Newark Green Team in Community Garden

Sustainability Awards

Students conducting Sustainability projects under the mentorship of collaborating organizations and faculty are eligible for Sustainability Awards. The Montclair State University’s PSEG Institute for Sustainability Science (PSEG ISS) Work to Succeed program educational initiative which allows students to bridge their knowledge from the classroom, to their own, individual projects with the guidance and support of both public and corporate partnerships. Students are paid to work hourly for 1-2 semesters on a hands-on project, then are eligible for an award to further their professional development. Students who have received these sponsored awards are below.

Sustainability Award Recipients

Patsy Herrera

NJM Sustainability Award recipient Patsy Herrera is a Biology major with a concentration in Environmental Science and a minor in Anthropology. Her interests focus on researching and creating solutions for food insecure communities. Teaming up with Montclair State University Professor and Biology Department Chairperson, Dr. Dirk Vanderklein, she has chosen to align her project with linking local community gardens to the university’s very own greenhouse. Utilizing the campus greenhouse as an extended resource, Herrera hopes to provide specific answers to any scientific questions the community gardens may have concerning particular plants/crops. Additionally, she considers merging her knowledge of aquaculture and hydroponics in the field of agroponics. Patsy will be completing her degree in May, 2020.

Yvette Viasus

Stryker Sustainability Award recipient Yvette Viasus is a senior double majoring in Sustainability Science and Geography. As the President of the Student Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Viasus is interning at Stryker within the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) department. She is using this opportunity to expand her knowledge in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building as well as Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Viasus is in the process of obtaining a variety of LEED credentials as well as a drone flying license. She plans on utilizing her education and experience as a volunteer to assist in the construction of sustainable communities abroad. Yvette will be completing her degrees in May, 2020.

Portia Calo

NJM Sustainability Award recipient Portia Calo, a Nutrition and Food Science major, chose to concentrate her project on alleviating food insecurity in at risk neighborhoods. Working alongside Newark’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Nathaly Agosto Filión, Calo initiated support for farmer’s markets and community gardens in order to increase fresh food access in the city of Newark. Through her work, Calo played an integral role in better connecting the community to City Hall. After exploring sustainable sources of nutrition used by natives of Colombia, Portia now works as a Nutrition Assistant at Hackensack Meridian Health.

Samuel Hall

NJM Sustainability Award recipient Samuel Hall, a Physics major, centered his project on the energy sector of sustainability. He recognizes that resource management is a key factor in the realm of Sustainability. In cooperation with the manager of Energy and Sustainability Programs at NJ TRANSIT, Steven Jenks, through the use of advanced energy technologies to improve project planning, Hall closely examined resource availability and capacity and made recommendations for additional monitoring and improved energy efficiency and that were implemented. Sam now works as a Solar Analyst at Momentum Solar.