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Wildcat Commuter Challenge Announces Winners

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This past May, as rain drenched the campus and temperatures struggled to climb out of the 50s, nearly 40 UNH employees challenged themselves to commute without the convenience and climate-control of their cars. In total, participants in UNH’s first-ever Wildcat Commuter Challenge, coordinated by the Sustainability Stewards, avoided 1,050 single-occupant vehicle trips to campus by walking, cycling, taking the bus, or carpooling.

The Stewards will present prizes – Portsmouth A La Carte gift cards – to top commuters in each category: Rachel Gogan, library services assistant in the biological sciences librasy, who rode transit for 45 trips in May; Ken Mitchell of the instructional development center, who bicycled 46 trips; Lorna Ellis, information technologist in the Space Science Center, who walked 56 trips; and Michel Williams, assistant director of housing and facilities, and Eric Benevides, information technologist in the international students and scholarships office, who tied by each carpooling 38 trips.

Throughout the month of May, participants logged their alternative commutes weekly via a website. Tat Fu, assistant professor of civil engineering, helped design the logging survey so he could access the data for potential future research on alternative transportation.

“All the participants in this first Wildcat Commuter Challenge deserve a big pat on the back for rethinking their commutes and creating some new habits, and special congratulations go to these winners,” says Jackie Furlone, program support assistant in the Sustainability Academy, which supports the Sustainability Stewards. “This was a great start to what we hope is a growing annual challenge. We’d love to see even more faculty and staff take the challenge next May.”