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who are we

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Shane Stennes

Director of Sustainability

+1 612 626 2588

Shane Stennes

Shane Stennes graduated with a BA in Political Science and International Relations from St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict, and went on to receive a Master of Human Resources from the University of South Carolina. Originally, Shane became involved in University sustainability  by working as the Sustainability Coordinator for University Services, facilitating the creation of the campus’ climate action plan and sustainability integration in various departments. Following other roles in Facilities Management resulting in a deeper understanding of the behind the scenes action at the U, Shane was hired as the Director of Sustainability. Average days usually involve catching up on industry digest, meetings, and keeping up on new information or ideas that may help advance sustainability.

Recently, Shane’s favorite project was working on installing solar PV on University property, which involved a broad group of stakeholders ranging from attorneys to energy engineers to product specialists. The effort of this varied and talented group will likely lead to new developments in renewable energy use for the University. Shane is interested in sustainability because he enjoys working on integrative solutions for tough and intractable issues that aren’t always well understood. Ultimately, he wants to be a part of the effort to do something now to create a better future for his children and his home state.

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Stacey White

Sustainability Coordinator

+1 612 624 3285

Stacey White

Stacey White is the Sustainability Coordinator at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. She received her BS from the University of Minnesota and has begun work toward her MBA. After serving active duty as well as part-time with the Minnesota Army National Guard for 13 years, she decided to return to her alma mater to manage the University's ReUse Program where she created the Pack & Give Back Program, diverting nearly 70,000 lbs of reusable household goods from both on campus and off in the first year of the program. Stacey is the President and a founding member of ReUSE Minnesota, a non-profit organization bringing businesses and individuals together in the reuse, rental, and repair sectors in the State of Minnesota. She is a lifelong resident of Minneapolis and enjoys all four seasons, the beautiful Minnesota landscape, and Minneapolis' vibrant community.

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Samantha Matuke

Graphic Design

+1 612 624 3285

Samantha Matuke

Samantha Matuke is getting a B.S. in Architecture at the U, with a focus on sustainable design. Following her studies here, she hopes to become a licensed architect and work in the areas of sustainable design, affordable housing, disaster relief housing, and designing housing solutions for the disabled. At the Sustainability Office, you can find her producing print and digital designs that help communicate, share, and further our goals, programs, events, and initiatives. So far, Samantha’s favorite project has been working on the Regent’s report because of the exposure to many different people across the University that were working on the same issues. This also allowed her the opportunity to collect information and design a report to capture the attention and interest of University Regents, faculty, staff, and students. Sustainability is important to Samantha because she believes that the future success of our planet depends on our ability to create sustainable environments and lifestyles, and graphic design can convey the necessary information and tools.

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Annie Pottorff

Sustainability Communications

+1 612 624 3285

Annie Pottorff

Annie Pottorff is an incoming senior studying Political Science and Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management. Studying these diverse yet overlapping areas made it clear that she wants to work at the intersection of environmental compliance and citizen communication. Being able to effectively communicate pathways for change, including deciphering complicated laws and regulations to the public, and making sustainability accessible to all is her overall goal.

Day to day, she manages the It All Adds Up social media accounts, writes press releases and communications plans, and films videos to be delivered to our students, staff, faculty, and the general public. Along these lines, her favorite project was working on our comprehensive climate action report, which involved doing a lot of research, digging through old reports, and conducting interviews to package into a holistic and interesting review

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Raisa Elhadi

Sustainability Communications

+1 612 624 3285

Raisa Elhadi

Raisa Elhadi is an incoming senior studying Global Studies with a focus in Human Rights & the Middle East. In the future, she wants to work for women’s rights, focusing on immigrant women and their careers, domestic abuse, and reproductive health and rights. Her favorite tasks so far have been writing articles about specific U Services Department’ sustainability initiatives to share with the University community. Raisa is interested in sustainability because she wants to ensure that the world she lives in continues to be livable for her children and grandchildren.

