Florida A&M University (FAMU) Senior Environment Specialist Ryan Mitchell has received an Energy Innovator Award for his sustainability contributions to the university and the greater Tallahassee community.

Mitchell, who works within the FAMU Office of Environmental Health and Safety, was recognized by the nonprofit organization ReThink Energy Florida during its inaugural Energy Ball.

Mitchell is a member of the FAMU Environment and Sustainability Council and serves as an adviser for the FAMU Green Coalition. He was a major player in obtaining a $10,000 grant from the The Home Depot to create a rainwater collection system and outdoor green space at Jackson-Davis Hall. Mitchell also secured a grant from Keep America Beautiful to provide 5,000 recycling bins for campus dorms and offices.

“Ryan definitely deserves the award,” said LaRae Donnellan, a professor within the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication and co-adviser for the Green Coalition. “Through his efforts to decrease waste and lower FAMU’s energy costs, Ryan helped FAMU become the only HBCU named as a top green school by The Princeton Review in both 2011 and 2012.”

Florida Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda (D-Tallahassee), Karen Loewen of Bikeable Community, and the Community Carbon Fund led by Steve Urse, are four other Tallahassee residents who received Energy Innovator awards this year. Kim Ross, president of ReThink Energy Florida, said it is about time people like Mitchell and the other awardees get recognized for their work.

“Ryan exemplifies the type of young leader we need in this community,” said Ross. “He brings expertise and passion to the task of helping others learn to be more sustainable.” read more…