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


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NJHEPS Committee Openings

We could still benefit from a few more members on the below committees. If you know of someone with the expertise and/or interest to serve, please forward them the below message. I am happy to talk with them about their interest and where they would best be an asset to our organization.

NJHEPS Committee Position Openings

Interested in volunteering for a leadership position with NJHEPS? If you have expertise or an interest in promoting sustainability in the areas of education, development, facilities, architecture, construction, energy or scholarly and/or action-based research, consider becoming a member of one of the following committees:


Chair: Charles Lamb, County College of Morris


Chair: Ashwani Vasishth, Ramapo College


Committee Chair: Michael Kornitas, Rutgers University

Facilities and Construction

Committee Chair: John Hone, Union County College


Committee Chair: Scott Mittman, Essex County College

If you are interested in serving, please email us at njheps@gmail.org.

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  • 26 Jan 2017 10:37 AM | Anonymous

    RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities on their campus. Over an 8-week period each spring, colleges across the United States and Canada report the amount of recycling and trash collected each week and are ranked in various categories. With each week’s updated ranking, participating schools track their performance against other colleges and use the results to rally their campus to reduce and recycle more.

    Why participate in RecycleMania?

    • ·         Knowledge is power. Use the competition to benchmark your school’s recycling efforts and track improvements over time. Coordinators can this information to communicate your recycling progress to students!
    • ·         School Spirit! Whether you're striving to reach a recycling goal, competing against a rival school, or aiming for the national title RecycleMania brings out competitiveness in all of us.
    • ·         Get your administration's attention. Participation can benefit your school's recycling programs by bringing attention to, and making the case for additional resources to expand your campus waste reduction efforts.

    How you can participate:

    Competing schools can participate in different categories based on their interests and level of involvement desired. Colleges can plan outreach events and compete based on per capita recycling or diversion (recycling rate) for the full 8-week tournament (see details here). If the reporting requirements for the traditional 8-week categories look daunting, there are ways to compete without having to track recycling for your entire campus! Competitors can focus on a single Game Day Basketball event, or do one of the special competitions like Race to Zero Waste or E-Cyclemania, which are great ways to get involved for the first time.


    The competition starts on February 5, so register now to get your campus involved!

    New schools, or schools returning from extended breaks, that register before Jan 27 will be entered into a drawing for $500! 

  • 28 Sep 2016 11:14 AM | Anonymous

    Montclair Environmental Studies, Vietnam

    Faculty Led International Field Trop to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

    Course: EAES 381: Urban Field Studies

    Travel: January 2-15, 2017, Application Deadline Oct 1, 2016

    For further information contact:

    Prof. Robert Taylor 973-655-4129


    Global Education Center 973-655-4185, simonw@mail.montclair.edu

  • 21 Sep 2016 2:06 PM | Anonymous

    NJHEPS Executive Committee Conference Call AY 2016/2017

    To access the conference line: 

    Conference Call #: (712)-432-0370

    Code: 286056# 

    Friday, October 7                                         4:00 pm

    Friday, November 4                                     11:00 am

    Friday, December 2                                     4:00 pm

    January TBD if meeting is needed

    Friday, February, 3                                      11:00 am

    Friday, March 3                                            4:00 pm

    Friday, April 7                                               11:00 am

    Friday, May 5                                                4:00 pm

    Friday, June 2                                               11:00 am

  • 08 Apr 2016 1:19 PM | Anonymous

    Hoboken, New Jersey – Stevens Institute of Technology hosted the first-ever Innovation of Sustainable Communities, a unique symposium for those passionate about sustainability.

    The symposium, an entirely student-run event, was held on Saturday, April 2, 2016 at the Stevens campus in Hoboken. The event brought together students, faculty and industry professionals from the New York and New Jersey area to discuss the challenges and opportunities in sustainability research and initiatives, and showcased student research at college campuses across New Jersey.

    The program was sponsored by the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJHEPS), an organization that promotes sustainability on college campuses, and the NJHEPS Student Leaders.

