Revived Give and Go Program Helps People and Planet

UConn community diverts over 8,000 pounds of donations to local aid organizations during move out.

You never think you have too much stuff until it’s time to move. Thousands of UConn students faced that same problem while moving out of residence halls this May.  

Luckily Give and Go was there to help! 

Give and Go is a program that allows students to donate gently used goods at drop off points throughout campus, which are then sorted and given to community organizations that help those in need. It diverts waste from incineration, provides an easy way for students to donate items, and supports the lives of fellow residents. 

Read the rest of this article on UConn Today.

Environmental and Social Sustainability Grant Applications OPEN

Are you a UConn student with an idea that can push environmental and social sustainability forward at UConn and in Connecticut? Then apply for our Environmental and Social Sustainability Small Grants!

Projects must advance strategic sustainability goal areas AND related social challenges.

Deadline is March 1, 2024 at 4pm.

Winners will be selected by April 1, 2024.

Grant amounts may be up to $10k.

All projects must have a faculty or staff member acting as a mentor, and must have the ability to accept funds on behalf of your project.

Projects must be completed by the end of December 2024.

For all the details, deadlines and materials visit the grant info page.

Environmental and social sustainability grants logo

Share Your Sustainability Event with the Office of Sustainability

Is your student organization or department hosting an event related to sustainability? Need help getting the word out at UConn?

Fill out our new form and we may be able to share it on our social media channels, digital dashboard screens, and in our monthly newsletter.

Please give at least 2 weeks notice and know that we may not have the staff power to share all events, depending on our existing obligations.

Sustainability Event Form


*Note – don’t forget to add your event to the University Event Calendar and tag it “sustainability” for even greater viewership.

Sustainability Action Student Org Meet and Greet on Nov 16

Is your club involved with suSustainability student org meet and green on Nov. 16 2023 from 5:30-7pm in McHugh 102.stainability issues like environmental justice, agriculture, energy or more? Does your club want to be more involved? Let’s connect!

Meet with other clubs and the UConn Office of Sustainability between 5:30p and 7pm on Thursday November 16 in McHugh Hall, room 102. Pizza and beverages provided.


Not part of a club yet? You’re invited too – see how you can get involved with the many UConn student organizations working on saving the environment.

Letter from the Director: World Vegan Day

Dear UConn Campus Community, 

Today, November 1st, is World Vegan Day, a day to recognize and celebrate the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Word Vegan Day also helps raise awareness of the ethical and environmental implications of animal agriculture. 

For several years I worked with some of California’s largest dairies to advance energy and water conservation efforts. My time on these farms was enough to convince me to stop eating dairy products and drastically cut my meat intake. Many of the operations that I encountered housed 5,000-10,000 dairy cows. These large scale confined animal feeding operations (CAFO’s) are drastically different from the many small farms here in CT but they supply some of the biggest food distributors and restaurant chains in the world with an unsustainable and unethical product.  I urge you to shop local and think about the impacts of these CAFO’s before visiting your local chain for a burger. Here is why. 

Family farms vs industrial-scale dairy and meat production 

There is a significant difference between family farms and industrial-scale dairy and meat production. Family farms are typically smaller, more diversified, and more sustainable. They often raise animals on pasture and use fewer antibiotics and hormones. Industrial-scale dairy and meat production, on the other hand, is characterized by large-scale CAFOs, where animals are too-frequently raised in crowded and unsanitary conditions. CAFOs have a very large environmental impact, sucking up precious ground water (especially in the case of Central CA) and are a major source of air and water pollution. Additionally, these industrial facilities contribute to climate change and antibiotic resistance. 

Social impacts of industrial-scale dairy and meat production 

There are also significant social impacts of meat and dairy production. For instance, workers in the meat and dairy industry often face poor working conditions and low wages. They are at increased risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals and diseases. Communities near CAFOs often suffer from air and water pollution, and they may also experience decreased property values. Sadly, many farm workers are food insecure and live in food deserts. 

Environmental impacts of industrial-scale dairy and meat production 

Industrial-scale dairy and meat production is a major contributor to climate change, water pollution, and biodiversity loss. It is also a major consumer of land and resources. 

So….. What can we do? 

There are a number of things we can do to reduce the negative social and environmental impacts of dairy and meat production. One is to choose to buy meat and dairy products from family farms whenever possible. We can also reduce our overall consumption of meat and dairy products. And we can support policies that promote sustainable and ethical agriculture. 

