UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge nominees take home awards from 2021 Green Gala

May 20, 2021

The Green Gala is an annual sustainability award ceremony hosted by Team Green, part of the UCLA Office of Residential Life, which recognizes students, staff, faculty and community partners for their work to create sustainable communities. This year, the Green Gala awarded two Sustainable LA Grand Challenge (SLA GC) nominees.

A team of students from the SLA GC Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP) was awarded the Student Research Project of the Year for their collaboration with the Southeast LA nonprofit, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ). The project focused on empowering Southeast Los Angeles residents by providing accessible resources and information about upcoming policy updates, allowing them to actively participate in their cities and voice their housing concerns in time for the upcoming 6th Cycle Housing Element Update. Despite a history of extractive interactions between UCLA and EYCEJ, the research team was extremely thoughtful in their engagement and communication with the organization. This allowed EYCEJ to feel as though the project was truly beneficial to their mission.

Duane Muller, SLA GC’s Assistant Director, Government Agency Liaison, won the 2021 Green Gala Staff Award. She was recognized for her unprecedented knowledge, innovation and creativity, as well as the extent of her accomplishments in only 2.5 years of working with SLA GC.

Her work highlights include: California Conservation Genomics Project, 2019 SLA GC Environmental Report Card for Los Angeles County on Water outreach, 2020 Sandpit and CA Climate Wildfire Institute (CWI). Muller repeatedly worked to secure integral funding, including $12 million in the 2019-2020 California state budget for the California Conservation Genomics Project, and continuously put UCLA sustainability at the forefront of local, state and federal government information sources.

For more information and past winners, visit the Green Gala homepage.