    Sonia Mantzouridou-Onasi, a Stevens graduate student who led the student effort to hold the symposium at Stevens, said “the goal was to bring awareness to the concept of sustainability, not just in terms of being green, but in terms of behavioral change.”

    The event opened with keynote speaker Dr. Carlos Lopez Cano Vieira, an international lecturer and professor at the Universidad de Algarve in Portugal. Two panel discussions followed focusing on “Campus-Driven Innovation” and “Sustainable Innovation in Industry.” Panelists included a number of professors, engineers, architects, other professional green-enthusiasts and students.

    Christos Christodoulatos, vice provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and member of the NJHEPS steering committee, said he was gratified to see how NJHEPS has evolved into a student-led organization.

    “Students have become the champions of the sustainability movement,” he said. “This symposium is a true testament to the dedication and entrepreneurship of our students who are driven to make sustainability practices the norm.”

    Just last month, Stevens received a STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) Silver rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, a nearly 1,000-member group of universities striving for environmentally-friendly campus facilities, social responsibility, and equitable work policies and work environments.

    The university received a perfect score in the Innovation category from AASHE on the strength of four recent initiatives:

    • a new low-flow liquid desiccant air conditioning (LDAC) system in the Schaefer Athletic and Recreation Center that conserves energy and heats the swimming pool with ambient air;

    • Stevens' participation and strong performances (including one overall victory in 2015) in three U.S. Solar Decathlon competitions;

    • significant new programs and coursework in innovation and entrepreneurship;

    • and a student research project on the initial planning and testing of a new system to produce fuel from waste biomass.

    Additionally, Stevens finished in 1st place at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 for the overall design, construction and sustainable operation of a solar-powered, energy efficient home resilient enough to withstand hurricane-force winds and flooding.

    Stevens’ competition house – SURE HOUSE – was conceived as the “Coastal Home of the Future” in direct response to the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Stevens’ 2015 Solar Decathlon victory represents the university’s third consecutive appearance in the international competition, following impressive performances in 2013 and 2011.

    About Stevens

    Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University®, is a premier, private research university situated in Hoboken, N.J. overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Founded in 1870, technological innovation has been the hallmark and legacy of Stevens’ education and research programs for more than 145 years. Within the university’s three schools and one college, more than 6,800 undergraduate and graduate students collaborate with more than 380 faculty members in an interdisciplinary, student-centric, entrepreneurial environment to advance the frontiers of science and leverage technology to confront global challenges. Stevens is home to three national research centers of excellence, as well as joint research programs focused on critical industries such as healthcare, energy, finance, defense, maritime security, STEM education and coastal sustainability. Stevens is in the midst of a 10-year strategic plan, The Future. Ours to Create., designed to further extend the Stevens legacy to create a forward-looking and far-reaching institution with global impact.

  • 07 Oct 2015 10:43 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Members of the NJHEPS Community, 

    As we are well on our way into the 2015-16  academic year, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your continued support of the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJHEPS). NHJEPS exists to leverage the collective impact of often isolated efforts on our campuses, to enhance the flow of information between research and implementation communities, and to share best and leading practices across the implementation communities. We want New Jersey to be a beacon for collaborative, smart, and meaningful collective impact for sustainability in the United States and beyond.

    I am very proud of the strides NJHEPS made this past year. We welcomed an impressive group of new leaders to our executive team as part of a successful reorganization effort, representing the full spectrum of higher education institution types across the state; we attracted several new member institutions, and achieved great success in renewing existing members.  We also hosted high quality events at various member institutions and partner organizations including Princeton University, Montclair University, Duke Farms and Ramapo College, focusing on timely topics important to our membership. These topics included: 1) utilizing your campus as a sustainable laboratory, 2) the psychology of sustainability decision-making and leadership, 3) the financial benefits of sustainable practices, 4) careers in sustainability, and 5) teaching sustainability across disciplines, to name a few.

