Chief Sustainability Officer, Penn State Director,
Penn State’s Sustainability Institute
Dr. Paul Shrivastava, is Chief Sustainability Officer of Penn State University. He is also Director of Sustainability Institute, and Professor of Management at the Smeal College of Business. Prior to this he served as the first Executive Director of Future Earth global research platform.
Paul is an academic entrepreneur. He was part of the team that founded Hindustan Computer Ltd., one of India’s largest computer companies. He founded the non-profit Industrial Crisis Institute, Inc. New York. He founded the journal Organization and Environment, (published by Sage Publications). He was founding President and CEO of eSocrates, Inc., a knowledge management software company, and the founding Chair of the Organizations and the Natural Environment Division of the Academy of Management.
Paul’s research uses science and arts to develop transdisciplinary solutions to sustainability challenges. His current focus is on implementation of Sustainable Development Goals. He is working with colleagues at Penn State, at Future Earth and at the United Nations to develop programs for implementing SDGs, and monitoring and measuring their progress. He believes that infusing sustainability across research, teaching, community and student engagement at Penn State University’s 23 campuses can help us implement sustainability across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Paul received his Ph. D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He has published 17 books and over 100 articles in refereed and scholarly journals. He has served on the editorial boards of numerous leading management education journals. His work was recognized with a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award and IIM Calcutta Distinguished Alumni Award.
Michele provides strategic leadership for 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.
Mary tracks the University’s sustainability performance and the Sustainability Institute’s contribution to that performance. She establishes strategies for data collection and provides information to internal and external audiences, including national sustainability surveys such as Princeton Review and STARS. She teams up with communications at SI to produce an annual sustainability report. Mary also supports the establishment and implementation of institutional goals in sustainability through providing information and analysis.
Mary holds an M.S. in Environmental Sciences/ Ecology from the University of Virginia, In the past she been involved in research and consulting related to human impacts on the environment.
One of Mary’s favorite quotes: “If something is sustainable, it means we can go on doing it indefinitely. If it isn’t, we can’t.” – Jonathon Porritt
Associate Director of Employee Engagement and Education
Lydia Vandenbergh’s mission for the Sustainability Institute is to engage employees in weaving sustainability into all of their decisions and practices. The present approach is through two programs. The Green Teams program supports faculty and staff who volunteer to find new positive ways to make their operations and programs forge a better future for our customers and the University. The second program, Green Paws, is a green office certification program, a tool that anyone at the University can use to learn resource efficient office practices. For the over one hundred Penn State Green Teams, Lydia and her interns create monthly informative newsletters, organize fun learning sessions, and other resources to make it easy for them to build leadership capability and engage others.
Lydia earned her MA in Energy and Environmental Policy from George Washington University and a BA in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Doug’s role within the Sustainability Institute is to coordinate with internal and external campus partners to create a robust student-centered co-curricular experience with on and off-campus sustainability projects. These experiences will provide meaningful engagements at all institutional levels to promote sustainability, construct sustainable behaviors and advance pro-environmental literacy.
Doug serves as the primary contact within the Institute for Student Affairs working closely with Student Activities, Residence Life, Educational Equity, Global Programs, the Office of Physical Plant, Housing and Food Services.
As a sustainability focused professional his mission is to ensure that every student understands how social and environmental issues manifest themselves and have the tools to create a more socially just and verdant future.
Doug holds an undergraduate degree is in Biology from Franklin Pierce College and Master’s of Education specializing in Higher Education Administration from Springfield College. He is currently a candidate for a second Master’s in Sustainability Management at Harvard University.
Peter Buck manages academic programming for Penn State’s Sustainability Institute. He connects and catalyzes faculty, staff, students, and the public to imaginatively integrate sustainability into academics, outreach, operations, and research. He supports programming with competencies-based reviews and revision for majors, minors, courses, and units, guest-teaching, and faculty development, as well as strategic support for emerging initiatives that cross traditional academic and disciplinary boundaries. Over the last two years these collaborations have included high-impact collaborations with the Palmer Art Museum on the Plastic Entanglements exhibition, the Colleges of Earth and Mineral Sciences and Engineering to establish an applied initiative for utility-scale grid-tied solar projects, audits and course development with the College of Nursing, and Penn State’s Research Experience for Undergraduates in partnership with the Project Drawdown. In the coming years, he will continue collaborations, including working on systemic policy changes through Penn State’s Faculty Senate. Peter and his interns also research, catalyze, and support local schooling for sustainability, democratic decision-making in the Anthropocene on campus and in the community, and environmental justice.
