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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 116 Green Teams, with 33 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 116 Green Teams and more than 1,000 members around Penn State
    • Bring recognition to your unit for having a Green Team
    • Invitation to annual 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 via our AIR Newsletter for Green Teams specifically.



    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 invitation.
      • 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.

    Orientations and General Resources

    Events & Orientation

    Integrating Sustainability into your Goals and Competencies for PSU Performance Management (SUS-008)



    Take this one-hour workshop to learn how to incorporate sustainability-related goals into your YOU@PSU professional development planning. Participants will be guided through the goal development process, aligning personal goals with those of their unit’s and the University’s Strategic Plan priorities. With the upcoming Performance Management goal setting scheduled for June 1st to August 31st, this workshop will make the process easy.

    Dates: May 29, June 14, and July 11th

    Green Bag Lunch Presentation Series

    While this series of Green Bag Lunches was held in 2014, Green Teams can still use the presentations to connect with their Penn State community. All three presentation packets include a planning guide, customizable flyers and emails to advertise the event, and  discussion guidelines. All the teams have to do is reserve a room with AV capability, recruit participants, show the presentation and guide the discussion afterward.

    Each presentation runs 25 to 30 minutes, allowing 10-15 minutes for Green Teams to facilitate discussions within their groups.  Get your planning started with this guide.

    1) Sustainability Lives Here.”

    2) 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 this presentation 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 and how to start 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 it at home as well!

    View category >

    Existing Teams

    Green Teams at Commonwealth Campuses

    Green Team Contact
    Altoona DUS Advising Green Sue Dodson
    Altoona Earth Angels Michele Kennedy
    Altoona Learn Green Victoria Hesser
    Altoona Sustainability Council Lisa Emili
    Beaver Matt Grunstra
    Behrend Dobbins Hall Cindi Pander
    Behrend Glenhill  Ann Quinn
    Berks Mahsa Kazempour
    Brandywine Mark Boudreau
    DEVinitely Green Hershey Samantha Moore
    DuBois Mary Walker | Michele Joseph
    Fayette Admit-Recycle-Enroll Sherry Scully
    Fayette Chancellor's Office Billie Jo Yuhaniak
    Fayette E2 Team Tina Reed
    Fayette Engineering Building David Meredith
    Fayette Nursing Michelle Henrish
    Fayette Williams Building  Paula Congelio | Chad Long
    Great Valley Suzanne Cruit | Eric Stern
    Green York Annie Haines | Holly Gumke
    Greener Allegheny Eric Lipsky | David Seitz
    Harrisburg Andrea Hoerner | Jason Zubler
    Hazleton Sean McHale
    Mont Alto Bookstore Beth Neisser
    Mont Alto Conklin Green Team Francis Achampong
    Mont Alto General Studies Freya Qually
    Mont Alto Goddard Green Team Shawn Albright
    Mont Alto Library Lisa White
    Mont Alto Mill Green Team Curt Wengert
    Mont Alto Perry Green Team Brian Sensenig
    Mont Alto Science and Technology Pam Kauffman | Beth Brantley | Linghoa Zhong
    New Kensington Ruth Herstek
    ShenanGO GREEN Tony Paglia | Greg Singer

    Green Teams at University Park

    Green Team Contact

    Administrative Units:

    Admissions Amy Pancoast
    Budget Office Paul Liadis
    BURSAR: Better Understanding Recycling, Sustainability, and Resources Dennis Peterman | Kelley McCord
    Educational Equity Rebecca Westhoff
    3GT - The 330 Green Team Sarah Matthews | Sarah Bowser | Katie Bode-Lang | Laura Young Wendy Peck
    Green Innovations - Investment Office Karen Hulett | Pam Nisewonger
    Green Planners Ginny Hosterman | Ellen George
    Green Riders Ginny Hosterman
    Office of Student Aid Lisa Homan
    Office of the President Green Team Justin Lugin | Marissa Shamrock | Tara Cassick
    Office of University Development Courtney Van Sky
    Office of the University Registrar Julie Conner
    Research Accounting Katrina Walker | Cissy Reese
    University Libraries Harlan Ritchey | Sarah Billman

