Kathleen Pine (joined in January 2013)
Kathleen has always had an interest in environmental science and sustainability even though it is not her primary field of study. Majoring in Integrative Studies with a concentration in Elementary Education, Kathleen became familiar with the Office of Sustainability through her work within New Century College. She was on Alpha Xi Delta's Executive Council as their Recording Secretary and part of their intramural volleyball team. Kathleen was the Vice President of Mason's Fashion Society and the Public Relations Coordinator for the Organic Gardening Association (GOGA).
Julia Douglas (joined in August 2012)
Julia Douglas grew up in Falls Church, Virginia. Her family spent a lot of time hiking, camping, and traveling to beautiful landscapes, which kindled her passion for nature at an early age. She gets outdoors whenever possible, and is committed to healthily living, sustainability, and protecting the environment. She was involved with groups such as the GMU Environmental Action Group and the Virginia Alliance for a Cleaner Environment. She hopes to use her creative skills to change the way people think about and interact with the world.
Tyler Orton was with the Office of Sustainability from 2011 to 2016. He was responsible for managing the Patriot Green Fund grant program, completing sustainability reports and managing infrastructure projects. Tyler was responsible for completing Mason’s most recent Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) report, where Mason was awarded a gold level rating. He has also worked on major recycling and bicycle projects for the university including the Mason to Metro bicycle route study and a study of Mason’s recycling program. Outside of Mason, Tyler serves on the City of Alexandria’s Environmental Policy Commission as well as other local commissions and groups. In his free time Tyler plays the banjo and rides his bicycle.
Jason Von Kundra (joined in May 2011)
Jason Von Kundra came to Mason in the fall of 2009 and immediately made a splash. Working tirelessly on issues of environmental and social justice, Jason has created positive change here on campus. As a student leader he has been instrumental in many of the school's recent environmental initiatives. Jason helped lead a successful campaign to provide funding for sustainability on campus resulting of the development of the $100,000 per year Patriot Green Fund. Jason was a member of the leadership team of the Animal Rights Collective, a group campaigning for just treatment of animals. He has actively worked to ban animal circuses on campus for illegal violations of the Animal Welfare Act. In 2011 student government passed a resolution in support of the group's efforts. As a co-founder of the GMU Students for Workers' Rights, Jason advocates for the right to unionize, living wages and safe working conditions. Seeing all the sweatshop free clothes made by Alta Gracia in the bookstore is one of the reasons he is proud to be at Mason.
Barbara "Babs" Wallace (joined in January 2012)
Fostered by her parents' love of the outdoors and organic gardening, Babs developed an early love of nature and spent her childhood running around the forests and fields of California and Virginia. Her later travels to Alaska, Hawaii, Costa Rica, and her mother's native Philippines exposed her to critical global environmental issues, and conservation and preservation efforts.
While attending Christopher Newport University in 2007, she started to become more aware of sustainability on college campuses after encountering recycling issues on her dorm's floor. After transferring to George Mason University in 2008, she found the Environmental Action Group and her involvement with student groups in increasing awareness of campus sustainability efforts blossomed.
Babs was on the Patriot Green Fund committee, worked with the Mason Green Patriots program in supporting other groups' green initiatives on campus, and helped out more in the Mason Organic Garden. In her free time, this crafty Babs likes to work on upcycling and (re)upholstery projects.
After dabbling in a few majors at Mason, she finally returned to her true interests and is currently majoring in Conservation through New Century College. This integrative program has sparked her interest in biocultural conservation and native peoples' cultural and spiritual ties to the environment. She hopes to work with indigenous groups to preserve biocultural landscapes after her graduation in Summer 2012.
Jennifer Beidel grew up on a farm in the small village of Silex, Missouri. With a population of 202 people, almost all of them farmers, she spent most of her life outdoors. As a child she had a great passion for amphibians, which eventually led her to become aware of the growing concern of clean water.
