Cornell undergraduate Naomi Haber '20 was selected as the recipient of this year's highest honor for sustainability by a New York campus student, the Student Sustainability Leadership Excellence Award presented by the New York Coalition for Sustainability in Higher Education (NYCSHE).
Haber was recognized for outstanding leadership in coordinating, promoting, and strengthening sustainability impacts at a higher education institution in New York State. As an Environmental and Sustainability Sciences major and Student Sustainability Coordinator for the Cornell Campus Sustainability Office (CSO) for the last two years, she has led high-impact student engagement initiatives. Naomi co-developed and launched Cornell's Residential Compost Manager Program, which has resulted in over 10,000 lbs of food scraps and napkins being diverted from the landfill in 2018-2019. This year, the Compost Managers program has grown to 75 Compost Managers, and has expanded from on-campus residential communities into graduate student communities, Greek Life houses, and off-campus apartments as well.
In an effort to make sustainable waste diversion more readily available to the Cornell community, Naomi also created the Sustainable Waste Map to advertise locations where faculty, staff, and students can dispose of food for compost, and reclaim, reuse, or recycle other non-traditional waste materials.
She developed an accessible, WCAG 2.0 compliant version of the map, the first of its kind on campus to align with the new Accessibility guidelines produced by the University. This resource makes the map available for those with disabilities and created a model for map accessibility that is able to be referenced by other offices.
Naomi also developed and launched Cornell's first Sustainability GooseChase scavenger hunt, which aimed to gamify sustainable behavior change on campus as part of incoming-student orientation activities. Over 460 Cornellians engaged in the first round of the game, and the Campus Sustainability Office fielded several requests from campus partners eager to adapt the Sustainability GooseChase game for their own audiences.
Naomi also actively serves on the executive board of three key student sustainability organizations on campus. She is the Director of Campaigns and Initiatives for "ECO", Cornell's Environmental Collaborative Organization; she is the President of Greeks Go Green; and she co-advises Cornell's Residential Sustainability Leaders too.
The award was presented by the New York Coalition for Sustainability in Higher Education (NYSCHE) at the 2019 State of NY Sustainability Conference. She was the sole student award recipient presented at a University of Rochester dinner reception by Edin Cardinal, Senior Advisor to the President for Strategic Planning and Sustainability at Rochester Institute of Technology on November 14, 2019.