University Advisory Council on Sustainability


The mission of the University Advisory Council on Sustainability is to develop, facilitate, and advocate for sustainability-related initiatives throughout the campus community.


The University Advisory Council on Sustainability envisions a campus culture in which students, staff and faculty work together to move SUNY Oneonta to the forefront of sustainability. The University Advisory Council on Sustainability strives to foster global citizens who make decisions that meet the needs of the present while supporting the ability of future generations to thrive.

2023-24 Members and Terms

  • Sumbleen Ali (Human Ecology), fall 2022- spring 2025
  • Ally Braunius (Human Ecology), fall 2020-spring 2026
  • Karen Brown (Admissions), fall 2023- spring 2026)
  • Kathryn Finin (English), fall 2018 - spring 2024
  • Eamonn Hinchey (Outdoor Adventure Office), fall 2023- spring 2026
  • Sarah Rhodes (Milne Library), fall 2019 - spring 2024 (co-chair 2022-2024)
  • Christopher Karmosky (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences), fall 2020-spring 2024 (co-chair 2022-2024)
  • Paul Lord (Biology), fall 2021- 2024
  • Jim Mills (Geography & Environmental Sustainability), fall 2022- spring 2025
  • Maria Montoya (Foreign Languages and Literature), fall 2021- spring 2024
  • Yesenia Perez (student representative), fall 2023-spring 2024
  • Kaleb Smith (Communication and Marketing), fall 2023-spring 2026
  • Morgan Whittington (student representative), fall 2022- spring 2024
  • Diane Williams (Oneonta Auxiliary Services), fall 2023- spring 2026
  • Diana Willis (Communication & Media), fall 2022- spring 2025
  • Rachel Kornhauser, Sustainability Coordinator, ex-officio
  • Lachlan Squair or representative (Facilities Planning), fall 2023- spring 2026



Rachel Kornhauser, Sustainability Coordinator


Each UCOS subcommittee is made up of faculty, staff and students. Each subcommittee defines the framework and schedule of its activities based on charge.

Standing membership should include representation from: Admissions, OAS/Sodexo, Facilities and Planning, Student Development, teaching faculty and students.

The subcommittees are charged with one of the following areas:

  • Operations
  • Engagement
  • Curriculum & Scholarship
  • Sustainable Development Goals

Operations & Facilities


  • Identify opportunities to increase sustainability in operations specifically within grounds, waste, reuse and recycling, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, etc.
  • Work with Facilities Staff to support sustainability throughout operations and facilities planning
  • Create pathways for faculty to use “campus as a living lab”
  • Support Move In and Move Out initiatives
  • Increase communication / dialogue between facilities and sustainability stakeholders across campus / with campus community



  • Support engagement with campus offices and residential life including but not limited to Green Office and Green Room Certification promotion and trainings
  • Support planning of Green Dragon Week events including but not limited to annual programs such as: Cornell-Gladstone-Hanlon-Kaufmann Lecture on Environmental Education and Communication and the Green Dragon Recognition Ceremony
  • Participate in other forms of outreach as necessary under guidance of Office of Sustainability
  • Identify areas of expansion as identified in STARS Report under Campus Engagement, specifically EN-1: Student Educators Program, EN-2: Student Orientation, EN-3: Student Life, EN-4: Outreach Materials and Publications, EN-5: Outreach Campaigns, EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture

Curriculum & Scholarship


  • Identify opportunities to provide sustainability professional development and/or resources for faculty
  • Support the new Sustainable Susquehanna program and related programming throughout the semester (see attached for Sustainable Susquehanna details)
  • Encourage and support student and faculty/staff sustainability scholarship via support through SRCA and Life of the Mind
  • Promote sustainability designations of courses in all departments with the intention of increasing and diversity of designated courses
  • Track sustainability course designations and research via STARS templates for AC-1: Academic Courses and AC-9: Research and Scholarship

Sustainable Development Goals

  • Promote the Sustainable Development Goals throughout the institution by supporting connections across campus.
  • Facilitate opportunities for faculty and students to work with specific SDGs based on their interests.
  • Coordinate the 17 Tables: SDG Fair event annually

PACS Report to President 2022 - 2023

Mission: The mission of PACS is to develop, facilitate, and advocate for sustainability-related initiatives throughout the campus community.