    One of the brand new initiatives that I am particularly excited about is our NJHEPS Student Leadership Group, engaging and supporting talented young people from our member institutions eager to apply sustainability within a variety of fields. One of the things we hope to build as part of this endeavor is a premier internship clearinghouse matching top NJ students with desirable placements in various NJ sectors, helping solve sustainability challenges. We are also in the final stages of completing an inventory of building metering needs across New Jersey higher education institutions, which will be presented to industry-leader BPU for potential funding.

    We are looking forward to a very active academic year for all members of our constituency, including a slate of educational and operational conferences and workshops concentrating on energy, facilities and construction, education and curriculum, and sustainability research.

    Again, thank you for your support in promoting sustainability in New Jersey Higher Education. I look forward to our continued partnership.

    Shana Weber, Ph.D., President, NJHEPS

    Director, Office of Sustainability, Princeton University

  • 07 Oct 2015 10:42 AM | Anonymous

    The NJHEPS membership welcomes the new leadership team. We thank you all for agreeing to serve in positions that will make a great difference in promoting sustainability across our state’s campuses. If you are interested in being more involved in our leadership, NJHEPS is still filling a few committee postions. This is a great way to further the mission of NJHEPS, become more involved and network with a great team.

    The following committees have openings: (1) Energy, (2) Facilities and Construction, and (3) Research. If you are interested, please contact Kristie Reilly at njheps@gmail.com.







    Shana Weber

    Term 2014-2016

    Princeton University

    Director of Sustainability

    President Elect


    Liaison to Host Institution (Ramapo)

    Emma Rainworth

    Liaison to Host Institution


    Ramapo College

    Professor, Environmental Science and Geology


    Diane Trainor

    Term  2015-2017

    Middlesex County College

    Professor, Chemistry and Environmental Science


    Robert Taylor

    Term 2015-2016

    Montclair State University

    Professor, Earth & Environmental Studies, Coordinator of Sustainability Science BS and MS Programs.

    VP Campus Energy

    Past President

    Mike Kornitas

    Term 2015-2017

    Rutgers University

    Director of Sustainability and Energy

    VP Development & Membership                               

    Charles Lamb 

    Term 2014-2016

    County College of Morris

    Director, Operations and Professional Development

    VP Education and Curriculum

    Ashwani Vasishth

    Term 2015-2017

    Ramapo College

    Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Director, Master of Arts In Sustainability Studies

    VP Facilities & Construction

    John Hone

    Term 2015-2016

    Union County College

    Facilities Manager, Elizabeth and Plainfield Campuses

    VP Research

    Scott Mittman

    Term 2015-2016

    Essex County College Professor, Environmental Microbiology

    VP Student Relations

    Daniela Shebitz

    Term 2015-2017

    Kean University

    Associate Professor

    Senior Advisor

    Donald Wheeler

    Appointed, Continued

    Kean University

    Professor Emeritus

    Co-founder of NJHEPS

  • 07 Oct 2015 10:42 AM | Anonymous

    NJHEPS Launching its First Student Leadership Group

    NJHEPS is pleased to announce its’ recently created Student Leadership Organization. This new initiative is an opportunity for interested students from our member institutions to apply their talents and ideas to incorporate sustainability to a wide range of academic and career disciplines. The organization will initially focus on building student programs that provide awareness, offer internships placements and student workshops, and opportunities for students to share their campus research and initiatives in sustainability.

    Daniela Shebitz, NJHEPS Vice President of Student Relations and Program Director, Associate Professor of Environmental Biology, Kean University, has taken the lead in bringing our student leaders and participants together at the annual meeting to first launch this initiative.  “The entire executive board of NJHEPS was inspired by the shared passion and enthusiasm for environmental sustainability that brought students from throughout New Jersey together at our annual meeting. What has emerged from that initial meeting is the start of a long-term exchange of knowledge, ideas, and opportunities that will inevitably have a great influence on the students, our colleges and universities, and on the state as a whole”.