I encourage you to learn more about the social and environmental impacts of dairy and meat production, and to make choices that support a more sustainable and ethical food system.  To start, you can check out: 


Joe Fullerton 

Director of the Office of Sustainability  

University of Connecticut 

Joe Fullerton Appointed Director of the UConn Office of Sustainability

The Institute of the Environment (IoE) at the University of Connecticut is pleased to announce that Joe Fullerton will serve as the new Director of the UConn Office of Sustainability. Following a thorough national search, UConn is excited to welcome Fullerton to a university known for exceptional progress on sustainability from multiple perspectives.

Joe Fullerton portraitAs director, Joe Fullerton will work with senior UConn administrators, students, faculty members and staff members to set and achieve sustainability goals for the university in areas like; climate action and resilience, energy and buildings, waste reduction and diversion, water resources, food and dining, grounds, purchasing, transportation, open space and natural resource stewardship and the intersection of these issues with environmental and social justice. The Office of Sustainability (OS) develops outreach and engagement programs that feature experiential learning to raise awareness and improve performance around sustainable practices and behaviors related to campus life and beyond.

Fullerton has over 15 years of experience as a sustainability leader and change maker. In his most recent role, he was the Director of Energy and Sustainability programs at Prospect Silicon Valley, a San Jose, California based non-profit dedicated to accelerating the adoption of equitable cleantech solutions. For nearly a decade prior, he served as the Energy and Sustainability Manager at San Mateo County Community College District. Here, he led local and statewide efforts to advance sustainability internships and career development pathways for students as well as charting a path for decarbonization for the entire 115 California community college system by 2035.

One of the reasons Joe enjoys working in higher education is because he’s a life-long learner. He is currently an Executive MBA candidate at the Quantic School of Business and Technology. He holds a master’s degree in Sustainability Leadership from Arizona State University (ASU) and a bachelor’s in Sustainable Enterprise Management from the University of Phoenix. Additionally, Fullerton is a LEED Accredited Professional, Certified Educational Facilities Professional, and a Climate Reality Leader. His love of learning translates to teaching others. He has been a faculty associate at ASU’s School of Sustainability, and a professional sea kayaking instructor, climbing guide and mountain biking coach.

According to Mike Willig, Executive Director of the IoE, “Joe will be an exceptional leader and administrator in the OS.  He strongly reflects the core values of UConn, including “students first”, “sustainability”, “innovation” and “diversity, equity, and inclusion”.  His experiences working for government, corporate, and education sectors will provide broad perspectives and insights to enrich programming and inform decision making.  As a collaborator and mentor, he will be engaging and caring.  I am confident that he will accelerate our progress, diversify our successes, and enhance our national and international reputation in sustainability.”

“I’m thrilled to be working with faculty, staff, students and the expansive UConn campus community as Director of the Office of Sustainability. I’m committed to leading sustainability efforts with a laser focus on inclusive engagement, equitable empowerment and meaningful enrichment,” shares Joe Fullerton.

Fullerton will begin as the Director of the UConn Office of Sustainability on April 7th, 2023.

Environmental Leadership Awards Announced

The Environmental Leadership Award (ELA) winners and finalists were recognized at an award ceremony on March 22, 2023. ELAs are a means of recognizing individuals or groups who have worked alone or as part of organizations to support sustainability efforts at UConn and beyond.  Nominations were submitted by faculty members, staff members, and students last fall. Nominees were evaluated by a committee appointed by the Office of Sustainability and Institute of the Environment. 

The Awardees of the 2019-2022 Environmental Leadership Awards are:


Undergraduate Student: Isabelle Hudson (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Anthropology ’23)

Hudson is said to “exemplify sustainability through her consistent, dedicated and persistent leadership as the president of the UConn Horticulture Club and as a student worker in the UConn Floriculture Greenhouses. As greenhouse worker, she strongly advocated for reducing pesticides and actively worked to use natural biocontrol to handle pest issues. As Horticulture Club president, she pushes for more greenery on campus. The recent Crossroads Café was decorated in plants grown in the UConn Floriculture Greenhouses – which improves mood and air quality for students.” Our winner also educates others. “She educates upwards of 40 student club members on environmental issues and actions they can take to make change. She even quells students’ fear of bees and bugs through her passion for conservation and the role they play in creating a healthy environment.” Isabelle Hudson “fosters curiosity and a love for nature in everyone she comes in contact with.”