Vision: PACS envisions a campus culture in which students, staff and faculty work together to move SUNY Oneonta to the forefront of sustainability. PACS strives to foster global citizens who make decisions that meet the needs of the present while supporting the ability of future generations to thrive.


One of the main aims for the council this year was to create a structure to function more efficiently and to have more stakeholders involved in order for sustainability to be further integrated into all campus functions. Through many conversations and drafts, members of the council created a new structure making the head of the Office of Sustainability the Chair and including new membership from targeted divisions across campus. The structure was modeled after the President’s Council on Diversity, though maintaining a smaller membership. This draft was discussed and approved by the President. The council is excited to pilot this new structure during the next academic year and refine it as needed.

In addition to the restructuring, the council engaged in sustainability projects throughout the fall and spring semesters. These projects were either in support of work coming from the Office of Sustainability, or in addition to it. These accomplishments are outlined in greater detail below.


To focus the priorities for PACS in this academic year, the council members developed a list of goals they would like to accomplish during the academic year. These goals were informed by the “Sustainability Master Plan” (SMP, and the PACS mission and vision statements. Attention was also brought to the United Nations’ “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs, and how a broader understanding of sustainability could be threaded into new and existing projects on campus. After group consensus was achieved for the goals, members of the council broke down into two main working groups- Operations and Promotion & Engagement- to meet and work towards our goals.

A. The Operations working group worked towards several goals:

1. Composting on campus.

This is a significant priority for the group because of the recognition that food waste is a large contributor to climate change, that the campus produces food waste, and that nearby locations and other SUNY schools are already composting successfully.

Research was made into successful composting programs and compiled into a resource document. The document can be accessed here: Composting on Campus Data

2. Advocate for more environmentally friendly ice melt to be used on campus.

Because of the variety of ice melt solutions of differing environmental impact available an evaluation of current ice melt solutions used on campus and subsequent recommendations were made. The Operations group compiled a resource document about the impacts of ice melt solutions and it can be accessed here: Rock Salt Alternatives.

3.) Advocate for more sustainable transportation options for campus.

The operations group began considerations for this goal at the end of the spring semester, so it did not go much past the initial discussion stages. The group plans to carry this goal into next year. One of the initial discussions around this goal included studying the current bus route to make sure it was easily accessible for students to encourage them to more readily use public transportation measures to get to and from campus.

B. The Promotion and Awareness working group worked towards several goals:

1. Hosted a Sustainability Showcase featuring interdisciplinary faculty experts.

A frequent misconception about the similarities and differences between climate and weather became an opportunity for two departments to present research related to climate change and severe weather and the impacts of each. The event featured presentations by Dr. Melissa Godek (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences), Dr. Ashley Allen (Geography and Environmental Sustainability, and Dr. Justin Hartnett (Geography and Environmental Sustainability) on November 15th, 2022 at 4 pm. 69 people attended including students, faculty, staff and community members. By representing two different SUNY Oneonta academic departments, and intentionally including both physical and social scientists, the event highlighted the interdisciplinary nature of climate change.

2. Helped develop and support Green Dragon Week events.

With the STARS report completed during the academic year, it was clear that an event sharing elements of the assessment report should be a part of Green Dragon Week. The State of Sustainability at SUNY Oneonta event brought together various campus members involved in diverse aspects of campus sustainability to share their work towards and vision of a future sustainable campus. Speakers included: Dr. Barbara Durkin (chair of Sustainability Subcommittee of Curriculum Committee, Business Department faculty) Dr. Maria Montoya (member of PACS, member of Sustainable Development Goal Awareness Committee, faculty in Foreign Languages and Literatures Department), Morgan Whittington (member of PACS, junior Environmental Sustainability major, President of Environmental Science Club), Patrick Ryan (ex-officio member of PACS, campus Energy Manager, Rachel Kornhauser (ex-officio member of PACS, Sustainability Coordinator), Dr. Chris Karmosky (co-chair of PACS, faculty in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences).

3. Initial research into developing signage to highlight sustainable infrastructure on campus.

While the Promotion and Awareness group began work on this goal, it did not progress beyond discussion stages. Further work is necessary to not only identify which sustainable infrastructure to highlight, but also how best to effectively convey the information. We will want to interface with communications experts in future semesters to develop a course of action for effectively communicating. We also hope to better interface with facilities and planning so that communication about sustainable infrastructure is integrated into projects across campus.