Buck has also taught and communicated extensively on sustainability and life in the Anthropocene. From 2016 to 2018, he taught Sustainability 200: Foundations of Leadership in Sustainability as well as a special topics course in Educational Theory and Policy where he holds an affiliate faculty position. He also communicates widely on sustainability, education, democracy, and music in popular and peer-reviewed press. He has appeared in The Washington Post, on the blog of the Yale Cultural Cognition Project, Democracy Works, Citizen’s Climate Radio, and was a speaker at TEDxPSU in 2018 with his talk “What’s the Future Hold? Ask a Metalhead.” His scholarship has most recently appeared in The Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences and The International Journal of Ethics Education while pieces will be appearing in 2020 in Clinics of North America and in Routledge’s Teaching Climate Change in the United States. In October 2015 his first book of poetry, Heartwood, was published by Mt. Nittany Press and works of poetry and fiction have recently appeared in The Watershed Journal and The Short Edition.
Leadership in professional, governmental, and civic organizations is important to Buck. Until June 2019, Peter served as the Vice Chair and Chair of the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors, the only township in Pennsylvania to have signed the We Are Still In campaign. Currently, he chairs an intergovernmental solar power purchase agreement working group, serves on the Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium, on the National Council on Science and the Environment’s Advisory Board for Drawdown, and on the Board of the Penns Valley Conservation Association.
Peter holds a Ph.D. in Educational Theory and Policy and an M.A. and a B.A. in Music with a minor in Creative Writing. He lives in State College with his son Sacha.
As the program manager for the Sustainable Communities Collaborative, Ilona works closely with faculty, students, and community partners to ensure meaningful, experiential student projects focused on the sustainability needs of the community. Coordination involves strategic goal setting, planning and ongoing communications between partners, culminating in a student-community exposition.
Ilona honed her skills in community engagement as the executive director of the non-profit Huntingdon County Arts Council, which she led to become one of the community’s major cultural hubs and assets. She has a BS in Industrial Technology from West Virginia State University and is trained as a Blueprint Communities Facilitator through the FHLB and PA Downtown Center. She is a successful grants writer and administrator, and serves on numerous community organizations and boards.
She resides with her partner and youngest of her four children in Huntingdon.
Leslie coordinates the cross-college planning process aimed at creating a sustainable food systems minor and a student-centered experiential learning farm at Penn State. She works with diverse stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, community members, and alumni to envision and develop this new initiative. She is very excited about developing new opportunities for Penn Staters to learn about sustainable food and agriculture.
She received her MS in Rural Sociology from Penn State in December 2013. Her thesis assessed opportunities and barriers for beginning farmer land access through land link programs in the Northeast US. Her BS is in Horticulture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Prior to graduate school, Leslie managed a beginning farmer training program and incubator farm at a non-profit in Lincoln, Nebraska. There, she developed farm production and business curricula for beginning farmers, managed a multi-farmer CSA, oversaw farm site development and maintenance, and grew the program through community partnerships and financial development.
Diana serves as the Administrative Assistant for the Sustainability Institute. In addition to supporting Penn State’s CSO, Paul Shrivastava, she assists the Sustainability Institute staff in their engaging work on campus, at the commonwealth campuses and in this community.
Diana holds an undergraduate degree in Management Science from Lock Haven University, a Master of Science in Recreation and Parks from Penn State, and a Master of Arts in Theology from Columbia Theological Seminary.
Peter is responsible for helping the Sustainability Institute articulate and implement its vision for community engagement, integrating the university’s sustainability initiatives with the needs and goals of government and non-profit partners throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He assists in carrying out existing programs such as the Sustainable Communities Collaborative and Penn State’s City Semester Pittsburgh program, which allow students to apply sustainable practices and solutions in communities statewide. He has created and helps guide three different Intersections sustainability film series that have drawn more than 3,200 attendees–working in partnership with WPSU, the Center for Global Workers’ Rights, and Penn State’s Water Council. He also implements other SI public programming including its Public Health and Sustainability: Partners by Nature webinar series in partnership with PERC, the Green Gov Council Sustainability webinar series in partnership with the Pennsylvania Green Gov Council, Pennsylvania’s Solve Climate by 2030 programming, and Earth Day and Environmental Justice Initiative programming. He is currently working on standing up a new Sustainability Alumni Interest Group for Penn State’s Alumni Association.
