May 14, 2013

Kimie Romeo ‘08 Receives Excellence in Environmental Sustainability Award

Kimie Romeo '08 receives the college's Excellence in Environmental Sustainability Award. Romeo, a Genesee Valley Center alumna, received the award at the center's annual community event.

Kimie Romeo '08, a Genesee Valley Center alumna, receives the Excellence in Environmental Sustainability from Dean Jonathan Franz.

Photo credit: Patrick Castania/Canal Town Photo

(ROCHESTER, N.Y. – May 16, 2013) SUNY Empire State College today announced that Kimie Romeo ‘08 is the recipient of the college’s Excellence in Environmental Sustainability Award.

Romeo has been recognized because she has been highly influential in developing or otherwise instilling a policy, program or educational campaign that directly led to significant positive change towards environmental sustainability in the community.

“I am honored to receive the Empire State College Excellence in Environmental Sustainability Award,” said Romeo. “The world we share has rapidly diminishing resources, so we must act every day so we can achieve a sustainable planet. By working together, community by community we can achieve environmental sustainability. After all, the more we share, the more we grow.

“Kimie Romeo’s perseverance and success in advancing environmental sustainability through expanding access to networking opportunities, creating enthusiasm for the environment and for being a model of sustainability in her community are just a few of the reasons she has been chosen to receive the Empire State College Excellence in Environmental Sustainability Award,” said Meg Benke, acting president of the college. “Kimie Romeo sets an outstanding example for all to follow and I am proud that she is an alumna of the college.”

“We are very pleased to present to Kimie Romeo the college’s Award for Excellence in Environmental Sustainability and proud she is an alumna of the Genesee Valley Center,” said Dean Jonathan Franz. “A tireless advocate and community volunteer, Kimie has worked in multiple capacities in the Rochester area to promote environmental sustainability through consultation and educational activities in numerous venues at multiple levels, including teaching at Empire State College and RIT. Kimie is an environmentalist to her very core. Her concerns about the value and integrity of the natural environment infuse everything she does and the community is a better place thanks to her efforts.”

The award is part of the college’s Environmental Sustainability Committee’s ongoing efforts to promote and achieve greater environmental sustainability with not only students, faculty and staff, but also with the communities the college serves at its 35 locations throughout the state.

Recipients of the award must demonstrate significant accomplishments in the area of environmental sustainability for an extended period of time on a voluntary basis. Romeso was honored yesterday evening at the Genesee Valley Center’s annual community celebration event by the center’s Dean Jonathan Franz as well as students, fellow alumni, faculty, community and government leaders. The event was held at the Memorial Art Gallery.

"At Empire State College we have a commitment to environmental sustainability both in our operations and in our academic offerings,” said Sadie Ross, director of environmental sustainability for the college. “Operational and academic sustainability are the starting points for our efforts and at Empire State College, we strive to be not only a model for sustainable living, but also to have a positive impact in the communities we serve."

About Kimie Romeo ‘08

Kimie Romeo is an alumna of the college’s Genesee Valley Center and earned her bachelor’s degree in public administration and the environment.

Romeo volunteers as the local coordinator of Recyclemania, a nonprofit organization, which brings together representatives Rochester-area colleges and higher-education institutions from across the county to exchange best practices, provide a forum for mutual support and leverage the combined strength of each school.

She serves on the steering committee for the Rochester area environmental sustainability annual event known as Greentopia, which attracted more than 18,000 participants this year.

Romeo coordinates a monthly meeting for the Upstate Green Business Network, a division of the Center for Environmental Information in a voluntary capacity.

The UGBN meetings provide local business people, students, politicians, educators and other interested parties with tools to promote the economic growth of green business, particularly small businesses.

In addition, she has worked at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Rochester as the Monroe County environmental educator.

During these years, she honed her skills at educating others about the environment and sustainability. More recently, she has been affiliated with an electronics recycling company.

Romeo has won numerous awards including the 2008 Rochester Area College’s Adult Student of the Year, the Project WET Facilitator Award in 2009, the Hilton Central Schools, Friend of Education in 2010 and most recently, the Center for Environmental Initiative’s Reginald W. Hartwell Volunteer Award in 2011.

She is a member of NYWEA Woman of Wastewater, New York State Recycling Association, Upstate Green Business Network and many other organizations and has served on various environmental and sustainability committees.

Currently, Romeo is employed as a landscape consultant, where she advises clients on environmental gardens and plantings.

Her extensive experience in various sustainability activities, as well as her education at Empire State College, enables her to teach as an adjunct faculty member at both the college and Rochester Institute of Technology.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career. Students engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to learn at the time, place and pace they choose.

The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at more than 35 locations in the state of New York and online. Its 66,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.