    Student Affairs:

    CAPS Mini Green Team Susanna Hummer
    Career Services Barbara Holmes
    Center for Spiritual and Ethical Development Wolfgang Bruckner
    HUB Green Team Heide Port | Mary Edgington
    Student Affairs Sustainability Mary Edgington
    University Health Services Michel e Brown

    Finance and Business:

    Aux. & Bus. Serv. Marketing Office Michelle Isham
    Center for Workplace Learning and Performance Jennifer Clouser
    Environmental, Health & Safety Lysa Holland
    Green BJC Kate Clarke
    Hintz Building Sally Horn | Josh Patishnock
    Housing Dave Manos | John Duncan
    Office of Physical Plant Jason Smith | Derek Leonard
    Parking Office/ Tranportation Cecily Zhu
    Penn State Hospitality Matt Tomrell | Judy Karaky
    Procurement Becky Fike
    Residential Dining Jim Meinecke

    Outreach (UP)

    Outreach Building Green Team Julia Ross | Connie Price
    Shaver's Creek Environmental Center Josh Potter

    Academic Colleges & Institutes:

    Ag Admin Green Team Corinna Fisher
    Food Science Greenies Bob Lumley-Sapanski | Kim Ripka
    Zero In (Ag Engineering) Heather Gall | Amy Miller
    Arts and Architecture
    Center for Performing Arts Shannon Bishop
    School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture Lisa Iulo
    Smeal School of Business Christine Novinskie-Olbrich
    COMMunity Green Team Brenda Johnson
    Division of Undergraduate Studies
    DUS Green Team Courtney Karmelita
    Earth & Mineral Sciences
    ADGER Green Team Kaitlyn Ingram
    Dean's Office Liam Jackson
    Dutton e-Education Institute Green Team Brandi Robinson | Sing Wong
    EME Green Team Morgann McAfee
    MatSE Green Team Laura Tetrault | Eric Sagmuller
    Simply EESI Green Jennifer Williams
    College of Education Bonnie Richardson
    Civil & Environmental Engineering David Jones 
    College of Engineering Clark Colburn
    SEDTAPP Program Andy Lau | Scott Pusey

    The Graduate School

    Kern Ph. Gs Brian Grilli | Roxanne Patton Zoschg
    Health and Human Development
    BBH Building Lisa Grove | Joanne Foley-Defiore 
    HPA Ford Greenies Beverly Fahr
    Henderson Ground Deb Houser | Sue Confer
    HHD Building Amanda Applegate | Tina Meyers
    Hort Woods Jennifer Hooven
    Kinesiology Roana Fuller
    Nutrition Denise Lawson
    Recreation, Park and Tourism Management Gennifer Deibler
    School of Hospitality Management Dave Cranage | Peter Nyheim
    Information Sciences and Technology
    IST Building Green Team Lisa Crownover
    Liberal Arts
    ReANTROcycle Betty Blair
    Burrowes - Old Botany Green Team Nicole Force
    Economics Green Team Georgine Mihalenko
    Green Weavers (Weaver Building) Bryan McDonald
    Labor and Employment Relations Green Team Lisa Pierson
    Oswald Green Team Kim Smith
    Psychology Department Green Team Nick Pearson
    Sentencing Commission Carol Zeiss
    Pond Lab Green Team Barb Singer
    Sparks Green Team Ryan Fisher
    Willard Green Team Kathy Rumbaugh | Tracey Jackson
    Nursing Simulation Lab Darlene Clark | Kristal Hockenberry | Janet Knott
    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Joyce Greslick
    Biology Howard Fescemyer | Fonda Cain
    Chemistry Department Russel Saieva
    Physical Sciences Laurie Dasher
    Thomas Green Team Cassie Johnstonbaugh | Robert Holden
    Land and Water Green Team

    Lydia Vandenbergh

    Gregarious Green Lions (Larson Institute)
    The Huck Green Team Jean Pierce


    University Park Green Teams 83
    Commonwealth Campuses Green Teams 33
    Total Penn State Green Teams 116