Beth Mercer-Taylor receives UMACS Re(Cognition) Educator Award
The Institute on the Environment (IonE) is proud to share that our own Beth Mercer-Taylor was recently awarded the UMACS Re(Cognition) Educator Award, presented to those that display a passion for “enriching their campus sustainability efforts, inspiring others to consider the impact of their daily actions, and leading on-going change.”
Nominees for the Educator Award display outstanding instruction and mentorship through their incorporation of sustainability and focus on sustainable behaviors in their research, course content, and green teaching practices. With humility and dedication to lifelong learning, these acknowledge their ability to learn from their pupils through collaboration.
Mercer-Taylor exemplifies these qualities through her work as both an educator and a staff member at the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment. She administers the Sustainability Studies Minor, an interdisciplinary, free-standing program with nearly 200 undergraduates enrolled. Her work involves recruiting and advising students, creating community-building activities, and coordinating the efforts of the curriculum committee that oversees the minor’s academic program, and leading new initiatives related to sustainability on campus.
“Beth is one of my sustainability role models,” shares Troy Goodnough, Sustainability Director at the University of Minnesota Morris and IonE Fellow. “When I think about the best and most important sustainability efforts happening at UMN — they almost always connect back to Beth.” Mercer-Taylor has been involved in a diverse set of sustainability programs, ranging from her leadership in the UMN IonE Educators program, to bringing students across the UMN system to explore the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany for sustainability education, and even leading classes to Denmark and China to learn about sustainability efforts there.
IonE’s mission to lead the way toward a future in which people and the environment prosper together can be seen clearly through Mercer-Taylor’s multifaceted efforts. “Beth is consistently one of the most entrepreneurial and inclusive educators at UMN,” adds Goodnough, “She listens to what inspires other people and then helps them to realize their sustainability fueled aspirations.”
About the UMACS Re(Cognition) Educator Award
The Upper Midwest Association Association for Campus Sustainability Re(Cognition) awards were created to honor the late Jim Farrell, professor of history, American studies, and environmental studies at St. Olaf College. Before his passing in 2013, Jim tirelessly advocated for advancing sustainability work in the Upper Midwest. Jim’s love of wordplay serves as the inspiration for the name of this award, which is meant to recognize individuals who help us re-think and re-imagine what is possible as we seek to catalyze solutions to everyday issues just as Jim did so well. Recipients will display Jim’s passion for enriching their campus sustainability efforts, inspiring others to consider the impact of their daily actions, and leading on-going change. For additional information about UMACS, please visit https://www.umacs.org/.
Rupsa Raychaudhuri is a junior at the University of Minnesota, majoring in Political Science and Economics, with minors in Statistics and Psychology.