In June of 2001, at the age of 17, Jen joined the United States Navy. During her 4 years as a Sonar Technician aboard the USS Laboon, she saw firsthand just how complex problems relating to water quality could get. Issues such as waste dumping and oil pollution caught Jen's attention, and have yet to fade from her consciousness. After her honorable discharge in 2005 she was determined to take her knowledge and passion for preserving clean water and turn it into a career. Jen graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tidewater Community College in Norfolk, VA and later transferred to Mason. She majored in Conservation Studies with a double minor in Sustainability and Ocean & Estuarine Science. Jen worked as the Recycling Research Assistant for Office of Sustainability. In this position, she worked with both the Office of Sustainability and the Waste Management Department in an effort to improve recycling rates and education on campus.
Ryan Hogue (joined in June 2011)
Ryan Hogue came to George Mason as a freshman in 2007. He graduated with a degree in Information Technology and a focus in web design & multimedia, and is now pursuing a Master of Science in Applied Information Technology at Mason. Ryan now works for the American Diabetes Association as a web developer, and continues to do freelance web design and development on the side.
Outside of computer-related activities Ryan enjoys staying physically fit by playing sports with his friends and working out. He's was member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at GMU and gives back to the community through various philanthropy events each semester.
Justin Raphael Roykovich (joined in June 2011)
Justin Raphael Roykovich received his BFA in Art and Visual Technology cum laude and with honors from the School of Art at George Mason University. As a working visual artist, his work focuses on the intersections between entertainment, media and identity construction within the modern American society, with particular emphasis on sexuality and masculinity. He works across disciplines, most notably in video, photography and printmaking. He combines these media aspects to create new narratives within our popular culture, redefining meaning and reinterpreting the context to display new ways of viewing. His work has been shown across the Washington DC and New York City area and he was recently recognized by the Vimeo Film Festival + Awards for his cinematic essay.
Vina Sananikone (joined in June 2011)
Vina Sananikone was an Arts and Visual Technology major with a concentration in Graphic Design. She cofounded SoA Green with Justin Raphael Roykovich and is one of the founding members of the GMU Printmakers Guild and re:collective, a DC/Virginia art collective. She designed for the Office of Sustainability since Spring 2011 until her graduation. Sananikone enjoys photography, talking about food, and updating her ten personal blogs. She hopes to travel the world, eat good food, and save people from bad design choices.
Alex Tyson (joined in September 2010)
Alex Tyson graduated summa cum laude from George Mason University in summer 2012 with a double major in Global Affairs and Government & International Politics. At Mason, Alex worked with the Environmental Action Group in various capacities, interned at the Office of Sustainability for almost 2 years, and successfully organized the PGF campaign with the EAG that led to the implementation of a $100,000 sustainability fund. Upon graduation, Alex started work as an environmental policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Alex ‘s experience working with the Office of Sustainability strongly influenced and shaped her decision to enter the environmental policy realm. During her time at the Office of Sustainability, Alex worked on writing and developing guidance for various initatives such as the Green Office Program, the Green Patriot Program, and the PGF program.
Daniel is from the island community of Kailua, Hawaii. Growing up in that down to Earth atmosphere he developed a strong sense of conservation and stewardship of ones community and environment.
In 2008 Daniel came to Mason as a resident of the Green floor and naturally became a part of the Environmental Action Group (EAG) on campus. He worked on several campaigns in the EAG such as a general awareness and outreach campaign, as well as the Patriot Green Fund and mountain top removal work.
As a graduate of the wonderful school of George Mason University, Amanda is now feeling out to find her niche in the field of Environmental Science. Her passion remains in Sustainable agriculture and the majesty of God's creation; she currently works as an assistant manager on a farm in Chantilly. She hopes to eventually delve into the realm of urban gardening and hopes to be a part of many more gardens in the community.
Planning to start working toward a Masters degree in the near future, she will bring her belief in local and organic food everywhere she goes. Her goal is still to own her own organic farm one day and live mostly off of the food she grows in her yard. The office of Sustainability and specifically the Potomac Heights Organic Garden will always be remembered as an amazingly happy time in her life. The friendships and experiences she gained as a result of being part of such a great project are too many to count. The Office of Sustainability is a wonderful connection to have and is very well known in the field, her appreciation of their contribution to her professional life is infinite.
