Campus Sustainability Champions
(Each category is listed in alphabetical order by last name
with links to each Champion's profile)
Kelly Jacobs Lebanon Valley College
Sonya Korzeniwsky Allegheny College
Gina Mertz West Chester University
Marina Morton Dickinson College
Lauren O'Connor Bucknell University
Shelby Sawyer Franklin & Marshall College
Andrew Shelly Lycoming College
Villanova Garden Committee Villanova University
Ian Carbone Allegheny College
Laura Guertin Penn State University
Errol Huffman Dickinson College
Paul Morgan West Chester University
Debbie Namugayi Bucknell University
Penn State Dance MaraTHON Penn State University
Ted Schmid Franklin & Marshall College
Kathleen Schreiber Millersville University
Rebecca Urban Lebanon Valley College
Hugh Weldon Villanova University
Student Awardee Profiles
Kelly Jacobs, an Economics major with Politics minor, has been a data intern and student representative to the Sustainability Advisory Committee for three years. As a data intern Kelly worked on a student team charged with completing the College’s Carbon Footprint and developing recommendations for further reducing the College’s Carbon Footprint. Through the Center for Municipal and Corporate Sustainability, Kelly completed an internship working on sustainability issues for Lebanon County. She was also instrumental in starting the Environmental Club in 2015 and serves as its President. In addition to her many sustainability activities, Kelly has worked for Residential Life for three years, both as a Resident Assistant (one year) and as a Residential Mentor (two years). Kelly’s academic and leadership accomplishments have led to her induction in three academic, national honor societies.
Kelly’s involvement with the Sustainability Advisory Committee and student-related activities has definitely had an impact on sustainability at LVC!
Sonya sets standards for excellence in the classroom, and is a 4-year research assistant in projects related climate change and acid deposition in forests. Presently she is the lab manager, coordinating and leading lab and field efforts. Sonya helped with a study, supported by the Allegheny Department of Athletics, examining recycling participation and compliance at the college recreational facility. She is a leader with Edible Allegheny, a student club that promotes food sustainability. She has assisted with a local foods dinner, helped to maintain a student garden and edible plantings, and assisted local farmers. Sonya organized Edible Allegheny’s efforts to provide soup luncheons for departmental seminars. She has been a tireless worker in the campus garden, which supplies food to the campus food service. She has also been instrumental in training new students to be gardeners, in helping to develop community gardens in town, and organizing a mobile food truck that brought fresh produce to food deserts. She has assisted with a project at a nearby cross-country ski area developing nature trail signs along ski trails, where she also led a food drive for the last three years. Sonya truly lives her philosophy of environmental sustainability.
West Chester University
Ms. Gina M. Mertz was selected as the intern for the Outdoor Classroom and Demonstration Garden at West Chester University in January of 2017. Her responsibilities are to maintain the native plant outdoor classroom and adjacent organic demonstration garden at the north campus location. Gina merits recognition as she has significantly advanced sustainable landscaping and organic agriculture education and practice at West Chester University. She initiated and implemented improvements to the site by establishing pathways with cardboard and mulch to reduce and eliminate the need for mowing while creating a more inviting and accessible landscape. In the garden, Gina utilizes local materials and rain barrels to capitalize on sustainable resources at hand. She invites visitors and volunteers into the garden to learn about sustainable methods for landscaping and growing food. Gina has established relationships with staff, students and faculty across campus that effectively engages them in learning from and participating in the management, maintenance, and harvesting of delicious produce. These relationships and connections extend to West Chester University’s Veteran’s Center and Resource Pantry, the West Chester Senior Center, and West Chester Food Cupboard where surplus produce from the garden is delivered to provide fresh vegetables to the community.
As an intern for Dickinson College's Center for Sustainability Education (CSE) and co-chair of our Waste Management Working Group, Marina Morton helped lead development of a strategic plan and performance targets to increase Dickinson's landfill diversion rate. The plan is currently being implemented to great success. In leading this work and performing other tasks as a CSE intern for three years, Marina has demonstrated strong abilities for collaborating with diverse stakeholders, seeking common ground and coordinating multiple activities. She is currently spearheading Dickinson Free XChange, a new initiative that is raising awareness of strategies for reducing consumption by engaging students, staff and faculty in donating and exchanging used clothing.
