PERC Campus Sustainability Champions
(Each category is listed in alphabetical order by last name
with links to each Champion's profile)
Hannah Albright Penn State - New Kensington
Center for Sustainability Education Interns Dickinson College
Cecil Cooper Mansfield University of PA
Barbara Donnini Villanova University
Kristen Doverspike Lebanon Valley College
Ellie Ezekiel Franklin and Marshall College
Indiana Reid-Shaw Swarthmore College
David Shipe Allegheny College
Jessica Stokes Millersville University
Betsy Bolton Swarthmore College
Kelly Boulton Allegheny College
David Errickson Millersville University
Karen Feather Lebanon Valley College
Steven Goldsmith Villanova University
Kathy Hertzler Franklin & Marshall College
InTeGrate Grant Team Shippensburg University
Rebecca Raley Dickinson College
John Roe Penn State University - UP
Student Awardee Profiles
Hannah Albright is pulling together issues of sustainability and community development to benefit her hometown community of New Kensington, PA. Hannah was awarded an REU from the College of Engineering this summer, sponsored by Joan Kowalski (New Kensington) and Robert Cameron (UP). Her research was spurred from the green roof design project she did when in Joan Kowalski's class last fall. Albright’s project was called “Community Greenhouse.” As a first year engineering student, Albright proposes to turn a pre-existing building (which she hopes to get the New Kensington City Council to donate for this project) into a greenhouse that will be viable throughout the year and inexpensive to maintain. Alright is also part of the New Kensington campus GREAT (Growing Regional Excellence through Experience, Academics and Training) program.
Center for Sustainability Education Interns
CSE Interns advance sustainability at Dickinson College in myriad impactful ways. Working as a team, CSE interns coordinate Dickinson’s peer-educator Eco-Reps program; manage the Handlebar Bike Cooperative and Biking@Dickinson; convene campus stakeholders to tackle waste minimization and diversion; collect, analyze and communicate sustainability performance data; and raise awareness of sustainability initiatives through events, social media, newsletters, campaigns and tours. This fall the team is focusing on inclusion, participating in inclusive leadership and advocacy training and applying inclusive practices in their work.
Names of interns: Amanda Brangwynne, Daniel Day, Jackie Geisler, Alex Holmes, Eli Kane, Sophia Larson, Marina Morton, Madie Ritter, Artemis Yang and Anika Yetsko"
Cecil Cooper and James Tice have spent many in and out of class hours developing apps for people to access info about abandoned and orphaned wells and to contribute information as they find them. They have shared there work at conferences in State College and The annual geological Society of America conference in Denver. As they develop this project, they are actively reaching out to groups and finding ways to reach the public in order to consolidate known data and share new data. In their own words:
We wanted to locate abandoned and orphaned wells in Tioga County, Pennsylvania because these wells have proven to be dangerous to people and the environment, especially as the Marcellus Shale has been explored for natural gas using hydraulic fracturing during the past decade.
To this end, we have gathered and combined known abandoned well locations from a number of sources and presented them in our Current Wells Database, a mapping application that provides stakeholders with information about these wells and which are reported to relevant government agencies for plugging and remediation.
We have also developed an online reporting platform which can be used by citizens and other stakeholders in Tioga County as a way to report abandoned wells for remediation and public information. For more information see: http://wells.muearthlab.org/
Barb is a graduate student and in her first year on campus has single handedly revived our environmental group. The Villanova Environmental Group (VEG) is an undergraduate focused environmentally activism group that had all but gone away after senior leaders graduated. When Barb came to campus she wanted to get involved in environmental issues and took it upon herself to bring VEG back to life. Last year the group hosted a pumpkin painting, two service trips (once for MLK day to conduct an energy audit on a local church, the second to help a newly formed NGO plant trees in a neighboring community), a documentary viewings and tabled at Earth Day on healthy and sustainable diets. This was all done through Barbs tireless work of getting students engaged and finding outside funding for many of these events, in total almost $1,000 was donated for last year’s activities. This year, the group starts with a full executive board and more members than can fit in their meeting space. I am honored to work with Barb and can’t believe what she has been able to accomplish in her short time on campus.
Lebanon Valley College
Kristen is a Senior English major and Sustainability Advisory Committee Communications Intern at Lebanon Valley College. Kristen has been integral in telling LVC’s sustainability story for two years by creating annual reports, compiling Sustainability Fast Facts, conducting social media campaigns and marketing our annual Earth Days Program. Kristen is the critical link between the Sustainability Advisory Committee and the College’s Marketing and Communications department.
