Banner Graphic Main - 2017 Progress Report

The University of Dayton’s Hanley Sustainability Institute is continuing to make enormous strides, becoming a leader in sustainability education. Now in its third year, HSI has emerged as an important leader and partner in a number of cross-disciplinary projects that are stimulating dynamic collaborations between academic units, UD’s Facilities Management, and within the community.

About our 2017 HSI Progress Report - This year even the structure of our annual progress report reflects the way we learn.  This interactive, web-based report illustrates our engaging approach to sustainability education and the priority we place on ensuring HSI’s continued visibility. The media rich 2017 HSI Progress Report on this page chronicles HSI’s accomplishments over the last year in: curricular partnerships, community engagement, scholarship, conferences and conversations, campus sustainability, experiential learning, and student leadership development.  

A great illustration of the Hanley approach to telling the story of sustainability on UD's campus can be seen in the video below.  This video and other videos highlighting all aspects of our work and partnerships are increasing the visibility of our sustainability efforts at UD.

Year at a Glance

This past year was marked by many highlights.  Through deepening existing partnerships and developing many new partnerships on and off campus, HSI joined with the UD and Dayton community to make progress towards our goal of a more sustainable campus and community and becoming a leader in sustainability education. 

  • Visibility & Events
    Campus Sustainability
    • A deepening of our partnership with facilities management, with collaboration on the KU Green Roof, Lincoln Hill Gardens, campus composting, energy and efficiency projects, STARS reporting and development of new ideas such as a plan for a “Zero Waste UD Arena."
    • Installation of first green roof at UD, located on the patio of the newly renovated Kennedy Union.
    • Over 3,300 students participated in UD AVIATE PathPoint events, including 1,000+ in the Fall 2017 Sustainability Activation Program, which aims to educate students about the importance of living sustainably and to create a culture of sustainability at UD.
    • Achieved an improved STARS silver rating in 2017 AASHE STARS submission with expectation of continued improvement in new reporting areas for the next submission.
    • Completed Green Revolving Fund projects, reducing campus emissions by 1.5% and initiated several large projects that are on-track to further emission reductions by 8.5%. 
    Student Engagement
    • A significant expansion of the student leadership program known as the HSI Sustainability Reps and Leaders program and creation of a new Director role to oversee this program.
    • 16 undergraduate student leaders
    • 2 HSI Undergraduate Fellows graduated and completed summer work in the areas of campus sustainability education and engagement (Emily Skill) and campus sustainability mapping (Charlotte Shade).
    • Worked with 200+ UD undergraduate student volunteers on campus sustainability projects, including 8 Sustainability Reps who committed to joining the campus sustainability education leadership team.
    • 2 summer project interns
    • 2 undergraduate interns in support of community partnerships
    • 2 student office assistants
      Learn more about our undergraduate students >>
    • A thriving group of 100+ SEE minors
    • Newly approved Graduate Certificate in Sustainability and planning for a sustainability major continues to make significant progress.
    • Dr. Rebecca Potter (Assoc. Prof - English) began as Director of the Sustainability Studies Program, which is co-housed with HSI.
    • Second successful year partnering with the UD Honors Program on Global Flyers India
    • HSI GAs, Chris Wagner and Matthew Worsham graduated in the area of Renewable and Clean Energy in May 2017 and Leah Ceperley in Public Administration in December 2017.
    • Publication of articles in the areas of carbon lock-in in higher education and the influence of the gas boom on rural communities.
    • Supplemental reports available from our HSI scholars, Dr. Bob Brecha (Dir. of Research), Dr. Felix Fernando (Visiting Asst. Prof.), and Sr. Leanne Jablonski FM, PhD (Sch. for Faith & the Env.).
    • Support for UD STEM Catalyst Grants
    Community Engagement
    • Continued progress at Lincoln Hill Gardens, activating three new elements of the site master plan.
    • Created a community mapping intern position in collaboration with the Hall Hunger Initiative to support development of a food access geographic database.
    • Created a community engagement intern position in collaboration with UD Dietetics and GDUCI-Gem City Market to support development of a healthy grocery store design and best practice model.
    • Deepened collaboration with Dayton Regional Green (DRG) and supported a summer intern program for the DRG action teams.

