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Green Teams Program

What is a Green Team?

Green Teams are groups of faculty, staff, and students volunteering to take specific actions to help their organization (college, department, building, etc.) operate in a more efficient, innovative, and healthy way. Typically, Green Teams focus on making their operations more sustainable through the easy to follow Green Paws Program and other initiatives unique to their departments. Currently, the University has 104 Green Teams, with 22 of them at the Commonwealth Campuses, operating in various departments.
The Sustainability Institute sponsors the Green Team program and supports it with information resources and training. What initiatives are these teams working on? Check out the success pages.
See the tabs above for more on forming your own Green Team, signing up for an orientation session, learning resources, and locating a team in your unit. For more information contact Lydia Vandenbergh at (814) 863-4893.


    The ability to work with co-workers to make positive change:

    • It's more effective (and more fun!) to work with others
    • Connection to over 100 Green Teams and over 850 members around Penn State
    • Bring recognition to your unit for having a Green Team
    • Invitation to quarterly Green Team lunches and special training sessions
    • Access to the best and latest information, resources, events and news available from the Sustainability Institute that can help you and your Green Team succeed.  Everyone on our list gets regular updates and announcements from our office.

    Green Bag Lunch Series

    Ready to connect with your building’s community and learn together about energy waste in your home, recycling and composting, sustainability and social justice? The Green Bag Lunch Series offers this opportunity with the following four presentations: 

    March 25th, 2015:
    "How Diversity Matters: The Connection between Sustainability and Diversity"

      What is the connection between sustainability and diversity and how does it apply to work and life at Penn State? The Educational Equity Green Team investigates these concepts. 

      Green bag lunch flyer for Sustainability Lives Here

      Join us on March 25, 2015 to peek into the development of a strategic plan on incorporating sustainability into the mission and work of diversity at Penn State and learn how to tie it into your YOU@PSU.EDU goals. Examples of activities, workshops, discussion questions and videos will be shared. Register for this session.

      Past Events

      How to Form a Green Team

      • Identify co-workers who would be interested in working on greening your area.Green Teamers enjoy a laugh at training
      • Contact Lydia Vandenbergh to set up an orientation meeting or sign up for any of the monthly sessions available through Adobe Connect or in person. 
      • Obtain a Letter of Support from the Leadership in your office
        • Getting support from those in leadership roles can boost morale and promote the credibility of your team. Ask your Office Head/Program Director to write a letter in support of the formation of your Green Team. Be sure to share the letter with your fellow Green Team members and mail or email a copy to Lydia Vandenbergh, 108 Land and Water Research Building.
        • You can use this draft letter as a tool to create your own personalized request for leadership support.
        • Check out this example letter written by Penn State Dubois' Chancellor supporting her Green Team's efforts.

      • Expand your team!
        • Invite more co-workers to join your team using this sample invite.
        • Include a copy of the letter of support from your supervisor along with the invitations to join the team.
        • You can also post this flyer somewhere in your office to market your team.
      • Complete the Green Team Registration Form. Officially registering can help us to help you!
      • Contact Lydia Vandenbergh to collaborate on organizing your first meeting.

      Update Information

      To ensure that we provide your Green Team with the most accurate and up-to-date information, we ask that you let us know if there are any changes to your existing team. Please use this form to update the following:

      • Green Team Name
      • Green Team Leader Information
      • Green Team Member Information
      • Green Team Contact Information

      Green Team Resources

      Green Teams are on the front lines of learning about sustainability, engaging others in that pursuit, and celebrating success. The Sustainability Institute has compiled a variety of tools to help teams build awareness about sustainability issues, inspire others to take an interest and change behaviors and how to communicate these ideas with others. Several of the ideas were created by teams and we will continue adding new resources as they are developed.

      Download the PowerPoint from our 2014 end of the year luncheon.

      Orientations and General Resources

      Events & Orientation

      2014 Green Bag Lunch Series

      This new series of Green Bag Lunches makes it easy for Green Teams to connect with their Penn State community. The Sustainability Institute plans the presentations and provides teams with a planning guide, customizable flyers and emails to advertise the event, discussion guidelines, and an easy registration process. All the teams have to do is reserve a room with AV capability, recruit participants, and on the appointed day, enjoy learning and fellowship with your building mates.

      Each presentation will run 25 to 30 minutes, with 10 - 15 minutes for questions, allowing 10 - 15 minutes for Green Teams to facilitate discussions within their groups. All presentations will be recorded and available on the Green Team Resources and Training webpage in case teams want to hold Green Bag lunches at another time.

      There will be four presentations in this series and all the planning and marketing materials are below. Get your planning started with this guide.

      October 20th: Penn State student Anthony Magliozzi will be presenting “Making your home smarter: Energy efficiency with the NELC” (National Energy Leadership Corp). The Smeal Green Team will be hosting this event, via Adobe Connect.  This presentation was initially held in August and was so well received that we were asked to repeat it.  Marketing materials and the registration link will be sent out on October 3rd.

