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


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  • 15 Sep 2014 12:29 PM | Kristie Reilly (Administrator)
    NJHEPS will host a Fall Sustainability Education Conference on Monday, Oct 13 at Ramapo College.  Click the link below for more information and to register for the conference.


  • 14 Sep 2014 3:19 PM | Kristie Reilly (Administrator)

    Message from Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, of Columbia University and the Earth Institute


    Dear friends and colleagues,

    The Sustainable Development Solutions Network is proud to present its new education initiative, SDSN.edu, which brings together online courses on sustainable development created by experts from around the world!  We are rolling out several exciting courses throughout the Fall. Please join us in spreading the word!
    We are kicking off SDSN.edu with three courses:

    1.       I am offering my course The Age of Sustainable Development again, starting September 9, 2014. There will also be a special bonus this Fall: all students that complete the course will receive the free e-book version of my new book, titled The Age of Sustainable Development.

    2.       The two-semester course Climate Change Science & Negotiationstaught by myself and Emmanuel Guerin, will introduce the science and policies of climate change. The course includes a simulated UNFCCC negotiation during the second semester, in which students take on the role of country delegates. This course coincides with the broader SDSN Climate Change Call to Action

    3.       Planetary Boundaries and Human Opportunities, by Prof. Johan Rockström and his colleagues at the Stockholm Resilience Center, offers an outstanding overview of sustainability science and potential pathways for human well-being. 

    All three SDSN.edu courses are free of charge and are now open for enrollment. OtherSDSN.edu courses are currently in development and will be announced soon. 

    The coming year and a half, till the end of 2015, will be a pivotal period in the history of sustainable development. Please join SDSN.edu in mobilizing education for sustainable development by spreading the word among your friends and colleagues. If you have questions please write to our Education Initiatives team at edu@unsdsn.org.


    Kind regards,

    Jeffrey D. Sachs

  • 22 Jul 2014 5:09 PM | Kristie Reilly (Administrator)
    Shana Weber has been appointed president of the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJHEPS) effective July 1
    NJHEPS is committed to advancing sustainability across the New Jersey higher education community through cross-sector partnerships, teaching, research, outreach, operations and community life.
    "I am honored to join the leadership team at NJHEPS and look forward to working with our many partners across the state," said Weber, who is the director of the Office of Sustainability at Princeton University. 
    "Students, staff, faculty and facilities personnel on campuses across New Jersey are dedicated innovators and together we can be a positive force for accelerated action in partnership with government, environmental, community and business leaders," Weber said. "I am confident that NJHEPS can make a difference in the Garden State and be an example for the nation at large."
    “I'm confident that Shana's leadership will continue to bridge the gap between institutions, disciplines and communities, not only to move the bar on sustainability but to make sustainability part of every day life for its citizens," said Michael Kornitas, former NJHEPS president and director of Sustainability and Energy at Rutgers University. 
    Weber received her bachelor's degree in Zoology from Ohio State University and doctorate in environmental science from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She currently serves on the board of trustees for Sustainable Princeton, the municipal nonprofit organization. She is a member of the Ivy-plus Sustainability Consortium, and executive host of the Northeast Campus Sustainability Consortium. 
    Weber's current research activities include collaborative applied research among higher education sustainability offices, and climate-change driven population dynamics of the American pika across the American West.

  • 30 Jun 2014 4:19 PM | Kristie Reilly (Administrator)
    During Spring 2014, NJHEPS launched its first annual Student Research Paper/Project in Sustainability Contest. This award is to honor the best undergraduate research paper or project from college/university students enrolled at NJEHPS member institutions.

    In highlighting the efforts of these students, we promote the critical idea of sustainability and contribute to the education and motivation of our students. The first annual NJEHPS Student Research Paper/Project in Sustainability winners were announced at the NJHEPS Annual Governing Board Meeting during the luncheon which featured a public talk by actor/environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr.

    This year’s winners were:  1st place co-winners Lauren Edelman of Princeton University and Bryan Rubio of Kean University ; 2nd place co-winners Yifan Li of Princeton University and Joseph Roddy of Kean University; Chris Koscica and Michelle Hompesch, both of Montclair State University. The student winners receive monetary awards from NJHEPS to recognize their excellent works.

    “We were very proud to honor these exceptional students, who will make such a difference in the world with their vision and dedication," said Shana Weber, NHEPS President. During the Award Luncheon, world-renowned environmental activist and award-winning actor Ed Begley, Jr. addressed the honored students.  "I was also very touched by the kind and encouraging words that Ed Begley, Jr. had for these young leaders,” said Weber.

  • 23 Jun 2014 3:32 PM | Kristie Reilly (Administrator)

    June 23, 2014 -- The New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJHEPS) has selected Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) as the first recipient of the NJHEPS Excellence in Campus Sustainability Award.

    NJHEPS, a not-for-profit organization committed to advancing sustainability statewide through partnerships with and among higher education institutions, recognized Raritan Valley Community College for sustainability excellence in its new Bateman Student Center and its extensive 2014 Earth Week Initiative.

