The Office of Sustainability exists to develop an ethic, practice, and culture of sustainability throughout Auburn University, and to serve as a sustainability resource for individuals and organizations within the university and in local, regional, national, and international communities.
Recognizing our opportunities and responsibilities as an institution of higher learning, we work to create a community culture where together we realize our collective ability and power to be co-creators of a future we all desire. As a result, our work is aspirational in nature with hope and expectation of progress remaining essential to our work. By engaging with others in specific, relevant efforts, we seek to connect with the human desire to contribute to something larger than ourselves – something meaningful and lasting.
Everyone has a role to play in creating a sustainable tomorrow, and our office contributes by serving as a:
In these roles, we work with students, alumni, faculty, staff, and administrators to develop a culture and practice of sustainability. On campus we seek to embed sustainability into the university’s operations, instruction, research, and outreach functions. In the spirit of extension, we also offer sustainability trainings and workshops for business, government, and civic organizations.
Mike has an MS in Natural Resources Management, Planning, and Policy from the School of Natural Resources at the University of Michigan, where his program emphasized the integration of science and policy and an interdisciplinary, holistic approach.
His previous experience includes environmental and sustainability policy, advocacy, education, and outreach work for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Mike also worked with the National Wildlife Federation and its affiliates across the country focusing on environmental policy and education, organizational development, and movement building initiatives.
Mike has experience in and a passion for leadership development, organizational transformation, the creation of democratic learning communities, civic engagement, and individual and group empowerment. Mike believes that at the core of our efforts to create a sustainable society live both an ethic of responsibility toward the future, and a faith in people and their inherent aspiration, power, and ability to work together to create an ecologically, economically, and socially flourishing world.
Amy joined the Office of Sustainability in 2013, and works in conjunction with faculty, staff, and students to promote the adoption of sustainable practices across campus. Prior to arriving at Auburn, Amy led a consortium of universities, health care systems, businesses, and local governments in advancing sustainability in Southwest Missouri. In this role, she focused on helping member organizations improve their sustainability performance, while also developing community-scale projects designed to make sustainable choices easier for everyone. In addition to her sustainability work, Amy spent a number of years working with the National Geographic Society to support K-12 geography education through the development of professional learning opportunities, public awareness campaigns, and policy initiatives.
Amy holds a Master in Public Administration with an emphasis in environmental policy from Missouri State University. Her research focused on sustainability as it relates to organizational development, policy implementation, and change agent strategies. Amy has also served as a Professor of Practice at Drury University, where she taught courses on sustainability management and the science of sustainability.
Outreach & Communication Manager
Jen’s work focuses on outreach to students, faculty, and the community through education, communications, and projects. Prior to working at the Office of Sustainability here in Auburn, Jen worked in the natural resources field in research, environmental education and interpretation, recreation and wilderness management, and wilderness therapy. While in Peace Corps Ecuador she coordinated and conducted park guard training workshops, developed an ecology club for youth, and was a founding member of the Ecuadorian Environmental Education Network. She enjoys educating and inspiring others to learn about sustainability and our connections to the natural world around us.
Jen received her BS in Recreation Management from the University of Montana, and her MS from the University of Idaho in the Conservation Social Sciences Department. Her thesis was an evaluation of a wilderness therapy program for adjudicated youth.
Each year we’re lucky to have a group of undergraduate students contribute their time and talents to help achieve our mission. You can learn a bit more about this year’s group below, and of course, you can meet our prior year student staff, too!
Junior – Environmental Design
Sustainability Studies & Business Minors
Ben Boehle is a senior majoring in Environmental Design with minors in Sustainable Studies as well as in Business. Before coming to Auburn Ben lived in the heart of San Antonio, Texas. From a young age, Ben has noticed how frustrating an urban environment can be if it is not designed with people in mind. Ben’s interest in solving these issues have grown with his understanding for the need of more sustainable cities. Overall, these interests have lead him to discovering Environmental Design and have guided him towards the hopes of attending graduate school for Urban Design as the next step. As the Design Specialist for the Office of Sustainability, Ben wishes to utilize his skills in systems thinking and design methods to contribute to promoting a more sustainable lifestyle for the Auburn family.
