Past Interns and Staff

Darryl Acker-Carter
Green Residence Team Lead

Darryl is an Environmental Sustainability Studies major with a concentration in Conservation. He is currently the Green Residence Team Leader where he works on improving and implementing new sustainability practices within the residence halls on campus. Outside the Office of Sustainability, Darryl is heavily involved in student organizations such as Green Patriots and Alpha Kappa Chi (AKX) fraternity. He is also a part of the Environment and Sustainability Living Learning community.  One day Darryl hopes to bridge the world of science and policy making with the public.

Dustin Adams
Dustin Adams

Dustin Adams

Dustin has an MS degree in environmental science and policy with a concentration of environmental management. He served as a policy and reporting intern and worked on updating the university’s recycling and Environmental Management & Sustainability System policies. 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. Upon graduation from Mason, he was the Recycling and Waste Manager for Mason.

Erika Ali

Erika Ali is one our greenhouse team leaders. She graduated from Mason in 2017 with a major in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. As a student she worked in the Presidents Park Greenhouse for her service learning assignments during two semesters and as an intern during the Spring 2017. She currently plays an important role in helping to maintain the hydroponic systems in the greenhouse and growing food there that is served in the campus dining halls.

Maheen Aziz
Maheen Aziz

Maheen Aziz

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.

Recently, Maheen received a grant from the Patriot Green Fund to conduct a Recycling Pilot Project at University Hall. The project will in theory reduce waste production, while promoting the desirable behavior of recycling. She will work closely with the Office of Sustainability and respective Departments to provide a report which will determine the feasibility of implementing the project at appropriate offices on campus. Maheen successfully has launched this project at the Fairfax County Government Center as well.

Brittany Barlow

Brittany Barlow is a junior studying Geography with a minor in Geographic Information Systems. She was born and raised in Chester, Virginia and was a closet environmentalist who hated getting sunburnt but loved plants. After joining several volunteer-focused organizations throughout grade school her love for nature blossomed and aided in her journey to Mason, where she fell in love with sustainability and environmental activism through the help of her Green Patriots family. In addition to being the 2017-2018 President of Green Patriots, Brittany is a member of Roosevelt@Mason and the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.

Jennifer Beidel

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 is presently a Senior majoring in Conservation Studies with a double minor in Sustainability and Ocean & Estuarine Science.

At the 2010 Green Festival, the largest sustainability event in the world, Jen acted as the co-manager of the Resource Recovery Team. While there, she helped train over 300 volunteers and obtain a 94% waste diversion rate. This position helped lead Jen to her current job, as the Recycling Research Assistant for Office of Sustainability. In this position, she works with both the Office of Sustainability and the Waste Management Department in an effort to improve recycling rates and education on campus. She is also working to start a composting program on campus. In her free time she works with the School2Bay program teaching 6th graders in Prince William County how to testing water quality using Macroinvertebrates and the importance of clean water and wetlands. Her future goals include the creation of a sustainable community and being involved in wetland restoration projects.

Rhys Bethke
Gardens Team Lead

Rhys is an undergraduate student at Mason majoring in Environmental and Sustainability Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Food and Agriculture. His role as the Recruitment Team Leader is to recruit volunteers and interns for the Greenhouse and Gardens Program. You can also find Rhys leading volunteer shifts at the Innovation Food Forest and providing back-up at the Greenhouse and PHVG as needed. Outside of the Office of Sustainability, Rhys is also heavily involved on campus with student organizations such as the Vegan Society at GMU and the GMU Organic Gardening Association. He lives off-campus, has a cat named Rue, and loves to grow food.

Lynsey Buraczynski
Recycling Team Lead

Lynsey Buraczynski is an MAIS graduate student in Energy and Sustainability. She is passionate about wildlife and natural parks conservation and looks forward to a career in Environmental Policy. At Mason, Lynsey promotes recycling initiatives and communicates sustainability practices with staff, faculty, and students. Additionally, she conducts waste audits to monitor recycling rates and generate solutions to increase recycling efforts on campus.

Dominick Casciano
Dominick Casciano - Fall 2015

Dominick Casciano – 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 continued on to pursue 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. Currently, Dominick serves as the Special Projects Intern at the Office of Sustainability. His duties include working with the management and promotion of the Patriot Green Fund as well as the ongoing effort to improve recycling and waste diversion on campus.