    Unveiled in February 2014, the Ray Bateman Center for Student Life and Leadership Building features a 9’ by 15’  “living wall” of vegetation designed to improve the indoor environment. The living wall is a vertical, hydroponic planting system that contains about 600 individual tropical. The wall absorbs noise, filters air, and provides a natural, relaxing setting for the students.  The wall was designed and installed by Kelly Mac Interiorscapes, a small local business based in Pittstown. The installation cost of approximately $21,000 was funded by a grant from the Merck Foundation.

    Additionally, RVCC’s 2014 Earth Week Initiative, organized by the Sustainability Committee and the Student Environmental Club and funded by a College Community Fund Grant, featured innovator Mike Strizki of the Hydrogen House Project as its keynote speaker. The campus-wide Initiative also included a zero landfill waste event with Economics Professor Dan Aronson.

    Promotions for the event were produced by design student Atulya Chaganty as part of a class assignment, as well as collaboratively among various campus offices and committees, resulting in widespread on-campus communications as well as local media coverage.

    With its Bateman Center for Student Life and its comprehensive 2014 Earth Week Initiative, Raritan Valley Community College has demonstrated meaningful leadership in the field of Sustainability.  The NJHEPS is pleased to honor it for these efforts.

    “Achieving sustainability is all about collective impact, but each campus can shine as it brings its particular strengths to the effort. Raritan Valley Community College really impressed us with how thoughtfully they implemented two key programs this past year – from building systems to behavior change and communications," said Shana Weber, NJHEPS President. "They are demonstrating the kind of complex multi-dimensional thinking that the sustainability endeavor requires, and as a result are in a strong position to pass that skill on to their students. That’s really what it’s all about and we are grateful for their leadership.”

  • 09 Apr 2014 11:27 AM | Julia Kruse (Administrator)

    The Sustainability Across and Beyond the Community College Campus workshop slated for August 13  at Moraine Valley Community College Southwest Education Center, Tinley Park, IL has been cancelled.



    Hosted by Moraine Valley Community College Southwest Education Center, Tinley Park, IL
    August 13, 3:00PM until 1:00PM August 15, 2014


    Hosted by Moraine Valley Community College Southwest Education Center, Tinley Park, IL
    August 13, 3:00PM until 1:00PM August 15, 2014

  • 08 Mar 2014 3:19 PM | Kristie Reilly (Administrator)

    In his critically acclaimed book and TED talk of the same title, Simon Sinek argued, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”  He offered his observation in the context of what he describes as The Golden Circle, three concentric circles labeled WHY, HOW, and WHAT.  He emphasized, “when most organizations or people think, act or communicate they do so from the outside in, from WHAT to WHY.  And for good reason -- they go from clearest thing to the fuzziest thing.  We say WHAT we do, we sometimes say HOW we do it, but we rarely say WHY we do WHAT we do.”  He defined WHY as the “purpose, cause or belief” of an organization.  He clarified, “WHY does not come from looking ahead at what you want to achieve and figuring out an appropriate strategy to get there….It comes from looking in the completely opposite direction from where you are now.  Finding WHY is a process of discovery, not invention.”  He proposed, “inspired” organizations “communicate from the inside out.”  The idea is that by articulating WHY an organization does what it does, HOW it does it is easier to identify.  WHAT is the result that quantifies if it is successful in achieving its WHY.

    More illuminating is his observation, “when an organization defines itself by WHAT it does, that’s all it will ever be able to do.”  Organizations “with a clear sense of WHY,” he argued, “don’t have to “convince” anyone of their value.”  To be authentic, according to Sinek, an organization, viz its members, must abide by a simple rule: “everything you say and everything you do you actually believe.”

    So, what does this have to do with the NJHEPS you might be wondering?  I believe it strikes at the core of the partnership. Let’s examine two different models of communicating about the NJHEPS based on Sinek’s observations that illustrate my belief. 

    Model 1:

    We seek to transform the New Jersey higher education community to practice sustainability consistently and to contribute to the state’s, region’s, and world’s emerging understanding of sustainability through teaching, research, outreach, operations, and community life. (WHAT) (Current mission statement.)

    We are an organization comprised of 16 junior colleges, 16 independent four-year colleges/universities, 2 public research universities, 9 state college/universities, and 4 Rabbinical/Theological Seminaries. (HOW – but weak)

    Want to become a member?  Want to join us in our mission?

    Model 2:

    We believe, “Higher education institutions bear a profound moral responsibility to increase the awareness, knowledge, skills and values needed to create a just and sustainable future.” (WHY)

    To achieve this moral responsibility, we’ve formed a partnership organization currently comprised of 16 junior colleges, 16 independent four-year colleges/universities, 2 public research universities, 9 state college/universities, and 4 Rabbinical/Theological Seminaries. (HOW)

    Our mission is to transform the New Jersey higher education community to practice sustainability consistently and to contribute to the state’s, region’s, and world’s emerging understanding of sustainability through teaching, research, outreach, operations, and community life so that we may be a model for how to achieve our moral responsibility. (WHAT) (Current mission statement.)

    Want to become a member?  Want to join us in our mission?

