Denice functions as a visionary leader and organizational strategist to initiate Penn State’s trajectory to become a national model for sustainability in higher education. The Director utilizes the Sustainability Strategic Plan as a blueprint to integrate sustainability into both the operational and academic functions (including curriculum, research, and outreach) of the University, network with and facilitate internal and external resources to accomplish that goal, report on progress and return on investment, and evaluate the needs of the University community. She is responsible for developing programs and new initiatives to meet the goals of the SSP and create detailed implementation plans for those initiatives, develop metrics for formative and summative evaluation, and utilize collaborative resources emanating from activities to seek external funding for high profile projects. Dr. Wardrop also creates and implements communication strategies to promote broad awareness of initiatives, leads and manages an organizational structure to support sustainability inquiry, change, and assessment, and institutes a process by which sustainability is integrated into the overall University strategic planning process.
She builds effective partnerships and relationships with Penn State campuses, key businesses, and alumni institutions. She also assists the Sustainability Institute members to coordinate, support, and expand opportunities for faculty, staff, students, alumni, and administrators to learn about sustainability issues throughout the academic and operational dimensions of University life, acts upon opportunities to change practices, and provides leadership to others.