    Stephano Castro, B.S. Sustainability Science, Founder and President, Montclair State University Environmental Club is one of our first student leaders.  “At least five colleges and universities with an environmental group of students will host regional events and projects that touch upon a broad range of sustainability topics such as GMO’s, fracking, water privatization, alternative energy, green economies, permaculture, environmental education, sustainable architecture and neighborhood planning to name a few. Students from Kean, Montclair, Princeton, Ramapo, and Union, Essex, and Morris County Colleges have all expressed interest in such an interdisciplinary team, now it’s just up to us to get together and strategize on how to help New Jersey become more sustainable!”

    Stephano, along with the new student team are looking for volunteers to make this student-driven organization a strong and sustainable force. Stephano sums it up with his wise words “In a world where if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem, it is more important than ever for all students to become sustainably literate and proactively work towards environmental and sociological solutions- the future of our grandchildren is depending on it."

    If you are interested in becoming a member of the NJHEPS student group or would like to support the group in any way, please send an email to Kristie Reilly at njheps@gmail.com and we will be in touch asap!

  • 09 Sep 2015 12:16 PM | Anonymous

    NJHEPS Executive Committee Conference Call Schedule 2015-2016 AY

    Wednesday, October 7                               2:00 pm

    Thursday, November 5                               9:30 am

    Wednesday, December 2                           2:00 pm

    January TBD if meeting is needed

    Thursday, February, 4                                 9:30 am

    Wednesday, March 2                                  2:00 pm

    Thursday, April 7                                          9:30 am

    Wednesday, May 4                                      2:00 pm

    Thursday, June 2                                         9:30 am

  • 27 Jul 2015 3:58 PM | Anonymous
    August 18th at 3 PM ET

    Student Internships and Utilizing RFPs as Ways to Involve Students in On-Campus Projects


    Colleen Butterfield, Project Manager, Education, Alliance to Save Energy

         The Alliance to Save Energy’s PowerSave Campus program is a student-led initiative that promotes green careers, generates actual energy savings, increases awareness of the importance of energy efficiency, and encourages academic infusion of sustainability concepts.  At this webinar, representatives from the program - which includes 16 campus and counting - will be presenting best practice case studies to help kickstart energy efficiency projects started on your campus.  This particular presentation will focus on community colleges, but the projects are also field tested at four year universities.  The webinar will also feature a round robin for questions as well as advice from those at community colleges about how to overcome unique challenges and barriers to initiating energy efficiency and/or student internships on campus.


    Carson Bennett , Campus as a Living Lab Faculty Liaison, and Luis Campos, Executive Director, Facilities, Central New Mexico Community College

         In order to utilize the built environment as a “Living Lab” for students to learn about sustainability concepts, the Physical Plant Department at Central New Mexico Community College includes an educational requirement in its RFP (Request for Proposals) process. Any vendor who wins a contract with the Physical Plant must be willing to provide educational opportunities to students at the college. These agreements have resulted in photovoltaic array installers visiting Math classes, construction companies displaying how they recycle demolished building materials, and our waste and recycling provider gathering data for use in Statistics, Psychology, and Technical Writing courses.


    When it's time, join the meeting from here:


    Audio Connection:  913-469-2799 (JCCC Webex) 

    No advance registration is required.  For more information and additional access link, see:



  • 25 Apr 2015 12:51 PM | Anonymous

    The NJHEPS 2105 Annual Meeting held on Friday, April 24 at Duke Farms in Hillsborough was a great success, as NJHEPS President Shana Weber and meeting attendees got together and discussed exciting new opportunities and challenges ahead for those committed to sustainability on our college and university campuses and beyond. 

    The primary theme of the meeting:  NJ Campuses as Living Laboratories for Sustainability, sparked a vigorous, efficient discussion as laboratory efforts foster academic and operational partnerships that encourage campus culture change, multidisciplinary collaboration, and accelerated impact. To our knowledge, this was the first state-wide symposium convening operational leaderships as well as faculty actively conducting sustainability research using NJ campuses as test beds.