Maggie Deely
Outreach Team Lead

Maggie Deely is a sophomore Environmental science major with a concentration in conservation. Her passion is wildlife conservation, and dreams of working in the wildlife rehabilitation field one day. She believes that living a sustainable lifestyle is a great way for anyone to be involved in environmental conservation! Maggie is thrilled to be able to spread environmental awareness at GMU as the outreach intern. Maggie is an active member of Alpha Kappa Chi (GMU’s Co-ed Professional Environmental Fraternity) and is the 2018-2019 Secretary of Green Patriots.

Julia Douglas

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 has been involved with groups such as the GMU Environmental Action Group and the Virginia Alliance for a Cleaner Environment. Right now, Julia is studying painting and creative writing at George Mason. She hopes to use her creative skills to change the way people think about and interact with the world.

MacKenzie Earl

MacKenzie Earl is majoring in Environmental Studies and Sustainability and minoring in Social Justice and Communications. After graduating in 2019, she hopes to continue work in sustainable community development and environmental communications. MacKenzie has always gravitated toward the people-centered issues of sustainability and would like to put this to use as an advocate for green infrastructure and the protection of environmental rights. Her personal interests include urban design, place-making, and regional food hubs.

Emma Gregory
Education and Outreach Team Lead

Emma is a senior studying environmental science with a concentration in conservation. She is passionate about engaging people to empower and enable them to live more sustainably.  During her academic career, she has studied sustainability at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, University of Oxford, and in the Peruvian Amazon rain forest. Outside of the Office of Sustainability, she is President of the Mason Environmental Justice Alliance, a brother of Alpha Kappa Chi (the co-educational professional fraternity focused on the environment), and a musician with the Green Machine. After graduation in May 2020, Emma plans to work for an environmental non-profit organization doing community outreach or environmental justice work.

Christine Harris
Christine Harris

Christine Harris

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 is an active member within the sustainability network at Mason. She has moved into a leadership position as 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 also holds a leadership position for the GMU Organic Garden Association, and is involved in a student group that is actively working 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.

Kayla Hickman

Kayla began her academic career at George Mason University in 2014, with the goal of gaining a multidisciplinary look at global environmental issues. Being a Northern Virginia native, naturally her love for the environment stems from spending most of her summers on the Potomac River. With her passion for nature in mind, she decided to study Environmental and Sustainability Studies with a concentration in public policy. Living near DC her whole life, Kayla lives and breaths politics. In her free time, she remains politically active by contacting senators, attending town halls, and participating in marches. It is her goal after college to remain a sustainability advocate in her professional, political, and personal life.

While at GMU, Kayla spent a semester at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation as a resident advisor to gain hands on conservation experience. In 2017, she joined the Office of Sustainability as a part time intern to assist with University’s STARS report, improve waste diversion campus wide, and improve waste tracking and data collection. Kayla received in Bachelors of Arts in spring of 2017 from GMU.

Ryan Hogue
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.

Maria Hurtado
Greenhouse Team Lead

Maria will soon complete her B.A. in Environmental and Sustainability studies with a concentration in Sustainable Food and Agriculture. She is an active member of Campus Kitchens and GOGA where her efforts address food insecurity and food waste with existing resources on campus. She also assists the Gardens Team Lead in the production of the Potomac Heights Vegetable Garden. Throughout her experience working as a hydroponic, and organic, farmer she has developed a passion for producing food that is chemical free, pesticide free, nutrient dense and accessible for all students on campus.

Rob Johnson
Rob Johnson

Rob Johnson

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.

Paul Karaffa
Paul Karaffa

Paul Karaffa

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.”

Roger LeBlanc

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 developed an outreach campaign to incentivize 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.

Samira Lloyd

Samira managed Mason’s Patriot Green Fund (PGF) and provided leadership and support in integrating sustainability into buildings, infrastructure, and academic offerings on campus. She joined the Office of Sustainability team in June 2017. Samira is a Mason graduate and holds MA degree in Global Affairs, specializing in World Population and Geography. She graduated from University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2008 with BA in Human and Applied Geography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Her educational background includes work on environmental policy, food security, and global health, as well as work on recycling policy change in Mason’s Student Centers. She is currently pursuing Food Security Graduate Certificate at Mason. Samira is a skilled researcher and her most recent project focused on climate change, northwardly spread of vector-borne diseases, and reemergence of Malaria in the US. In her previous position at Mason’s Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR), she supported programing that incorporated review, delivery, and reporting of numerous sustainability projects on and off-campus. Samira was awarded Mason’s employee of the month in September 2015.