In addition to sub-group work the council focused heavily on crafting the vision for the new structure of PACS. This culminated in a meeting with President Cardelle on April 6th, 2023 from 2:30-3:30 pm. The council discussed the following main points with the President:

  • Proposal for restructuring PACS
  • Changing the definition of sustainability on the SUNY Oneonta website
  • Creation of a social marketing campaign around sustainability for the campus
  • Creation of a sustainability award like the Tapestry of Diversity award
  • Gratitude for the new position in the Office of Sustainability to support Rachel Kornhauser, Sustainability Coordinator
  • Additional support for the Cornell-Gladstone-Hanlon-Kauffman lecture on campus
  • The President was broadly supportive of the proposals and suggestions put forth to him from the members of the council.

In addition to the work done crafting a new vision for the structure of the council, and the work of the sub-groups, the members provided support to the Office of Sustainability through the following:

  • Programs/events offered by the Office of Sustainability; coordinated and implemented academic year programs/events, including but not limited to:
    • Sustainable Move-In
    • Green Dragon Week
    • Green Office Certification
    • Sustainable Development Goals Fairs
    • Move Out

PACS 2022/2023 MEMBERS (*rotating off; **left the committee for various reasons)

Christopher Karmosky (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences), fall 2020-spring 2024 (co-chair 2022 – 2024)

Sarah Rhodes (Milne Library), fall 2019-spring 2024 (co-chair 2022 – 2024)

E. Howard Ashford (Africana & Latino Studies), fall 2020-spring 2023**

Ally Braunius (ITS), fall 2020-spring 2023

Elizabeth Dunn (Dean, School of Liberal Arts), fall 2019-spring 2023*

Kathryn Finin (English), fall 2018-spring 2024

Rachel Kornhauser (Sustainability Coordinator), ex-officio member

Paul Lord (Biology), fall 2021-spring 2024

Maria Montoya (Foreign Languages and Literature), fall 2021-spring 2024

Patrick Ryan (Energy Manager), ex-officio member**

Grant Tuma (Maintenance), fall 2021- spring 2024**

Sumbleen Ali (Human Ecology), 2022-2025

Jim Mills (Geography & Environmental Sustainability), 2022-2025

Diana Willis (Communication & Media) 2022-2025

Melissa (Rosie) Garrecht (student representative) 2022-2023*

Morgan Whittington (student representative) 2022-2024

New Members

Karen Brown- Admissions

Dee Williams- OAS/Sodexo

Lachlan Squair/Cindy Lehr/Brian Murray (rotating)- Facilities and Planning

Eamonn Hinchey- Student Development

Kaleb Smith- Communication and Marketing

Yesenia Perez- SA Representative

SUNY Oneonta PACS 2020-2021 Report

Mission: “The mission of PACS is to develop, facilitate, and advocate for sustainability-related initiatives throughout the campus community.”

Vision: “PACS envisions a campus culture in which students, staff and faculty work together to move SUNY Oneonta to the forefront of sustainability. PACS strives to foster global citizens who make decisions that meet the needs of the present while supporting the ability of future generations to thrive.”


The incoming PACS leadership team (PACS co-chairs and Rachel Kornhauser, Sustainability Coordinator) met prior to the 2020/2021 academic year to strategize and plan for the year in virtual modality. Potential goals were identified for the committee members to consider and prioritize. They were selected as follows: 1) integrate the UN Sustainable Development Goals into PACS events and initiatives to raise awareness that sustainability includes more than the environment, 2) continue the “Own your Impact” campaign through virtual events and continue the Sustainability Showcase programs launched the previous year. 3) Leverage student voices through student ambassadors from departments and 4) Develop a proposal for sustainability as a graduation requirement (part of Oneonta core 6 s.h.). In addition to regular monthly PACS meetings, the three subcommittees (Awareness & Promotion, Curriculum & Scholarship, Smart Resource Use) met monthly to plan and implement initiatives.