Campus Sustainability


AASHE STARS Silver logoIn collaboration with facilities management, HSI completed a nearly two year reporting process with the submission of our 2017 AASHE STARS v2.0 report. We initially submitted in February 2017 in order to contribute data to the 2017 Sierra Club Cool Schools rankings, with our final submission completed by May 2017. UD earned STARS silver with a score of 53.24 (53.24% of available points). This was almost a 10% of total points increase as compared to our 2014 report. UD gained the greatest number of additional points in the areas of academics and engagement. This higher silver rating not only represents the dedication of those who worked on UD's first thorough assessment of our sustainability practices, but also the greater emphasis and expansion of sustainability initiatives across the University.

For the next submission, we are on track to improve our score towards a goal of STARS Gold. Already, new initiatives are underway which will account for additional points in academics, engagement, and operations.  Check out the complete Spring 2017 University of Dayton STARS report >>

Kennedy Union Green roof

IGreen roof vegetation close upn September 2017, HSI, in collaboration with facilities management and Enterprise Roofing, led the installation of UD's first green roof on the Kennedy Union patio. The green roof represents the culmination of years of work by students, faculty and staff in many areas across campus, including SEE, environmental biology, geology, and electrical engineering. HSI student leaders Dan Lenz (MEE) and Megan Zaratzian (CME) served as project leaders and engaged over 80 UD students in the installation efforts, starting with preparing the roof surface and temperature sensor network, removing cement pavers, and installing the GreenGrid system. The green roof provides the newly renovated KU with a welcoming, green patio space, reduces and filters patio water-run off, and acts as an insulating layer over the first floor dining space. This has allowed UD Dining Services to include the green roof in their recent updated application to certify the micro-restaurant "Toss" as a 3 Star Certified Green Restaurant.  / Learn More about the KU Green Roof>>>

Campus Composting

Student performing food waste audit at KUDuring the summer and fall of 2017, HSI started working with facilities management and dining services to pilot ways in which we can start diverting some of our commercially composted waste to on-campus composting facilities. A group of four HSI student leaders have also connected with additional student organizations, including Flyer Enterprises (FE) and the Student Government Association (SGA) to partner in these efforts. Learn More >>>

sustainability pledge logoSustainability activation program

The Sustainability Activation Program aims to educate the University of Dayton campus and beyond about the importance of living sustainably. This program is focused on three goals: care, conserve and commit. This effort was initially led by our HSI Undergraduate Fellow, Emily Skill, in the spring and summer of 2017. Emily led a team of students who created the How to Be Green curriculum and videos. HSI student leader, Meg Maloney, continues leadership of this work during the 2017-18 academic year. With the help of Sustainability Reps, over 1,000 students have participated in AVIATE PathPoint fall events.  The online How to Be Green PathPoint modules will be available in January and February of 2018, reaching even more UD students. Learn More and watch the videos >>

Campus Sustainability Mapping

The HSI sustainability mapping team works to design, implement and maintain a campus sustainability map and also support community partners in the use of mapping and spatial analysis. The team is composed of HSI undergraduate sustainability leaders, community engagement interns, HSI graduate assistants and HSI staff. The team’s goal is to utilize their expertise in GIS software and hardware to collect, edit, analyze and manage spatial information about campus and the Dayton area with the goal to share and make our work available and useful for our community. Learn More >>>

Green Revolving Fund

Since its founding in 2016, the green revolving fund has funded over 30 projects. The completed projects have reduced emissions by 980 metric tonnes of CO2 (MTCO2) equivalent, or 1.4% of campus emissions. Projects that are in-progress or recently completed, including a retrocomissioning of the Science Center, are estimated to have the potential to reduce an additional 1,485 MTCO2. Projects being proposed, such as low-flow shower heads (the first water & energy project), Energy GPA (education-based with verifiable energy savings), and academic building energy audit recommendations from the Campus Energy Team are estimated to reduce an additional 3,810 MTCO2, bringing the total potential emission reductions to 6,275 MTCO2, or 8.5% of total campus emissions. Learn More >>>