Giulia Manno

Giulia Manno - Senior Outreach Coordinator

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, Earth Month programs, Recyclemania Green Game Basketball Challenge, the Green Job Networking Fair, and general campus outreach.  Giulia was working towards her Masters in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and is particularly passionate about community engagement, sustainable business, and environmental education.

Bob McMurtry
Bob McMurtry

Bob McMurtry

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.

Tyler Orton

Tyler Orton

Tyler Orton was with the Office of Sustainability since 2011 first as an intern then as a staff member. During his time at Mason, he managed the Patriot Green Fund grant program, completed sustainability reports, and managed infrastructure projects. Tyler was responsible for completing Mason’s 2014 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 an ongoing study of Mason’s recycling program. Outside of Mason, Tyler served 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.

Kathleen Pine
Kathleen Pine

Kathleen Pine

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. As an out-of-state student from Basking Ridge, New Jersey, Kathleen has made a name for herself on Mason’s campus. Not only does she maintain outstanding academics proven by her continued standing on the Dean’s List, but Kathleen is also active in several other organizations. She is on Alpha Xi Delta’s Executive Council as their Recording Secretary and is a part of their intramural volleyball team. Kathleen is also the Vice President of Mason’s Fashion Society and the Public Relations Coordinator for the Organic Gardening Association (GOGA). She is a member of many honors societies including Order of Omega, Alpha Lambda Delta, Lambda Sigma, and National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Following her undergraduate studies, Kathleen aspires to be admitted into Mason’s 5-year intensive Masters’ program in Elementary Education. Likewise, she seeks to pursue Certification in Special Education. Kathleen brings a new networking outlook to the Office with her many connections throughout the Mason community, which is critical to changing Mason’s culture to be more sustainable.

Justin Raphael Roykovich
Justin Raphael Roykovich

Justin Raphael Roykovich – 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
Vina Sananikone

Vina Sananikone – June 2011

Vina Sananikone is 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 has been designing for the Office of Sustainability since Spring 2011. 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. Thanks for reading her bio. You’re nice.

Ashlea Smith

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. In 2012, she began working with a small, agricultural consulting company in Fauquier County, VA whose goals included expanding the infrastructure for organic waste management in the DC Metro area, including the development of a full-scale composting and anaerobic digestion facility in Prince William County, VA (which currently under construction at the County’s Balls Ford Road Facility).

Between 2013 and 2017, Ashlea honed her Environmental Consulting, Energy Audit, and Proposal Management skills working with ECORE Living, a DC-based Environmental Consulting firm, and George Sexton Associates, which is one of the nation’s premier architectural lighting design firms. In 2018, Ashlea joined Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc. (http://www.gbbbinc.com), a leading waste management consulting firm in McLean, Virginia as their Marketing Manager and a Consultant where she serves communities nationwide plan, design, procure, implement, and optimize integrated waste management, recycling, and diversion programs.

Of note, it was an early advertisement (circa 2007) on GMU’s Patriot Web of an internship at GBB that inspired Ashlea to pursue waste management. She saw (and still sees) waste management as an interdisciplinary field that combined her science and liberal education from GMU up to that point. From her perspective, waste management is the intersection between chemistry (an understanding of materials and decomposition is a must); anthropology (waste is inherently a human concept, is the product of our daily lives (i.e. the foundation of archeology), and is part and parcel of conversations on sustainability); and government administration (in America waste management is administered at the local government level and is highly regulated).

Her passions are often influenced by her experience at the GMU Office of Sustainability. She was an early member of the NCR Organics Task Force and the Littering & Illegal Dumping Enforcement Task Force with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG), and provided early indirect lobbying to help pass the $0.05 DC Bag Fee with AFF. She is an avid supporter for environmentally responsible waste management through a variety of other community and industry associations. Often, Ashlea publishes articles on industry trends and best management practices.

Links to recent articles written by Ashlea:

If you would like to contact Ashlea, she may be reached at asmith@gbbinc.com.

Daniel Stock

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. In 2009 Daniel transferred back home to Hawaii and got involved in the student government there as the student activities coordinator on the executive board. He continued with his organizing in environmental awareness and environmental justice until transferring back to George Mason University in 2011.

He is currently an Environmental and Sustainability Studies major with a concentration in Economics and a minor in Psychology at George Mason University. Daniel Serves in the EAG steering committee as the groups central coordinator, and is one of the founding members of the progressive student alliance.