Graduate Student: Dr. Ben North (MBA ’23)

Dr. Ben North has been a graduate student multiple times! He recently completed a PhD in Natural Resource Economics from the University of Florida focused on the sustainable development of bioenergy markets in the southeast. He is currently an MBA student at UConn, combining his environmental science background with enhanced business skills to push for better climate action. His nominator says, “He was an Innovation Fellow with UConn’s Technology Incubation Program, and worked with US energy generation and emissions data to provide insights to improve software for his host company, Unscrambl. He also was a UConn@COP fellow in 2022. He has continued to demonstrate long-term commitment to sustainability by working for several eco-organizations in Connecticut, including: the Connecticut Green Bank, the Highstead Foundation, and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.” We’re also impressed by his active membership in the Connecticut Sustainable Business Council and his efforts as lead portfolio manager of the UConn Student Managed Fund (SMF) MBA Team. In his role with the SMF program, he pushes for environmental sustainability considerations in investing their $1.1 million portfolio.

Faculty: Dr. Jamie Vaudrey (Marine Biology)

Dr. Vaudrey was nominated on the basis of excellence in outreach, academics and teamwork in support of the environment. On outreach, her nominator shared “Communicating science is the fiber that runs through all of her research and teaching. She does this across a broad array of stakeholders, shaping the stewardship trajectories of watersheds regionally and seagrass ecosystems worldwide. Her leadership roles in professional societies and on advisory councils have pushed for more integration of scientific results into decision making and broadened participation of underrepresented groups in marine science. The success of establishing the Connecticut National Estuarine Research Reserve is largely due to this nominee who spearheaded the steering committee.” Additionally, “She works with Save the Sound and other public environmental education groups to engage citizens, senators, and federal agencies with nitrogen pollution and helped develop an Environmental Report Card for Long Island Sound. Her impact on understanding of environmental and sustainability in Connecticut’s local waters reaches far beyond the classroom.” Congratulations to Dr. Jamie Vaudrey who’s “compassion for nature and the future of Long Island Sound emanates from her everyday work, which is a key motivating force for every member of her team!”

Staff: Katie Milardo (Facilities)

Katie Milardo’s nominator described her as “always being overwhelmingly kind and open to discussing anything. She has gone above and beyond with answering questions about EcoMadness in addition to scheduling tours of the Co-Generation Facility. Facilities is a large and complicated department, but she makes it easy to navigate.” She also recently became the advisor of the re-vamped Soil and Water Conservation Society UConn Student chapter, which works toward natural resource conservation.

UConn Group: Spring Valley Student Farm

SVSF is described as “always trying new, innovative sustainability techniques to make the land healthier. They host bees and pollinators, don’t use herbicides and pesticides, and are working on activating solar energy.” The group also is haven for students – “Student volunteers are provided weekly transportation to the farm, making it accessible for students without cars. The new composting privy is ADA accessible and they host learning opportunities about local food insecurity, zero-waste, and tree production. They over a diversity of activities and show commitment to building sustainable, green community.”

Environmental Justice – Faculty: Dr. Elle Ouimet (Anthropology)

Dr. Ouimet advances action through teaching courses and advising extracurricular work that empowers students to make change locally and build community. She is the advisor for EcoHusky and has connected the club with Environmental Justice partners like Keney Park Sustainability Project. As her nominator shares, “She exemplifies conservation because she motivates students to explore their personal relationship with nature and promotes the use of sustainable goods and services. Her courses provide students with knowledge needed to critically engage with their personal role in climate change and its unequal impact on marginalized communities.” She is a champion for collaboration, building bridges across campus to create change. Lastly, her nominator shares “she has been the catalyst for so many student voices at UConn pushing for environmental equity on campus, while bringing a global, regional and local approach to teaching environmental justice.”