Energy and Efficiency Projects

HSI is partnering with facilities management on the campus energy team. The energy team works to identify and implement large-scale clean energy solutions to reduce campus scope 1 and 2 emissions by 26-28% by 2025. This campus energy team, made up of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and facilities management staff, is determined to demonstrate that clean energy solutions are not only possible, but also cost-effective. Learn More >>>

Energy GPA champion logoEnergy GPA

The Energy GPA program provides students in University-owned, student neighborhood houses with a grade of their monthly energy use.  Monthly "report cards" include electricity and gas usage and a monthly tip for energy savings. The Energy GPA program is supported through the work of Housing and Residence Life, the School of Engineering's Center for Energy Informatics, Facilities Management, the Hanley Sustainability Institute, and sponsored by the Green Revolving Fund.  This program was originally offered previously under the "Green Report Card" program and was relaunched in the fall of 2017. Learn More >>>

KU green kiosk touch panel displayKennedy Union Green Kiosk

During the fall of 2017, facilities management further developed UD's online "Green Kiosk" energy dashboard and made this dashboard easily available to the entire UD community by installing a touch panel display in a main area of the newly renovated Kennedy Union. Faculty, staff and students will be able to access live energy use data and sustainability resources through this new display. View the UD Green Kiosk Dashboard >>>

Fair Trade University

On November 7, 2016, the University of Dayton celebrated its fair trade university designation from national grassroots movement Fair Trade Campaigns and received a certificate of recognition. This effort was led by faculty, staff and students, in particular, students in the New Abolitionist Movement. HSI grad student, Leah Ceperley, was part of the committee that completed this work. UD video >> / UD Blogs >>> / UD News >>>


Student Engagement

Sustainability Reps and Leaders

The HSI Sustainability Representatives (Reps) and Leaders program launched in the fall of 2016. Our initial group of 16 student leaders have quickly become an integral part of the HSI team. Taking on many of our highest profile projects, our student leaders demonstrate their commitment and passion for a sustainable campus and community through hours of hard work, achieving project milestones, and sharing their excitement with the entire UD community.  Meet our student leaders >>  /  Photo gallery >>

Joining our student leaders are an equally dedicated group of Sustainability Reps who volunteer additional hours of hard work, specifically to campus sustainability education, campus composting, Lincoln Hill Gardens, and the Kennedy Union Green Roof project. Over the past year our student leaders have worked with over 200 volunteer Reps. Our core group of 8 Sustainability Reps lead our Sustainability Activation Program (SAP), which aims to educate University of Dayton campus and beyond about the importance of living sustainably. The SAP reached over 1,000 undergraduate students in the fall of 2017, with additional online modules planned for January 2018.

HSI Undergraduate Fellows

Following on the success of our first HSI Undergraduate Fellow, Tess Keener ('15), HSI recognized two, May 2017 sustainability leader graduates as HSI Undergraduate Fellows. Emily Skill (GEO, PHL minor, GIS Certificate) and Charlotte Shade (EVB, GIS Certificate) worked as undergraduate fellows over the summer of 2017.charlotte shade headshot

Charlotte Shade continued her work on launching the first ever campus sustainability map. Charlotte established a working methodology and a database design that our current mapping team can use to expand and enhance the map. Charlotte also administered and summarized our first ever sustainability literacy assessment and led the planning team for the inaugural Ohio regional NCSE Student Sustainability Leaders conference, hosted at UD In late-September 2017. Charlotte is now a graduate assistant earning her Masters in Environmental Science at Villanova University.

emily skill headshot

Emily Skill continued her work on the inaugural peer-to-peer campus sustainability education program. Now known as the Sustainability Activation Program, Emily worked with the Housing and Residence Life, AVIATE staff to prepare curriculum for both in-person PathPoint events and online modules. As part of this work, Emily also led the HSI creative team that collaborated with UD Marketing on a UD sustainability culture video and produced the 6 sustainability videos that will be an essential part of the education program. Emily is now a graduate student earning her Masters in Environment and Society at Utah State University.