Since 8/25/16, Lauren O'Connor, BioChem 2019, has committed much of her time and passion as an Energy & Sustainability Intern, discovering, developing and managing implementation of resource efficiency projects on campus. The Green Fund Committee (revolving loans) has approved and funded 5 of her projects (some are here- https://www.bucknell.edu/GreenFund), conserving 1,440,000 gal/yr of water ($30,000/yr savings 1.5 yr payback). Using a pilot project and survey results, she developed a $130,000 dorm hand dryer initiative (3.6 yr payback, saves over 1 million paper towels/yr) to be installed summer 2018. In summer 2017 she managed a $65,000 LED lighting project with 5 student installers, 7,500 LEDs installed (thousands of lamps avoided from landfill- improved IEQ, 3 year energy payback, 1.8 million lbs CO2 avoided annually.
Franklin and Marshall College
Shelby Sawyer has been an environmental leader on Franklin & Marshall’s campus since she first set foot here. In her first days on campus, she began one of F&M’s most active environmental clubs: Real Food F&M. Real Food has pushed for Meatless Mondays in our dining hall, and has analyzed all the data necessary for our participation in the Real Food Challenge. They also host cooking workshops each semester to promote the consumption of environmentally friendly and healthy food. In addition, Shelby has led our FOOT (Freshmen Outdoor Orientation Trip) outdoor orientation program for two years, where upperclassmen take first-years on a backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail. Shelby has also worked for the Center for the Sustainable Environment all four years on campus.
Mr. Andrew Shelly a senior Lycoming College Biology major (Ecology emphasis) as well as a member of the Lycoming College Scholars Program. Andrew is one of the most enthusiastic undergraduate students I have known in my 36 years of teaching. He is personable and hardworking and balances his academic work (a Dean’s list student) with leadership in campus sustainability, Habitat for Humanity and tutoring. As student leader of our campus Sustainability Committee- http://www.lycoming.edu/sustainability/ for the last two years, Andrew completed the 8th edition of the Lycoming College Environmental Audit which summarized the college energy, water as well as recycling and solid waste by each campus building. One highlight of his analysis was documentation of energy and water savings by comparing renovated dorms to non-renovated dorms can be used by the college to plan future renovations of buildings. He also is active in our teracycle, food recovery and sustainable seminar programs and this year is working with training future Sustainable Committee student members for continuation of these campus initiatives.
Villanova Garden Committee
A group of four students: Thomas Saldutti (leader), Rebecca Connelly, Sarah Bates, and Brian Cullinan, dedicated their last two years as Villanova undergrads to getting a garden on campus. The work started with the initial proposal, researching other campus gardens and outlining their plan for Villanova’s garden. They presented their final idea, a research garden, to the University President, Father Peter, for approval in spring 2016 and got it! Once approved the group worked for another 12 months, outlining the garden layout, drafting bylaws and searching for funding, which ultimately came from a generous alumni donation. The Villanova Consortium for Agricultural Research and Education (VCARE) will be open for student and faculty researchers this summer for the first time ever because of the hard work and dedication of these four students.
Faculty/ Staff Awardee Profiles
For years, Allegheny College advocated use of renewable energy sources, yet lacked the expertise and experience to teach that topic to students in a hands-on manner. That void was filled when Ian joined the Environmental Science faculty, bringing his knowledge in renewable energy technology and application. In his renewable energy course, filled beyond capacity, students examine wind and solar energy potentials, build scale-model wind turbines, test solar power concentrators, and explore application of renewables in northwestern Pennsylvania. His quantitative sustainability course shows students how to go past arm-waving notions of using energy alternatives, and demonstrates how to determine quantitatively the viability of various alternatives. Ian has brought solar power to the campus in a novel, newly-built greenhouse produces more energy than it consumes by using groundbreaking solar panel technology. The roof of the greenhouse is a collection of luminescent solar concentrators that generate electricity from “wasted” light. The panels capture and convert into electricity those wavelengths of light that plants cannot use, while simultaneously allowing photosynthetically active light to reach the plants below. Ian takes students seamlessly from renewable energy theory, through rigorous quantitative analyses, and into materials design and construction, truly linking environmental theory with hands-on practice.