In addition to serving on the Sustainability Advisory Committee, Kristen is a founding member and current vice-president of the College’s Environmental Club. She is also a staff writer and former assistant editor for the La Vie Collegienne student newspaper, a member of the Digital Communications Club and committee member of ValleyFest.
Kristen’s commitment to sustainability as well as her outstanding work in communicating sustainability topics to campus, make her a Campus Sustainability Champion!
Franklin and Marshall College
Ellie Ezekiel, a senior Animal Behavior major at Franklin and Marshall, has been a prominent member of the sustainability community since she arrived on campus.
As a Sustainability Intern at Franklin and Marshall’s Center for the Sustainable Environment, Ellie assists in the majority of sustainability projects on campus. She drafted the proposal for F&M’s observation beehive, which launched the college’s native pollinator conservation campaign. She has also been responsible for managing the “Green Cinema” film series on campus as well as managing the Center for Sustainable Environment’s website. Most recently, Ellie has spearheaded F&M’s “Green Athletics” movement. Because of her efforts, F&M’s volleyball team is the first NCAA team in history to wear match jerseys made of fully-recycled materials.
Ellie constantly delivers outstanding results and always brings new and innovative ideas to the table. She consistently goes above and beyond what is asked of her to support the school’s mission of environmental sustainability. We are proud to have her as a member of our F&M family and as a shining example of what it means to be a Campus Sustainability Champion.
Indy Reid-Shaw has been a dedicated campus sustainability leader all four years of her undergraduate career. She currently serves as the senior "Coordinator" for the Green Advisor Program. She was involved when it was still a student club, and played a key role in advocating for this peer leadership program to be institutionalized. The GA program, now housed in the Office of Sustainability, includes over 20 students who are trained as sustainability coaches, lead activities in the residential halls, take on campus greening projects, and manage the campus composting system. Indy represented Swarthmore College at the COP21 negotiations, and she has taken the lead on expanding awareness of this year's negotiations by planning an educational series for COP22 to engage the campus community. She is also a leader of Earthlust, Swarthmore's oldest student sustainability club, and in that role she brings together the entire student environmental community to collaborate on shared projects. Her dedication to making Swarthmore and our community more sustainable consistently inspires those around her.
David Shipe has demonstrated his commitment to sustainability at Allegheny College through his leadership in sustainable food production. He has been involved in every possible aspect of food production on campus, from taking courses like Soil to Plate, growing and harvesting locally produced food, and even attending PASA's annual Farming for the Future conference. David recently spent his summer break working in Allegheny's campus vegetable garden, taking the lead in a variety of projects, including harvesting and processing grains. With minimal assistance, just this past semester David has revived the campus aquaponics system to produce lettuce and tilapia fish to sell to the campus dining service, working with dining service staff and training peers to maintain the system. Additionally, David maintains a leadership role in the student group Edible Allegheny Campus, sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm with other students interested in sustainable food production. Both in and beyond the classroom David volunteers his time, energy, and enthusiasm to the task of providing and promoting sustainably grown, harvested and distributed food. His commitment to food justice and tireless efforts to enhance the sustainability of local food systems makes David our campus sustainability champion.
Ms. Jessica Stokes, a senior in Millersville’s Geography program, has been a galvanizing force behind Millersville’s sustainability and climate action efforts. Ms. Stokes is the president of the University’s Geography Club—a leading club focused on improving campus sustainability through environmental activities and campus outreach. Ms. Stokes has also joined the University’s Climate Action Plan committee and is a leading student voice on that committee, contributing both technical knowledge in the areas of bike-friendly programs and climate resiliency and a student perspective on all the Committee’s initiatives. Ms. Stokes also played a key role in developing the University’s Sustainability Walking Tour by helping to identify sustainable sites on campus and developing a sustainable features map for the tour. Lastly, Ms. Stokes is working with the University’s Student Senate to establish a Senate position dedicated to sustainability.