Sophomore – Nutrition Science
Beatriz is a sophomore majoring in Nutrition Science and minoring in statistics. Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana but raised in northern Mexico and the southern U.S. for most of her childhood, her environments have been as diverse as they can be. Her interest in sustainability grew from caring for the well-being of the various communities she was a part of. Growing up, she always heard that “there is no planet B” and strongly believes in taking care of it to protect our future. One of her biggest inspirations is John Denver, whose deep love for the planet is evident, and quite contagious, in all of his music (she can be found listening to his greatest hits collection at least twice a week). As an intern with the Office of Sustainability, Beatriz hopes to inspire others to care for their environment through small and consistent changes, whether they’re in Auburn or in other corners of the world.
Employee Engagement Coordinator
Senior – Industrial & Systems Engineering
Taylor Kraabel is a senior majoring in Industrial and Systems Engineering. Before coming to Auburn, Taylor lived in Tullahoma, TN, but has lived all over the country as well. Her interest for sustainability began in high school when she and some friends formed a group that promoted sustainable practices on campus. Since then, her time working at a summer camp and her travels around the world have turned this interest into a passion. As an intern with the Office of Sustainability, she hopes to gain a better understanding of sustainable industrial practices and encourage the Auburn family to live sustainable lifestyles.
Communications Project Specialist
Junior – Visual Media
Studio Art Minor
Devontae is a junior majoring in Visual Media and minoring in Studio Art with hopes that he can land a role in the film/television industry working behind the camera. He grew up in a small town in Alabama and always had an eye for creativity. He owns his own freelance business as photographer and videographer, on the creative team for Eagle Eye TV, and is also auditioning for the Auburn University Marching Band. As busy as he may sound its amazing on how much free time he has. He describes himself as an introverted extrovert, only outgoing in friend groups. However, if you need a good laugh or want to hear a wild story he’s the person to go to. Throughout his Auburn journey he has learned some valuable life lessons such as: 8ams are the worst, don’t take a class after 3pm, don’t try to drive downtown after a football game(win or lose). If parked in RO, don’t move your car after a football game, walking is better for the environment, soul, and your wallet, dorm life is good life, apartment life is broke life, go where ever the free food is, avoid the Haley Concourse, and even after research, Bodda Getta still doesn’t make since. Devontae is excited to start working with his fellow sustainability co-workers and show Auburn University and the world how we can have a better economy, society, well-being, and nature.
Senior — Visual Media
Patience Ray is a senior majoring in Visual Media and is a first-generation college student. When she’s not going to school full-time, or plotting world domination, she’s learning new social media marketing skills, baking her way through the Momofuku Milk Bar cook book, playing epic cooperative board games, or kickin’ it at Beat Saber in Virtual Reality with her friends. Why? Because she believes in making meaningful connections. And while food and games go a long way in building friendships, she also loves helping companies, non-profits, and NGOs share their vision and connect with their audiences. And at the office of sustainability, she hopes to do just that. She appreciates Auburn University’s holistic approach to sustainability where nature, the economy, society and well-being are viewed from a social justice perspective. Her love of sustainability began at an early age as she worked with her family to grow their own food and live off the land. She lived most of her life much like camping, without running water or electricity. No AC and no indoor plumbing. That experience made her resilient and hardworking and made living as an adult in Kenya, Tanzania, and Egypt for 2.5 years a piece of cake. Though she no longer lives off the grid, she still tries to live conscientiously and wants to help Auburn become economically, ecologically, and socially sustainable.
Junior — Environmental Design
Ferrell Sullivan is a junior in Environmental Design. She was raised in Helena, Alabama just south of Birmingham, Alabama. Ferrell’s love for the outdoors and sustainability started with her admiration of her mother. She was raised going camping with friends and family on the weekends. Her mother taught her to never waste things and that recycling helps keep our environment healthy. As she came to Auburn, she became more aware of the interactions of humans and their environments. She fell in love with the systems involved and wanted to better and create those systems. As an intern with the Office of Sustainability, she hopes to use sustainable knowledge and skills to incorporate it into the systems she introduces within her career.
Academic Sustainability Programs
Our office works in close conjunction with the Auburn Academic Sustainability Programs. The Academic Sustainability Programs focus on:
- training students and faculty in the concepts and application of sustainability
- expanding the incorporation of sustainability into the curriculum
- fostering interdisciplinary sustainability research and
- oversight, advisement, and administration of the Sustainability Minor.
Questions about the Academic Programs may be directed to Dr. Sarah Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 334.844.4360