students holding PSEG branded frisbees

Sustainability Ambassadors

Previous Ambassadors
Montclair State University Green Building map
Green Building Ambassadors
Mary Kenny & Tanner Melendez
Project Title
Green Building Initiative & Infrastructure Story Map
Project Proposal
Mary Kenny is a combined undergraduate and graduate Sustainability Science student at Montclair State University. Tanner Melendez is a 2019 PGIM Green Team alumnus and is currently an undergraduate Sustainability Science major. As Green Building Ambassadors, they have teamed up to utilize ArcGIS StoryMaps to display green building initiatives and green infrastructure on the Montclair State University campus, including but not limited to the community garden, the cogeneration plant, and a number of LEED certified buildings. This project will enable the MSU community to have a better understanding of how sustainable practices are incorporated into the built and natural environment. They hope to enrich knowledge on green building and its usefulness for the future of sustainable development.
Green Infrastructure Programs at Montclair State University
Montclair State University Green Building StoryMap

Clothing Waste Ambassador
Pavlo Busko
Project Title
Cloth Patching Pop-up
Project Proposal
Pavlo Busko is a 2019 Newark Science and Sustainability (SAS) Green Team alumnus and is currently a Nutrition & Food Science undergraduate student at Montclair State University. As a Clothing Waste Ambassador, his objective is to educate the Montclair State University community and the broader public about clothing waste and in turn provide real solutions, such as repair utilizing patching techniques. In drawing more awareness regarding the carbon footprint of clothing, audiences will begin to understand why they should take steps toward reducing both the consumption and disposal of clothing. Pavlo has personally designed patches expressing eco-conscious messages and created an educational video tutorial displaying clothing restoration procedures.

Waste Management Ambassadors
Danielle Del Pesce & Jadelle Nunez
Project Title
Waste Reduction in Montclair Businesses
Project Proposal
Danielle Del Pesce is a 2019 Montclair State University Facilities Green Team alumna and is currently an undergraduate Sociology major. Jadelle Nunez is a 2019 Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority (SCMUA) / Foam Cycle Green Team alumna and is currently an undergraduate Earth & Environmental Science major. As Waste Management Ambassadors, they have formed a group to make composting and the reduction of single-use plastics in the Montclair restaurant community a top priority by encouraging a shift toward the use of alternative, eco-friendly packaging and to champion the reduction of non-biodegradable items. The goal of the project is to display to the management of small businesses the importance of sustainability to benefit both the society and more broadly, the Earth. They hope to present the public with ways to change routines in their daily lives to become more sustainable.
Waste Management: Montclair Restaurants

Eco-Center Ambassador
Yvette Viasus
Project Title
Montclair State University Campus “Eco Center”
Project Proposal
Yvette Viasus is a 2019 Montclair State University Facilities Green Team alumna and is currently a combined Sustainability Science and Geography undergraduate student at Montclair State University. As the Eco Center Ambassador and utilizing her knowledge as Montclair State’s United States Green Building Council (USGBC) student chapter president, she is working to partner with student groups to build a structure, appropriately titled the Eco Center, which will highlight green building, renewable energy, and sustainability at Montclair State University.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Sustainability Ambassador
Nicholas Araya
Project Title
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Map
Project Proposal
Nicholas Araya is a 2018 PSEG Green Team alumnus and is currently an undergraduate Sustainability Science major. As a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Ambassador, he is creating an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) GIS map for the Montclair State University campus. His project entails plotting curb ramps that are ADA compliant for those who are physically handicapped and mapping out a network accessibility analysis to provide a route on campus that is easily accessible to the physically handicapped. This will help assuring that an accessibility route will easily be available to the Montclair State University community and ensuring that the school is an ADA friendly campus.

Community Garden Ambassador
Patsy Herrera
Project Title
Setting up a Community Garden
Project Proposal
Patsy Herrera is a 2018 Suez Green Team alumna and is currently an undergraduate Biology major with a concentration in Environmental Science and a minor in Anthropology. As a Community Garden Ambassador, she is working to implement an original concept for a community garden in Passaic County. The objective is to create an environment of inclusivity of green spaces in communities that are oftentimes left out of such movements, while simultaneously addressing food insecurity and food deserts.
Patsy Herrera | Starting a Community Garden

Earth Day Ambassador – Lauren Willett is a sophomore studying Sustainability Science. Lauren wants to make Earth Day everyday on campus by connecting with students, faculty, staff and other ambassadors to make Montclair State as environmentally-friendly as possible. Lauren wants to see Earth Day itself as a huge campus-wide celebration full of tabling participation with different Orgs and departments on campus, that support eco-consciousness and awareness towards environmental issues.

I really see Earth Day being a huge event on campus, bigger than it already is and is planning to be. I picture tents with different orgs representing themselves and their sustainability initiatives. I see tables that represent the SDGs, water, composting and food, recycling and other environmental subjects. This is something I want the campus to be apart of and for other ambassadors to contribute to.

Lauren’s vision for Earth Day on campus

Community Engagement Ambassador – Heather Francis majors in International Justice and minors in Environmental Justice and Nutrition and Food Science. Past President of Montclair Animal Activists, Volunteer with the Food Recovery Network, Past PSEG Green Team member serving the City of Newark, Current Member of the Socially Responsible Committee for the Board of Trustees. I plan to find ways faculty, staff, and students can be more sustainable whether that be through printing less, conducting campus clean-ups, introducing ways to be more sustainable while connecting it to life at Montclair State University. My goal is to make Sustainability easy to understand for the campus community by working with the Student Government, student life, and different departments on campus to find ways for everyone to be more sustainable.