Jonathan Storvick

Jon Storvick

Jonathan Storvick was the Environmental Specialist 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 was pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture and Sustainability.  If you can’t find him, he’s probably out in the woods eating strange fruits picked from the landscape.

Amanda Taglieri
Transportation Team Lead

Amanda Taglieri is majoring in Environmental Science with a minor in Computational Data Science. She has always loved spending time outside gardening and exploring but first became interested in environmental science after being introduced to the red deserts and canyons of Nevada, all beautifully protected landscapes. She is happy to promote green living at the Office of Sustainability where she works alongside Parking and Transportation to encourage alternative modes of transit such as biking, carpooling, and shuttle programs. On campus, Amanda tutors at the Writing Center and is in Green Patriots as well as STEAM Undergraduates for Renewable Energy.

Alex Tyson
Alex Tyson

Alex Tyson – Sept 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.

Jason Von Kundra
Jason Von Kundra

Jason Von Kundra – 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. He also led the push for more sustainable food at Mason and is excited to have Everlasting Café, an all vegan restaurant, come to campus. Through his involvement in the movement to end the environmentally destructive practice of mountaintop removal, Jason has brought speakers from the coal fields to campus, organized groups of students to lobby on Capitol Hill, and taken students to Appalachia to see mountaintop removal firsthand. Jason is 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.

Amanda Wall
Amanda Wall

Amanda Wall

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.

Barbara Wallace
Barbara "Babs" Wallace

Barbara “Babs” Wallace – Jan 2012

Barbara “Babs” Wallace 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 is currently on the Patriot Green Fund committee, works with the Mason Green Patriots program in supporting other groups’ green initiatives on campus, and tries her less-than-green thumb at home gardening so she can help 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.

Sarah Wheedleton
Outreach Team Lead

Sarah is an Environmental and Sustainability Studies major with a concentration in Conservation and a minor in Professional Writing. She has always been interested in exploring the natural world and ensuring its persistence for future generations, though her passion was catalyzed by a high school experience as a delegate at Mason’s Washington Youth Summit on the Environment, and more recently reinforced by a semester spent at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation. She strongly believes in the power of effective communication to inspire and empower people to make a difference in the world, and looks forward to helping the Mason community become more green as the Education and Outreach Team Leader.

Alexandra Williams
Team Lead

Alexandra is majoring in Integrative Studies with a Concentration in Applied Global Conservation and minoring in Conservation Biology. Her interest in conservation began in the Dominican Republic, where she and a group of other high school students worked on a conservation campus to build pathways and keep invasive species at bay. She chose the Integrative Studies B.S. because it combined the science aspect of conservation with the importance of social identities and activism.

For the 2017-2018 year, she is President of the GMU Organic Gardening Association and Secretary for Real Food Advocates. Because of her involvement in sustainability on campus, she also wishes to minor in Sustainability Studies. After she graduates, she hopes to study in Germany and start sustainability initiatives in developing countries.

Heidi Rae Wolff

Heidi Wolff

Heidi Rae Wolff was the Sustainability Program Manager in which she managed the Patriot Green Fund (PGF) while providing leadership and support in promoting green buildings and infrastructure on George Mason University’s campuses, sustainability reporting, fundraising, and integration with academic units. Prior to working for the Office of Sustainability, in 2012, Heidi helped set up the Honey Bee Initiative, a PGF project.

Heidi honorably served 5.5 years in the Navy, where she specialized in airport surveillance radar and communications equipment management. After leaving the military, Heidi studied at The George Washington University where she earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences.

In addition to her studies at GW, Heidi worked in the GW Energy and Environmental office, and helped establish and manage the GW Bee Lab. She also spearheaded multiple native plant and pollinator gardens including the prominent Veterans Memorial Park. As the Veteran Community Outreach Coordinator for the GW Student Veterans group, Heidi lead community service projects that focused on the conservation of native plants and pollinators. Through her Urban Green Bee program, Heidi conducted a pollinator education and outreach program for children from Boys Town.

Danielle Wyman-Castellano

Danielle Wyman-Castellano

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 has 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). Danielle managed outreach and community engagement through a combination of the programs listed above as well as general outreach. Danielle was eager to play a leading role in empowering the Mason community to constantly reach for its highest (and most sustainable) potential. She received her Masters at Mason in Sustainable Food Systems. 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.