The Sustainovation Team (sustainability + innovation) is working to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through engaged scholarship activities on and off campus to meet community sustainability priorities. In 2017-2018, the Sustainovation Team worked with four partners: Tyler Arboretum, Ridley Creek State Park, the Pennsylvania Earth Science Teachers Association (PAESTA), and Media Food Bank. The team organized a Sustainability Research Station for Tyler Arboretum, leading a paper vs plastic straw activity for >800 visitors. The next Tyler event will be for UN World Water Day. At Ridley Creek State Park, students are creating a new web-based tour on tree biodiversity for RCSP’s ~950,000 annual visitors. For the >900 K-12 teacher members of PAESTA, students wrote sustainability-themed curricular material (78 short reads). For Media Food Bank, we are organizing the campus' first-ever CanstructionU competition to help MFB serve the 75-100 families that come through their doors each week. In addition to campus-wide support from faculty, staff and students, the Sustainovation Team has mentored a new Sustainovation Student Club. The Sustainovation Team has accomplished much in a short time, allowing our campus to serve its land grant mission and to make an impact on a large number of community members.
Team members: Laura Guertin (Earth Science - faculty), Karen Theveny (Communications - faculty), Ivan Esparragoza (Engineering - faculty), Justin DiMatteo (IT - staff), Adrienne Showalter (Library - staff), AJ Downey (Academic Affairs – staff)
Errol Huffman, Director of Dining Services at Dickinson College, developed a new Sustainable Vendor Preference statement and is using the statement to help guide the selection of vendors for purchasing food, equipment and materials. Preference is to be given to vendors with well-developed sustainability statements, policies and practices. Considerations identified as important include employee welfare, animal welfare, energy consumption, water use, local and community-based producers, and third-party sustainable food certifications. Under Errol's leadership, Dickinson Dining Services was recently named a 3-Star Certified Green Restaurant for its sustainable practices. These include sourcing food from Dickinson's USDA certified organic farm, collecting all food waste in the dining hall for composting at the farm, and promoting plant rich diets by offering high quality vegetarian and vegan options. The new Sustainable Vendor Preference statement will provide a strong foundation from which to further "green" dining at Dickinson.
West Chester University
West Chester University (WCU) has steadily moved toward greater recognition of sustainability's key role in an institution of higher education. Notably, the University recently hired its first Director of Sustainability, and this important step forward would not have occurred without the time and effort put forth by WCU's three former Sustainability Coordinators, Drs. Paul Morgan, Joy Fritschle, and Tim Lutz. These faculty members have been deeply involved in a diversity of campus initiatives and successfully advocated to make sustainability central to the University's function and operation. In addition to overseeing the details associated with becoming a signatory to the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment in 2010, they have led efforts to develop WCU's Climate Action Plan, have sustainability recognized as a central theme of the University's Strategic Plan, and include sustainability education in a University-wide reform of general education. These past WCU sustainability coordinators have sparked stimulating discussions across campus by planning curricular workshops for faculty, sustainability education workshops for staff, and hosting world-renowned speakers on campus to share their visions of sustainability. Drs. Morgan, Fritschle, and Lutz have worked inclusively and effectively across institutional divisions to place sustainability in a place of prominence on campus.
Bucknell University hired its first sustainability coordinator, Debbie Namugayi, in July 2017. Debbie established the Office of Campus Sustainability to prioritize and accelerate the campus’ 2030 carbon neutrality goals as a signatory of the American College & University President’s Climate Commitment. The mission of the Office of Campus Sustainability’s is to foster a culture of sustainability through engagement, outreach, policy, and operations. Transformative steps towards a sustainable Bucknell included Debbie’s formation of a Sustainability Outreach Team, a peer-to-peer model of student leaders engaging Bucknell students through interactive events across campus. A sustainability website was also constructed. Debbie’s leadership of the interdisciplinary and collaborative drafting of a Sustainability Plan will guide institutional planning and increase sustainability initiatives across all aspects of campus sustainability. Kristian Fox, electrical engineering, ’19, serves as the sustainability student fellow for the new office and has provided invaluable perspectives and energy as a student employee. Kristian possesses a genuine enthusiasm for sustainability and a keen ability to track and communicate sustainability data. Kristian most recently took on the task of coordinating with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection staff and completing a compost permit in order to add pre- and post-consumer food waste to Bucknell’s compost operations.