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Alyssa Lundberg

M Dining, Sustainability Coordinator

+1 612 625 6268

Alyssa Lundberg

Alyssa Lundberg graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in retail merchandising, and currently works as the Sustainability Coordinator for Aramark at the University of Minnesota. A Minnesota native, Alyssa has spent her career in local restaurants and retail venues as well as volunteering as Commissioner on New Brighton Urban Farming Task Force. More recently, Alyssa has played a significant role in converting the TCF Bank Stadium into a Zero Waste Facility, hitting a diversion rate of approximately 85% within the first year! Alyssa has also been deeply involved in the sustainability efforts within retail and residential locations on campus, leading several food waste audits and implementing food recovery. Collaboratively working with Midwest vendors and on-campus farmers, local purchasing has been at the forefront of Alyssa’s efforts, doubling University Dining Services’ local U of M food purchases within the last two years.

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Dana Donatucci

Program Development, Waste Recovery Services

+1 612 624 8507

Dana Donatucci

Dana Donatucci is the Program Development Supervisor for the University of Minnesota Waste Recovery Services. With nearly 40 years of experience in reduction, reuse, and recycling strategies in commercial, residential, and institutional settings,  Dana’s experience resulted in the creation of the Como Recycling Facility at the U. More recently, Dana has been at the forefront of developing zero waste strategies for zero waste events such as Beautiful U Day, and zero waste facilities such as the TCF Bank Stadium.

Todd Tanner Pic

Todd Tanner

U of M ReUse Program Coordinator

+1 612 625 6874

Todd Tanner

Todd Tanner  is the ReUse program coordinator at the University of Minnesota. The ReUse program salvages discarded materials from across campus from ending up in landfills or incinerators. Todd graduated with a degree in Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance from the University of Minnesota, and has worked as a US Army Reserve Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of Communications for the 13th PSYOPS Battalion, as well as for the Met Council. In addition to the ReUse program, Todd is also currently the President of ReUSE Minnesota, a nonprofit trade association.

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Leah Isbell

Administrative Coordinator, U Market Services

+1 612 625 8900

Leah Isbell

Leah Isbell graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with degrees in Spanish and Chemistry, and now works as the Administrative Coordinator for U Market Services, Printing Services and Addressing & Mailing. She has been in her current position for 10 months.  Previously, Leah worked as Operations Manager at the U Card Office and as a Program/Project Specialist in Auxiliary Services Administration.  Leah is looking forward to leading sustainability projects within her department and participating on initiatives lead by the Sustainability Office.

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Julie Rantala

Environmental Compliance Specialist

+1 612 626 7957

Julie Rantala

Julie Rantala  graduated with a BS degree in Biochemistry from Minnesota State University-Mankato. After graduation, she worked for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, working with hazardous waste, water permits, and stormwater programs. She has also worked with the Met Council Environmental Services. Now, she manages environmental compliance for the University of Minnesota. Her daily tasks include inspecting construction sites, pulling samples, creating a variety of plans and maps, providing environmental training, and completing required reports and permit applications. Julie’s favorite project has been working with a variety of businesses and industries while writing permits, to understand the impact of business regulations.

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Tom Ritzer

University Landscape Architect, Landcare

+1 612 624 8225

Tom Ritzer

Tom Ritzer has been Campus Landscape Architect since 1999, and a practicing landscape architect since 1991.  Prior to joining the U's Landcare department, he worked on a variety of urban infill and municipal park projects for two local A&E firms.  Tom is a U of M alumnus, with an MS in Natural Resource Management from CFANS, and a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from CDES.  He participates as co-instructor for FW2001, which examines the balance between campus land use choices and potential ecosystem services.  Tom works to help Landcare present a beautiful, safe, accessible and sustainable campus year round.  He believes that the campus should be aesthetically pleasing and operationally sustainable while also providing ecosystem services like carbon sequestration and storm water management.  Toward that end, he investigated potential green roof retrofits as a storm water management tool for the Twin Cities West Bank campus, and he drafted Landcare's Tree Replacement Principles to introduce more biodiversity in the campus urban forest.  Tom has introduced green infrastructure on several recent campus projects, including the tree trenches and bio-filtration garden on Pleasant Street.  He also leads the development of the Landscape Management Plan, which details Landcare's approach to sustainable campus management and identifies opportunities to make the Twin Cities campus beautifully sustainable.

