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MacKewn earns recognition for recycling efforts

MacKewn earns recognition for recycling efforts

Posted: Friday, May 7, 2010 10:05 am

Dr. Angie MacKewn has a passion for recycling, and her volunteer recycling work for the University of Tennessee at Martin and surrounding area has earned her a Love Community Service Award from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
MacKewn, of Greenfield, an associate professor of psychology, was selected from a group of Tennessee higher-education nominees. She received the award April 29 at a THEC reception in Nashville.
Awards went to five faculty/staff members and five students who excel in volunteer work and community service activities.
The Tennessee General Assembly created the recognition programs for faculty, staff and students at public and private two- and four-year post-secondary institutions in 1991.
In 1993, the General Assembly funded the program by presenting $1,000 cash awards to future recipients.
The awards are named for the late Tennessee Rep. Harold Love, who sponsored legislation to create the recognition program.
“Angie joined the UT Martin faculty almost seven years ago, and during her time here, she has taken a lead role in educating people about recycling and waste minimization,” said Dr. Tom Rakes, UT Martin chancellor.
“Recycling previously existed at the university, but through the hard work of Angie and many others, recycling efforts have greatly expanded in recent years. She is a true volunteer in every sense as she translates her passion for recycling into action.”
MacKewn’s volunteer work has gone beyond participating in recycling events. She and others worked to move the university’s recycling facility to a larger building three years ago.
Since the move to the former National Guard Armory building on Moody Street in Martin, the number of items accepted for recycling has expanded to include items such as plastics, glass, scrap metal and cell phones.
The recycling percentages for UT Martin have grown to nearly a 35 percent rate per person.
MacKewn has also been part of several grants to place recycle bins in K-12 schools, hold sustainability conferences at UT Martin and expand the recycling facility.
She was successful in obtaining a Tennessee Department of Transportation litter grant award and worked with Dennis Kosta, the university’s custodial manager, to obtain three consecutive Walmart community environmental grants and a growing-gardens grant to place several garden plots near the residence halls.
For three years running, MacKewn has led the university’s participation in “Recyclemania,” an international competition among colleges and universities in Canada and the U.S.
MacKewn also helps to organize Earth Week activities and Earthfest, a community celebration of the earth and sustainable practices.
Events include live music, food, competitions among scouting groups for their recycling efforts, a “swap cycle” in which people swap out goods for free, a recycle run and recycled art contests.
The university’s recycling facility also schedules monthly “recycle days” where volunteers collect recycling from area residents who drop off materials at the university’s recycling facility.
“I’m extremely fortunate to work with such great people at UT Martin who support recycling,” MacKewn said.
“Their efforts are making the campus and community more sustainable.”
MacKewn’s recognition brings the total to 26 students, faculty and staff members from UT Martin recognized by the THEC Love Community Service Awards programs.

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