Faculty/ Staff Awardee Profiles
Betsy Bolton is deeply committed to sustainability, education, and the campus community. She is an English Professor at the College and also serves as the Chair of the Environmental Studies Program. In this role, she has consistently advocated for sustainability education for students and for campus sustainability to be a priority for the institution. She was a key leader among a small group of faculty who successfully advocated for Swarthmore to establish its internal price on carbon. Prior to that, she helped advocate for the hiring of Swarthmore’s first Director of Sustainability. In fall 2015, she launched a campus "changemakers" course where students developed campus sustainability project proposals, including a recommendation that the College install solar panels. This project has continued with a student researcher working with facilities to complete a detailed assessment of solar potential for the campus. This year, she co-founded the President's Sustainability Research Fellowship, a year-long program for undergraduate student leaders to help solve pressing campus sustainability challenges related to waste reduction, biodiversity and land stewardship, carbon pricing and energy efficiency, behavior change, and sustainability planning. Betsy is much admired on the campus for her empathy, passion, and tireless dedication.
Kelly Boulton’s work as the campus Sustainability Coordinator has transformed Allegheny College into a campus sustainability leader. As a charter signatory of the American College & University President’s Climate Commitment, Kelly is responsible for ensuring that we meet a climate neutrality goal by 2020, which is currently 75% complete. Kelly is working with the administration to establish a green purchasing agreement to ensure that all purchases—paper, cleaning products,etc.—meet green standards. These efforts resulted in the college now only purchasing recycled paper. Every year she organizes the October Energy Challenge, during which she challenges students, faculty and staff to reduce their energy usage by 10% throughout the month. The money saved on electric bills is reinvested in campus sustainability measures, such as solar panels and replacing water fountains with water bottle refill stations throughout campus. Each year during the DeHart Local Foods Dinner, Kelly organizes local farmers and businesses, campus food service, and student volunteers to bring a fresh, local dinner to the campus. She is also responsible for the annual Trashion show during which students create wearable pieces made of trash. Kelly developed the bike share program on campus and organizes the management of Allegheny’s forested lands.
For more than 15 years, Mr. David Errickson, Millersville University’s Director of Purchasing and Campus Services, has incorporated sustainable decision-making into his office’s daily operations. From donating boards from Millersville’s old wooden bleachers to Habitat for Humanity to providing key support for a Biology’s professors “Books for Africa” project, Mr. Errickson has fundamentally reshaped the University’s management of “waste” materials. Mr. Errickson’s career-long appreciation for reusing and repurposing reached new levels through a recent multi-year project to find new homes for thousands of pieces of furniture contained in decommissioned residence halls. He organized individuals from across the University to inventory the items and identify appropriate reuse pathways—ranging from University use to donating to charitable organizations. Thousands of pieces of furniture were donated to more than a dozen charitable organizations, including Food for the Poor, Refugee Resettlement, Nuestra Clinica, Water Street Rescue Mission, and Lancaster Habitat Restore. Remaining items that were not fit for reuse, such as mattresses, were recycled through a partnership with fellow AASHE member, LRP Recycling. In total, Mr. Errickson’s efforts have diverted thousands of pounds of material from the landfill while improving the quality of life for hundreds of individuals in the surrounding community.
Karen M. Feather, in her capacity as Director of LVC’s Center for Corporate and Municipal Sustainability, made major contributions to environmental sustainability efforts on campus and in Lebanon County. From a long list of notable accomplishments, we list her top three: (1) Developing and overseeing internships for nine LVC students with six municipal and county offices – mapping MS4s, preparing PowerPoint presentations, reviewing ordinances, and completing an annual MS4 report. (2) Working with the Lebanon County Clean Water Alliance to obtain the services of the Center for Watershed Protection to complete a county-wide pollutant reduction plan through a $50,000 technical capacity grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund. (3) Spearheading the development of a series of five non-credit online training courses to teach municipal managers how to use geographic information systems (GIS) in their daily operations, including mapping storm sewer systems under the requirements of MS4 permits, courses first offered in summer 2016 to Lebanon County municipal managers with tuition funded through a contract with the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development.
In addition to the aforementioned, Karen was also instrumental in bringing together a wide ranging group of experts to assist with the development of an Environmental Sciences major at LVC. Karen's commitment to sustainability and community make her a Campus Sustainability Champion.