Mindy Granley

Mindy Granley

Sustainability Director, University of Minnesota Duluth

+1 218 726 8198

Mindy Granley

Mindy Granley is the Sustainability Director at University of Minnesota-Duluth. With her undergraduate degrees in Geology and Hydrogeology, and a masters in Water Resources Science, she knows the importance of drinkable water, clean air, food, and a stable climate. She believes that the environment is impacted everyday by what we buy, what we throw away, and what we use, and balancing our needs with their environmental impacts is important to face. Working with students are her favorite type of projects, because students from all over campus with different majors care about sustainability and want to be a part of the solution.

Cathy

Cathy Abene

Principal Civil Engineer

+1 612 626 3547

Cathy Abene

Cathy Abene is the principial civil engineer in Energy Management at the Twin Cities campus. After getting a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from the U, she worked for the Seattle Department of Transportation as well as the Hennepin County Transportation Department. Day to day, she helps manage the water, sewar, and stormwater utilities. This means overseeing operations and maintenance, system planning, design, and construction. She also oversees stormwater system inspections and ensures they are in compliance with the University's MS4 stormwater permit. While working at the U, she has enjoyed getting to know the unique infrastructure which dates back to the 1800s! 

Myka

Myka Betts

Graphic Design

+1 612 624 3285

Myka Betts

Myka is a senior studying Strategic Communication with a focus in Creative Advertising, and is pursuing minors in Spanish, Youth Studies, and Graphic Design. She's always been interested in sustainability, as she grew up in a household that used earth friendly products and recycled whenever possible. This has stuck with her throughout her life, and now she plans waste cleaning events on Earth Day to clean up the Mississippi River! She believes sustainability is paramount to ensuring the logevity and quality of life for our children and the Earath for years to come. Day to day, she designs digital and print materials that help communicate, share, and further our goals, programs, events, and initatives. 

Troy Goodnough

Troy Goodnough

Sustainability Director, University of Minnesota Morris

+1 320 589 6303

Troy Goodnough

As the first Sustainability Director at the University of Minnesota Morris, Troy Goodnough has laid the foundation for a program that works to model Morris as an example of sustainability principles, practices, and excellence. Troy thinks about how our actions affect people around him, ones he doesn't know, future generations and the ecosystems that give life to all living things. He holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering and chemistry. His favorite definition of sustainability comes from the  the 1987 Brundtland Report: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Goodnough reflected: “When people grasp this meaning, especially, ‘common-sense Minnesotans,’ it makes sense. No one wants to jeopardize the future of our children and grandchildren.”

Dan Svedarsky

Dan Svedarksy

Director, Crookston Center for Sustainability

+1 218 281 8609

Dan Svedarksy

Dan Svedarksy, the first director of the Crookston Center for Sustainability, is an advocate for sustainability issues and has been key in efforts such as developing the Campus Action Plan for Climate Neutraility and Sustainability. Sverdarsky has worked at Crookston since 1969, including involvement in numerous courses in both wildlife management and natural resources. As a certified wildlife biologist, and researcher with the Northwest Research and Outreach Center, his research specializes in tallgrass prairie restoration and management. Just a few of his professional accolades include National Stewardship Award of The Nature Conservancy, The Hamerstrom Award of the Prairie Grouse Technical Council, The Minnesota Award of the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, and the Torch and Shield Award to recognize leadership in the development of UMC, Northwest Research and Outreach Center, and Extension. Dan states that "we should appraoch the future with an optimistic attitutde and seek creative ways in which our societies can thrive"

Beth Mercer-Taylor

Beth Mercer-Taylor

Sustainability Education Coordinator, Twin Cities

+1 612 624 9430

Beth Mercer-Taylor

Beth Mercer-Taylor is the sustainability education coordinator at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She administers the Sustainability Studies Minor, an interdisciplinary, free-standing program with nearly 200 undergraduates enrolled. Her work involves recruiting and advising students, creating community-building activities, coordinating the efforts of the curriculum committee that oversees the minor’s academic program, and leading new initiatives related to sustainability on campus.

