2024 Winners

Headshot of Allison Pert in front of green wallAllison Pert

Environmental Science and Biology student

“Whether picking up trash or educating others, Allison Pert exhibits a passion for implementing sustainability initiatives, as well as growing, learning and helping people,” her nominator writes.

Pert, a fifth-year student studying environmental science and biology, has helped guide and plan many sustainability events on campus, including teaching students how to save native seeds and how to cultivate pollinator plants.

As part of Western’s Sustainability Leaders program, which earned a Green Award in 2022, she has served as event lead coordinator and is the current co-lead student coordinator. She has rallied and inspired fellow students, leading campus cleanups, and through her social media posts, shares tips on how to limit waste and use recyclable materials.

Beyond Western, Pert helped coordinate a London Bug Day event to educate children about the role bugs play in environmental health and is a student educator with Let’s Talk Science. In 2022, Pert received the London Environmental Network Youth Leader Award.

Headshot of Kierra Holowachuk with building backgroundKierra Holowachuk

Mechatronics Engineering student and Ivey 2024 HBA candidate

Kierra Holowachuk is described as “an amazing advocate for sustainability, consistently demonstrating her commitment through coursework and her active involvement in both educational and engineering projects.”

Through her upper-year coursework at Western and at Ivey Business School, she is deeply engaged in subjects that focus on sustainability, such as systems thinking, with an aim to better understand the challenges and opportunities in creating a more sustainable future.

Holowachuk is vice-president of events for the Western Engineering Green Technology Club, which attracted a grant from the Western Sustainable Impact Fund to create a prototype of a device designed to remove carbon autonomously and efficiently from the atmosphere. The project has also been selected as a finalist in the OpenAir Carbon Removal Challenge, where it will be showcased at the Carbon Unbound Conference in New York City.

She also served as vice-president of advocacy and director of outreach and public engagement for EnviroSynBio, a multidisciplinary group of Western students promoting environmental and synthetic biology across campus through events, lab opportunities and research conferences.

After she graduates from Western this June, Holowachuk plans to pursue a masters of science in sustainability management at Columbia University in New York City.

“Kierra actively contributes to a greener world, fostering a sense of belonging that embodies Western’s vision for a more prosperous, just and inclusive society,” writes her nominator.

Headshot of Dr. Julie Strychowsky with hospital backgroundDr. Julie Strychowsky

Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Dr. Julie Strychowsky believes simple changes in hospital operating rooms (OR) and multidisciplinary clinics can have considerable impact in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

An award-winning teacher in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and a pediatric ear, nose and throat surgeon at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), Strychowsky sees practicing environmental sustainability in the OR and in life as a moral and public health imperative.

She recently led a successful initiative to streamline surgical trays to only include surgical instruments and supplies necessary for the procedure, reducing processing impact and waste. She also implemented a reusable patient belonging bag program, replacing single-use plastic bags with a more environmentally friendly option that reduces carbon emissions and saves LHSC approximately $3,000 annually.

“Dr. Strychowsky is working one tray at a time to reduce carbon emissions at LHSC, raising awareness of the environmental impact of the operating room locally and in the national ear, nose and throat community,” her nominator writes.

Source: Western News