2018 President's Award for Leadership in Sustainability winners announced

February 28, 2018

By Pegah Djamzad

The President’s Award for Leadership in Sustainability celebrates SFU community members whose teaching, research or community engagement strives to improve awareness and understanding of ecological, social and economic sustainability on campus and beyond. This year’s award recognizes mechatronics student Raaj Chatterjee, residence life coordinator Matthew Cimone, and faculty members Meg Holden and Mark Roseland.

Raaj Chatterjee (student winner)

Raaj Chatterjee is an undergraduate mechatronics engineering student who has a deep understanding of the interconnections between social and environmental problems. Currently on a 12-month co-op with Apple, he has contributed significantly to groups and movements at SFU and beyond, including SFU 350, DivestSFU, Young Climate Voters BC, the Interfaith Food Delivery Program, and Team Phantom. Chatterjee is dedicated to building community wellbeing while generating solutions to complex global issues. He seeks to hone his academic skills in technology development with an aim to bring affordable clean energy or health care solutions to developing regions of the world, connecting the social, economic and ecological components of sustainability. In 2016, he was selected as a finalist for Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists under 25 list.

Matthew Cimone (staff winner)

Matthew Cimone is a residence life coordinator and the driving force for creating a culture of sustainability and zero waste in the SFU residence community. He has directly contributed to SFU’s waste reduction targets by identifying barriers and challenges that are unique to residence, and has helped bridge those gaps through innovative solutions and community engagement. He has advocated for, and mentored, SFU’s Residence Eco Committee, which is comprised of students passionate about sustainability and environmental programming. This committee has spearheaded many sustainability-related programs and events in residence, including the highly successful Ocean Week in Residence. Cimone is a strong advocate for sustainable living and regularly engages with students to foster a better understanding of how the zero-waste movement can contribute to sustainability.

Meg Holden (faculty winner)

Meg Holden is a professor of urban studies and geography. Her research breaks down community and academic boundaries and focuses on how collective rethinking and reinvention can create more sustainable cities. Examples include the Getting to Groundbreaking project, and the Counting on Vancouver Project, in which more than 100 Vancouverites with ranging perspectives and socioeconomic statuses formed a study circle to generate consensus-based indicators of sustainable development for Vancouver. Her EcoUrbanism Worldwide research program directly contributes to new models for developing sustainable, alternative neighbourhoods. Through her teaching, students discover the depth and complexity of sustainable urbanism and are encouraged to think beyond engineering approaches and environmental stewardship to consider governance structures, social norms, economic flows, human behavior and planetary boundaries.

Mark Roseland (faculty winner)

Mark Roseland is the director of SFU’s Centre for Sustainable Development and professor of planning in the School of Resource and Environmental Management. His work has had a significant impact on Southeast False Creek’s model for a sustainable community; on the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Olympic bid, and on UniverCity. He sits on the board of Catalyst Community Developments Society and is working to establish a professional Doctorate in Sustainable Development at SFU to inspire the next generation of sustainable-community-development leaders. On a global level, he was directly involved in SFU’s contributions to the Sustainable Development Solutions Network  and leads the development of Pando | Sustainable Communities, an online network for those interested in developing sustainable community solutions. He also works closely with ICLEL – Local Governments for Sustainability. His research expertise and passion continue to inspire future leaders in sustainable community development, and contribute to making local and international communities ecologically and socially productive, and economically viable.


President Andrew Petter recognized the winners at the annual awards dinner at the Diamond Alumni Centre on Feb. 27, 2018. To learn more about how you can be involved and contribute to the cause of sustainability at SFU, visit: