Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.12
Liaison Amir Nadav
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of St. Thomas
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Amir Nadav
Assistant Director of Campus Sustainability
Office of Sustainability Initiatives
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:

The Sustainability Council acts as a conduit and advocate for sustainability-related activities on both the St. Paul and Minneapolis campuses. The council’s members coordinate and collaborate on the development and implementation of sustainable policies, practices, research and curricula across the University with approval by the president’s senior staff. The council manages the University's sustainability web page and its contents to ensure completeness and robust descriptions of sustainability activities. The council recommends long-term sustainability goals for the University and identifies the means to achieve them related to the President’s Climate Commitment. Council members are expected to solicit input and to champion and communicate to each member’s respective areas of involvement so that all campus stakeholders become informed and take ownership of sustainability initiatives.

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role:

Sustainability Council Members
- Elise Amel, Professor of Psychology and Office of Sustainability Initiatives Faculty Director
- Nichole Boehmke, Director of Facilities Services
- Bernard Brady, Professor of Theology and Office for Mission Associate Director
- Amy Gage, Program Director, Neighborhood Relations
- Kristen Hatfield, Director of Admissions
- Mitch Karstens, Associate Vice President of Auxiliary Services
- Molly Kelley, Human Resources Business Partner & Talent Development Specialist
- Amanda Liu, Associate Vice President for Marketing Strategy
- Aaron Macke, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life
- Amir Nadav, Assistant Director of Campus Sustainability & Sustainability Council Chair
- Pamela Peterson, Executive Director, Dining Services
- Ariana Porcello, Undergraduate Student Government Sustainability Representative
- Sarah Shadle, Sustainability Club Co-President
- Mark Vangsgard, Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer

Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent employee?:

A brief description of each sustainability office:

The Office of Sustainability Initiatives (OSI) advances the common good by catalyzing problem-solving, innovation, and leadership for human and environmental well-being. OSI accomplishes this through campus sustainability and curricular initiatives. We convene stakeholders from across the University of St. Thomas to comprehensively assess, strategically plan, and facilitate campus sustainability. We create opportunities for experiential, applied learning in sustainability across academic disciplines through the Sustainable Communities Partnership (SCP) and the integration of sustainability across the curriculum.

Full-time equivalent of people employed in the sustainability office(s):

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
1) Elise Amel, Faculty Director, Office of Sustainability Initiatives; 2) Maria Dahmus, Assistant Director, Office of Sustainability Initiatives; 3) Amir Nadav, Assistant Director of Campus Sustainability

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution?:

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the institution-wide coordinating body or officer during the previous three years:

During the previous three years, members of the St. Thomas Sustainability Council and the university's sustainability officers have launched several new initiatives to advance sustainability across the institution. Several notable accomplishments include:
- Completed the university's first STARS report
- Published the university's first Sustainability Strategic Plan
- Created a required sustainability session for incoming undergraduate students during Welcome Days
- Created an Environmental Sustainability theme-based learning community within the First-Year Experience of the University's new undergraduate core curriculum
- Achieved LEED Platinum certification of Tommie East, a new residence hall
- Developed a Sustainability Series in the University's Leadership Academy to offer professional development for university employees
- Launched a Student Sustainability Leadership Program
- Engaged 290 students in 20 community and campus course-based sustainability projects across 13 disciplines in the 2019-20 academic year
- Over 1,600 individuals attended Sustainable Communities Partnership (SCP) Arts exhibits, artist talks and community events.
- From April 2019 through Summer 2019, artwork resulting from an SCP Arts collaborative project with Metro Transit was displayed as a full exterior and interior wrap on a Metro Transit light rail train car.
- SCP won the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Outstanding Program of the Year award in 2020: https://www.epicn.org/2020/07/07/university-of-st-thomas-2020-outstanding-program-award-finalist/

Job title of the sustainability officer position:
Faculty Director, Office of Sustainability Initiatives

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

The Faculty Director develops and manages the academic support systems we have in place to help faculty integrate sustainability into the curriculum. Resources are offered to faculty no matter where they are in their sustainability journey: book clubs and learning communities for folks just starting out, workshops and integration grants for people who are ready to integrate sustainability into their courses, SUST designations for courses that include a substantive sustainability component, and an award to celebrate the innovations faculty develop. This position ensures that sustainability is integrated into new initiatives such as the core curriculum, the proliferation of interdisciplinary degrees, student research grant programs, etc.

Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
Assistant Director, Office of Sustainability Initiatives

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

The Assistant Director (AD) of the Office of Sustainability Initiatives (OSI) will develop and direct OSI’s Sustainable Communities Partnership (SCP) at the University of St. Thomas.  The AD will identify and develop partnerships with cities and government entities to integrate a set of partner-identified sustainability projects into existing St. Thomas courses across disciplines that engage students in real-world, applied research and innovative problem-solving. The AD will cultivate a network of faculty at St. Thomas who engage with SCP projects through courses or student research.  The AD will facilitate collaborative project scoping with SCP partners and faculty to integrate projects into courses and student research and will create opportunities for multidisciplinary inquiry across courses by strategically leveraging existing curricular structures. The AD will also provide curriculum development consultation for faculty and problem-solving of project needs throughout SCP projects. The AD will collaborate with internal stakeholders to enrich SCP student experiences and leverage opportunities that arise through SCP projects.  The AD will develop means of sharing SCP projects and findings with internal and external stakeholders and professional networks including, for example, a web presence, project displays, academic papers and presentations, or related products.  The AD will also provide leadership and input in conceptualizing, planning, implementing, and grant writing for additional university-wide curricular sustainability-related initiatives as they pertain to OSI, and will develop SCP’s website.

Job title of the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
Assistant Director of Campus Sustainability

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

The Assistant Director (AD) of Campus Sustainability researches, audits, coordinates, and promotes new and current sustainability methods and programs on campus to support an integrated university-wide system and culture of sustainability. The AD collects and analyzes sustainability-related data from various sources to determine feasibility, project outcomes, and measure the overall effectiveness and progress of the University’s sustainability programs. The AD chairs the University's Sustainability Advisory Council and leads the University's institution-wide sustainability strategic planning, goal-setting, and reporting. The AD serves as a resource and consultant to departments on the integration of sustainability goals and initiatives into their work. The AD is also responsible for seeking external grant funding for sustainability programs, organizing campus-wide events and forums related to sustainability. The AD supervises a campus sustainability student employment program, advises student clubs and leaders on co-curricular initiatives, and serves as a resource to faculty and students on campus sustainability education and research.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability coordination is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

In addition to 2.5 FTEs, the Office of Sustainability Initiatives benefitted from the support of a Minnesota GreenCorps Service member between September 2019 through August 2020.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.