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Hanley Sustainability Institute

HSI names four part-time directors for main areas in new strategic plan

By Mark Gokavi

The University of Dayton’s Hanley Sustainability Institute designated four accomplished leaders to direct the four key areas of HSI’s new strategic plan.

Faculty members Erin Gibbemeyer, Zach Piso, Andrew Chiasson and Glenna Jennings will work part-time with HSI and each lead an identified initiative and its associated goals. HSI Executive Director Ben McCall recently announced the appointments.

Gibbemeyer, a lecturer in chemical and materials engineering, will direct the Developing Leaders for a Just Future effort.

"I am looking forward to collaborating with departments and offices around the University to find opportunities for all students to learn sustainability concepts that are so vital to the challenges our students will find in their careers,” Gibbemeyer said. “I believe there are also connections to be made with student clubs and groups on campus to better integrate sustainability into UD student life.”

Gibbemeyer will oversee goals that include expanding sustainability education to the entire student body, fostering student leadership and advocacy and integrating sustainability into students’ life experience.

“It’s exciting that HSI has launched these new director roles to allow for a significant push towards greater sustainability learning and research on UD campus and throughout the Dayton community,” Gibbemeyer said.

Piso, an assistant professor in philosophy and HSI faculty affiliate, will direct the Facilitating Impactful Research effort.

“I’m honored to serve as the inaugural director of Facilitating Impactful Research, and looking forward to collaborating with HSI, a team whose growth with the addition of these new director roles speaks to UD’s commitment to sustainability,” Piso said. “What excites me about our vision for research is how it focuses on synergies between our scholarly expertise, our partnerships with local and regional community organizations, and our dedication to offering robust research experience to our students.”

Piso will oversee goals that include catalyzing meaningful research partnerships and supporting and promoting sustainability research.

“It’s always been collaboration that has energized my own work,” Piso said. “I’m looking forward to supporting the sorts of intentional collaborations that can generate a just and sustainable future.”

Chiasson, an associate professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering and the assistant director of the Industrial Assessment Center, will direct the Catalyzing Institutional Transformation effort.

“Having been involved in sustainability for a long time now, I’m excited that UD is taking concrete steps toward enabling HSI’s strategic plan,” Chiasson said “A famous quote said something like” ‘The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.’ ”

Chiasson will oversee goals that include facilitating campus sustainability planning and coordination and inspiring and enabling sustainability efforts across campus.

“Big change does not happen overnight, so as the inaugural part-time director for Catalyzing Institutional Transformation, my goal is to elevate and expand campus sustainability efforts already happening across UD, and assist in enabling UD’s carbon neutrality goals and climate action initiatives,” Chiasson said.

Jennings, an associate professor of art and design, will direct the Engaging Communities Beyond Campus effort.

“Our campus is surrounded by communities with incredible assets and insights,” Jennings said. “Working inclusively with a broad and diverse range of community partners is essential as we work towards a more just, equitable and sustainable future.”

Jennings will oversee goals that include supporting sustainability planning and tracking beyond UD, becoming a community sustainability resource and hub and facilitating campus-community climate resilience efforts.

“My specific focus as a socially-engaged artist and educator has been working with local and regional partners around food justice and food sovereignty,” Jennings said. “Through this position, I look forward to connecting with new and existing partners across further issues, disciplines and neighborhoods.”

For more sustainability news and information, visit HSI’s news blog, the Hanley Sustainability Institute website and the sustainability program website. To sign up for HSI’s Sustainability Spotlight newsletter, register here.

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