West Virginia University at Parkersburg wins inaugural Green Genome award

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Parkersburg, W.Va. 10/26/12 – As part of an expanding national effort to support “green” practices, programs and training at the nation’s more than 1,100 community colleges, West Virginia University at Parkersburg was one of five exemplary community colleges to be presented with a Green Genome Award this month at a community college summit hosted by Gateway Technical College in Racine, Wis.

The Green Genome Awards are evaluated in four key areas critical to holistic green college transformation: community engagement, governance, program design and delivery, and strategic partnerships. Winning the Green Genome Award truly recognizes the leadership role WVU Parkersburg has taken – incorporating the ideology and methodology of sustainability and clean technology, not only at the campus level but at the local workforce and economic development level as well.

WVU Parkersburg’s award, in the category of strategic partnerships, reflects the work that has been done in the energy program’s strong and long term relationships with community members such as Wood County Schools, the Wood County Commission, the Wood County Homebuilders Association and others that expand students’ learning environment out of the classroom and into the real life laboratories of the community. WVU Parkersburg will be awarded $8,000 plus a set of state-of-the-art Bahco brand Snap-on tools and horticulture equipment. The awards are sponsored by Snap-on.

“Community colleges are at the center of America’s 21st century workforce,” said Dr. Marie Foster Gnage, WVU Parkersburg president. “WVU Parkersburg is pleased to be recognized among the top community colleges ensuring that sustainability and clean economy training are integrated into the entire campus and community. The results will be impactful and long lasting for Parkersburg and all of Wood County West Virginia.”

Other winners of this prestigious award include:

  • Butte College, Butte, California (Governance)
  • Central Carolina Community College, Sanford, North Carolina (Program Design & Delivery)
  • Delta College, University Center, Michigan (Community Engagement)
  • Hillsborough Community College, Plant City, Florida (Overall)

The awards are part of a larger Green Genome Initiative sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and its Sustainability Education and Economic Development Center (SEED). In the past two years, more than 460 community colleges representing over 3 million students have joined AACC’s SEED Center, pledging leadership in green workforce and economic development.

Todd Cohen, Director of the SEED Center and Dr. Bryan Albrecht, chair of AACC’s Presidents’ Sustainability Task Force and president of Gateway Technical College will present the awards at this week’s regional community college summit, “Building Sustainable Industry-College Partnerships.” Gary Thompson, instructional specialist in the energy programs received the award on behalf of WVU Parkersburg.

“We recognize that colleges serve their communities and employers better when campus green initiatives are strategically aligned with community need,” said Walter G. Bumphus, AACC President and CEO. “Through Green Genome, AACC’s SEED is helping to provide colleges a roadmap to becoming more sustainable and building strong energy and trades education partnerships.”

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