    A highlight of the meeting was the keynote address of Forrest Meggers, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of School of Architecture and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton University.  Dr. Meggers gave audience members a real taste of sustainability in action. Meggers not only described how research can be used to push the limits of sustainability, he demonstrated it by using his bicycle to power a blender, making fruit smoothies for everyone to sample.  

    Additional highlights of the meeting included a NJHEPS Business Meeting with the Executive Committee, Staff and Advisory Council members, an exciting Student Networking Session, moderated by Daniela Shebitz, where student groups focused on sustainability on NJ campuses and a productive Open Session with the students.  

    Below is a compilation of the Meetings afternoon speakers, which were also very well received.


    Afternoon Campus Speakers

    Laura A. Hyatt, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Rider University

    K. Browne, M. Brogan, M. Chavez, D. Druckenbrod, B. Hunter, D. Jacobs. 

    Title: Sustainability Research at Rider University

    Many institutions heavily involved in sustainability research often do so through their engineering programs.  However, for these solutions to work, principles from business, liberal arts, social and natural sciences are also needed.  Faculty and students at Rider are actively involved in research projects that have important feedbacks on our institution and beyond.  Environmental science students are investigating the effectiveness of a biocontrol agent on a campus invasion of purple loosestrife.  Teams of faculty are exploring our campus’s connections to the great naturalist Aldo Leopold and doing research in our classrooms with a successful green course certification program.  Biology majors are experimenting with the use of effluent from a biodigester as fertilizer on our campus grounds while chemistry majors are tweaking biodiesel extraction techniques.  Accounting students are learning about the critical role of sustainability in their profession and political science students are deeply engaged in action research, participating in community campaigns concerning the proposed PennEast pipeline.  At Rider, we are including all disciplines in the sustainability research endeavor. 



    Scott A. Mittman1 (presenter), Alkis Dimopoulos2, and Robert Leone2 

    Professor and Science Faculty Coordinator (and program coordinator for the Environmental and Sustainability Science Programs), 1Division of Biology and Chemistry 2Division of Engineering Technologies & Computer Sciences, Essex County College, Newark, NJ

    Title: A Community Partnered Student-led Rainwater Harvesting and Solar Powered Water Distribution Project

    Abstract: After winning a Ford sponsored College Community Challenge (Ford C3), Essex County College (ECC) faculty worked with community leaders to devise a way to improve the sustainability of a fledgling urban hydroponics effort in Newark. The ECC faculty used the project as a teaching tool, where students were central to the design, planning and installation of a rainwater harvesting and photovoltaic powered water delivery system.


    Shana S. Weber, Ph.D.

    Director, Office of Sustainability, Princeton University and President, NJHEPS

    Title: Are Higher Education Sustainability Metrics Helping Us Track Meaningful Regional Impact?

    Abstract: Hundreds of campuses across North America are now tracking sustainability metrics and reporting progress to a central repository. But do those data help us translate the information into stories of meaningful regional impact? Are goals being set by campuses aligned with regional needs? Dr. Weber will highlight results from a recent research partnership between Princeton and MIT to mine existing data for significant performance patterns, and to view those patterns through regional lenses. Results will uncover campus performance against regional water scarcity status, as well as broader regional ecological characteristics. 

    Click here for Photo Gallery from Duke Farms

    Click here for More Photos from Duke Farms

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Winter Newsletter: Call for Campus Initiative Submissions

The NJHEPS winter newsletter will be available February 1. If you would like to highlight an initiative such as new facilities or energy project, academic program, new course, student activity, research or scholarly work on your campus, please reach out to Kristie Reilly at njheps@gmail.com.

Please submit a two paragraph abstract of the project you would like highlighted in the newsletter and include a link to a more detailed website if you wish (optional). Please allow seven days for review and a return follow up email regarding acceptance.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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

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