Kyle Hrabak headshot

Community Engagement Internships

HSI began working with the Hall Hunger Initiative (HHI) to support a student community mapping intern in the summer of 2017.  Kyle Hrabak (Senior, Geology, GIS Certificate) is working to integrate the HHI's current food access data into a GIS database. This will allow for easily accessible presentation of more data as well as provide the analytic tools to utilize this data for community food security and access solutions. Find out more about the HHI >

Elizabeth Miles headshot

HSI is working with Dr. Diana Cuy-Castellanos in the Dietetics Program and the Greater Dayton Union Co-op Initiative's (GDUCI) Gem City Market to support a UD dietetics student as a Gem City Market Community Engagement Intern. This student, Elizabeth Miles (Junior, Dietetics), will assist the GDUCI team to develop a healthy grocery store design for the Gem City Market and a best practice model for a healthy and integrative grocery store design. Find out more about the Gem City Market >


The 2017 Rivers Institute Summer Leadership Experience brought new partnerships and new opportunities. This experience, supported by the Hanley Sustainability Institute, offered six undergraduate River Stewards the opportunity to develop as civically engaged servant leaders, through hands-on experiential learning. The student leaders delivered high quality educational programs to the Dayton and UD community that focused on connecting participants to our local waterways, fostering a commitment to the common good, and encouraging personal responsibility for our common home/environment.  


Sustainability Studies Program
  • SEE logoHSI has supported the College of Arts and Science’s newest academic sustainability initiative, the Sustainability Studies Program (SSP). This program is led by Dr. Rebecca Potter (English Department) and is housed in HSI. Assisting the SSP is newly hired administrative assistant Brooke Palmer and HSI’s Visiting Assistant Professor Dr. Felix Fernando. He teaches courses that are part of the SEE minor, and in January will be developing and teaching one of the new graduate sustainability courses that is part of the newly approved Sustainability Studies Graduate Certificate. Through Dr. Potter’s leadership the College is quickly moving through the process of creating a Sustainability major that will advance the original curricular aspirations embodied by the Hanley gift.
  • SEE 402 Project - Montgomery County Solid Waste: Pay-as-you-throw
    In spring of 2017, students in the SEE 402 - Sustainability Research II course worked with community partner, Montgomery County Solid Waste District (MCSWD) on a proposal for a "pay-as-you-throw" program, with the goal to reduce amounts of landfill waste. MCSWD was able to connect this work to their strategic plan, which includes a high priority on residential recycling. The student work and continued efforts of the MCSWD led to the creation of a volume-based grant program for communities to apply for and use to implement "pay-as-you-throw" type programs in their communities. There are two communities in the county interested in creating a plan and implementing it in the very near future. SEE 402 students in the spring 2018 course will work with Jefferson Township and the City of Dayton to create implementation plans and apply for the MCSWD grant funding.
  • Study Abroad - Berlin 2017, China 2018
    This past summer, the SEE program, led by Dr. Viorel Paslaru (PHL), offered a faculty-led study abroad program in Berlin, Germany. Building on a history of sustainability-themed study-abroad trips in Leipzig, Germany, 2017 students lived and studied in the Berlin and surrounding areas. Course offerings included Intro to SEE, Environmental History and Philosophy of Sustainability. Future study abroad opportunities will include China in summer 2018 and South America in summer 2019.
  • jesse carbonaro headshotSelf-Designed Sustainability Major - Jesse Carbonaro
    During the summer of 2017, Jesse, a Environmental Biology and Operations and Supply Chain Management major and SEE minor, participated in the SEE study abroad program in Berlin, Germany. This intensive study experience, combined with her experience working with students on the Hanley Sustainability Fund in the school of business, led her to explore the idea of creating a self-designed major in sustainability. Jesse's self-designed major will allow her to connect the broad study of sustainability to applications in the business world.
  • In Honor of Dr. Daniel Fouke
    In the spring of 2017 a former student of Dr. Daniel Fouke, Robert Masterson, established a newly endowed scholarship in Dan's name. The Daniel C. Fouke Scholarship will go to a student minoring in Sustainability, Energy and the Environment (SEE). Upon the creation of a Sustainability major, the award will go to a student in that major. Anyone is free to donate to the fund endowing the scholarship. Donations from others will grow the pool of funds the university draws upon for the scholarship, and thus increase the size of the scholarship awarded (currently it provides between $1500-2000).
First Year SEE Integrated Learning-Living Community (ILLC)

