Architecture Student Honored by U.S. Green Building Council

A fifth-year student in the School of Architecture has received a prestigious Young Leaders Award by the U.S. Green Building Council for developing and implementing a game-day recycling program in Tiger Stadium.

Melissa Seanard of Midland, TX. was also honored by the USGBC for her recent efforts to create an organic vegetable garden for Bethel Colony South, a rehabilitation project for men in New Orleans.

The USGBC gives just five Young Leaders Awards each year to individuals between the ages of 13 and 25 who have demonstrated a commitment to sustainability and affected change in their schools, communities and beyond.

“Needless to say, I am very excited about the award,” Seanard says. “I have high hopes that this will help LSU realize that there are students here that greatly care for the welfare of our campus.”

Seanard’s stadium recycling project came about in the course of research she was doing last spring for a studio project. While researching recycling methods on campus, she discovered that LSU did not recycle in Tiger Stadium on game day so she proposed the first “green” football season for the purple and gold. To implement her project, she spent months working with LSU’s director of recycling and director of athletic facilities to implement an effective game-day recycling program. So far, it’s going smoothly and making a big difference.

Seanard was also honored for her work with Bethel Colony South (BCS), which is located in an area of New Orleans that was hard hit by Katrina. Last summer she received a University Presbyterian Church Community Service Grant to fund an organic vegetable garden for BCS. She is now working with her fellow LSU students on educating the BCS community on the benefits of organic gardening, rainwater harvesting and composting.

“It is my hope that the garden, will act as a catalyst for other members of the community to take the initiative to implement their own organic gardens, composting, and rainwater harvesting,” she says. As a USGBC Young Leader Award-winner, Seanard receives an all-expense paid trip to the upcoming Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix, AR., the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. She also receives an all-expense paid trip to Speak Green Festival in Washington, DC in April 2010, where she will be honored on-stage.

Seanard will graduate with a Bachelor of Architecture degree this December. She plans to attend graduate school next fall to pursue a Master’s in sustainability or environmental management.