Maheen Aziz obtained her B.S. in Biology from George Mason University. During her last semester as an undergraduate, she took part in the Climate Action Plan and Energy Strategies seminar which led to an internship with the Office of Sustainability to work on Mason's Climate Action Plan (CAP). The following semester, she continued to intern at the Sustainability Office while starting her graduate studies in Environmental Science and Policy. During a graduate seminar, In Search of Symbiosis, she and a group of classmates researched symbiotic relationships in the Potomac and presented their findings at the 88th Virginia Academy of Science (VAS) Meeting and soon after published The Impact of Regional Development on Symbioses from the Potomac River Valley to the Chesapeake Bay in the Virginia Journal of Science. She also has conducted individual research. Her first project was drawn from Mason's CAP called, Reduction/Audit of Vending Machines in Academic Environments. This research project was presented at the third annual Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change (BECC) Conference in 2009 and she received the BECC Graduate Fellowship. Another research project she conducted focused on the lack of collaborative work from the political world and the science world called Scientists and Politian Symbiosis.
This was accepted to the fourth annual BECC Conference in 2010. In spring 2010, she joined Dr. Daniel Sklarew and a few colleagues to compile Fairfax County's Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report. Simultaneously, Maheen continued to pursue her passion to educate children while working at Oakton High School as a long-term substitute teacher in the math and science department. At the end of spring 2011, Maheen began working for the Department of Purchasing & Supply Management as an Environmental Scientist and Sustain Programs Analyst.
Bob interned with the Office of Sustainability (OoS) in the summer of 2009. During his time there, he helped create the first organic vegetable garden on campus as well as assisted the OoS with preparing George Mason's first ever Climate Action Plan. Since moving on from Mason's OoS, Bob has become a tax accountant at Argy, Wiltse, and Robinson, P.C., a mid-sized accounting firm in Tysons Corner, VA. Most people hear the word Sustainability and think of greenies with braids in their hair and birkenstocks on their feet, not tax accountants in suits and ties. Bob thinks this stereotype is a load of pishposh! His time with Mason's OoS taught him some great lessons that he uses on the job everyday. As part of his job he has to do research, just like he had to do for the CAP. He uses some of the same methods that he learned while interning with the OoS. Additionally, he is much more aware of the repercussions of even small decisions in the workplace, like printing double sided, or reading off the computer screen and not printing at all.
As an intern for the OoS in 2009 and 2010, Rob helped write (and do the analysis for) Mason's first Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Climate Action Plan. With his math background, operations analysis experience, and supervisory skills, he was able to guide the teams in writing sound documents that were understandable to a broad audience. At the same time, he was a Master's student in Mason's Environmental Science and Policy department. His internship helped him figure out his thesis subject by introducing him to some motivated individuals (Lenna, Danielle, and Dann) who offered him sympathetic ears and much needed advice to flesh out ideas. He completed his graduate degree in January (2012) and was hired in October 2012 as the Sustainability Officer for Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). He continues to remain in touch with friends at Mason and intends to transfer many of the Mason Sustainability projects and ideas to NOVA.
Ashlea Smith was brought on board the Office of Sustainability team mid 2008 to mid 2009 as research assistant with a focus on recycling. However, like most titles, they do not capture the breadth of what one does. Her role included outreach, education, strategy development and, of course, research on efficient recycling and waste management as a whole. The opportunity to intern at Mason helped Ashlea determine her non-traditional career path in a niche industry- one which requires far more experience and networking than any B.A. in Government with a focus on Comparative Politics (which she received in May, 2010) can provide.
In 2009 and 2010, her experiences at Mason set her up for success at subsequent professional and internship experiences to include: the DC Department of Public Works' Office of Recycling' Material Resource Sustainability Internship (2009), a collaboration with DC Councilmember Jim Graham's office (2009), and the Alice Ferguson Foundation (2010-2012) who retained her upon graduation as Program Coordinator for the Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative. As of February 2012, she will begin with a small, agricultural consulting company in Fauquier County whose goals include increasing access to organic waste diversion and composting through infrastructure development and public awareness.
