Sustainability @ UNC advances the triple bottom line of environmental quality, economic vitality, and societal well-being. The goal is to catalyze the development and implementation of sustainable policies, practices, curricula, and behaviors for all members of the University community.
Organized efforts to institutionalize sustainability at UNC began in 1999, as two converging factors led to the formation of the Sustainability Coalition. Executive Order 156 from then-governor Jim Hunt called on all state agencies to adopt more sustainable practices. Simultaneously, students requested that the university community become more proactive on environmental issues. After two years of volunteer efforts, the university became the first in the state to hire a full-time Sustainability Coordinator. Cynthia Pollock Shea, LEED Accredited Professional, was hired in 2001 and in 2003 the department grew to include an Energy Conservation Manager and administrative assistant. Sustainability @ UNC is currently involved in a number of initiatives, including the development and implementation of a Sustainability Plan, as well as ongoing efforts to engage and educate the campus community.
Sustainability @ UNC is part of UNC’s Finance and Administration Division. The Sustainability Advisory Committee is sponsored by the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost and the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration.
Cindy Shea, Director
Cindy launched the Sustainability Office in April 2001. She has researched, analyzed, written about, and communicated sustainability themes at international research institutes (Worldwatch and the International Institute for Sustainable Development) and worked as a foreign correspondent, web scribe, and community organizer. She holds degrees in Economics, International Relations, and Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a LEED AP.
Kristin Blank, Research and Outreach Manager
Kristin joined the Sustainability Office in November 2011. Her strong interest in university sustainability programs began when she volunteered to work on MIT’s recycling program while she was an administrative staff member there. Prior to joining UNC, Kristin worked for the Duke Environmental Leadership Program in the Nicholas School of the Environment. Kristin is a graduate of the Sustainability and Environmental Management Masters Program at Harvard University Extension School.
Lily Dinkins, Sustainability Intern
Lily joined the Sustainability Office in February 2016 and has been loving the trip to Airport Drive ever since. She is a Junior Environmental Science and Geography Major and has been a vegetarian for 12 years. Lily recommends freezing compost to reduce the smell before bringing it to the Carolina Campus Community Gardens to reduce waste send to the landfill.
Jennifer Craft, Sustainability Intern
Jennifer started interning at the Sustainability Office in the summer of 2016. She is an Environmental Studies and Political Science major with a minor in Public Policy and is particularly interested in how environmental policy shapes our lives. Jennifer enjoys running long distances, being outdoors, and volunteering at Northside Elementary School. Recycling and eating local foods are some of her favorite ways to practice sustainability.
Stephen Lapp, Sustainability Intern
Stephen started interning at the Sustainability Office during the fall semester of 2016. He is an Environmental Studies major with a minor in City and Regional Planning. He enjoys playing soccer, being outdoors, and spending time at the beach in his home town. Stephen practices sustainability by being vegan, biking to class, and keeping his reusable bag near him at all times.
Lana Jordan, Sustainability Intern
Lana began interning at the Sustainability Office in May of 2014 and is pursuing a double major in studio art and communication studies. She took a semester off to study film in Australia, but now she’s back, making TV shows with her friends at UNC Student TV. Lana practices sustainability by enjoying local, organic foods and taking advantage of public transit.
Kathia Toledo, EcoReps Coordinator
Kathia has been an EcoRep since fall of 2014 and is double-majoring in Environmental Studies and Geography with a minor in Urban Planning. She enjoys telling others about how they can improve their practices and live more sustainable lives.
Emily Hightower, EcoReps Coordinator
Emily has been an EcoRep since the fall of 2015 and is double majoring in Biology and Economics. When she is not working with EcoReps, she volunteers with TABLE and works in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. She enjoys studying the implementation of sustainable policies and her green tip is to conserve energy by washing your clothes in cold water.
Former Team Members
Jack Molloy, Sustainability Intern
Jack started working at the Sustainability Office in 2016 and is pursuing a degree in UNC’s School of Media and Journalism. His passions include playing basketball, backpacking, and drinking coffee. In his free time, Jack coaches JV basketball at Chapel Hill High School and volunteers as a Young Life leader in Chapel Hill. Jack practices sustainability by using his reusable water bottle at the various refill stations throughout campus.
Jonathan Ng, Sustainability Intern
Jonathan joined the Sustainability team in February 2016. He is currently pursuing a Computer Science degree at UNC. In his spare time, Jonathan enjoys exploring Carrboro, computer programming, and swing dancing. He also plays in a local band called Ellis Dyson & the Shambles. Jonathan practices sustainability by using a refillable water bottle and biking to work.
Marjorie Primm, Sustainability Intern
Marjorie Primm began interning at the Sustainability Office in 2015 and loves the creative, collaborative environment. Studying Business Administration and Environmental Studies, Marjorie is passionate about sustainability and renewable energy. She also works with United Solar Initiative and is a member of ModernExtention Dance Company. Marjorie bikes to work and loves rock climbing at the UNC Climbing Wall.
Meredith Ratledge, Sustainability Intern
Meredith joined the Sustainability Office in 2016, and she’s excited to make an impact on the Carolina Community. Meredith is pursuing a degree in Environmental Science with a minor in Business Administration. She hopes to learn more about the solar energy market in North Carolina and is interested in using the potential of renewable energy to empower undeserved communities. Meredith also enjoys being involved with United Solar Initiative, the Charles Carter Literary Magazine, and Cru on campus. Her green tip for you- turn off the lights every time you leave an empty room.
Sri Sure, EcoReps Coordinator
Sri Sure has been an EcoRep since fall of 2013. She is double-majoring in Philosophy and Economics with a Math minor at UNC. Sri strongly believes that sustainability is the way to go. She wants to encourage everyone to live sustainable lives.
Jill Tillett, Sustainability Intern
Jill joined the Sustainability Office in 2015, and loves contributing to the sustainability initiatives at UNC. She is pursuing a degree in Sociology with a minor in Public Policy, and is especially interested in environmental and social policy. When she’s not at the office, Jill enjoys tutoring local children with the Campus Y’s HYPE. Jill practices sustainability by consigning or donating her old belongings.
Paulina Powierza, Sustainability Intern
Paulina joined the Sustainability Office in the summer of 2016 and loves contributing to sustainability initiatives. She is double majoring in Economics and Spanish. When she’s not at the office, Paulina enjoys being involved with EcoReps, volunteering at UNC Hospitals, and spending time in the outdoors. Paulina practices sustainability by using public transportation and walking around campus rather than driving.