Dr. Goldsmith volunteered two years ago to serve as the faculty adviser for the student working group of the President’s Environmental Sustainability Committee (PESC). In the past, faculty advisers had not been as involved in the group, more seen as a formality than anything else. But Dr. Goldsmith did not see it that way, he has consistently stayed late to attend meetings, sometimes to 9:00-10:00 at night, come in on the weekends to participate in training and service trips, and spent countless hours during the day to answer questions. Most notably, over the past 10 months, Dr. Goldsmith has helped a handful of the student build a proposal for a campus garden. Campus garden proposals have come up in the past, but have been rejected by senior administration. Through Dr. Goldsmith’s hard work, optimism and knowledge, the student team was given the go ahead from our President to pursue the new research garden idea. Dr. Goldsmith’s help was most apparent in his ability to get other faculty members on board with conducting research in the garden or modifying curriculum to utilize the garden. I have heard from a reliable source that when Father Peter approved the garden, Dr. Goldsmith was seen running through the halls in excitement. Passion from our faculty for student initiatives makes all the difference in getting the campus community engaged and excited about sustainability. We are so lucky to have Dr. Goldsmith as part of our campus community.
Kathy Hertzler is a true Sustainability Champion at F&M. Her supervisor, Ryan Sauder, says: “Within the Office of College Grants, Kathy has spearheaded a variety of initiatives to reduce waste, including helping us embrace a K-cup recycling initiative through Keurig (after she first tried to separate the grounds from the K-cups for use in her garden), establishing a scrap-paper re-use program for all printers, transitioning grants-review processes online to save paper, and leading all of us to bring laptops to staff meetings rather than use printed materials. Trust me...if I listed all of her efforts in this regard, the other sustainability-focused offices on campus would be "green" with envy!” Kathy also instituted empty toner cartridge return on campus with the proceeds going to a nearby public elementary school.
Kathy ensured that her office was the first on campus to fulfill every suggestion made by the Center for the Sustainable Environment for their “Green Office Challenge” competition, earning the Office of College Grants a “gold leaf” certification. We are proud that Kathy is a member of our institution.
Team members: Dr. Sean Cornell (firstname.lastname@example.org, x1310), Dr. Nathan Thomas (email@example.com, x1748), Ms. Antonia Price (firstname.lastname@example.org, x1519)
Project website: http://centerforlanduse.org/projects/integrate/
No longer can colleges or universities ignore the need to produce campus environments that promote stewardship and sustainability at all levels and for all peoples. With this in mind, during academic year 2015-2016, faculty from Shippensburg University Departments of Biology and Geography & Earth Science received one of about 15 national implementation grants to help support integration of sustainability into a range of courses at Shippensburg University. The grant is supported by funds from the National Science Foundation and is coordinated by the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College. Shippensburg University’s provides funding to support professional development activities, and a whole range of programs to support student learning outside of the classroom. InTeGrate activities have touched just about every aspect of campus life and have reached out to our surrounding communities. Among other activities, the InTeGrate team has led curriculum development workshops for faculty, a wide range of community service-learning opportunities, an outdoor film festival, a campus-community forum, and a field conference. These activities have helped to strengthen and focus our campus culture around sustainability in its broadest sense, and the team is already exploring ways to continue these efforts beyond the life of the grant.
Rebecca Raley, Executive Director of Partnership for Better Health and member of the Dickinson class of 1994, has partnered with Dickinson College and other community organizations to advocate for greater access to health care, poverty reduction, resilience and sustainability. Her leadership on the board of the Greater Carlisle Project, service on Dickinson sustainability and civic engagement committees, and participation in multiple student service learning and community-based research projects are helping to make Carlisle a healthier, more livable and sustainable community.
Dr. Roe is a quiet leader who has touched his students, his peers, and the Penn State community deeply. Dr. Roe has developed the very popular Math 033: Math for Sustainability, creating a unique offering among quantitative general education courses with lasting reach beyond students’ time at Penn State. John's vision for this course is ambitious and far reaching: To equip students for their role as active participants in the crucial decisions facing humanity. The course covers a wide range of mathematical topics with great thoughtfulness toward its intended audience of non-STEM majors, brilliantly interweaving mathematical and sustainability concepts. Dr. Roe seems to feel a deep moral obligation to make his students aware of the urgency of sustainability issues, to support the validity of those concerns by presenting their mathematical underpinnings, and to equip them with quantitative decision-making tools. Math instructors across Penn State have been eager to replicate the course because they know that quantifying sustainability challenges is an expression of our values. We will count what we value and we value what we count. Here is a link (https://sites.psu.edu/mathforsust/) to the course website, including a Ted Talk Dr. Roe was invited to give on the topic.