      November 20th: Al Matyasovsky will present “Mastering möbius: The what’s and where’s of composting and recycling.” Participants will learn 1) what goes where, 2) why is it important, 3) where can they find answers to questions and 4) what is the connection between möbius and recycling. This presentation is primarily applicable to the University Park community only.

      January 14th: Jeremy Bean will present “Sustainability Lives Here.”

      March 25th, 2015: How Diversity Matters: The Connection between Sustainability and Diversity
      What is the connection between sustainability and diversity and how does it apply to work life at Penn State?  The Educational Equity Green Team investigates these concepts during the next Green Bag lunch and explores how to tie the mission of diversity into your unit's strategic plan and your personal YOU@PSU.EDU goals. Examples of activities, workshops, discussion questions and videos will be shared.


      During this one hour orientation, you will learn about the Green Teams program, its benefits, how to start a one in your unit, and share ideas with others. There is no cost for this training. We do ask that you register, whether or not you will attend in person so that we can know how many people to expect. Sessions are offered almost every month via Adobe Connect, and some of them are also available in person. The full roster of dates and times and registration is available online.

      Customized Orientations:

      The above programs are presented by Lydia Vandenbergh of the Sustainability Institute. Customized orientations for groups of ten or more can be scheduled by contacting Lydia.

      Branding Materials

      Air Newsletter Archive


      Resources by Category


      Behavior Change

      Changing behaviors is the key step to prompting cultural transformation and you will find resources to learn about social marketing and how to use it to promote behavior change in this section. Tips and examples are included.

      View category >


      How can you communicate in a way that is effective? Check out the resources and tips in this section, including videos showing how to share messages in fun and dynamic ways.

      View category >


      Energy is a main focus in conservation, particularly in our ability to reduce our usage. Learn how to organize energy reduction campaigns, gauge energy use, and prepare your office for holiday breaks.

      View category >


      Reduce, Reuse, RECYCLE. In order to stop as much waste as possible from entering the landfill, we must understand how to recycle it. Learn about what services are available at Penn State and how to get others involved. 

      View category >


      For all you need to know about what sustainability is, how it applies to the larger world, and your role in it.

      View category >


      All the facts surrounding composting at Penn State, and how to do at home as well!

      View category >

      Existing Teams

      Green Teams at Commonwealth Campuses

      Green Team Contact
      Admit-Recycle-Enroll (PS Fayette) Jason Broadwater | Sherry Scully
      Altoona Sustainability Council Lisa Emili
      Beaver Matt Grunstra
      Behrend Ann Quinn
      Berks Kim Berry | Mark Dawson
      Brandywine Lisa Yerges | Dr. Susan Fredricks
      Dobbins Green Team (PS Behrend) Cindi Pander
      Earth Angels (PS Altoona) Michele Kennedy
      E2 Team (PS Fayette) Tina Reed | Bill Gardner
      Fayette Biomedical Building Michelle Henrish
      Fayette Chancellor's Office Francis Achampong | Billie Jo Yuhaniak
      Fayette Engineering Building David Meredith | John Timko
      Great Valley Suzanne Cruit
      Green York Annie Haines | Holly Gumke
      Hammermill (PS Behrend) Dr. Michael Naber | Dr. C. Jay Amicangelo | Dr. Jason Bennett
      Harrisburg Andrea Hoerner | Jason Zubler
      Hazleton Sean McHale
      IT Leadership Council Joanne Peca
      Learn Green (PS Altoona) Paula Ford | Victoria Hesser
      Conklin Green Team (PS Mont Alto) Grace Rockwell
      New Kensington Ruth Herstek
      Penn State Altoona DUS Advising Green Sue Dodson | Jen Slusser | Jy Frank
      Penn State DuBois Green Team Marcia Newell | Mary Walker
      Penn State Green Allegheny Eric Lipsky | David Seitz
      ShenanGO GREEN Tony Paglia | Greg Singer
      Williams Building Green Team (PS Fayette) Paula Congelio | Chad Long
      DEVinitely Green Hershey Samantha Moore

      Green Teams at University Park

      Green Team Contact

      Administrative Units:

      Admissions Kathryn Gaylord-Miles | Amy Pancoast
      Boucke Anne Stover
      Budget Office Mark Weaver | Jody Heckman | Paul Liadis
      BURSAR: Better Understanding Recycling, Sustainability, and Resources Jessica Smith | Zack Foltz
      Educational Equity Dara Sanoubane| Mike Brahosky
      GORP Sarah Trentacoste | Sarah Bowser | Phil Frum | Sara Dries
      Green Innovations- Investment Office Karen Hulett | Pam Nisewonger
      Green Planners Ginny Hosterman | Ellen George
      Green Riders Ginny Hosterman
      Office of Student Aid Karen Sampsel | Justin Conklin
      Office of the President Green Team Jake DeSantis | Marissa Shamrock
      Office of University Development Courtney Van Sky
      Office of the University Registrar Lori McCracken
      Research Accounting Katrina Walker | Cissy Reese
      University Libraries Kimlyn Patishnock