Office of Campus Sustainability/ Bucknell University: Team members: Debbie Namugayi, Sustainability Coordinator; Kristian Fox, Sustainability Student Fellow. Website: https://www.bucknell.edu/sustainability
Penn State Dance MaraTHON
Penn State University
It is my pleasure to nominate the Penn State Dance MaraTHON for the 2018 Campus Sustainability Champion award. THON is the world’s largest student philanthropy, engaging 15,000 student volunteers through an year-long fundraising campaign to fight pediatric cancer, culminating in a 46-hour, no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon. An organization of such magnitude has an immense environmental footprint, and over the past year, THON has shown an unprecedented commitment to implementing sustainability initiatives.
In its three large-scale events throughout the year, THON has achieved an average landfill diversion rate of 80%. Thanks in part to a partnership with PepsiCo, THON provided reusable water bottles for its volunteers during the final weekend, resulting in a savings of 8,500 disposable water bottles- nearly a quarter of THON’s typical bottle consumption! Lastly, THON’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond operations and food. THON leadership worked throughout the year to incorporate sustainability into all facets of the organization, including Donor and Alumni Relations, Public Relations, Dancer Relations, and Rules and Regulations. The idea of sustainability has become so much more ingrained in the culture of THON, and I am confident that the changes made this year will stick for years to come.
Franklin & Marshall College
Franklin & Marshall College is proud to nominate Ted Schmid, Director of Grounds, as our Campus Sustainability Champion for 2017. Ted has been instrumental in helping the campus’ Pollinator Garden Program grow and flourish. He and his team have actively worked with F&M’s Sustainability Committee and Center for the Sustainable Environment to change the way the college thinks about its landscape. As a leading member of the Campus Tree Advisory Committee, Ted has worked to create a living laboratory with the campus grounds. This opportunity serves as an educational and academic resource.
In addition to his work with the campus landscape, Ted has been involved with improving F&M’s waste program for many years. He has helped to oversee initiatives that have created major increases in recycling rates and was one of the leaders in establishing F&M’s composting program.
Ted has been a fixture at the college for well over three decades and continues to prove that he is an invaluable asset to F&M’s Sustainability Program. We cannot thank him enough for all of his hard work and dedication!
Dr. Kathleen Schreiber served as chair of American Meteorological Society Committee on Environmental Stewardship, greening the society, and co-chaired development of Symposium on Greening the Built Environment at the annual meeting, where she presented on Millersville University’s zero energy Lombardo Welcome Center. Dr. Schreiber also engaged students in 2 service learning projects: Water quality monitoring with ER Martin Elementary students, and trash pickup for City of Lancaster on permeable parking lots and streets. Dr. Schreiber also serves as the chair of MU Subcommittee on Climate Action Plan, developing a 'Lights Out' plan for the campus. Served on PERC committees for developing Safe Climate Day experience for undergraduates. Dr. Schreiber has also engaged her Climate and Society class in developing MU's Climate Resilience Plan for Human Health.
Lebanon Valley College
The Sustainability Advisory Committee at Lebanon Valley College is pleased to nominate Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Rebecca A. Urban as our 2017 PERC Sustainability Champion. Among her many accomplishments, three stand out: (1) Dr. Urban spearheaded the creation of an Environmental Science Major, a proposal years in the making that brings together the expertise of various departments and adds a vitally important element to our curriculum. (2) Dr. Urban spearheaded the creation of Wood Thrush Research Preserve at Rohland Farm, an on-campus woodlot and “biological island” disconnected from a larger forest and home for species that are unable to live in fields, parking lots, or other nearby environments. To preserve and protect the biodiversity of this ecosystem as well as continue to let it serve as a resource for LVC students and faculty, Dr. Urban and the Biology Department worked with the Sustainability Advisory Committee to get its conservation approved by the president and Board of Trustees. (3) Dr. Urban organized campus Earth Days events in April 2017, as she has in previous years, as detailed on our Earth Days archive (http://www.lvc.edu/life-at-lvc/sustainability-initiatives/earth-days-2017/).
Hugh Weldon has been with Villanova for over 20 years. Today, Hugh serves as our Campus Horticulturalist. In addition to being a wonderful person, Hugh has been a enormous support of the campus sustainability program. Starting in 2015, Hugh took the lead on developing a campus tree tour, it has grown to be the second most popular event during reunion weekend, just behind the lunch with Villanova’s Men’s Basketball coach, Jay Wright. Tours are also held throughout the school year, including parents weekend. These tours, along with the dedication of others in the grounds department has made it possible for Villanova to become a Tree Campus USA Campus. Hugh has been instrumental in the development of the new research garden. Providing advice and human power to the project.