Who We Are
Jeremy Friedman · Manager, Sustainability Initiatives leads projects and provides strategic planning, change management, communications and policy support to improve NYU’s environmental performance and foster a culture of ecological literacy. In this role he supervises a talented team of staff and student employees collectively responsible for the NYU Green Grants, Sustainability Advocate, and Bike Share Programs; the Sustainability Task Force; community engagement, measurement and compliance efforts.
Since helping establish NYU’s Office of Sustainability in 2006, Jeremy has worked to implement a suite of continuously-evolving engagement programs that allow thousands of staff, faculty and students to play a direct role in “becoming the change they wish to see in the world.”
He completed a degree in Environmental Values and Public Policy at NYU’s Gallatin School, studying intersections across fields of politics, philosophy, communications and design.
Jeremy serves as an Advisory Council and STARS Steering Committee member for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), and has taught as an adjunct professor of Environmental Studies at NYU.
When he’s not working, Jeremy is probably planning his next adventure/art/activism project at Burning Man, or hightailing it out to the North Woods to get lost in green and growing things. His favorite charismatic megafauna is the lamentably-extinct Giant Ground Sloth, which doubtless would endorse his commitment to sustainability, were it alive today.
Dianne Anderson · Sustainable Resources Manager manages NYU's sustainability, energy and resource conservation efforts. Areas of responsibility include directing energy and water reduction projects in over 160 buildings of varied usage and occupancy, design review, audits and measurements, demand response, and NYU Recycling Services.
Prior to NYU, Dianne was the Resource Conservation Specialist for the County of San Mateo, located in California, where she taught green building design workshops, launched a Green Business Program, and directed Construction & Demolition Debris recycling requirements. She also brought together a Utility & Sustainability Task Force to produce a Countywide Energy Strategy.
Dianne received her Master's of Public Administration from NYU's Robert F. Wagner's Graduate School of Public Service, B.S. in Environmental Studies from San Jose State University and Green Building Certification from Sonoma State University. She is a Certified Energy Auditor.
Dianne is passionate about living green and will gladly tell you about her home remodeling projects using green, environmentally-friendly products.
George Reis · Supervisor of Sustainable Landscaping, NYU Garden Shop studied horticulture and garden design at the New York Botanical Garden. He became motivated to seek out a natural systems approach to plant care after being licensed to apply restricted-use pesticides by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. A member of MetroHort and the Ecological Landscaping Association, George joined the Northeast Organic Farming Association in order to adapt their methods of organic land care to the urban gardens of NYU.
George came to NYU as a gardener in 1995 and studied Portuguese and Brazilian literature in NYU's College of Arts and Science. His translation of a Portuguese poem appeared in Mantis, a literary journal at Stanford University. He has begun translating selected writings of Roberto Burle Marx, the great Brazilian landscape architect. George and his wife Ethel live in leafy Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
David Seaward · Coordinator, Green Grants Program facilitates and administers campus projects that have been awarded NYU Green Grants by the Sustainability Task Force. He is a graduate of NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where he formed his model of “Sustainable Consumerism” – an advanced society that retains modern emphases on an efficient division of labor and resource allocation while promoting sustainability through education infused with deep sense of community and global interconnection. David works for Sustainability at NYU because he believes that higher education can be the incubator of best practices, and eventually plans to manifest his knowledge through a fast food restaurant called DestinyDelish©, which will serve sustainable health food at the price of McDonald's. He’s also a mentor at Urban Art Beat and his past experiences include teaching the 2nd Grade at Salybia Primary School in Dominica, W.I. and performing in various musical outfits such as Wellness Exchange.
Emily Genser · Coordinator, Recycling and Composting Program is a senior in CAS, double majoring in Environmental Studies and History. She joined the Office of Sustainability in late 2011 and has since worked to expand the composting program throughout the campus. When she isn't advocating for sustainability or vigorously working on her senior thesis, Emily enjoys spending free time with friends, good food, and impromptu dance parties.
Jessie Baker · Coordinator, Sustainability Task Force is a Masters Candidate in Steinhardt's Environmental Conservation Education program, where she is exploring interests in resource security and developmental challenges. Professionally, her experience has ranged from teaching in Juvenile Court Schools to advising climate-conscious media campaigns and regional climate action plans. Prior to her time in the Office of Sustainability, she received her B.A. in Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine where she coauthored several publications on electricity consumption in the residential sector, particularly focusing on energy feedback devices. In light of her research, Jessie has been the recipient of numerous grants and has had her work presented at several conferences throughout the nation. In addition to her efforts with the Sustainability Task Force, Jessie is working alongside several colleagues to pursue an Environmental Education plan in Sierra Leone and hopes to launch the program by late 2013.
Eric Sluyter · Coordinator, Web Development & Graphic Design Program is a senior in Steinhardt's Music Technology program. Things that are important to him include striving to understand how the world works, creating spaces in which people can meaningfully share experiences and worldviews, and listening to every sound he hears with the same level of curiosity and wonder. He is very interested in music, biking, nature, programming, language, and the artistic intersections thereof; he can frequently be found crafting beautiful, dimensional sounds and exploring the stories they have to tell.
Erik Battista · Coordinator, Bike Share Program Erik Battista, Coordinator of the NYU Bike Share, is a student of Urban Design and Architecture in CAS who enjoys the freedom he receives from his bike to explore the city in a fast, engaging, and stimulating way. He comes into his time at the Office of Sustainability hoping to continue growing the number of riders at NYU and making the experience an increasingly convenient and practical choice in everyday life. When not on two wheels Erik tends to spend time honing his chef skills, retreating to nature, working in the community gardens by his house and sleeping. He hopes to compete in a cyclocross race at some point in the next year.
