Recognition in Sustainability

The Smeal Sustainability awards recognize extraordinary achievement and service in advancing Smeal's sustainability goals in teaching, research and outreach. 

For award guidelines, nomination process and selection timeline, please visit the following links:

Susman Sustainability Leadership Award

The annual Susman Sustainability Leadership Award recognizes exceptional leadership in the advancement of sustainable business strategy, management, and practice. Awardees can be internal or external to Smeal. 

The 2017 inaugural recipient of the award was presented to Gerry SusmanKlein Professor Emeritus of Management, director emeritus of the Center for Management of Technological and Organizational Change, and director emeritus of the Sustainability Council. 

“Gerry navigated our work from the early days of operational excellence to the current focus on strategy and innovation. We are shifting our focus to the business of sustainability by considering new and exciting approaches to business challenges that account for the social and environmental impact of decision making. This is possible because of the terrific foundation Gerry has created.”

Click here to read more about the inaugural Susman Sustainability Leadership Award.

2017 Recipients of the Sustainability Faculty Award: 

Dan Guide, Smeal Chaired Professor of Operations & Supply Chain Management
“Dan is Smeal's most published and most cited sustainability researcher with decades of scholarship in closed loop supply chain and reverse logistics.”
Terry Harrison, Professor of Supply Chain and Information Systems, Earl P. Strong Executive Education Professor in Business

Terry was instrumental in leading the Smeal sustainability effort in 2014-15 and set in place foundational elements of the sustainability strategy. Most notably, he led the effort to ensure the building received LEED Gold certification, added the first non-profit executive to the advisory board, started faculty sustainability workshops and maintained the awards program. His high level of professionalism and reputation as an accomplished scholar lent credibility and substance to this important role for the college.”

Nancy McClure, Instructor in Accounting

“Nancy's longstanding efforts to engage her students in practical, sustainable business initiatives in low-resource countries promotes student understanding of (i) sustainable business practices and issues, (ii) other cultures and business environments, and (iii) multilateral negotiations. She would be a worthy recipient of the Faculty Award for Sustainability.”

2017 Recipient of the Graduate Student Sustainability Award: 
Ryan Laudermilch

Ryan Laudermilch grew up in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He earned a bachelor of science in Kinesiology from Penn State in 2009. Prior to starting graduate school, he was fortunate to work in two industries related to his recreational passions — a rowing coach at the high school and collegiate level, and a buyer for retailers of outdoor recreation equipment. Ryan concentrated his MBA studies in Marketing and Strategic Leadership. He spent a year working with the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission to develop a business plan and inform their strategic vision, and spent two years working with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Centre County program.

Ryan enjoys being active in the great outdoors, which includes hiking, backpacking, fishing, boating and many other activities. He enjoys teaching others how to feel comfortable and enjoy the outdoors as much as his own adventures.  


“Through his leadership role as president of Penn State Net Impact Student Organization, Ryan Laudermilch has worked to solidify the administrative foundation for the university chapter, paving the way for the new board members to follow.”

“Ryan has been the MBA program’s 2016 Net Impact president, where he worked on multiple sustainability initiatives, community events and planned the 2016 Net Impact Day. He also spearheaded a reduced waste initiative within the MBA program, in which the Net Impact group educated our first- and second-year MBA students on the amount of waste generated from disposable coffee cups, and ways to reduce it. This past year, Ryan organized the attendance of 13 MBA students to the National Net Impact Conference in Philadelphia. 

Ryan is not only a leader within the Smeal community, but he embodies the Smeal sustainability values on a personal level. He is an avid hiker, regularly bikes to school, and always brings reusable containers for lunch. In leading by example and through MBA Net Impact initiatives, Ryan has been a positive and inspiring leader at the forefront of environmental and social sustainability. I cannot think of someone more deserving of the honor of the Smeal Graduate Student Sustainability Award.”

Future endeavors:

Ryan is relocating to Colorado with his wife, Amanda, and is pursuing full-time employment. “No matter where I land, I will use my sustainability and ethical lenses, which Smeal helped strengthen.”

2017 Recipient of the Undergraduate Student Sustainability Award: Alec Raymond

Alec Raymond is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At Penn State, he studied Supply Chain with an Information Systems minor. Alec chose supply chain because of the direct impact it could have on companies’ sustainability initiatives. Other than sustainability, he is passionate about living an active lifestyle and giving back to the community. 


“Alec has been a member of Net Impact for the past four years. He joined Net Impact in the spring semester of his first year and immediately got involved. His efforts started by co-leading, then leading, our Small Steps Big Wins National Competition, resulting in two collegiate national championships. He assisted in his second year in the national Up to Us Competition, earning 2nd in the nation. Alec then moved to executive vice president of the chapter in Fall 2015 and later served as president in Fall 2016.

In the past two years, Alec’s significant effort helped us achieve Net Impact National’s #1 Chapter (FA14/SP15) and #2 Chapter (FA15/SP16) of the year among more than 120 top schools. Alec has achieved “Gold” chapter status in all four years of his tenure. As he leaves Penn State, he has recently guided the development of our Recycling Roadshow, named “Most Innovative new Program of the Year” of all Smeal student organizations, and in March 2017, Smeal Net Impact was named the Penn State student organization of the month.

I believe Alec Raymond has demonstrated an amazing commitment to excellence and results over all four years of his Smeal tenure.”

Future endeavors:

Alec will continue to look for ways to incorporate sustainability into his career and his everyday life, and perhaps, one day, open a sustainability consulting company.

Past Recipients

Undergraduate Student

  • 2015-2016 – Dang Trinh
  • 2014-2015 – Ethan Espina

Graduate Student

  • 2014-2015 – David DeFelice


  • 2016 - Karen Winterich
  • 2015 - Ron Johnson


  • 2017 – Robin Stevens
  • 2016 – Christine Novinskie Olbrich
  • 2015 – JungEn Choi