Her passions, often influenced by her experience at the GMU Office of Sustainability, include effective containerization of waste, litter prevention, litter & illegal dumping enforcement, access to multi-family dwellings & public space recycling, composting technology & infrastructure development, policy, environmental education, and market-based incentives for waste diversion.
Paul worked in the Office of Sustainability during its first operational year, in 2007/2008. As a student intern, and with guidance from Lenna Storm, Paul led a team of students to research waste reduction opportunities at Mason. His research became the cornerstone for the proposal "University Paper and Policy: Proposing Adjustments to Post-consumer Paper." He later went on to receive his Master of Science degree in Environmental Science & Policy, and was eventually hired by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to manage oversight of state enforcement for the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Currently, he works for the ENERGY STAR Labeling Branch in the Office of Air & Radiation at EPA, developing energy reduction specifications for the consumer electronics industry. Paul also has two scientific journal articles forthcoming.
Paul says that the Office of Sustainability gave me the tools and the confidence to make real change. He said: “Rather than feeling like a part of a process, I was given the opportunity to work independently & creatively to solve real world problems. It was an exciting first step in my environmental career and it has proven paramount in my development as a learner and a professional.”
Giulia Manno was the Senior Outreach Coordinator at the Office of Sustainability. She joined the Office of Sustainability as an intern in the Fall of 2012 as the President of the Green Patriots group. She was hired as the Outreach Coordinator shortly after graduating from George Mason in the Spring of 2013 with a BS in Integrative Studies with a concentration in Conservation, and a minor in business.
In her role, Giulia managed the Green Patriots, Green Office Certification, and Earth Month programs. She additionally coordinated the annual Recyclemania Green Game Basketball Challenge, the Green Job Networking Fair, and general campus outreach.
After graduating from Mason with a degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution in 2008, Danielle Wyman traveled to the small, rural village of Mastatal, Costa Rica to learn about and participate in organic farming. This experience took Danielle's life-long passion for the environment and turned it into a driving force for encouraging a sense of connection and stewardship with the earth. Upon her return to Virginia she presented her vision for a sustainable campus garden to Masons' Sustainability Manager at the time, Lenna Storm. Shortly after her presentation, Danielle was hired on to the Sustainability Team- part time to start and then gradually she moved into a full time position with the office.
Since beginning Mason's first-ever organic vegetable garden, Danielle had the wonderful opportunity to assist with a wide-variety of sustainability initiatives including but not limited to sustainable food, Climate Action Planning, Earth Week events, Permaculture Design Certification courses, PGF projects, Green Patriots and Green Office programs. She received a Masters in Sustainable Food Systems from Mason. When she's not at the Office of Sustainability, she can often be found hiking around the Shenandoah Mountains, dancing, painting, cooking, farming, or riding her bike on the W and OD trail.
Christine Harris (joined in August 2013)
Christine was instantly drawn to wildlife conservation after spontaneously enrolling in an intensive veterinary science course her senior year of high school back home in Richmond, VA. After hearing about the Smithsonian-Mason semester program at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA, she knew that Mason was the only place she wanted to go to for her undergraduate degree. Still interested in wildlife conservation, she decided to pursue her degree majoring in biology, and minoring in applied conservation. After a friend told her about the organic garden on campus, she discovered a deep passion for sustainable agriculture. She was drawn to a more self-sufficient lifestyle, driven by the powers of community and care for the environment. She is still pursuing a degree in biology, and has also developed an interest in aquatic ecology and forestry.
Christine was an active member within the sustainability network at Mason. She was president for the Green Patriots – a program group under the Office of Sustainability, which increases awareness about sustainability at Mason through education and campus-wide events. She was President of the GMU Organic Garden Association, that worked on bringing healthy and sustainable change to the food system on campus.
Christine is interested in continuing her education through research on how current agricultural practices, influenced by big business and industry, affect our local watersheds, and educating communities on more sustainable farming methods. Christine hopes to eventually own a small farm where she can continue to practice yoga, hike, and explore all of the amazing things life has to offer.
