PACS

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.

2022-23 Members and Terms

  • Sumbleen Ali, Human Ecology, fall 2022- spring 2025
  • E. Howard Ashford, Africana & Latino Studies, fall 2020-spring 2023
  • Ally Braunius, fall Human Ecology, fall 2020-spring 2023
  • Elizabeth Dunn, Dean, School of Liberal Arts and Business, fall 2019 - spring 2022
  • Kathryn Finin, English, fall 2018 - spring 2024
  • Melissa (Rosie) Garrecht, (student representative), fall 2022- spring 2023
  • Sarah Rhodes, Milne Library, fall 2019 - spring 2022
  • Christopher Karmosky (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences), fall 2020-spring 2023
  • 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
  • Grant Tuma (Maintenance), fall 2021- spring 2024
  • Morgan Whittington (student representative), fall 2022- spring 2023
  • Diana Willis (Communication & Media), fall 2022- spring 2025
  • Rachel Kornhauser, Sustainability Coordinator, ex-officio
  • Patrick Ryan, Energy manager, ex-officio

Membership

  • The group shall consist of no less than 10 members and no more than 15. Faculty, staff, and students should all be well-represented in the group. To assure this, there should be at least three members from each of these constituencies. Alumni and retired faculty are also eligible for membership. The Associate Vice President for Facilities or designee is an ex officio permanent member.
  • Staff and faculty members of the group will be appointed for three-year terms by the college president; student members will be appointed for one-year terms.
  • By March 15 of each year, a call will be issued from the President’s Office asking for interested candidates.
  • The continuing Council members will then submit the list of all candidates and the Council’s recommendations to fill anticipated openings each year by April 15 to the president, who then makes final decisions. Renewed appointments are allowed.

Chair

At the last meeting of each academic year, a chair for the upcoming year will be elected. The chair's term is two years. The chair’s duties include:

  • Calling regular meetings
  • Being a liaison with the administration, College Senate, and external groups.
  • Planning activities and initiatives for the coming year

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.

Summary

With sustainability coordinator Rachel Kornhauser on leave during the fall semester, PACS suspended the program and outreach work of the subcommittees and used the time to discuss long term sustainability plans for the campus and to focus on internal conversations regarding the mission, vision, and purpose of the committee, namely:

  • Should PACS spend the bulk of its time on awareness, promotion, and outreach related to sustainability?
  • Or, should it be more of an advisory group to the president and college administration? If the latter, how can we increase PACS’s advisory role?

Upon Rachel’s return and guided by our internal conversations on the role of PACS, the committee sought clarity and direction from President Cardelle. As a result of our meeting with him, PACS has been charged with a dual role of advising/advocating and assisting the Office of Sustainability with programming and campus initiatives. The committee resumed work on programs and outreach and hosted two Sustainability Showcases in spring ’22, participated in a campus reading program, assisted with Green Dragon Week events and Move-out. During the final portion of the semester, PACS reconstituted the subcommittees, charging them with identifying one achievable goal for the remainder of the year.

Accomplishments

Fall ’21

To focus the PACS visioning conversations, the committee reviewed the “Sustainability Master Plan” (SMP, https://suny.oneonta.edu/sustainability/policies-plans) and the PACS mission and vision statements. Discussions also centered on the United Nations’ “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs, https://sdgs.un.org/goals) and how a broader understanding of sustainability could be threaded into curricula and operations. Collaboration with the new campus SDG Awareness Group was discussed.

To advance the committee’s advisory role, we hosted faculty and staff presenters:

  • Brian Haley (Sociology) and Doug Reilly (Science Discovery Center) on the 2041 Project.

  • SUNY Oneonta’s Energy Manager and ex-officio PACS member, Patrick Ryan on the college’s Clean Energy Master Plan. The target is for SUNY Oneonta to be carbon neutral by 2040 or 2045. A lively Q&A followed Patrick’s presentation with members encouraging more efforts to share information about campus energy plans regarding sustainability and to involve students in these projects when possible.

  • Previous PACS chair (2016-2018), Philip Sirianni (Economics) on the sustainability master planning process during his tenure. It involved feedback from many different constituents, groups, and campus offices. A draft was presented to the Student Assembly and College Senate. After it was approved, one significant challenge was campus buy-in. Implementation fell on PACS.

    • Rather than developing a new SMP at this time, Rachel suggested a higher priority would be for PACS to assist her office with renewing the college’s STARS rating (Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, https://stars.aashe.org/), which expired last summer. A program of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the STARS report covers curriculum, engagement, operations, landscape management, etc. Once completed, the data collected could guide the creation of a new SMP.

