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Awards and Honors

Meet the 2024 Sustainability Award Winners

Winners of the 2024 Sustainability Awards holding their prizes in front of a black curtain

Winners of the 2024 NC State Sustainability Awards were announced at the Celebration of Sustainability on April 23. Meet this year’s honorees for outstanding sustainability achievements.


Kate Macleod is a senior in Sustainable Materials and Technology who has dedicated herself to sustainability on campus and beyond. She has served as an ambassador for the College of Natural Resources since 2021 and interned with NC State’s Waste Reduction and Recycling office since 2022. Kate also works for a local non-profit, Toward Zero Waste, where her contributions helped establish a new Raleigh compost drop-off site. In addition, Kate also supports the Zero Waste Wolves student organization and has initiated numerous waste reduction events and educational initiatives on campus. 


Jessica Yinka Thomas is director of the Business Sustainability Collaborative at the Poole College of Management and an associate professor of practice. Her work includes engaging students, faculty and business partners in developing innovative experiential learning opportunities like the nationally-recognized B Corp Clinic and the newly established graduate certificate program for business sustainability. She is currently the executive director of B Academics, a global network of over 2,100 educators studying B Corps and is also the NC State representative for the global Sustainability Consortium. Thomas teaches and mentors students in sustainable business, social innovation, business ethics and advises the Student Business Sustainability Association


Paul Matney is NC State Dining’s Business Officer. A strong advocate for sustainability, Paul established and leads a Dining Sustainability Committee that integrates sustainability-related activities in the workplace centered on health, wellness and community building. He supervises two Campus As A Classroom student interns who are helping to improve Dining’s sustainable purchasing and marketing efforts. These efforts have led to greater awareness of Dining’s sustainability initiatives and have helped set new targets for sustainable purchasing within Dining. 


The Zero Waste Wolfpack is a collaborative effort by NC State Waste Reduction and Recycling, Athletics, Wolfpack Sports Properties, GFL Environmental and numerous student and community volunteers to reduce landfill waste at NC State Athletics events. These efforts not only have an operational impact on waste management, but they also provide volunteers and fans the opportunity to learn and actively participate in sustainability programming. 


The Blue Economy Innovation Program is a campus-wide initiative to inspire innovation and entrepreneurial thinking in undergraduate and graduate students and faculty to solve the challenges of ocean sustainability. Under the direction of Dr. Chris Osburn, the Blue Economy Innovation Program explores opportunities for workforce development across the state and region and focuses expertise on how to preserve the health of ocean ecosystems while supporting the economic livelihoods of coastal communities.


Campus Thrift Store provides the NC State community with an on-campus sustainable and affordable shopping option. From pop-up shops to Vintage by the Pack Market, which supports over 60 local vintage clothing vendors, Campus Thrift Store promotes a circular economy, a sustainable approach to fashion and a reduction in textile waste. The initiative also hosts donation options for both campus and community members. Its collaborative and community-based platform allows organizations across campus to magnify their impact while making ethical shopping a reality. 

The NC State Sustainability Awards are sponsored by the NC State Sustainability Council. Learn more about previous Sustainability Award winners at

This post was originally published in Sustainability News.