Colin A. Maldonado graduated from Georgia College in 2013, with a major in environmental science and a minor in geology. While on campus, he was very active, having served as President of the Environmental Science Club, as a leader at the GC Wellness and Recreation Center climbing wall, and as a member of the Bike Polo team. In addition, during his senior year, he developed the GC Bike Plan, which included designs for bike paths and a bike share program. Tragically, he passed away from infection while living and learning about sustainability at a spiritual center in Costa Rica in 2014. To honor his determination, faith, optimism and kindness, the GC Environmental Science Club and Sustainability Council created the Maldonado Environmental Hero Award that same year.
The Maldonado Environmental Hero Award is given annually to a GC student or recent graduate who best exemplifies Colin’s belief that individuals can make a difference and help us attain a sustainable future. In 2017, this award was presented to two very deserving graduating seniors, Emma Brodzik and Andrew Wright. Emma graduated with a major in economics. During her time at GC, Emma served as the Director of Environmental Affairs for SGA and the Sustainability Fee Program Director for the Sustainability Council while also interning in the Office of Sustainability. The honors she received include the SGA President’s Award, the President’s Award from the Honors Program at Eta Sigma Alpha, and the GC Student Leader of the Year Award. Andrew graduated with a major in environmental science. During his time on campus, Andrew served as the Sustainability Fee Program Assistant Director for the Sustainability Council and as President of the GC Gardening Club. Additionally, he successfully presented and oversaw two Sustainability Fee Program proposals which created the West Campus Garden and the compost site on campus.
Thank you, Emma and Andrew, for your commitment to helping make Georgia College a more sustainable campus; congratulations on this well-deserved award; and best wishes for a bright and successful future.
Fig. 1. Andrew Wright and Emma Brodzik, in downtown Milledgeville, after being presented with the Maldonado Environmental Hero Award.