Appalachian recognized for sustainable efforts

The university received 10th place this year for being one of the “Coolest Schools” in the nation for sustainability by SIERRA magazine for the first time in three years.

The list was released last week and acknowledges colleges in the United States that make an effort to be sustainable and work to solve issues such as climate change, according to a news release from SIERRA magazine.

“One thing that really stood out to us was the education, curriculum and academics,” said Avital Andrews, lifestyles editor of SIERRA magazine. “Students who graduate from ASU can really do something with their degree.”


The appropriate technology department was also mentioned in the magazine for being the longest-running department in the country.

“It’s empowering for students to know that they’ve studied sustainable development at a place that has been nationally recognized,” Director of Sustainable Development Sandra Lubarsky said.

SIERRA sent 940 surveys to colleges throughout the country but only 118 surveys were completed for the contest, said Crystal Simmons, university sustainability specialist.

The survey looked at all aspects of the universities, including energy sources, administrations, campus buildings, transportation and waste management, Andrews said.

“I think [this award] represents our leadership in sustainability more than anything else,” Simmons said. “We’re becoming a more widely recognized leader in sustainability both in academics and in operations.”

Senior sustainable development major Jaimie McGirt credits a well-rounded department and student involvement for helping make Appalachian more sustainable.

“I’m really excited because I think if more people see this then they’ll have a better understanding about sustainability and new and appropriate technology on campus,” McGirt said.

For more information about the schools’ green environmental programs, visit

Story: CHELSEY FISHER, Intern News Reporter