Nutrition and Food Systems Ambassador – Ruthie Nguyentran is a Nutrition and Food Science major with a concentration in Food Systems. She hopes to one day own her own hydroponics/greenhouse farm to help others have access to local food. She is very interested in waste, botany, and sustainable eating. Ruthie wants to educate students on ways to minimize their waste, this includes overlooked components of food such as actual food scraps and food packaging. Also she wants to teach students about sustainable food systems. She has experience with community gardens and along with her family has been growing their own food every summer, as early as she can remember. Ruthie hopes to engage fellow students in learning more about nutrition, food systems and sustainability through collaborative events and activities.

Graduate Global Health Sustainability Ambassador – Emma Lavin is enrolled as a Masters of Public Health Graduate student at Montclair State University and will be graduating in the spring of 2020. She is a graduate assistant for the Public Health Department and is continuing her internship with the City of Newark as the Food Policy Intern. In her position as Food Policy Intern, Emma is helping to create the City’s first Food Policy Council. She aspires to continue collaborating with the PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies and the Montclair State University community through the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to address immigration and sustainability in temporary tent cities.

Food Ambassador – Portia Calo is a Junior Nutrition major with a concentration in Food Systems at Montclair State. Portia wants to make an impact on the world through nourishment and preaches that everyone needs to eat. We all need good, nutritional and healthy food to prosper in our lives. As one of our food ambassadors, Portia will continue to spread her nutritional passion and knowledge to the campus.

Community Sustainability Ambassador – Julie Attys‘ objective is to create innovative ways to get communities involved in sustainable initiatives. She will be working with green businesses and varying municipalities to promote awareness of sustainable possibilities for individuals, businesses and communities. Julie is also leading the effort in developing a curriculum and programs to reach the youth populations through educational and hands-on activities.

Compost Ambassador – Carlygrace Sunday worked with the municipality of Princeton, NJ to reconfigure their waste management system and made plans for implementation of mandatory curbside composting. She collaborated with the non-profit organization Sustainable Princeton, the Sustainability Department at Princeton University and fellow interns through the PSEG Institute of Sustainability Studies Green Team. The team’s full analysis was then compiled into a comprehensive report for the upcoming waste contract in 2018. With this experience, Carlygrace is eager to divert food waste from the dining halls on campus by managing an industrial composter that will provide nutrient rich soil for the gardens and vegetation at Montclair State University.

Environmental Experience and Innovative Design Ambassador – Matthew Rivas is way-finding an innovation lab geared at creative solutions to climate change called the Renewable and Innovative Sustainability Entrepreneurs (RISE) program. As a Sustainability Science major with an AA in Communication Arts, Matthew has learned firsthand about how people interact with their environment. Through being the Director of Outdoor Adventure and President of Montclair’s United States Green Building Council, he finds himself at the perfect intersection between nature and the built environment. In an effort to find harmony between the two, Matthew intends to wield his experience and insight to make way for RISE.

Food Ambassador – Abdiel Jimenez is working with the Montclair Community Farm and the Bonner Leadership Program to bring produce grown at the farm to our campus food pantry, which serves over 200 students who cannot afford to feed themselves. In addition, Abdiel is planning the expansion of a current campus garden and addition of two others to serve students residing in the dormitories.

Recycling Ambassador – Ariadna Camayo continues to innovate new ways to engage students and Campus Facilities to work harder to recycle and to become more knowledgeable about recycling. Ariadna worked with Assistant Director Rohan Padhye, her fellow students and Montclair State’s Facilities Department employees to create and hang signs on recycling bins across campus, illustrating to students what can and cannot be recycled. Ariadna also developed a survey designed to gauge student awareness of recycling initiatives around campus.

Water Ambassador – Nicole Provost led an event for World Water Day on March 22, 2017. Activities included water taste tests, stormwater runoff demonstrations and information about water usage and scarcity. Participants included members of NJ Department of Environmental Protection, NJ American Water, professors of Montclair State University and student groups (Environmental Club, Public Health Association, the Montclair Dietetics Student Organization, and the US Green Building Council). There was also a screening of Leonardo De Caprio’s Before the Flood and an unveiling of three water bottle filling stations. Two of these were donated by New Jersey American Water and one was donated by the Food and Water Watch in response to Montclair State students winning a nationwide contest with the most students on any college campus who pledged to use the filling stations. Nicole intends to continue her efforts on getting the University’s community more involved with water issues and conservation efforts by setting up field trips to wastewater treatment sites and more.

Campus Community Garden Ambassador – Christopher Snyder is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Public Health and works in the University’s Center for Research and Evaluation on Education and Human Services. Christopher has a BA in Anthropology with a concentration in medical and nutritional anthropology. He has experience in urban agriculture and has worked closely with City Green, a local non-profit organization that strives to increase food access through urban agricultural production. Christopher will be responsible for building up the community garden by providing the technical assistance and evaluation necessary in order for the project to meet its full potential. He plans to create documentation and policies that will help establish the Montclair State University Campus Community Garden (MSUCCG) (View Instagram), and to provide support and guidance to the individuals and groups that are co-sponsoring the project. Christopher hopes to establish this garden as a place made and used by the University community.