      Intercollegiate Athletics:

      Athletics Tom Venturino

      Fraternal Organizations:

      Alpha Epsilon Pi Josh Rappaport

      Student Affairs:

      CAPS Mini Green Team Susanna Hummer | Lynne Gilham
      Career Services Sara Becker
      Center for Ethics and Religious Affairs Beth Bradley | Wolfgang Bruckner
      HUB Green Team Heide Port | Mary Edgington
      Student Affairs Sustainability Mary Edgington
      University Health Services Doris Guanowsky 

      Finance and Business:

      Aux.&Bus.Serv. Marketing Office Monica Kling
      Center for Workplace Learning and Performance Jennifer Clouser
      Environmental, Health & Safety Kate Lumley-Sapanski | Lysa Holland | Maurine Claver
      Green BJC Sarah Caterson
      Hintz Building Sally Horn | Elaine Stella
      Housing & Dining Services David Manos | Jo-Ann Marker
      Office of Physical Plant Maddy Kantu | Derek Kalp
      OPP D&C Jason Smith | Derek Leonard
      Parking Office Jean Harris | Luke Anderson
      Penn State Hospitality Herbert Moller
      Purchasing Becky Fike
      Residential Dining Jim Meinecke

      Outreach (UP)

      Outreach Building Green Team Courtney Karmelita | Barb Taylor
      Shaver's Creek Environmental Center Josh Potter
      329 Building Green Team Leslie Demmert

      Academic Colleges & Institutes:

      Ag Admin Green Team Corinna Fisher | Catherine Murphy
      Crop and Soil Sciences Linda Spangler | Katie Webber
      Food Science Greenies Bob Lumley-Sapanski | Kim Ripka
      Zero In (Ag Engineering) Heather Gall | Peggy Newel
      Arts and Architecture
      Center for Performing Arts  Shannon Bishop
      Music Department Camille Selden
      School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture Lisa Iulo
      Smeal School of Business Monica Snyder
      COMMunity Green Team Jane Agnelly | Brenda Johnson
      Division of Undergraduate Studies
      DUS Green Team Courtney Karmelita
      Earth & Mineral Sciences
      Dutton e-Education Institute Green Team Brandi Robinson | Sing Wong
      MatSE Green Team Jenneth Layaou | Frank Driscoll
      Simply EESI Green Linda Bell | Tracy Bernier
      College of Education Peter Buckland
      Civil & Environmental Engineering Deron Johnson | Amy Case
      College of Engineering Marcella Fickes | Clark Colburn
      SEDTAPP Program Andy Lau | Scott Pusey

      The Graduate School

      Kern Ph. G's Brian Grilli | Roxanne Patton Zoschg
      Health and Human Development
      BBH Green Team Lisa Grove | Joanne Foley-Defiore 
      Ford Building Allen Carles | Beverly Fahr| Tracy Johnson
      Henderson Green Ground Deb Houser | Sue Confer
      Hort Woods Jennifer Hooven
      Methodology Center Amanda Applegate | Tina Meyers
      School of Hospitality Management Dave Cranage | Peter Nyheim
      Information Sciences and Technology
      College of Information Science & Technology Lisa Ammerman
      IT@IST@PSU John Fulmer | Shannon Johnson
      Liberal Arts
      ReANTROcycle Betty Blair | Tim Ryan
      Burrowes-Old Botany Green Team Sarah Denes | Jamie Frazell
      Economics Green Team Georgine Mihalenko
      Green Weavers (Weaver Building) Bryan McDonald | Leah Pawlicki
      Labor and Employment Relations Green Team Jessica Steele | Jill Jensen
      Oswald Green Team Kim Smith | Julie Horney
      Psychology Department Green Team Janet Swim | Beth Laird
      Sentencing Commission Carol Zeiss | Carrie Peters
      Sociology Green Team  
      Sparks Green Team Hannah Brukardt
      Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Joyce Greslick
      Biology Stephanie Gookin 
      Chemistry Department Larry Johns |  Theresa Mellott
      Physical Sciences Laurie Dasher
      Thomas Green Team Cassie Johnstonbaugh | Robert Holden
      Land and Water Green Team Betsy Grgurich
      Larson Institute Mike Casper
      Gregarious Green Lions Lisa O'Hara | Margaret Johnstonbaugh
      The Huck Green Team Terrie Young | Sharon Hand


      University Park Green Teams 81
      Commonwealth Campuses Green Teams 27
      Total Penn State Green Teams 108