NJHEPS | New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability
New Jersey Higher Education
Partnership for Sustainability

What’s Happening in Sustainability in Higher Education in NJ?

  • 29 Apr 2011
  • Princeton University
On April 29th, NJHEPS in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Economic Growth and Green Energy, sponsored a conference at Princeton University.  The event, ‘What’s Happening in Sustainability in Higher Education in NJ?’ Faculty, professionals and students  from a wide range of member  institutions along with five governmental and non-governmental organizations filled a room both physically, and with their passion for sustainability-related issues .  Discussion topics included Facilities and Operations, Teaching, Student Outreach, and “Campus as a Classroom.”

Greetings were delivered by Michelle Siekerka, Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Economic Growth and green energy of the NJ DEP.  Siekerka expressed the importance of the integration of sustainability throughout society but especially the direct link between educational institutions and the workforce.  The need to more engage with students was highlighted when three young sustainability enthusiasts, Amanda Neshiewat of Ramapo College, Donald Judd of Princeton University, and Stanley Baguchinsky of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey gave presentations on sustainability related work on their respective campuses and throughout New Jersey.  Neshiewat is currently working with other student leaders across the state to organize New Jersey’s first Powershift Conference.

Up next was Dr. Nicholas Smith-Sebasto, the Executive Director of the Center for Sustainability Studies at Kean University. He moderated a discussion on current curricula.  The dialogue included what already exists in the classroom as well as where it should be taken.

Regarding sustainability in Campus Facilities, presentations were given by Thomas A. Nyquist, Director of Facilities, Department of Engineering and Construction at Princeton University and Alice Gitchell, an Energy specialist at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Nyquist shared the sustainability plan at Princeton through the “lens” of their market demand-based energy purchasing, as well as the heating and cooling of their campus through the use of steam and cold water from the University’s cogeneration plant.  Gitchell discussed various projects on Stockton’s campus including permeable parking lots, solar canopies, and their use of Power Purchase Agreements.  More on Stockton’s PPA as well as general information about the subject can be found at the New Jersey Education Faculties Authority: www.njefa.com/njefa/pdf/newsletter/201104_newsbulletin.pdf

Ramapo Professor and NJHEPS Past President Dr. Emma Rainforth, presented the struggles and successes of creating Sustainable Living Facilities at Ramapo College. She focused on the various aspects not just of the facilities, but also on the required collaboration between Ramapo’s Departments of Academic Affairs and Residence Life

Dr. Clinton Andrews of Rutgers’ Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy discussed using the higher education campus as a classroom.  In his presentation, Clint described education’s need to be learning-, knowledge-, assessment-, and community-centered. Using the campus as a classroom satisfies all four of these key points, however, community-centered education comes to the forefront. 

The event was enthusiastically reviewed by participants and the DEP and NJHEPS are currently working on their next round of collaboration to build on the success of this event.

The New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability
     c/o Ramapo College of New Jersey - SSHS
505 Ramapo Valley Rd, Mahwah, NJ 07430
Phone:(201)684-7830 | Fax:(201)684-7932
Email - njheps@gmail.com

© 2013 NJHEPS
Website last updated: August 14

Powered by Wild Apricot. Try our all-in-one platform for easy membership management