Michele provides strategic leadership for the Sustainable Communities Collaborative within the Sustainability Institute. The collaborative sits squarely at the intersection of three university imperatives: engaged scholarship, sustainability, and our land grant mission to serve the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The collaborative facilitates experiential learning opportunities for Penn State students by connecting coursework to the sustainability needs of communities across a wide array of topics including energy, water, waste, transportation, local food systems, and economic development. Students reap the benefit of hands-on learning experience in a real world setting. Communities benefit by tapping into faculty expertise and expanding their capacity to creatively address local sustainability challenges. Michele is responsible for expansion of the program by working collaboratively with additional campuses to meet the learning needs of students and the sustainability needs of communities across the commonwealth.
Michele holds an Ed.D. in Human Resources and Workforce Development from the University of Arkansas. She earned a Masters in International Management from Thunderbird (Garvin School of International Management), as well as a Bachelor’s degree in French from Hendrix College. Her mission as a sustainability professional is to accelerate learning about sustainability and expand the commitment to sustainable practices in the public and private sectors.