BHSU named 2017 AASHE Sustainability Award Winner

BHSU students and staff accept the Campus Sustainability Achievement Award (left to right): Randy Culver, associate vice president of facilities and sustainability Kathy Johnson, vice president for finance and administration Hannah Bohlinger, mass communication major from Cheyenne, Wyo. and marketing intern for BHSU Sustainability Liam Porter, biology major from Spearfish and representative of the BHSU Bicycle Club Nick Pappas, environmental physical science and business administration major from Oak Ridge, N.J. and former BHSU recycling intern and Katie Greer, assistant director of BHSU facilities.

Trevor Richardson, BHSU environmental physical science major from Spearfish, prepares to deliver tomatoes from Owl Creek Organics and Moonrise Mountain Enterprises to local cafeterias as part of the Black Hills Food Hub.

Black Hills State University was recently named the recipient of the Campus Sustainability Achievement Award by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

BHSU was 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 year, AASHE received 230 entries that resulted in 10 winners announced in three categories. Winners were announced during the Opening Ceremony at the annual AASHE Conference &amp Expo in San Antonio, Texas Oct. 15. Entries were judged on overall impact, innovation, stakeholder involvement, clarity and other criteria specific to each category.

"Black Hills State University is honored to receive this national award. Our commitment to sustainability and its environmental, social, and economic benefits will continue," said Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., BHSU President.

"The Black Hills Food Hub operated by Black Hills State University supports our community," said Jackson. "In addition to providing work experience for our students, the Food Hub encourages local farmers to continue producing high-quality food for the health and wellness of the people of the Black Hills."

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 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.

"The 2017 award winners demonstrate an inspiring passion for solving some of the world&rsquos most complex challenges. They are truly pioneering the campus sustainability movement," said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser.

AASHE bestows its prestigious awards on the institutions and individuals that are helping to lead higher education to a sustainable future.

Award recipients received recognition in a variety of formats as well as a plaque made of Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood from Rivanna, a woman-owned B Corp with a strong commitment to sustainability. To date, more than 75 campuses been recognized through this prestigious award program since its inception in 2006.

Black Hills State University was honored with a 2017 award along with Kent State University, Arizona State University, and Georgia Tech, among others.

To read more about AASHE&rsquos awards programs, please visit

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 Follow AASHE on Facebook and Twitter.