Environmental Justice – Student: Sydney Collins (Environmental Science ’23)

Sydney Collins has worked for UConn Student Government to promote alternative transportation, organizing a community ride day to boost cycling on campus. She connects this work to the many social improvements that biking offers – improved health and mood, and healthier air for all. Her nominator says, “She is a strong leader for the environment. Her leadership inspires me and others to work on environmental issues and to try and make change. She took on her roles at USG to help create solutions and improve UConn. She feels everyone has a voice and enables all to be part of the discussion.” Collins focuses on environmental justice in and out of class. Her nominator shares that “she is passionate and dedicated to achieving environmental justice for everyone and making sure everyone has an equal living situation and life. She goes above and beyond to fight for environmental justice – and that passion has inspired my life path.”


Graduate Student: Christabelle Calabretta (Law ’23)

Calabretta was nominated by a classmate who shares that she “has excelled in our environmental and climate law classes at UConn Law. She is an outstanding leader on our campus and helped develop and found the Energy and Environmental Law Negotiation Competition at UConn Law. She conducted research for CIRCA and is working to publish a paper on the fashion industry’s impact on climate change.” The Office of Sustainability grew familiar with this finalist during COP27 as a UConn@COP fellow. At COP and back at home, she has been a mentor to underclassmen and an inspiration on staying engaged and educated on environmental matters and ways to promote justice. She recently was offered a fellowship at DesegregateCT, which has a strong environmental justice component. Her nominator says, “She is a leader in environmental academics and outreach on UConn Law’s campus and deserves to be recognized for her efforts to grow an environmental law community.”

Faculty: Dr. Oksan Bayulgen (Political Science) Dr. Mike Dietz (CT Institute of Water Resources)

Dr. Bayulgen is described as “a tireless advocate of sustainability on the UConn campus and globally throughout her career. She has led students participating in the United Nations climate change conference and lent her expertise on renewable energy and sustainability practices to enhance UConn’s purchasing policies. She had developed innovative courses integral to the GenEd Sustainability mandate and Human Rights coursework. She leads with integrity and compassion and is a masterful consensus-builder, while deeply committed to ensuring equity in the process of economic growth.” Dr. Oksan Bayulgen is “the best example of a scholar-advocate and a leading voice on these issues globally”!

Dr. Dietz also received glowing remarks from his nominator. “He is always looking for practical ways to bridge findings from scientific research to the lifestyles of everyone outside of our academic system. He promotes public health and community knowledge in many ways. He began a low cost well water testing program for rural areas of Connecticut, identifying toxins that otherwise are prohibitively costly to detect. He’s also put on the Green Snow Pro program to educate state and municipal workers on environmentally conscious salt application – this directly improves human, plant and aquatic health. His joint Stormwater Corps course demonstrates to students how to create environmental change in towns through green stormwater infrastructure installation, combining theory with practice. His unconventional routes as a professor helps students see the world from different perspectives. He never misses an opportunity to meet with students individually.” From Dr. Dietz’s graduate student, “I know that I have a one-in-a-million advisor. If Mike Dietz has done anything in the past year, he’s given me countless reasons to pursue a lifetime in environmental research and conservation.”

Green Careers Panel 3.30.23

What: An interdisciplinary panel of experts, designed to inform students on the ways in which their desired career path can intersect with sustainability and the environment. A green career does not have to be one solely in the environmental field! Green careers are found in business, art, science, education, government, and more. The GCP will help you as a student find a career that connects your unique talents and interests with sustainability. This is also an Honors event! (Categories: Career, Professional, & Personal Development OR Social Change, Service, & Sustainability – #UHLevent10468)


When: Thursday, March 30th, from 5:30-6:45PM


Where: BPB (Bio Physics Building), room 130

91 N. Eagleville Road, Storrs CT 06269

Who: see our list of panelists below! Students of any and all majors are encouraged to attend. Green careers are not limited to environmental majors! We want to show you all how your majors can be related to a green career.


Why: The Earth is facing an imminent crisis: climate change. We will need all hands on deck to make progress in our goals as a global community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save our planet. We at the OS want to show YOU, all the students here at UConn, that ‘green’ does not have to mean strictly environmental science. Our panelists include engineers, businesspeople, and more – sustainability initiatives can be incorporated into any job! There is a place for all of you in the fight for sustainability and environmental justice; you all have a role to play, big or small.




