Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability

IES Honors

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Students in the Institute of Environmental Sustainability (IES) have many opportunities to be recognized for scholarship and achievement through University and IES programs.

Dean's List

The Institute of Environmental Sustainability (IES) Dean's List is a semester-by-semester acknowledgement of those full-time students (taking 12 semester hours or more) who obtain at least a 3.5 grade point average in any given academic semester. Students on the Dean's List receive a personal acknowledgement from the Dean.

Departmental Honors and Awards

Honors in the major will be conferred on graduating IES students who meet the following requirements:  

Cumulative GPA
in the major

Honors Cords

3.500 - 3.699

Honors, green/bronze cord

3.700 - 3.899

High Honors, green/silver cord

3.900 or higher

Highest Honors, green/gold cord

Cords will be presented at our Senior Honors Celebration which is held a day or two before the Commencement Ceremony, or available for pick up in our office the week of Commencement. Departmental honors are separate from the university Interdisciplinary Honors Program. 

Aldo Leopold Award for Outstanding Achievement

Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) was an ecologist, conservationist, environmentalist, forester, scientist and author. He held the first professorship of Wildlife Management in the U.S. His emphasis on biodiversity and ecology was influential in the development of modern environmental ethics. His book A Sand County Almanac (1949) is considered a landmark in the American conservation movement.

The recipient of this award has demonstrated excellence both academically (≥ 3.20 GPA required) and in service/action toward the greater good.  Students who meet the GPA requirements will be contacted and requested to send an accounting of their extra-curricular activities over their undergraduate career to be evaluated by the Awards Committee.

Rachel Carson Award for Academic Excellence

Rachel Carson (1907-1964) was a marine biologist, conservationist, ecologist and author. She served as Editor-in-Chief for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services publications and wrote about conservation and natural resources before devoting herself exclusively to writing. After WWII she investigated the effects of synthetic chemical pesticides on natural food chains. In her final book Silent Spring (1962) she warned of the dangers of pesticide use and called for new policies to protect human health and the environment. Her work led to a presidential commission that largely endorsed her findings, and helped raise environmental awareness.

This recipient of this award is the IES graduating senior with the highest GPA.

Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores Award for Outstanding Leadership

Berta Cáceres (1973-2016) was a Honduran environmental activist, indigenous leader of the Lenca people, co-founder and coordinator of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras. Flores won the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015 for waging a grassroots campaign that successfully pressured the world’s largest dam builder to pull out of the Agua Zarca Dam project. Following years of intimidation and death threats, she was assassinated in March 2016.

The recipient of this award has demonstrated excellence academically (≥ 3.2 GPA) and in the ability to lead others, directly or by example, in efforts to affect positive change on issues of sustainability, social justice, progress and implementation of environmental policy. Students who meet the GPA requirements will be contacted and requested to send an accounting of their extra-curricular activities over their undergraduate career to be evaluated by the Awards Committee. 

Wangari Muta Maathai Award for Outstanding Service

Wangari Maathai (1940-2011) was a Kenyan environmental and political activist, and a Professor at University of Nairobi. She introduced and developed the idea of community-based tree planting into a broad-based grassroots organization, the Green Belt Movement. This organization empowers communities, particularly women, to conserve the environment and improve livelihoods through tree planting. Dr. Maathai received the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate contribution to “sustainable development, democracy and peace.”

The recipient of this award has demonstrated excellence academically (≥ 3.2 GPA) and an exceptional record of service to others within Loyola, the surrounding community and beyond in areas pertaining to sustainability and/or environmental issues. Students who meet the GPA requirements will be contacted and requested to send an accounting of their extra-curricular activities over their undergraduate career to be evaluated by the Awards Committee. 

E. O. Wilson Award for Outstanding Performance in Independent Environmental Research

E. O. Wilson (1929 —) is a biologist, naturalist, researcher and author. He is considered to be “the father of sociobiology” and “the father of biodiversity” and is a leading expert on the study of ants. His book The Theory of Island Biogeography (1967), co-authored with Robert MacArthur, became one of the most influential works in ecological studies and remains at the center of discussions about the geographic distribution of species. Wilson has been a pioneer in spearheading efforts to preserve and protect the biodiversity of this planet.

This award recognizes the outstanding performance of one graduating IES major who has conducted environmental research and has been nominated by an IES faculty or staff member.

James E. Hansen Award for Outstanding Performance in Environmental Internship

James Hansen(1941-) is Former Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; Adjunct Professor and Director of the Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions Program at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. He has focused his research on Earth's climate, especially human-made climate change. He is best known for his testimony that helped raise broad awareness of the global warming issue. He was designated by Time Magazine in 2006 as one of the 100 most influential people on Earth.

This award recognizes the outstanding performance of one graduating IES major who has participated in an internal IES internship and has been nominated by an IES faculty or staff member. 

Interdisciplinary Honors Program

The Interdisciplinary Honors Program provides an educational environment to inspire the highest level of performance and to create special educational experiences appropriate for the college's most talented students. Students in all undergraduate colleges may be admitted to the program. Honors requirements are adjusted to fit the requirements of each college. The director of the Honors Program has responsibility for planning and implementing general program policy and serves as academic counselor to all honors students.

All students admitted to the Honors Program are assumed to be candidates for an honors degree; continued membership is therefore based on regular progress toward completion of honors degree requirements. These requirements are compatible with any conventional degree program and with any major available in the university.

Application to the Honors Program is part of the admission process to Loyola University. The Undergraduate Admission Office identifies potential members through high-school records and standardized test scores. The formal application process includes a brief essay and a faculty recommendation. Students are admitted to the Honors Program prior to the beginning of freshman year.

For more information and to download the application, visit the Interdisciplinary Honors Program site.

University Laudatory Honors at Graduation

Students earning 60 or more graded Loyola credits are eligible to graduate with laudatory standing according to the criteria below. This outstanding accomplishment will be noted on the students' diplomas, transcript and at the graduation ceremony.

Cumulative Loyola GPA

Laudatory Honor

3.500 - 3.699

Cum laude (with praise)

3.700 - 3.899

Magna cum laude (with high praise)

3.900 or higher

Summa cum laude (with highest praise)

Note: GPA is not rounded for laudatory honors.