RIT Environmental Sustainability, Health and Safety Program Named to Sustainable 16

Program competes during March Madness-style competition to determine best environmental program in the U.S.

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The brackets for the 2012 March Madness tournament are set—only these competitors are the power forwards of environmental health and safety.

Rochester Institute of Technology has been named to the Sustainable 16, a group of U.S. colleges and universities who exemplify excellence in environmental academics. RIT is in the running to be named “National Champion” in the first March Madness-style competition for environmental studies programs. RIT’s selection spotlights the Environmental Sustainability, Health and Safety undergraduate program in the College of Applied Science and Technology.

In order to advance to the “Environmental Eight” and the Final Four, RIT students, faculty, staff and alumni must carry out a “full court press” by submitting testimonials, short essays, videos and social-media posts about the program by March 19 to Environmental Leader, one of the competition sponsors along with Enviance, an environmental ERP software company.

“This is huge for us,” says Josh Goldowitz, professor of environmental sustainability, health and safety. “Enrollment and applications are up in RIT’s environmental programs, and 95 percent of our 2011 graduates are employed in the field.”

Submissions will be evaluated until March 19, and the “Environmental Eight” will be announced March 26. One student from each of the Final Four universities will be selected by the judges to be profiled in Environmental Leader, an online industry publication.

The tournament will award $5,000 to the environmental and sustainability department of the national champion and send the department chair or member of the faculty to San Diego to attend the Enviance User Conference, April 16-20. While there, the winner will lead a panel, “What Tomorrow’s Environmental Leaders Need to Know.”

The Sustainable 16 are Baylor University, Colby College, Colorado State University, Cornell University, Duke University, Humboldt State University, Montana State University, Ohio State University, Purdue University, RIT, Temple University, University of California-Davis, University of Florida, University of Michigan – Dearborn, University of North Carolina, Asheville, and University of Texas at Arlington.

For more information on the March Madness Tournament for environmental studies, e-mail Enviance@schwartzmsl.com or go to www.enviance.com/march-madness. View real-time updates on Twitter by following @enviance or @ELDaily.

The judges for this year’s tournament include: Lawrence Goldenhersh, chief executive officer and president of Enviance; Peter Fox, principal and chairman of The Brattle Group; Velislava Ivanova , director of global sustainability at CH2M HILL; Nick Johnson, managing consultant at Trinity Consultants; and Don Cuffel, manager of environmental engineering at Valero.