Mission and Approach

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.

Key Functions

Everyone has a role to play in creating a sustainable tomorrow, and our office contributes by serving as a:

  •   Catalyst
  •   Facilitator
  •   Educator
  •   Resource
  •   Advocate

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.

Staff

Photo of Mike Kensler
Mike Kensler

 Mike Kensler 

Director

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.


Photo of Amy Strickland
Amy Strickland

 Amy Strickland          

Program Manager                                                                                                                                     

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.


Photo of Jen Morse
Jen Morse

 Jen Morse

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.

Interns

Each year we’re lucky to have a group of undergraduate students volunteer 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 interns, too!


Photo of Katy Duncan
Katy Duncan

Katy Duncan

Senior — Industrial Design

Katy is a senior majoring in Industrial Design and unofficially minoring in involvement because she loves to be with people and to be doing things constantly. An ESFJ through and through, she gets her energy from being around other people, but when she does take her alone time, there is ceaseless music in the background and a candle burning. She is an only child, and her parents are the most supportive, encouraging, and live-music-loving people you ever met. Her love of music, learning and awareness was cultivated by her father, Doug, and her love of art, people, and compassion by her mother, Jill. Her parents instilled in her the simple value of taking care of the things we have, and as she has grown more and more aware of the issues facing our world on all fronts, Katy’s interest in sustainability has burgeoned into something that drives her daily life and future. Katy aims to continue to grow and utilize her passion for sustainability in her future careers, ideally working with a company whose emphasis and dedication to making their product or service more user and earth-friendly line up with hers. She is incredibly humbled by and excited about the opportunity to raise awareness about sustainability among the Auburn community and to learn more about how to better serve and love the world around her.

 


Photo of Sadie Gurkin
Sadie Gurkin

 Sadie Gurkin

Junior – Environmental Design
Sustainability Studies Minor

Sadie Gurkin in a junior majoring in Environmental Design with a minor in Sustainability with hopes of getting her Masters through Auburn’s Masters of Landscape Architecture Program. She grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and ultimately decided to break off from the path of her two older brothers, who both attended the University of Alabama, in order to pursue the opportunities available to her on Auburn’s campus. Her appreciation for the outdoors came as she spent summers with her family on the lake but it wasn’t until arriving at Auburn that she was introduced to Sustainability. Pursing a minor in Sustainability opened her eyes to the immense value and impact of its goals and the importance that these concepts be shared across campus with students of every discipline. As an intern with the Office of Sustainability, she looks forward to the opportunities it will provide to grow her understanding of sustainability beyond completion of her minor as well as the doors it will open to make connections with those on campus she may have otherwise never have had the chance to meet.

 


 

Taylor Kraabel

Taylor Kraabel

Junior – Industrial & Systems Engineering
Sustainability Studies Minor

Taylor Kraabel is a junior majoring in Industrial and Systems Engineering and minoring in Sustainability Studies. 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.

 

 

 


Photo of Ginny Lampkin
Ginny Lampkin

Ginny Lampkin

Senior — Biomedical Sciences

Ginny is a senior majoring in Biomedical Sciences. She was born in Mobile, Alabama, and called the Gulf Coast her home for fourteen years. She moved to Montgomery, Alabama the summer following her freshman year and completed high school there.
During the 2017-2018 academic year, she served as President for the Campus Kitchen at Auburn University. Through her work with Campus Kitchens, Ginny was introduced to the importance of sustainability practices not only in food recovery, but all areas of life. After Ginny graduates in May of 2019, she will pursue a gap year fellowship where she will apply the skills she acquired during her time as an intern. Following that gap year, she plans to attend professional school to work in the healthcare field.
In her free time, Ginny enjoys being outside, especially when there is a dog around. She aspires to one day adopt an elderly shelter dog. Ginny would like to settle down in a rural area and maintain a farm.
She looks forward to gaining practical knowledge about sustainability and encouraging others to implement sustainable practices in their lives.

 


Photo of Ben Luebkemann
Ben Luebkemann

Ben Luebkemann

Sophomore — Architecture
Sustainability Studies Minor

Ben Luebkemann is a second-year student from Illinois. He came to Auburn to study architecture and has since declared a minor in Sustainability Studies. Ben’s interest in sustainability is rooted in a deep appreciation for nature, which arose during hiking trips to national parks across the country. In addition to his love of the outdoors, Ben has developed a growing interest in sustainable community planning. His coursework in sustainability has sparked this interest in the role of the design field in sustainable planning. As an intern with the Office of Sustainability, Ben hopes to implement design thinking in order to approach challenges and promote sustainability in the Auburn community.

 

 

 


Photo of Bailey Rathmann
Bailey Rathmann

Bailey Rathmann

Senior — Biosystems Engineering
Business-Engineering-Technology Minor

Bailey Rathmann is a senior majoring in Biosystems Engineering and minoring in Business-Engineering-Technology. She is from Destin, Florida, where her interest in sustainability efforts started at a very young age. She witnessed first hand the impact the BP oil spill had on the lives of everyone in her community. By growing up on the beach, she understood the value and importance of maintaining the balance in our fragile environment. She has always wanted to pursue a career that could not only help people, but also to make the world a better place. In high school she was also involved with the leadership team providing food for families during the holidays. This passion for food insecurity has continued at Auburn where she is now on the Executive Board for Beat Bama Food Drive. This organization is focused on finding ways to address food insecurity in Alabama. As an intern, Bailey hopes to help others seek sustainable solutions and make Auburn more eco-friendly.

 

 


Photo of Ferrell Sullivan
Ferrell Sullivan

Ferrell Sullivan

Sophomore — Environmental Design
Spanish Minor

Ferrell Sullivan is a sophomore in Environmental Design with a minor in Spanish. 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.

 

 

 


Photo of Michaela Walton
Michaela Walton

Michaela Walton

Senior — Communications
Sustainability Studies Minor

Michaela Walton is a Senior majoring in Communications with a minor in Sustainability Studies from Huntsville, Alabama. She became interested in sustainability after noticing the amount of waste that college campuses can produce and Auburn’s efforts to combat that waste. She’s always loved the outdoors and realizes the responsibility humans share in protecting it. Through her internship with the Office of Sustainability, Michaela hopes to learn the skills necessary to spread sustainable practices to those who need it the most and help Auburn continue to be the most sustainable institution in the state.

 

Academic Partners

Photo of Dr. Nanetter Chadwick

Dr. Nanette Chadwick

Academic Sustainability Programs
Director

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. Nanette Chadwick at 334.844.8184 or chadwna@auburn.edu