Tuesday, August 04, 2015

UTSA student teams submit proposals in Campus Greening Idea Contest

students

Pam Bacon (left) and students from winning team

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(May 14, 2012) -- Students who won the UTSA Campus Greening Idea Contest were honored at a ceremony last month with certificates and cash prizes for the seven winning teams.

The first-place project proposal, "Smart Campus," was submitted by team members Clare Cloudt (Architecture), Michelle E. Garza (Environmental Science), Norma Gomez (Mechanical Engineering) and Daniel Fisher (Environmental Science). The team proposed that UTSA create a network of "smart" buildings in which sensors placed in breaker boxes would detect the amount of energy being consumed by different zones of the building. To encourage positive energy behavior, data points would be transmitted and analyzed, then shown on a screen show building occupants their zone's energy consumption in real time.

Thanks to generous support from the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Institute for Capacity Building, each winning entry received a cash award with $1,500 to the first-place team.

The contest was launched in late 2011 when UTSA students were invited to submit implementable and sustainable ideas to aid the greening of UTSA. With an emphasis on multidisciplinary collaboration, each idea team was required to have at least three members representing at least two UTSA colleges. Twenty teams submitted entries with 71 UTSA students participating and representing all eight colleges.

A seven-member jury of UTSA faculty, staff and students judged submissions. The contest organizer was Taeg Nishimoto, associate dean of the College of Architecture.

"This contest was a wonderful opportunity for so many students to think about sustainability initiatives," said Gage Paine, vice president for student affairs, who was a jury member. "The students who participated put a lot of time and thought into their submissions, and many of these proposals have a great chance to be implemented at UTSA in the future."

"Instant feedback really changes people's attitudes and actions, and that's what I liked about this project," said Pam Bacon, associate vice president for administration and contest jury member. "This project goes beyond metering because it's interactive."

Several of UTSA's leading organizations in sustainability were partners in the contest including the UTSA Sustainability Council, The Movement and the Green Fund Committee. The Movement, a UTSA student organization that focuses on sustainability and philanthropy, will work with all of the winning teams to help make their ideas more implementable and turn them into Green Fund applications. The Green Fund is a student-led committee that reviews and recommends funding for sustainability projects submitted by students, departments, faculty and staff.

>> See the list of the winners of the UTSA Campus Greening Idea Contest.

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For more information about the contest, email Nicole Chavez.

 

 

Did You Know?

For acclaimed UTSA writer, poetry rhymes with life

Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.

Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.

Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.

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Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

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