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Positive Energy Award Program Supports a Sustainable Future

You could receive a grant from Millersville University to turn your sustainable idea into reality.

Have an idea to make the world more sustainable? You could receive a grant from Millersville University (MU) to turn that idea into reality. MU has announced the Positive Energy Award program to support student, faculty and staff projects that address local solutions to global problems. Individuals who have a project that falls within the Global Goals sustainability framework can apply for grants up to $2,500. Applications are currently being accepted until April 1.

The “Global Goals for Sustainable Development” includes 17 broad yet interdependent goals that reflect a collective ambition to work together as a global community to solve the grand challenges of our time. The goals provide a shared blueprint for governments, non-profits, businesses and higher education to work for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. Goal topics include quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, climate action, sustainable cities and communities, and others.

The initial Positive Energy Award Program was established using over $25,000 in utility rebates from energy efficiency projects completed by MU’s facilities management and information technologies departments, and the Office of Sustainability. These projects have included upgrading the campus data center and constructing the new zero-energy Lombardo Welcome Center, which has generated more energy than it uses due to solar panels, geothermal heating system and energy efficient design since its construction in 2018.

“The Lombardo Welcome Center has given so much back to the University since its construction. We felt it would be a good idea to use the utility rebates associated with its construction to establish a Positive Energy Fund that could empower MU students, faculty and staff to work on projects that could make a further positive impact on the Millersville University and Lancaster communities,” says Chris Steuer, sustainability director at MU.

Applications will be reviewed by members of the Positive Energy Committee. The group intends to give out up to $10,000 in grants this year.

Going forward, Guilbert Brown, interim vice president for finance and administration at MU, says, “Funding for the Positive Energy Award will continue to come through a combination of energy rebates, the value of surplus energy generated by the Lombardo Welcome Center and other energy savings initiatives on campus.”

Steuer says there will be a follow up with the grantees to see how the projects progressed, how the funds were used and how they plan to creatively promote their work.

“Award recipients are required to submit a brief summary report or video to the Positive Energy Committee within one year of the date of award, and undergraduate awardees are required to showcase their work at Made in Millersville the year after award,” says Steuer.

Millersville University seeks to be at the forefront of higher education’s efforts to align sustainability efforts with the Global Goals. In addition to the Positive Energy Award Program, the University is piloting an interface on the Lombardo Welcome Center’s dashboard that organizes programs of study by the goals and encourages prospective students to explore programs of study according to the global challenges they can help solve.

For more information on the Positive Energy Award Program, visit: https://www.millersville.edu/sustainability/global_goals/positive-energy-award.php.

Grant applications can be found at: millersvilleirb.formstack.com/forms/positive_energy.

 

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