    I think you’ll agree that Model 2 a more convincing endorsement for the NJHEPS.  Alas, it’s not that easy.  Sinek went on to identify a phenomenon he described as “split happens.”  His point was, “as the measurement of WHAT grows, the clarity of the WHY [must stay] closely aligned….The moment at which the clarity of WHY starts to go fuzzy is the split.”  This is critical because, “when people know WHY you do WHAT you do, they are willing to give you credit for everything that could serve as proof of WHY.  When they are unclear about your WHY, WHAT you do has no context.”

    It is my opinion that the NJHEPS needs to recover its WHY.  It has gone “fuzzy.”  WHAT it has been doing is of unclear context.  I am absolutely convinced that it will do precisely that.  In fact, it has already started!  As a result of an invigorated WHY, in the very near future, you’ll receive information about several events that are being planned to help us achieve our moral responsibility.  Member institutions are invited to play prominent roles either in hosting or identifying additional events.

    The late Frank Sinatra, referring to New York City, famously sang, “If I can make there, I’ll make it anywhere.” With all due respect to Mr. Sinatra, when it comes to sustainability, if the moral responsibility of higher education can be achieved in New Jersey, the most densely populated state in the nation, the state with more Superfund sites than any other state in the nation, the state with several top-rated institutions including the number one ranked institution, it can be achieved anywhere.  And the NJHEPS is precisely the organization to lead the way!

  • 16 Oct 2012 11:47 AM | Christina Crescimanno (Administrator)
    Check it out here!
  • 16 Oct 2012 11:40 AM | Christina Crescimanno (Administrator)
    As a follow-up to our 9/25 Higher Ed. Clean Energy Stakeholder simulcast, we are providing this information, which requires your timely review, and requested action, by 10/22/12.

    The NJ Board of Public Utilities, and the NJ Office of Clean Energy (OCE), are now accepting public comments based on a draft straw proposal which would define the next 4 years of budgets for the Office of Clean Energy.  You have the opportunity to weigh in on these budget proposals, and we have been told by our contacts representing the OCE that it's both  important and useful for  them to hear from the Higher Education Community on this issue. We agree, and urge you to take the time to read the budget proposals and make comments.
    An example of one potential opportunity: At our stakeholder meeting, questions were raised about Higher Ed's utilization of the free benchmarking tools offered by the OCE; we explained that relatively few buildings have the necessary submeters, and the cost can be prohibitive to purchase a sufficient number of submeters. We asked if a subsidy for this investment could potentially be considered as part of this budget, and were told that if Higher Ed thinks such funding is appropriate, it should be raised during this comment period.
    This is one specific example of a request which could be beneficial to the Higher Ed. community. There could be others, and they may be specific to your institution. The focus of our effort is to alert you to the time sensitive need for you to review the budget proposals, and encourage you to make comments by the 102/22 deadline. 
    When public hearings are scheduled, we will notify you in case you would like to attend/participate.

    You can make comments on these proposals using this link:

    and then clicking here: 

    Straw Proposal NJCEP 2014-2017 Funding Levels

    You should then see a pdf load which is titled:

    Staff Draft Straw Proposal
    NJCEP 2013 through 2016 Funding Level
    Now the NJCEP 2014 through 2017 Funding Level
    Comprehensive Energy Efficiency and
    Renewable Energy Resource Analysis
  • 21 Jun 2012 2:14 PM | Leslie Raucher (Administrator)

    EPA Launches Competition for College Students to Develop Innovative Approaches to Stormwater Management


    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching a new design competition called the Campus RainWorks Challenge to encourage student teams on college and university campuses across the country to develop innovative approaches to stormwater management. Stormwater is a major cause of water pollution in urban areas in the U.S., impacting the health of people across the country as well as tens of thousands of miles of rivers, streams, and coastal shorelines, and hundreds of thousands of acres of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds. The competition will help raise awareness of green design and planning approaches at colleges and universities, and train the next generation of landscape architects, planners, and engineers in green infrastructure principles and design.


    Student teams, working with a faculty advisor, will submit design plans for a proposed green infrastructure project for their campus. Registration for the Campus RainWorks Challenge opens September 4, and entries must be submitted by December 14, 2012 for consideration. Winning entries will be selected by EPA and announced in April 2013. Winning teams will earn a cash prize of $1,500 - $2,500, as well as $8,000 - $11,000 in funds for their faculty advisor to conduct research on green infrastructure. In 2013, EPA plans to expand Campus RainWorks by inviting students to design and complete a demonstration project assessing innovative green infrastructure approaches on their campus.


    “Reducing stormwater pollution requires innovative approaches and America’s college students are incredibly creative and talented,” said Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “The Campus RainWorks Challenge will engage students across the country in tackling one of the toughest challenges to clean water and show them the opportunities in environmental careers.”


    EPA is encouraging the use of green infrastructure as a solution to help manage stormwater runoff. Green Infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage stormwater runoff at its source and provide other community benefits, including economic development.. Green infrastructure is increasingly being used to supplement or substitute for single-purpose “gray” infrastructure investments such as pipes, and ponds. The Campus RainWorks Challenge will help encourage the use of green infrastructure projects on college and university campuses to manage stormwater discharges.


    More information on the Campus RainWorks Challenge:


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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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