Priscilla Costa Dos Santos, MESPOM alumna from CEU, named as 2021 AASHE Sustainability Award Finalist

November 12, 2021

The individuals and higher education institutions that are inspiring continued progress toward environmental, social and economic health

Vienna, November 12, 2021 – The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) announced ‘Embedding sacred ecology in sustainability solutions: The role of post-secondary environmental science programs’, thesis research authored by Priscilla Costa Dos Santos, MESPOM alumna, Central European University (CEU), Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, as a finalist for a 2021 AASHE Sustainability Award in the campus sustainability research category, recognizing outstanding scholarship in higher education.

The AASHE Sustainability Awards provide global recognition to the individuals and organizations leading the higher education sustainability movement. With the help of volunteer judges, this program raises the visibility of high-impact projects, pioneering research, and student leadership that helps to disseminate innovations and inspire continued progress toward environmental, social and economic health.

The outstanding individuals and institutions recognized as finalists were selected based on overall impact, innovation, stakeholder involvement, clarity and other criteria specific to each award category. Winners will be celebrated during a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 9 at noon Eastern.

“The higher education sustainability community continues to show themselves as leaders in the global sustainability movement. This is never more evident than through the many entries received for the AASHE Sustainability Awards,” said Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “I am proud to recognize the innovation and leadership demonstrated by this year’s finalists.”

“Priscilla's research explores the potential contribution of environmental science programs in Canada that integrate traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) perspectives to sustainable solutions. It explores indigenization and decolonization of higher education as a contentious topic, including its contribution to a renewed perception of environmental ethics. The research shows that the ways in which relationships within and towards the environment are framed can address the origins of unsustainability,” said Laszlo Pinter, Head of CEU’s Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, and Priscilla’s thesis supervisor.

Professor Aleh Cherp, MESPOM Coordinator at CEU, stressed that Priscilla wrote her thesis at the Erasmus Mundus Masters Degree in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management (MESPOM), which CEU operates together with Lund University (Sweden), the University of the Aegean (Greece) and the University of Manchester (UK). “As a testimony of MESPOM's academic excellence, Priscilla's nomination makes the MESPOM community of over 500 students and alumni from over 80 countries very proud,” Professor Cherp concluded.

Notes for Editors:

Central European University (CEU) is accredited in the United States, Austria, and Hungary, and offers English-language bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in the social sciences, the humanities, law, environmental sciences, management and public policy. With two campuses located in the heart of Central Europe – Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary – CEU has a distinct academic and intellectual focus. The university combines the comparative study of the region's historical, cultural, and social diversity with a global perspective on areas of critical enquiry including good governance, sustainable development and social transformation. 

AASHE empowers higher education administrators, faculty, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. AASHE enables members to translate information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a diverse, engaged community of sustainability leaders. We work with and for higher education to ensure that our world's future leaders are motivated and equipped to solve sustainability challenges. Follow AASHE on Facebook and Twitter.

To learn more about AASHE’s Sustainability Awards programs, please visit