with under 10,000 FTE for outstanding achievements in sustainability.

BHSU is being honored by AASHE for the Black Hills Food Hub, a program launched by BHSU in October 2015 to increase local food production. The Black Hills Food Hub aims to increase the number of food producers in the area while increasing local food access to people of diverse economic and health status.

"This project supports our mission of providing regional leadership in sustainability while also providing work experience for our students," said Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., BHSU President. "The Black Hills Food Hub benefits the economic, social, and environmental health of our region."

Since the program launched less than two years ago, the Black Hills Food Hub has collected and delivered local food every Wednesday to cafeteria customers, even through the winter months. The Food Hub has formalized agreements with two large area cafeterias: Regional Health Hospital and Carver's Cafe at Xanterra Parks & Resorts at Mt. Rushmore National Memorial. The two combined cafeterias serve over 6,000 meals a day.

The Black Hills Food Hub is supported by a Local Food Promotion Program grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. BHSU partnered with Dr. Rachel Headley, owner and principal of Cobblestone Science, LLC, to manage the Food Hub during the grant period.

"We are excited to recognize Black Hills State University for their high-impact sustainability projects and pioneering research," said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. "The innovation and leadership demonstrated by these finalists is inspirational."

To learn more about AASHE's Sustainability Awards programs, please visit http://www.aashe.org/get-involved/awards/.

About Black Hills State University

Black Hills State University is a masters-level state university with more than 4,200 students. The campus leads the region in sustainability efforts and maintains top academic programs in business (AACSB Accredited), exercise science, natural sciences, social sciences, the arts, mass communication, health sciences and education. The University, founded in 1883, is located in the northern Black Hills, a region abundant with outdoor activity and culture. Spearfish, S.D., is recognized as one of the top 10 most livable small towns in the USA and has also been recognized nationally for outdoor recreational opportunities. A second location, BHSU-RC, was recently established in Rapid City, the state's second largest city. BHSU, a member of NCAA Division II athletics, offers 14 sports. BHSU has a legacy of champion rodeo teams.

About the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)

AASHE empowers higher education administrators, faculty, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. AASHE enables members to translate information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a diverse, engaged community of sustainability leaders. We work with and for higher education to ensure that our world's future leaders are motivated and equipped to solve sustainability challenges. For more information, visit www.aashe.org. Follow AASHE on Facebook and Twitter.
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