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Program News and Events

Our students have been working hard all year to apply their minor to the real world by engaging with the community and overall increasing sustainability practices on campus. Here's what our students have been doing.

Bryan Borodkin - Working with the U.S. EPA

"My SEE minor has opened so many doors for me in only a semester. It is an incredible compliment to my political science degree and pre-law minor. I signed up for the SEE minor after my philosophy class as a first year and was instantly interested in environmental policy and sustainability law. This past semester I have taken SEE 250, Environmental Ethics, and Environmental Policy. I was recently chosen for the 2018 DC Flyers cohort and immediately began searching for environmental internships in Washington DC. After touring their headquarters and a few rounds of interviews, this summer, I am honored to be working as a policy intern with the United States EPA."

"Specifically, I am working in the Office of Environmental Justice working with EPA attorneys and policy makers on a daily basis. This opportunity combines my passions of politics, law, and sustainability. I would not have received this opportunity if not for the lessons I have learned throughout my SEE classes this semester and am so happy I declared the SEE minor this year."

Jesse Carbonaro - Designing Her Own Sustainability Major

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.

Grant Karda - Zero Waste Arena Project

"As a student in SEE 401, I was granted the experiential opportunity to research and present a proposal summary to achieve a zero waste UD basketball arena. Our group was responsible for researching the operations portion of a zero waste arena in order for this undertaking to be achieved functionally. We began our research by auditing the waste from both a men’s and a women’s basketball game to understand how much landfill waste could potentially be diverted to either recycling or composting options.

Our group researched local vendors and suppliers of alternative products that could replace the items being utilized in arena concessions going directly to landfill. We also recommended some concession products that could be eliminated due to easily replaceable alternatives that already exist. The key takeaways from this project resulted in an arena waste analysis, a step-by-step recommendation for product replacements, and an ethical motivation to go forward with installing a zero waste arena at University of Dayton."

Lauren Murray - Sustainable Projects and Initiatives on Campus

"Throughout our time at HSI, Grant and I have started a myriad of initiatives and projects. One of our first projects was to start a website initiative that would encompass all sustainability-related initiatives, clubs, and events. This website project was completed in conjunction with Dr. Thomas' web design class, and it is still in the works. We have also recruited students for the Sustainability Program through table hours at Kennedy Union, visitations to Sustainability Club meetings, and other events. In addition, we have made improvements to the Sustainability Studies Program udayton webpage by coordinating with the web designer for the College of Arts and Sciences. We are currently working on getting student feedback on the new Sustainability Major by visiting classrooms and Sustainability Club meetings. 

In addition to this, I have organized the SEE Graduation and End of the Year event for the past two years. This event includes the traditional distributing of SEE ceramic mugs to seniors, live music, sustainable food, and more."

Maria Plevris - Composting at Dayton Children’s Hospital

"Starting in January 2018, a dietitian began implementing plans to get the Dayton Children's Hospital into composting. Within the past month, this dietitian has moved to Hawaii and dropped her project in my hands with help from supervisors. As this plan is relatively new, I just recently met with one of my mentor dietitians who will go through this process with me. We've set up beginning steps to get started on this initiative. I've gotten dimensions and estimates of different composting bins in order to take away the trash bins in the cafeteria. I am looking into compostable To-Go containers with their price differences and looking into off campus composting companies. From here we plan to move forward with better educating the staff and public about these sustainable methods."

Study Abroad Programs


This past summer, the SEE program, led by Dr. Viorel Paslaru (PHL), offered a faculty-led study abroad program in Berlin, Germany. Fifteen students from various majors participated in the program, which offered three courses: SEE 250 Intro to Sustainability, PHL 335 Philosophy of Sustainability, and HST 342 Environmental History. Program dates were June 27 - July 27. Students had 22 curricular activities, which were visits to sites, or meetings with researchers and representatives of political parties. Students also visited 6 co-curricular sites. Curricular sites were very diverse, ranging from visits to coal fired power plants and waste management facilities to researchers working on climate models and representatives of conservative, green and social democratic parties. Students had weekends free from curricular activities and they actively used them to travel throughout Europe. 

Special Guests and Speakers

Dr. Hildegardo Cordova

Dr. Brecha and Dr. Cuy Castellanos recently traveled to Peru to develop a study abroad opportunity for UD students in partnership with the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). During the trip, they met Dr. Hildegardo Cordova, a Professor of Geography and the Executive Director of the Center for Research in Applied Geography (CIGA) a PUCP. Dr. Cordova has published 18 books and over 100 articles in areas including rural development, biodiversity and environmental urban problems. With Dr. Cordova, they traveled to remote villages in the Andean mountains  and learned about different communities and the issues they face related to climate change. They were greatly impacted by the work they saw Dr. Cordova and his colleagues and students doing throughout the country to promote sustainable communities.

Upon returning, they invited Dr. Cordova to UD. He graciously visited in February of 2018 and spoke in several undergraduate classes within SEE, Biology and Health and Sport Science and met with faculty and students from across campus. During these visits, a UD SEE study abroad was formed and In the summer of 2019, SEE faculty and students will be collaborating with Dr. Cordova and faculty and students at PUCP to engage in a combined learning experience. During this experience, UD students will  work alongside Dr. Cordova and his team of faculty and students in Peru to explore the effects of climate change on biodiversity and nutritional status in different Andean populations. We are excited to offer such a unique learning experience to our students.


Sustainability Program

Fitz Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2950

Hanley Sustainability Institute

We strive to extend the University of Dayton's sustainability efforts across the campus and into the community.

Learn More