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Manny Abarca
Center for Sustainability
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KU ranks second in Big 12 for Game Day Recycling Challenge

Fri, 11/22/2013

LAWRENCE — Jayhawk fans and volunteers at Memorial Stadium have quickly embraced the new Rock Chalk Recycle program during gamedays this fall. In its first year, Rock Chalk Recycle has earned the University of Kansas the No. 2 ranking in the Big 12 Conference for the Game Day Recycling Challenge 2013, a friendly competition among U.S. colleges and universities.

“This is an incredible achievement for our first year,” said Center for Sustainability Director Jeff Severin. “Rock Chalk Recycle has had a major impact on reducing the size of our environmental footprint at home games this fall.”

Rock Chalk Recycle, a partnership between KU Recycling and KU Athletics, is a waste-reduction effort that includes both recycling and composting in KU Athletics venues, as well as in tailgating areas at Memorial Stadium. To date, the program has diverted more than 20,000 pounds of recyclable and organic material from the landfill at football games alone.

Since the program was launched this fall, more than 100 volunteer Waste Ambassadors have provided more than 300 hours of community service as part of the effort to raise awareness about waste reduction efforts and educate fans about the program.

Volunteers can sign up for remaining football and basketball games at www.rockchalkrecycle.com.

“This is an important milestone for us,” said Manny Abarca, recycling operations coordinator, “but it is only the beginning. The Game Day Challenge was just one day, but Rock Chalk Recycle is part of every home KU Athletics event in every sport and something we will expand across campus.”

Rankings are based on the highest recycling rates achieved during the competition period. At the Oct. 5 game against Texas Tech, KU reached a season-high diversion rate of more than 37 percent, recycling 2,896 and composting 2,511 pounds, compared to the 9,020 pounds of trash that was sent to the landfill. KU also ranked No. 2 among participating Big 12 universities in the Diversion Rate (recycling and composting combined) and Waste Minimization (least amount of waste generated per attendee) categories, and No. 1 in Organics (composting).

More than 85 schools across the nation took on the Game Day Challenge to collect cans, bottles, cardboard, food waste and more from the tailgate areas, stadium seating and concessions during at least one home game. The competition was administered by the College & University Recycling Coalition, Keep America Beautiful and RecycleMania Inc., with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More information and full results are available here.



Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner. See it here: http://bit.ly/1awodaa
Rock Chalk! Junior Ashlie Koehn named KU's 18th Truman Scholar
Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening.

.@KU bschool 's KIP team includes @KU _SADP students in all-ages housing project. http://t.co/c6Ss0FsWLL #KUworks http://t.co/FW0eI69uRi
Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner From KU News Service: http://bit.ly/1awodaa Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening. To her surprise, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was on the other end of the call letting Koehn know she had been named a 2015 Harry S. Truman Scholar. Koehn is the 18th KU student to be named a Truman Scholar and the only 2015 recipient from the state of Kansas. Earlier this month, she was also named a 2015 Udall Scholar. And in spite of a distance of more than 10,800 kilometers and 11 time zones, Koehn’s thrill from hearing the news from the chancellor came through loud and clear. “Ashlie’s experience at KU epitomizes a quality undergraduate experience. She challenged herself in her coursework, exposed herself to different research opportunities, studied abroad in Germany, Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan, and participated in both student government and community service projects,” Gray-Little said. “This is quite a year for Ashlie. Her hard work is a wonderful reflection on her and also a great reflection on the university, and we all congratulate her.” Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Koehn, a member of KU’s nationally recognized University Honors Program, is majoring in environmental studies, economics and international studies. Her goal after earning her KU degree is to pursue a master’s degree in economics at either the London School of Economics or the University of Reading, with a focus on the economics of climate change. In 2014, she received KU’s Newman Civic Engagement Award for her work establishing the Coalition against Slavery and Trafficking. Her involvement with the issue was sparked by Hannah Britton, associate professor of political science and women, gender, and sexuality studies, who hosted national conference on contemporary slavery at KU three years ago. “Ashlie and I met several times to think about what KU students could contribute to the issue of slavery and human trafficking, and the result was her founding of KU CAST,” Britton said. “After a year as president, Ashlie successfully handed the organization over to the next student leader. She demonstrated her strong leadership qualities by setting a unique goal and then pursuing it with her sense of passion, engagement and dedication. No matter the country or context, her leadership strength is evident in her coursework, her public service and her work experiences.” The University Honors Program works with a campus committee to select KU’s nominees for the Truman Scholarship and supports them during the application process. Anne Wallen, assistant director of national fellowships and scholarships, noted it was an amazing ruse to pull off the surprise. Originally, the call was set up to be between Wallen and Koehn. “I was totally not prepared to be greeted by Chancellor Gray-Little, but it was an amazing surprise for sure,” Koehn said. “As a first-generation student, it took time to learn the collegiate system, but my parents taught me to be resourceful and independent from a young age and KU and the Kansas Air National Guard have provided me with the opportunities to drive me into the future, both at graduate school and in my career. I plan to use the Truman Scholarship to pursue a career as an environmental economist helping to shape future trade agreements and leverage action on important international environmental issues, particularly concerning climate change.” Koehn also had a surprise of her own for the chancellor — the meal she was helping to prepare was not exactly typical Kansas dinner fare. On the menu with her host family in Kyrgyzstan on Monday was a traditional Kyrgyz meal called Beshbarmak, or “five fingers,” because you eat it with your hands. The dish is made of horse and sheep and was being prepared as a birthday celebration for Koehn’s host mom. Chancellor Gray-Little, as she signed off from Skype, made sure to encourage Koehn to enjoy her Beshbarmak. Koehn is the daughter of Rodney and Carolyn Koehn of Burns. She graduated from Fredric Remington High School in Moundridge. She is an active member of the Kansas Air National Guard and currently on leave while studying abroad in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She is a member of the KU Global Scholars Program and a past member of the Student Senate. In addition to being named a 2015 Truman and Udall scholar, she was named a 2014 Boren Scholar and Gilman Scholar and in 2013 was named the Kansas Air National Guard Airman of the Year.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
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