Spring ‘22

The visioning process culminated in a meeting with President Cardelle on March 4, 2022 for a lively and wide-ranging discussion. Key takeaways were:

  • SUNY Oneonta has the “most organized [sustainability] effort that [President Cardelle has] seen at an institution.”
  • President Cardelle suggested that we be purposeful about how sustainability can be one of SUNY Oneonta’s areas of distinction.
  • He noted that sustainability has come up multiple times in campus dialogue sessions.
  • The framework of “curriculum, engagement, and operations” makes sense both for PACS and the Office of Sustainability.
  • He was impressed with student/faculty presentations at the Sustainability Showcase. This was a nice example of highlighting the common threads across the curriculum.
  • PACS members encouraged the college to take both a bottom-up and top-down approach to sustainability and recommended that there be consistent messaging from top to bottom. Members also urged that if sustainability is a campus core value, it should be embedded in everything we do. Despite our successes, this level of integration is still a work-in-progress.

Program and outreach activities resumed in spring with the following:

  • Developed and offered two sustainability showcases as part of the Own Your Impact program:
  • March 2, 2022: Fashion Forward - “Sustainable Fashion in Action at SUNY Oneonta” (RAC members); “ Upbeat Jeans”(Amelia Mullen, Student, Fashion and Textiles); “Transitioning to a Circular Fashion Economy” (Bharath Ramkumar, Assistant Professor, Fashion and Textiles)
  • April 18, 2022: Weather or Not – “Weather vs. Climate” (Chris Karmosky, Assistant Professor, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences); “SUNY O Weather Station (Alice Brennan, Student, Meteorology); “Morris River Cleanup” (Carlene Eaton and Olivia Bartik, Students, Adolescent Education and Geology); “Women and STEM Event” (Alice Brennan, Student, Meteorology)

  • Offered a Sustainability Professional Learning Community (PLC) in collaboration with The Science Discovery Center’s Climate Change Reading Group that paired The Good Ancestor: A Radical Prescription for Long-Term Thinking by Roman Krznaric with complementary readings from All We Can Save – Truth, Courage and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, Edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katherine K. Wilkinson The framework of ideas Krznaric describes, exemplified by dozens of inspiring projects from around the world, illuminated an actionable strategy for addressing climate change and other intergenerational challenges.
  • Provided support for programs/events offered by the Office of Sustainability; coordinated and implemented spring 2022 programs/events (Green Dragon Week, Move Out).
  • Subcommittees were reconstituted: 1) Awareness and Promotion, 2) Curriculum and Scholarship, and 3) Smart Resource Use and were encouraged to identify one achievable goal for the remainder of the year. The following tasks and future goals were discussed:

  • Curriculum and Scholarship will focus on assessing sustainability-related and sustainability-focused courses. Subcommittee will coordinate with Rachel to develop another survey and distribute it to instructors and/or students. Next year, the subcommittee plans to work on sustainability and Gen Ed. Also, possibly to connect with Admissions to ensure consistent messaging about sustainability from recruitment through graduation. Finally, the subcommittee discussed connecting with Awareness and Promotion to collaborate on future Sustainability Showcases.

  • Awareness and Promotion will restart the “Own Your Impact” campaign. Possible ideas are to highlight alumni, promote things that are already happening on campus, host panel presentations, and create a State of Sustainability program. All events would be tied to the “Own Your Impact” campaign.

  • Smart Resource Use will examine composting and dining facility waste and explore the possible use of campus property for a composting facility. The Clark Foundation’s composting facility at Mohican Farm in northern Otsego County could serve as a model. A key objective will be to make a recommendation to the president regarding composting. Given off-campus roadblocks to food waste hauling, it is likely necessary to start from scratch on campus.

PACS 2021/2022 MEMBERS (*rotating off)

Will Walker* (Cooperstown Graduate Program), fall 2018-spring 2022, co-chair 2021-2022

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

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

Ally Braunius (ITS), fall 2020-spring 2023

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

Elizabeth Dunn (Dean, School of Liberal Arts), fall 2019-spring 2025

Kathryn Finin (English), fall 2018-spring 2024

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

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

Sarah Rhodes (Milne Library), fall 2019-spring 2024

Patrick Ryan (Energy Manager), ex-officio member

Grant Tuma (Maintenance), fall 2021- spring 2024

NEW PACS MEMBERS FOR 2022-2023

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) 2022-2023

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.”

Background

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

NEW PACS MEMBERS FOR 2021/2022

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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