2020 –2021 Accomplishments

  • Developed and offered three sustainability showcases.
    • February 2021: Food for Thought: A Panel Talk on Sustainable Food and Nutrition; Sustaining Black-Owned Businesses (Allison King, Owner, King’s Bakery; Tim Newton, Professor, Music); Sustainable Nutrition: What You Can Do (Jennifer Bueche, Professor, Nutrition & Dietetics; Danielle Swierczyna & Haley Sanborn, Students, Nutrition & Dietetics); Sourcing Sustainable Foods in NY (Oscar Oberkircher, Lecturer, Food Service & Restaurant Administration; Jimmy Hamm, General Manager, Sodexo)
    • December 2020: Sustained Well-Being: A Student Panel Discussion on Destsressing and Reconnecting Before Finals; (Sydney Baker, Student, Cooperstown Graduate Program; Ivanah Alexandre, Student, Psychology; Alyx Braunius, Student, Environmental Sustainability; Erin Dunfield, Student, Fashion & Textiles; Moderated by Rebbecca Harrington, Health Educator)
    • April 2020: Owning our Impact: A Panel Discussion on Sustainability Initiatives at SUNY Oneonta; The 2041 Project (Doug Reilly, Director, AJ Read Science Discovery Center; Emma Sarnacki, Student, Cooperstown Graduate Program & Discovery Center Intern); Sustainable Economic Models (Philip Sirianni, Associate Professor, Economics); Pollutants in Aquatic Ecosystems (Kiyoko Yokota, Associate Professor, Biology); Moderated by Rachel Kornhauser, Sustainability Coordinator.
  • Provided support for programs/events offered by the Office of Sustainability; coordinated and implemented spring 2021 programs/events (Green Dragon Week, Move Out).
  • Created a survey “Understanding Impact of Sustainability Courses” to better understand the value faculty place on the sustainability course designation program and additional support that could help them and their students. Preliminary survey analysis shows the majority of faculty who responded applied for the designation to help students identify coursework that incorporates sustainability themes. Other key findings include: 68% felt they had received proper support to execute their sustainability related course; 39% would appreciate more Professional Development on sustainability relevant to their coursework; 29% would like more chances to connect with other faculty who teach sustainability courses; and 100% of all faculty currently teaching a designated course said they would be willing to send a survey to students in their course to assess their awareness/understanding of sustainability.
  • Offered a Sustainability Professional Learning Community (PLC) in collaboration with The Faculty Center. The PLC centered on All We Can Save – Truth, Courage and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, Edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katherine K. Wilkinson. Eleven faculty/staff participated and each of the four sessions was facilitated by a PACS member.
  • Created the Green Office Certification Project which recognizes faculty and staff who take the opportunity to improve their office sustainability efforts in the areas of office waste, purchasing, energy, transportation, and general involvement in sustainability initiatives. To participate, each office designates a Sustainability Ambassador as liaison for the Green Office Certification who will be responsible for responding to correspondence regarding the Green Office certification, attending a 1-hour lunchtime sustainability training once per year, and sharing updates with office members

PACS 2020/2021 MEMBERS (*rotating off)

Bharath Ramkumar* (Fashion & Textiles), fall 2018-spring 2021, co-chair 2020-2021

Audrey Porsche (College Advancement), fall 2018-spring 2021, co-chair 2020-2022

E. Howard Ashford (Africana & Latino Studies), fall 2020-spring 2022

Ally Braunius (ITS), fall 2020-spring 2022

Elizabeth Dunn (Dean, School of Liberal Arts and Business), fall 2019-spring 2022

Kathryn Finin (English), fall 2018-spring 2024

Teresa Hoffmeister (student representative), fall 2020-spring 2022

Cindy Isidoro* (student representative), fall 2019-spring 2021

Sarah Rhodes (nee Karas) (Milne Library), fall 2019-spring 2022

Christopher Karmosky (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences), fall 2020-spring 2022

Rachel Kornhauser (Sustainability Coordinator), ex-officio member

Vicky Lentz* (Biology), fall 2019-spring 2022

Darrin Lyons (Oneonta Auxiliary Services), fall 2018-spring 2021

Jason Pickering* (student representative), fall 2020-spring 2021

Patrick Ryan (Energy Manager), ex-officio member

William Walker (Cooperstown Graduate Program), fall 2018-spring 2021


Logan Conte (student representative) fall 2021-spring 2022)

Paul Lord (Biology) fall 2021-spring 2024

Maria Montoya (Foreign Languages and Literature) fall 2021-spring 2024

Tamra Partridge (Maintenance) fall 2021-spring 2024

Samantha Pahucki (student representative) fall 2021-spring 2022

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