The PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies (PSEG ISS) at Montclair State University welcomed the members of its new Green Teams pilot program for a special event on May 31 to mark the beginning of an initiative that features select graduate and undergraduate students and some of New Jersey’s leading corporations.
Held in the University’s new Center for Environmental Life Sciences, the morning program brought together the 35 undergraduate and three graduate students who will be participating in the 10-week program, which allows transdisciplinary teams to work together to aid New Jersey businesses in solving sustainability problems. As part of a PSEG ISS Green Team, students will have the ability to gain business connections and interact with local community members, while gaining experience in applied science and improving their abilities to work within a team.
Funded by the PSEG Foundation, students will have the opportunity work with organizations including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Prudential Global Investment Management and Sabert. Montclair State and its PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies will partner with other higher education institutions as part of the program, with Rutgers University-Newark, Princeton University and Ramapo College participating in the program.
Rising senior Alexander Tselepis, a LEED credentialed member of the program from Montville, New Jersey, will be part of the New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance team, analyzing and providing optimization solutions for the company’s current building infrastructure.
“This opportunity touches on a lot of different topics, and bridges the gap between students and the corporate world while answering a lot of questions for us,” said Tselepis. “We get the opportunity to learn about corporate cultures, which will make us much more prepared to enter the corporate world as employees.”
The PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies supports transdisciplinary research projects that grow more resilient communities. Its mission is to advance sustainability by developing community-engaged research projects and building educational programs through academic-corporate-public partnerships.
“The Institute opens a lot of doors for us,” said Tselepis. “I have worked on a project with the Township of Montclair, and I will be honored at a dinner for the work we did. These opportunities would not have been possible without the PSEG ISS, so we are all extremely fortunate to have this on our campus at Montclair State University.”
The teams will reconvene at Montclair State on August 4 to present the results of their respective assignments. As they officially begin helping to ensure a sustainable New Jersey, Montclair State Vice President for University Advancement Jack Shannon provided a strong message to the corporations in attendance.
“What is represented here today is what Montclair State University is all about,” said Shannon. “The very best, brightest, most talented, most engaged and ambitious students who – in the words of our president – are scrappy as well, and who will do whatever is necessary to get the job done. We are looking forward to seeing your results in August.”