Dr. Sean Bradshaw, Senior Technical Fellow for Propulsion at Pratt & Whitney

Dr. Bradshaw is the senior technical fellow for sustainability propulsion at Pratt & Whitney. His primary focus is on the development of advanced aircraft propulsion technologies that enable the aviation industry to reduce its environmental footprint. Dr. Bradshaw is the chairman of the Gas Turbine Association, the chairman of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Gas Turbine Technology Group, an associate editor of the Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, a member of the ASME Heat Transfer Committee, and an adjunct professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia University. Dr. Bradshaw is also a recipient of the BEYA Professional Achievement in Industry Award, and received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in aerospace engineering from MIT.



Samuel King, Co-owner of Blue Earth Compost, Inc.

Samuel King is an experienced sustainability entrepreneur and advocate in the fields of waste, energy, and climate change. He is a co-owner of Blue Earth Compost in Hartford, CT, where he works in various roles relating to the growth and management of the business. As an advocate, Mr. King has been involved as a community organizer in fighting fossil fuel projects locally and nationally. Mr. King’s work now centers around finding solutions for a transition to a sustainable waste infrastructure in CT. Sam is a 2014 graduate of UMass Amherst with a BA. Sc. in Sustainable Community Development.



Aziz Dehkan, Executive Director and Lead Organizer of CT Roundtable on Climate and JobsAziz dekhan portrait

Aziz Dehkan was born and raised in New York City. With a degree in Biological Sciences from Rutgers University, Aziz built an award-winning passive-solar house and started one of the first organic farms in New Jersey.

In management and development roles, Aziz has worked for social and environmental justice organizations including The Coalition for the Homeless, STRIVE, The Fortune Society, and Mother Jones. As a community organizer and Executive Director of the NYC Community Garden Coalition, in response to structural racism, he has led the fight for land tenure and food security. Aziz served on the steering committee for the People’s Climate Movement rallies in NYC, Washington DC and #Sandy5.

Aziz is the current Executive Director and Lead Organizer of the CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, which builds alliances among diverse constituencies to combat climate change, create jobs and promote racial, economic and environmental justice. In 2021The Roundtable passed historically significant legislation that attaches strong Labor standards on larger renewable energy projects in CT. The Roundtable’s most recent legislative action is The Carbon Free Healthy School Initiative, a Statewide Bill that seeks to rehab, renovate, and rebuild schools throughout CT.

He is now living in Clinton, CT with his wife, Barbara Moss, and their 13-yr-old dog, Tinkerbell. A dyed-in-the-wool pacifist, Aziz enjoys boxing as a challenging workout form, fully recognizing the irony of this choice. An enthusiastic cook, he loves American roots music, live theater, and the Yankees; dreams of a free Iran, and is grateful for the ocean’s positive ions.

Aziz is tirelessly searching for progressive solutions that support justice, equality, and liberation and disrupting the status quo.


Emma MacDonald, Environmental Analyst for CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Emma MacDonald portraitEmma MacDonald is a passionate environmentalist and educator. They grew up in Northwest CT, where they garnered a love and respect for nature. Emma attended UConn for their BS in Natural Resources (their focus was Sustainable Forest Resources and their minor was in Ornamental Horticulture). During their time at UConn, they were an intern at the University’s Office of Sustainability and the President of EcoHusky. She graduated in May 2021 and went on to become a nature educator at Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust for the 2021 Summer Camp session. She then became a Seasonal Resource Assistant for the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP’s) New England Cottontail Program. At this position they trapped rabbits for a breeding program and collected data for a joint DEEP-UConn research project. They also assisted with the Waterfowl and White-Tailed Deer programs before the temporary position ended, at which point they began their current job as an Environmental Analyst in DEEP’s Sustainable Materials Management Group (SMM). In SMM, Emma works on various projects such as interactive GIS mapping projects intended to make sustainable practices more accessible as well as website editing, supporting the CT Coalition for Sustainable Materials Management, and community outreach and engagement through recycling presentations and social media. Emma hopes to continue to prioritize accessibility and connection to people and nature in their work as they move forward in their career.

OS Internship Application Open!

The Office of Sustainability is Hiring!

The Office of Sustainability is hiring a new cohort of interns. These paid internships provide excellent work experience, hone leadership skills, and set students up for success in environmental positions after graduating. Please apply to our team of sustainability-minded student interns. Positions are 8-12 hours per week and will begin Fall ’23. Interns deal with all kinds of sustainability topics – from energy use to environmental communications. All majors welcome!

Apply by 11:59pm on April 19th

Must be a current first-year or a second-year student pursuing a bachelor’s degree at UConn