The SEE ILLC continued strong participation with 50+ students living on two floors in the Stuart Residence Hall. Students participated in on and off campus experiences, including sustainability forums and trips to the Cincinnati Zoo, Newport Aquarium, and Yellow Springs, Ohio. SEE ILLC students also volunteered on many of our campus sustainability projects, including the KU Green Roof, sustainability education, Lincoln Hill Gardens, and campus composting.

Global Flyers India

HSI continued our partnership with the University Honors Program in providing 4 honors students the opportunity to travel to Sikkim, India. Students gained first-hand exposure to agricultural systems and food culture through an immersive homestay in eastern Himalaya. Upon returning to Dayton, the students then implement a local group project. The 2016 cohort of students supported a local UD farmer's market during Sustainability Week 2016, which continued during Sustainability Week 2017. The 2017 cohort will be focusing on the topic of seed saving and a community's connection to their history through seeds. Learn More >>>


HSI Graduate Assistants

Recent Graduates:

  • Christopher Wagner (RCL, May '17) - Completed work on mitigating vehicle emissions in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Christopher studied abroad in Bolivia for the fall 2016 semester working on his thesis research and also facilitating the Energética: Clean Energy For All Competition. Christopher is now working in Cincinnati, OH as an Energy Engineer Analyst at Graphet Data Mining. Summary PDF >> / Photo Gallery >>
  • Matthew Worsham (RCL, May '17) - Completed work on Carbon Lock-in as an obstacle to decarbonization in Higher Education.  Matthew was also recognized as part of a team researching solar refrigeration at the USA Science & Engineering Festival.  Matthew is now working in UD facilities management as Energy & Sustainability Coordinator.  Poster >>Article >> / Photo Gallery >>
  • Leah Ceperley (MPA, Dec '17) - As HSI graduate assistant Leah led the University of Dayton's recent AASHE STARS submission, completing hundreds of hours of work to significantly expand the areas in which we are reporting and improving our overall STARS silver rating.  Leah also worked with the Kettering Foundation and led other volunteers from UD and the community in two National Issues Forums (NIF) on Climate Choices, the first at UD during the annual Stander Symposium and the second with the nearby Queen of Apostles Parish community, located at Mount St. John. For her work in the MPA program, Leah was also recognized with the Outstanding Research Award (MPA) at the Stander Symposium Graduate Student Showcase.  NIF Article >> / Stander Poster >> 

Current Students:

  • Eric Borth (EVB) - Eric’s research focuses on Siberian Larch forest and tree recruitment in the face of climate change. Eric spent most of his summer counting pine cones, but this research can help researchers understand more about carbon sinks and combating global warming.  As HSI GA, Eric is working with Five Rivers Metroparks on the design, validation and management of their GIS resources.
  • Ryan Shea (RCL) - Ryan is developing a cost-effective roadmap to achieve UD’s short-term emissions reduction goals. The main stages of this work involves building out a campus energy balance and baseline, energy audits to identify savings, and implementation through the green revolving fund. Ryan looks to use his past experience in energy assessments in the Industrial Assessment Center and renewable economic analyses for the Small Island Developing State of Mauritius in this work. Ryan's recent HSI blog post >>
Director of Research - Dr. Robert Brecha

Dr. Bob Brecha’s work as Director of Research has included organizing faculty scholarship grants, mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, organizing and participating in conferences, participating in a climate change and environmental justice-themed conversations and events, maintaining an active research and publication program, and conducting numerous public presentations, talks and media appearances. Read more >>

