Second Nature Announces 2014 Finalists in Competition to Find Higher Education’s Most Innovative Climate Leaders

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BOSTON, MA- Second Nature, a national nonprofit that works to create a healthy, just, and sustainable society by transforming higher education, today announced finalists for its 2014 Climate Leadership Awards. The awards, now in their fifth year, are an annual, national competition among colleges and universities that are signatories of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).

“The impacts of climate change are being felt at all scales and among all people across the U.S. and the World, and our colleges and universities are clearly at the forefront of identifying solutions, and providing the next generation of responsible and pioneering leaders,” said David Hales, President of Second Nature. “This year we are seeing the most innovative and exciting projects yet, and we are thrilled to be able to recognize these institutions and their work.”

Second Nature is partnering with Planet Forward, a web-to-television initiative that documents and shares energy, climate, and sustainability advances, in a public voting competition featuring the finalists’ climate leadership and campus innovations during Earth Month (April 2014). Last year’s public voting process garnered around 50,000 votes.

“Each year, the competition has grown bigger and more impressive,” said Van Du, Manager of the Climate Leadership Awards for Second Nature.” And this year drew the largest and most competitive pool of nominations to date. The projects of the finalists reflect an exceptional commitment to sustainability and sustainability education through truly innovative approaches.”

Awards Timeline
The awards will feature a public, online voting component. Each of the 20 finalists will produce a video that promotes its specific sustainability efforts. Voting will be open during Earth Month, April 2014. The Second Nature Board will then choose the award winners in late Spring.

Full List of Finalists
The following colleges and universities, listed according to their respective Carnegie Classifications, are the 2014 finalists:

Associate/Tribal Colleges
Valencia College (FL)
Gateway Technical College (WI)
Glendale Community College (AZ)
State University of New York Sullivan County Community College (NY)
Montgomery County Community College (PA)

Baccalaureate Colleges
Colby College (ME)
University of Minnesota – Morris (MN)
Huston -Tillotson University (TX)
Furman University (SC)

Master’s Colleges & Universities
California State University, Chico (CA)
Pacific Lutheran University (WA)
Frostburg State University (MD)
Columbia College Chicago (IL)
Bentley University (MA)

Doctorate Granting Universities
University of Massachusetts, Amherst (MA)
Western Michigan University (MI)
University of North Texas (TX)
The Ohio State University (OH)

Special Focus Institutions / Others
Massachusetts College of Arts & Design (MA)
University of Massachusetts Medical School (MA)

Sources: Second Nature, American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment

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