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UVa rewarding staff for sustainable solutions

The University of Virginia is offering way more than a penny for its staff’s thoughts. In fact, it’s offering $1,000.

The President’s Office and Staff Senate are hosting the first annual “Hoos Making an Impact” staff competition with a $1,000 prize.

For this year’s theme, the university-wide contest is challenging staff leaders, educators and organizers to come up with sustainable solutions that can be applied at UVa.

The friendly competition is open to all UVA staff from any school or department. Participants are invited to submit their ideas individually or with a team. Teams will split the cash reward evenly among all members.

The President’s Office is teaming up with the Staff Senate to host the competition and will be accepting submissions from September 6 to October 17.

“We’re in regular communication with HR and the university leadership,” said Leah Gould, Advocacy Director of the UVa Staff Senate. “They’ve been very supportive of the staff senate and fostering this collaborative approach to adopting ideas and listening to our concerns.”

From Department of Energy grants to refined waste management practices, UVa continues to strive for its goal to be carbon-neutral by 2030 and fossil fuel free by 2050.

“Achieving UVa’s ambitious sustainability goals will require commitment across the university at all levels, from large-scale initiatives to individual decisions and actions,” said Andrea Trimble. “By focusing on sustainability as the theme of the inaugural Hoos Making an Impact competition, UVa staff will have the opportunity to propose initiatives that can be scaled up across UVa and potentially beyond, accelerating progress towards UVa’s sustainability goals and amplifying the impact of the proposed ideas.”

The incentive is a part of President Ryan’s 2030 Strategic Plan, which includes cultivating staff success by creating a supportive environment where the staff is recognized as essential to the success of UVa’s overall mission to be a “Great and Good” institution.

“At UVa we focus a lot of our efforts on leveraging the best ideas of this brilliant community to solving major challenges all over the globe,” said UVa President Ryan. “This initiative is a great way for us to apply that same approach to make this university better and to help accomplish the goals of our strategic plan. I can’t wait to see what our talented staff comes up with as the competition continues.”

President Ryan and the Staff Senate will announce the winner or winning team of Hoos Making an Impact in February 2023, at which time the winner will begin working with University leaders to make their idea come to life.


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