students holding PSEG branded frisbees

Sustainability Ambassadors

Current Ambassadors

Clothing Waste Ambassador
Pavlo Busko
Project Title
Cloth Patching Pop-up
Project Proposal
The purpose of this project is to educate Montclair State University students about clothing waste and repair utilizing patching by facilitating an outdoor tabling event on Earth Day 2020. Students will have the opportunity to sew on custom made patches expressing eco-conscious messages. If students do not know how to sew or do not have the desire to learn, volunteers will be there helping students with the patches. Along with volunteers, additional information will be provided about sustainable fashion and how to prevent clothing waste. In drawing more awareness regarding the carbon footprint of clothing, students will begin to understand why they should take steps toward buying and throwing away less clothing.

Green Building Ambassadors
Mary Kenny & Tanner Melendez
Project Title
Green Building Initiative & Infrastructure Story Map
Project Proposal
The objective of this project is to utilize ArcGIS StoryMaps to display green building initiatives and green infrastructure on the Montclair State University campus. The map will include things such as the community garden, the cogeneration plant, and LEED certified buildings. This project will enable MSU students to have a better understanding of how sustainable practices are incorporated into the built and natural environment. There is a potential to enrich MSU student’s knowledge on green building and its usefulness for the future of sustainable development.

Waste Management Ambassadors
Kyra Coyle, Danielle Del Pesce & Jadelle Nunez
Project Title
Waste Reduction in Montclair Businesses
Project Proposal
The objective of this project is to make composting and reduction of single-use plastic in the Montclair restaurant community a priority by attempting to shift toward alternative eco-friendly plastic products and reduce the use of non-biodegradable items. The goal of the project is to show management of small businesses the importance of sustainability to benefit society and the Earth. Also, we would like to present the public with ways to change routines in their daily lives to become more sustainable.

Eco-Center Ambassador
Yvette Viasus
Project Title
Montclair State University Campus “Eco Center”
Project Proposal
Yvette is currently the president of Montclair State University’s student chapter of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). As an ambassador, she will be working to partner with student groups to build a structure that highlights green building, renewable energy, and sustainability at Montclair. The goal is to have it located by the Community Garden to then be able to label that area of the campus the “Eco Center”.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analysis Ambassador
Nicolas Araya
Project Proposal
The objective of this project is to conduct a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory for Montclair State University, with a focus on the transportation sector. A GHG emissions analysis will be conducted over the spring semester of 2020. Once sufficient GHG emissions data is analyzed, the highest emitting sector within the campus will be determined in order to implement accurate energy-efficient solutions for a Montclair State community that embraces sustainability. By collaborating with proper departments on campus, students, and staff, it is hoped that this initial inventory will help to begin the stages of implementing a Climate Action Plan for the university.

Community Garden Ambassador
Patsy Herrera
Project Title
Setting up a Community Garden
Project Proposal
My goal is to find the best location and set up a community garden in my hometown of Passaic, New Jersey. It is my hope that this will create an environment of inclusivity of green spaces in communities that are sometimes left out of these movements while also addressing issues of food insecurity and food deserts.

Sustainability for Our Youth Ambassador
Drew Philhower
Project Title
Educating youth about sustainability (4-12) & aiding 3 local schools in their Sustainable Jersey certification
Project Proposal
The objective of this project is to expand upon the sustainability student learning credit for the Sustainable Jersey Schools Program. I will be focusing on Number 16 Elementary, Mount Hebron Middle School, and Montclair High School. The goal is to make local schools more eco-friendly as well as educate and encourage grades 4-12 to live more sustainably.
Previous Ambassadors

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.