Carbon lock-in: an obstacle in higher educationdecarbonization pathwaysWorsham M, Brecha RJ. J Environ Stud Sci. 2017 7:435449. doi: 10.1007/s13412-017-0431-z.  Link to Article >>
Visiting Assistant Professor - Dr. Felix Fernando

Dr. Felix Fernando’s work has included continuing our relationships with community partners like Dayton Regional Green (DRG) and the Montgomery County Food Summit. As well as working with students to bring various food events to campus during sustainability week. He has strengthened our partnership with the SEE Minor and Sustainability Studies Program by teaching classes and developing courses for both the graduate certificate in sustainability and the proposed sustainability major. Read more >>

Reflections on a boom: Perceptions of energy development impacts in the Bakken oil patch inform environmental science & policy priorities. McGranahan DA, Fernando FN, Kirkwood MLE. Sci Total Environ. 2017 Dec 1; 599-600:1993-2018. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.05.122. Epub 2017 May 23. Link to Article >>
Scholar for faith and the environment - Sr. Leanne jablonski, PHD, fmi

Dr./Sr. Leanne Jablonski FMI facilitated campus and greater community dialogues, formed teams and designed educational events, and developed partnerships and media outreach focused on implementing Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ and the Catholic and Marianist dimensions of sustainability. She mentored student leaders and presenters, participated in conferences, and was a featured speaker at various events. Read more >>

STEM Catalyst Initiative

The STEM Catalyst Initiative was created to invest in and support faculty and student STEM research at the University of Dayton. STEM Catalyst grants are offered through a collaborative effort between the College of Arts and Sciences, the College's Hanley Sustainability Institute and the School of Engineering. The program is providing up to $500,000 to broadly support research across STEM fields. The award is intended to advance new and existing research programs that have the potential to rise to national prominence and transition to external funding. Find out more about this year's recipients >>

Community Engagement

Lincoln Hill Gardens (LHG)

The Lincoln Hill Gardens partnership (East End Community Services, Mission of Mary Cooperative, HSI) continues to make a positive impact on the Twin Towers neighborhood and East Dayton community. Most recently the partnership received a generous gift from the Vectren Foundation that has enabled us to activate the Orchard element of the student-authored site design. Our campus colleagues from Facilities Management assisted with preparing the site for the orchard as well as the adjacent Nature Playscape element. The playscape footprint was designed by HSI Sustainability Leader Abby Lisjak, inspired by our community partners and playscape experts Eric Sauer and Doug Horvath (Five Rivers Metroparks). Read more >> /  Lincoln Hill Garden Photo Gallery >>  

Dayton Regional Green (DRG)

DRG is a leadership collaborative committed to enhancing the quality of life and environmental assets of the Dayton region by growing our economy, protecting a healthy environment, and promoting social responsibility. HSI, Visiting Assistant Professor, Dr. Felix Fernando serves as the co-chair of the economic pillar of DRG, including planning regular HSI participation in the annual DRG Green Expo and facilitating the DRG-HSI Internship Program. This internship program supports UD undergraduate students in working directly with the DRG Action Teams. Interns for the summer of 2017 worked on Connect to Nature, the Ohio EPA Clean Diesel Projects, Green Mentors and Urban Agriculture Zoning. The intern program will continue for the summer 2018. HSI is also working with UD facilities management and Sustainability Club to participate in the DRG "Bring Your Green Challenge" for the 2017-18 academic year.

Rivers Institute

During the summer of 2017, the Rivers Institute Summer Leadership Team, supported by the Hanley Sustainability Institute, was able to serve 1,380 participants through 20 different types of programs. Through their work over the past 8 years and including efforts during this past year’s student leadership experience, the Rivers Institute has developed strong partnerships within the Dayton region, which allow our students the opportunity to work directly with community members and in particularly with urban youth. Adventure Central, Victory Project, Daybreak, City of Dayton camp programs and, more recently, the Montgomery County Juvenile Detention program have all been valued partners. 

Find Us

Hanley Sustainability Institute

Fitz Hall 665 
300 College Park 
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2964