About Us

The Director of Sustainability is Valentine Cadieux (Environmental Studies). Contact Valentine at sustainability@hamline.edu

Members of the Sustainability Committee are carrying out their activities in the following working groups:


Recognizing and supporting students, faculty, and staff working toward the future

Mike Reynolds, Associate Dean for Graduate Education, English Department

Jen England, English Department

Patty Born Selly, School of Education, convenes the Master of Arts in Education program in Natural Science and Environmental Education

Master of Arts in Teaching

Endalk Chala, Communication Studies Department


Engaging the campus and community in working toward and celebrating our sustainability initiatives and investments; participating in higher education sustainability accountability programs, such as STARS, and the Talloires and Climate Leadership Commitments.

Brinkley Prescott, Center for Global Environmental Education

Nancy Victorin-Vangerud, University Chaplain and Director, The Wesley Center

Valentine Cadieux, Director of Sustainability and Environmental Studies

Katy Rimstad, Counseling & Health Services

Sonal Gerten, Marketing, School of Business


Collecting and analyzing sustainability data (via the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System) to establish baselines and assess improvements.

Ken Dehkes, Director of Facilities Operations

Tracy Fredin, Center for Global Environmental Education

Chris McGrath, Environmental Studies and ITS

Bonnie Ploger, Biology Department

The 2020 Student Assistants are:

Samantha Johnson, Sydney Ruble, Will Nelson, Anika Duckwall, Alana Crawford, and Hannah Moore

Prior members of the Sustainability Committee and Thrive Team have included:

Stacie Bosley, Tom Burns, Hossein Akhavi-Pour, and Jae Lee (School of Business), Máel Sheridan Embser-Herbert (Sociology, Social Justice), Pres Martin (Biology), Letitia Basford (School of Education), Louann Terveer (Scholarly Communications & Digital Initiatives Librarian), Jane Telleen (Executive Assistant to the President), Dean Stambaugh (Information Technology Services), John Matachek (Chemistry Department and Provost), Rachel Mazac, Katie Jerome, Jenni Abere, Elise Hanson, Emma Kiley, Hani Abukar, Sarah Sawyer, Kristy Dellwo, Kyrin Sturdivant, Jack Reddan, Gabrielle Lien, Emily Parenteau, Maren Grunnet, Paige Daniels, Emma Kiley, Samantha Weiss, Alexa Clausen, Emily Haus, and Najma Omar.

Particular thanks to Sarah Petersen, Sustainability Resident Fellow from 2016-2018

Hamline Takes the Lead on Sustainability

Accomplishments, five-year plan, and future support for sustainability at Hamline University

Defining Sustainability at Hamline University

At Hamline, we define sustainability as the systems, relationships, and practices that foster environmentally sound, economically prosperous, and socially just lives. Sustainability helps us attend to the needs of individuals, our communities, and our institution so we can thrive in the long term.

We focus on three key areas to build Hamline’s sustainable future: operations, academics, and engagement. Below, we share some of our accomplishments. For clarity, areas are addressed separately, even if work in these areas is interconnected.

Sustainability through Operations, Planning, and Campus “Well Building” Practices

We have supported physical and structural operations that enhance possibilities of using the Hamline campus as a living classroom. For example:

  • connecting departments and programs with campus operations to develop curriculum using the physical campus as a site of research and inquiry, creating an institutional culture of sustainability

  • working with Hamline Facilities and neighborhood partners to create outdoor classroom spaces such as the Peace and Appreciation Gardens and the Pierce Butler Basin Prairie

  • challenging students, staff, and faculty to document and better understand their own energy saving, waste reduction and diversion, recycling, water use, and climate change mitigation

  • developing campaigns and creating signage that transforms perceptions of waste and scarcity into abundance and resourcefulness (this is highlighted in the WasteLess campaign in dorms & Anderson)

Sustainability through Academics

We have integrated principles of sustainability across our curricula and considerably expanded sustainability-focused high-impact learning experiences. For example:

  • creating an “education for sustainability and climate literacy” certificate and three new core courses that integrate sustainability and culturally sustaining pedagogy in the School of Education

  • creating the Sustainability Curriculum Integration pilot to financially support development of sustainability content/approaches in across the curriculum

  • hosting training programs, including workshops, teach-ins, and lectures, that discuss sustainability content development and model sound sustainability pedagogy

  • developing student-faculty research projects that underscore the importance of sustainability and apply the principles of sustainability in many areas of society

  • hosting and participating in local, national, and international workshops and conferences that bring together a range of sustainability-minded individuals and institutions, and participating in the United Nations Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability

Sustainability through Engagement

We facilitate multiple co-curricular efforts that make sustainability a vehicle for social justice and equitable student success. For example:

  • programming co-curricular activities grounded in sustainable practices, like Catalyst Alternative Spring Break Trips, Pack & Give Back and pollution prevention education volunteer activities

  • collaborating with local, regional, and Hamline organizations to host public engagements and programming in the arts, humanities, sciences, maths, and social sciences

  • submitting grant proposals to further support and extend co-curricular programming

  • developing learning communities that enact sustainable values, and documenting the ongoing programming and relationships to make this work navigable through maps, website, and newsletter

Our Plan for the Future of Sustainability at Hamline University

We are committed to teaching, researching, and embodying the interrelationships of environmental, economic, and social systems. Envisioning the future of sustainability at Hamline, we see the further development of our physical campus into a site for inquiry and research as a top priority. Some of this work has already begun! Therefore, our specific five-year plan is to build our longstanding recycling and energy conservation programs into an integrated campus-wide action learning opportunity and pollution prevention education program: the WasteLess campaign.

The WasteLess campaign is an educational program focused on two near-term materials strategies:

  • establishing a regularized waste diversion program on campus, through recycling and composting, and the auditing of our successes along the materials handling chain, and

  • diverting and redistributing reusable residential materials (in collaboration with the U of M's ReUse Center’s Pack & Give Back program).

With this programming, we can build toward a longer-term focus on using materials stewardship to build foundations for energy stewardship. Over the next decade, we will lay the groundwork for an actionable campus clean energy and climate action plan. To continue to do this work, our main needs for support of the WasteLess program are in helping Hamline implement bridging between facilities and courses to do course-based research on waste diversion and reduction, supporting subsequent educational programming (such as through our Garbology course in the Anthropology department!), and connecting student learning through classroom-based research with university data streams (which involves identifying and developing collaboration processes with data stewards).

Specific next steps and needs for each working group include:

Planning/Operations/Wellness: Collecting and analyzing sustainability data (via the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System) to establish baselines and assess improvements.

Academic Curriculum: Recognize and support students, faculty, and staff working toward the future.

Engagement: Celebrate our investments; participate in higher education sustainability accountability programs, such as STARS, and the Talloires and Climate Leadership Commitments.

This work establishes an important starting place to set Hamline in motion toward a goal of more integrated sustainability approaches, in which operations, research, and teaching all reciprocally support each others’ contributions toward sustainability.

How to Get Involved in Sustainability at Hamline University

In order for Hamline to remain a leader in sustainability, we must consistently adopt, assess, and improve sustainability practices that affirm our social commitment to do all the good we can. It is essential, therefore, that the 2054 campus-wide strategic plan promotes an ethic of sustainability by supporting environmental stewardship in operations, teaching and research (academics), and community engagement.

Get involved in one of these ways: Sustainability Committee positions represent all areas of sustainability work on campus, the Sustainability Thrive Team manages student assistance, and the Hamline Environmental Action League organizes student volunteer programming.

Regular events are advertised in Inside Hamline and the Sustainability Newsletter.

Contact us at sustainability@hamline.edu.