Peter holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a focus on environmental media and history. He also earned a master’s degree in Environmental Studies focused on environmental education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as a bachelor’s degree in History from Princeton University. Previously, he was director of Tales from Planet Earth, the largest free-admission environmental film festival in the U.S. He also has worked as a special assistant to New Jersey’s Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection.
Dr. Meghan Hoskins is working to make connections between Penn State Operations staff and Penn State faculty, staff and students who want to understand and improve the sustainability of Penn State operations. She is doing this through developing and facilitating Living Lab opportunities on our campuses and co-Chairing the Sustainability Operations Council (SOC).The SOC serves as a clearinghouse that was established for the purpose of bringing together various operational units to address the University’s environmental footprint through a systemic, holistic and collaborative effort. Meghan is also building partnerships with external entities to build mutually beneficial projects and relationships in sustainability.
Meghan earned her degrees in Engineering here at Penn State and worked for 10 years as a Research and Development Engineer at the Applied Research Laboratory. She is passionate about sustainability and is involved with the Ferguson Township Elementary School Environmental Club and coordinates community tree planting events with local schools.
David Cullmer’s role at the Sustainability Institute centers on the Sustainable Operations Council (SOC). As an Operations Analyst, David facilitates data collection and research to effectively support the SOC for all sustainability decision-making. He received a Bachelor’s degrees in both Mathematics and Philosophy from Mercyhurst University. Recently, he graduated from Indiana University where he earned a Master’s in Environmental Science and a Master’s in Public Affairs from the O’Neil School of Public and Environmental Affairs. David is excited to use his prior knowledge to support the Sustainability Institute staff and firmly believes that all policy needs to be founded in sound science and analytics.
He loves to brew beer, is an avid cyclist, competed for the Mercyhurst lightweight-men’s rowing team, and maybe reads too much Stephen King, etc.
Katie is based in Erie at Penn State Behrend. In connection with the Sustainability Institute and the Sustainable Food Systems Program at University Park, she works to build a community of practice across Commonwealth Campuses on food systems topics, with inspiration from the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. She also leads an energized team of interns at Penn State Behrend in managing a campus garden, operating an on-campus CSA, and partnering with other local entities who work to increase food access, literacy and justice throughout northwestern PA. She writes and edits for Edible Western New York, writes for Erie Reader, and she’s a musician, cyclist and compulsive gardener who loves traveling to foreign farms.
Perry works to engage students in the co-curricular space by supporting student organizations around student-led sustainable development initiatives on campus. He also works to track and assess the work that various student groups are working on and encourages collaboration among groups.
Perry holds a Master’s degree in Sustainability from the Harvard Extension School, a Master’s degree in Counseling from Boston College, and an undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Music from the University of New Hampshire. He comes to Penn State from New York City and previously Boston, Massachusetts, where he spent several years working with a diverse group of students in a variety of settings including education, healthcare, and environmental nonprofits. He is excited about bringing together his passions of direct student support in higher education with the desire to make the world a cleaner, healthier, and better place for future generations.
Perry resides in State College and enjoys swimming, hiking, playing guitar, cooking, and learning about how he can make more responsible and ethical choices in his day-to-day life.
As the Sustainability Institute’s Communications Coordinator, Sierra Keller enjoys the privilege of crafting an engaging multimedia outreach strategy that connects
sustainability messaging to our many different constituencies. Since her graduation from The Pennsylvania State University, with a degree in Media Studies, Keller’s professional aspirations and personal interests have serendipitously collided through her work with local nonprofits and small businesses, having
previously worked for ClearWater Conservancy, on which she still serves on the board, and the Centre Foundation. She has been a State College resident for 10 years where she lives with her husband, two rambunctious sons, and a menagerie of adopted animals. When she happens upon a rare moment of quiet, it is usually spent exploring local forestlands, pottering around the garden, or reading a good novel.