Steve Sanders

Steve Sanders

Alternate Transportation Manager, Twin Cities

+1 612 625 1333

Steve Sanders

Steve Sanders, the Alternative Transportation Manager,  has worked at the U for 23 years, and was key to creating the University of Minnesota Campus Bicycle program. Steve bikes every day, an 18 mile journey round trip. His time today is spent on coordinating bicycle related projects, including surveying the current levels of biker commutes across and to campus. Bikes are now an integral part of campus climate, instead of an afterthought or limited to providing bike racks. There's now support from other University departments and offices such as Landcare in efforts to promote healthier lifestyles and bike commutes. He also established the Zap! program at the Twin Cities campus, providing an excellent incentive for biking, where students receive gift cards and employees earn health premium reductions just for using their bikes. Under Sanders the bike center was created in 2011, where classes are offered, people can learn to fix their bicycles, and get the proper gear they need, located close to campus. 

Barry Standorf

Barry Standorf

Sustainability Coordinator, University of Minnesota Rochester

+1 507 258 8217

Barry Standorf

Barry Standorf is the Sustainability Coordinator at the University of Minnesota Rochester, where his daily tasks include facility and laboratory safety and compliance, space assignment and accessibility, sustainability initiatives, acquisition of new space, and growth planning. Since graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a BA in Biological Aspects of Conservation, Barry has worked in facilities maintenance, including as the Facility Manager at Boynton Health Service. After moving to Rochester in 20th, one of his memorable projects was the refurbishment and renovation of an old dilapidated building in downtown Rochester. The project brought all of the UMR faculty together under one roof, supporting collaboration across all academic disciplines. Barry is continually motivated by viewing sustainability and facilities work as a customer service to the faculty, staff, and students that make UMR a great institution. 

Sam Bauer

Sam Bauer

Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

Sam Bauer

Joe Favour

Joe Favor

Landscape Architecture

Joe Favor

Tom Fisher

Tom Fisher

College of Design

Tom Fisher

Deneen Hanzlik

Deneen Hanzlik

MSA Sustainability Committee

Deneen Hanzlik

Mary Hanneman

Mary Hanneman

Sustainability Education

Mary Hanneman

Sasha Karleusa

Sasha Karleusa

MSA Sustainability Committee

Sasha Karleusa

Les Potts

Les Potts

Landcare

Les Potts

Tom Ritzer

Tom Ritzer

Landcare

Tom Ritzer

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Stacey White

Sustainability Office

Stacey White

Shane Stennes

Shane Stennes

Sustainability Office

Shane Stennes

Vera Westrum Ostrom

Vera Westrum Ostrom

Capital Planning & Project Management

Vera Westrum Ostrom

Lilia Fremling

Lilia Fremling

Brand Ambassador

+1 612 624 3285

Lilia Fremling

Lilia is a junior majoring in cultural studies. As the brand ambassador, she handles event preparation, planning, scheduling, and the actual face to face outreach. While tabling around campus or at community events, she promotes different initiatives, programs, and education around utilizing sustainable resources around campus. She's always had a passion for sustainability and environmental protection, and she believes that every little bit of help counts. Working with the Sustainability Office is a great way to create change. 

 

Eesha Chitnis

Eesha Chitnis

Statistics Analyst

+1 612 624 3285

Eesha Chitnis

Eesha is a junior studying statistics and economics. Day to day at the office, she creates spreadsheets and analyzes our emissions progress that helps track our sustainability goals. She's passionate about sustainability, because the bigger picture of the planet is important. While we don't always see the effects of doing small actions, something as simple as community farms can help create change. 

 

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