Originally from Littleton, Massachusetts, Roger gained an appreciation of nature through exploring Walden Pond with family and friends, and camping with the boy scouting program. Roger LeBlanc began interning at the Office of Sustainability after participating in many green projects and volunteer events through the Sustainability Living Learning Community and Green Patriots groups as an undergrad. After graduating from Mason with a Sustainability Studies degree, Roger was hired as staff in 2015. As the Energy Outreach Coordinator he incentivized the Mason community as a whole to reduce energy consumption through behavior change and efficiency projects. Roger also served as the Sustainability Living Learning Community Coordinator to support their recruitment and selection process, as well as providing project mentorship for the group’s campus greening efforts. As a member of the Mason community, Roger has been struck by the power of community building to foster environmental solutions and encourage green behavior, and he hopes to empower more individuals to take an active role in the movement towards a sustainable future.
Jonathan Storvick was the Natural Resource Manager for the George Mason University Office of Sustainability. He was responsible for sustainable landscape spaces and natural areas on campus, coordinating student garden projects, and working to develop sustainable land management methods at the University. A self-described obsessive plant geek, Jon has been gardening, farming, and designing landscapes in one form or another for most of his life. He has been a Certified Permaculture Designer since 2009, and studied with Edible Forest Gardens author Dave Jacke. He received his A.A.S. in Horticulture Technology summa cum laude from Northern Virginia Community College, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture and Sustainability. If you can’t find him in the office, he’s probably out in the woods eating strange fruits picked from the landscape.
Dustin Adams (joined in May 2014)
Dustin received his MS degree in environmental science and policy with a concentration of environmental management. He served as a policy and reporting intern. Dustin was raised in Northern California and was later stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA during his time in the Marines. After his enlistment, he earned a BA in international economics from San Diego State University. After graduation, Dustin managed the recycling and waste management program for Mason.
Emily Novack (joined in January 2015)
In Woodbridge, Virginia, with Emily already having an interest in the natural world around her through being an Eco-Kid in her elementary school and numerous childhood visits to Prince William Forest Park, she joined her high school's environmental club in junior year. Assuming the position as President of the Green Club soon after, she realized her passion for preserving the environment. Through her leadership, the club carried out recycling programs, litter clean-ups, and even created the school's first garden that would serve as an outdoor classroom for students to enjoy. Coming to Mason with her Environmental & Sustainability Studies major already in mind and enrolling in the freshman Cornerstones program, she embraced living a more sustainable life on campus. This was mainly achieved through her residency in the Sustainability Living Learning Community. The abundance of opportunities to be actively involved at Mason and other local sectors through service trips and hands-on learning was complimented by living with other talented and passionately sustainable-minded individuals. Emily has had the pleasure of working with other entities of Mason including Mason Green Patriots, Mason Sustainable Institute, and Mason Dining, all in an effort to make eco-consciousness a norm. She has already applied her new found interest in volunteering by serving as the first Beautification Intern at Keep Prince William Beautiful , a local non-profit in her area, where she helped recruit/coordinate volunteers for their planting events in the Summer of 2014. Emily hopes to continue to learn about new and creative ways to live more sustainable while overcoming the challenge of effectively communicating and educating others about each aspect of sustainability.
Caroline Kittle (joined in May 2015)
Growing up in Virginia Beach, VA, Caroline Kittle was a longtime environmentalist hidden inside someone who feared the outdoors, mostly because she didn’t want to get stung. The closest she came to outdoor adventure were her family’s summer trips to pick produce, which inspired a love of fresh, local foods in her. Luckily, she didn’t otherwise have to venture far into nature to start a “Tree Club” in her fifth grade class or find passion in her high school’s Environmental Science class. Caroline originally came to Mason as a Global Studies student but, considering a second major in Environmental Science and Sustainability, joined a sustainability class her second semester. She started volunteering in the gardens on campus as a requirement for class service learning and was connected to the lively green community at Mason as a result. Originally doubtful Mason was the school for her, this connection proved to be everything in helping Caroline realize she had made the perfect choice in schools. So inspired by the people around her and all that she was learning, she changed direction wholly to a BS in Environmental Science. Her determination and enjoyment of going above and beyond her service requirements to become a member of the groups for which she was volunteering led her to leadership opportunities in both the Green Patriots and Organic Gardening Association. She is no longer afraid of bees, and dreams of having her own hives to pollinate her future tiny home’s massive garden.
Dominick Casciano (joined in Fall 2015)
Dominick is a lifelong resident of Northern Virginia and a long-term member of the George Mason community. He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering in 2014 and a Master’s degree in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering. Dominick became aware of the emerging sustainability movement on campus after living above the Potomac Heights Community Garden and attending the Sustainable Living Roadshow in 2011. When his curriculum allowed for it, he attended Green Patriots meetings and events, curiously looking on as the President's Park greenhouse was constructed. Little did he know he would eventually volunteer in the greenhouse for its grand opening in the Spring of 2015. Dominick is committed to living a mindful life in thought, speech, and action. He credits his environmental conscientiousness to his many years of Scouting, where he picked up a dedication to nature, a set of outdoor skills, and a knack for teamwork, leadership, and service. Undergraduate coursework did much to raise his awareness of pressing environmental issues as well as the fact that nothing exists in isolation.
Jesse Muzzy (joined in 2016)
Jesse Muzzy is a
Senior studying Environmental and Sustainability Studies, specifically policy
and global affairs. She grew up in Bucks County Pennsylvania and knew from a
very young age that the environment was very important to her. Growing up her
family raised alpacas, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, rabbits, a hedgehog, pot belly
big, and various other house pets. Additionally Jesse was very passionate about
growing vegetables with her mother in their vegetable garden and spending as
much time outside either camping, hiking, biking, swimming, or snowboarding.
Coming to George Mason, Jesse realized that she wanted to dedicate her life to
protecting the environment and promoting sustainability. She currently works as
the President of Green Patriots for the Office of Sustainability and as a Yoga
teacher and Program Assistant for the Center for the Advancement of Well-being.
She also volunteers with various environmental organizations in the area such
as the Sierra Club, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Master Gardeners of
Arlington, and Rolling Harvest Food Rescue. Jesse has been vegetarian for over
7 years and practices a holistic, natural healing-based lifestyle. The
environmental issues she feels most passionately about include climate change,
marine and fresh water protection/conservation, deforestation, sustainable
farming practices, and public exposure to toxic chemicals through manufacturing
and pollution (specifically in plastic!).
Mackenzie Earl (joined in 2016)
Inspired by her rural
community in Fauquier County, Virginia, MacKenzie developed a passion for
environmental issues in elementary school. Although her interests have shifted
many times since then, her focus has always been on people. As volunteer
curator of the Fauquier County Environmental Science Outdoor Lab her interests
expanded to include sustainable education. At Mason, MacKenzie is a sophomore
studying Environmental Studies and Sustainability and pursuing a minor in
Social Justice. As a freshman, MacKenzie participated in both the Honors and
Sustainable Living Living Learning Community. She has developed a love for
scholarly and action research, especially focused on how environmental conflicts
affect environmental and community health. This includes everything from the
effect of hydropower development on Brazilian Kaipo tribal lands, to the
effects of hazardous waste deposits on towns in the United States. At Mason’s
Office of Sustainability, MacKenzie works in event planning and volunteer
coordination. In the Spring 2017 semester, her duties will expand to include
directing a program to create new student experiential learning opportunities
and helping to facilitate collaborations between Mason’s Transportation Office
and Office of Sustainability.
Roberto Vargas (joined in 2017)
Roberto began working with the Office of Sustainability at George Mason University in 2017, and is a student at George Mason University as a double-major in both Economics and Environmental and Sustainability Studies. Current President of GMU Organic Gardening Association, working to expand gardening on campus. Previously working for Fairtrade America and Rainforest Alliance in both sustainable agriculture and food justice. Roberto campaigned with Powershift and Greenpeace to mobilize students across the country. Roberto has volunteered in the D.C. for over ten years focusing on environmental and food justice with DC Fair Food, DC Central Kitchen, EmpowerDC and Sierra Club Environmental Justice Committee. Roberto is passionate about working towards food justice in marginalized communities and educating students on the importance of learning to grow their own food. Roberto works with Doni Nolan in both the Presidents’ Park Greenhouse and Innovation Food Forest and manages the Potomac Heights Garden.