Vrunda Vaghela · Coordinator, Sustainability Advocate Program is a Master of Urban Planning Candidate at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Her background as an architect in Washington, D.C. focused on high-performance and energy efficient building design. Vrunda also worked with citizen groups and multi-disciplinary organizations in Bhuj, Gujarat, India, to coordinate community-driven housing and infrastructure programs for impoverished areas. Her interest lies in fostering sustainable growth for communities through collaboration and increased awareness.
Brynn O'Donnell · Program Assistant, Engagement & Communications is a freshman in CAS studying Environmental Science, with a minor in Biology and Documentary. She aspires to one day work in the renewable energy sector, increasing the accessibility the average family has to a sustainable lifestyle. She is an active member of Earthmatters! and one of the founders of the (prospective) Environmental Studies Club. Although Netflix and skating take up much of her time, she's always eager to geek out about the environment or embark on outdoor adventures.
Arman Bhuiyan · Program Assistant Arman Bhuiyan is a sophomore studying Finance and Business Economics at the Stern School of Business with a minor in Psychology at the College of Arts and Sciences. Although he hopes to pursue a career in the corporate world, he is particularly interested in changing corporate culture and implementing sustainable business practices in the workplace and throughout the financial services industry. In the future, due to his interests in business, psychology and sustainability, he hopes to become actively involved in projects to apply progressive economic models to improve the socioeconomic conditions of impoverished communities and develop sustainable infrastructure in underdeveloped societies. He enjoys discovering new music, reading, going on adventures without maps or destinations, and playing basketball.
Leon Yin · Program Assistant, Recycling & Composting looks for practical solutions, taking a sensible approach whenever possible. Always thinking two meals ahead, Leon is intent on turning student-generated ideas into institutional practices. Aside from his ceaseless hunger, Leon believes in fostering a strong community of environmentally-minded peers. Leon views student mentorship as invaluable and free concerts as irresistible.
Leon can be spotted skateboarding through campus year-round, sporting a red beanie in the winter and a black snapback in the summer, flag him down and say hello!
Past Student Employees (click to expand)
Brian Welesko · Web Development and Graphic Design is a Masters candidate in the Tisch School of the Arts Cinema Studies program. He received his B.A. in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and has been involved in the study and practice of film scholarship. His love of the arts and design led him to work with musicians, poets, small presses, and theater groups. He believes strongly in environmentally sustainable practices, home gardening, baking bread, and movies. Mostly movies.
Tara Eisenberg · Coordinator, Sustainability Advocate Program is in the process of earning her MA from the Steinhardt School's Environmental Conservation Education program. Tara comes from a varied background ranging from fine arts and sustainable fashion to green building design and everything in between. Her current studies embrace a holistic view on how a number of environmental problems affect each other; for example, how food policy relates to waste management, and how our health is affected by their intersection. She brings to the Sustainability Advocate Program her broader interest in educating both peers and the next generation of decision-makers on how reducing individual environmental impacts and promoting innovative solutions in sustainability will help build a more healthful university campus while bringing like-minded individuals together to affect a positive global change.
Kayla Santosuosso · Coordinator, Conservation and Engagement is a graduate of the College of Arts and Science, where she majored in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. A proud daughter of restaurant owners, her environmental passion is largely dedicated to issues of food, agriculture, and waste, and how the three necessarily inform each other. She is an urban gardener, the founder of the Student Food Cooperative at NYU, head of sourcing for the Bushwick Food Co-op, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive. She is also the co-founder of Earth Angel Catering, which seeks to bring a sustainable food system to the New York City film industry. Future goals include heading to the Middle East to work on food system development, particularly within the Palestinian territories.
Kayla can be reached at email@example.com with questions regarding student, faculty, and staff engagement with sustainability at NYU.
Mike Sandmel · Coordinator, Bike Share Program is a student in NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. His concentration involves economic and environmental history, urban studies, and public policy. He was previously responsible for the NYUnplugged dorm energy contest and is currently working on the NYU Bike Share as well as several projects to reduce non-renewable energy use and to improve access to sustainable transportation across campus. Before coming to NYU, he worked as a mechanic for Bikes Not Bombs, an international cycling and sustainability organization, headquartered in Boston. When not studying, organizing, or mechanic-ing, Mike enjoys making pizza, eating pizza, and loud guitar noises.
Robert Raymond · Coordinator, Bike Share Program studies political theories of local and global communities at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study and aspires to become an elementary school teacher. Robert is an active member of the NYU Community Agriculture Club and the NYU Student Food Coop, continuing his goal to build a more mentally and physically healthful NYU community. Originally from Chicago, he has been riding his bike through city streets since he was in the single digits, and he hopes to make the bike culture more accessible to a larger group of New Yorkers. He enjoys singing Appalachian folk music, writing slam poetry, and making basil cake.
Melissa Cronin · Program Assistant, Engagement & Communications is a senior in CAS studying Environmental Science and Journalism, with a minor in Biology. She hopes to pursue a career in science writing, and is particularly interested in marine biology. She also works at the New York Aquarium on Coney Island, hanging out with walruses and otters all day. She is president and founder of the NYU SCUBA Club, and also covers environmental topics for NYU Local. When she's not studying or feeding sea creatures, Melissa is probably cheering for her beloved Patriots, tap dancing, or sleeping in Bobst.
Kelsey Desiderio · Coordinator, Engagement & Communications is completing her Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Journalism and Environmental Studies. Though Kelsey's background is primarily media driven, she has focused her studies around pertinent environmental issues that have dominated the news to learn more about environmental reporting as the field continues to evolve. Kelsey is currently the Managing Editor of the Washington Square News and an intern at NBC News, and has interned at MSNBC. Though it is rare that Kelsey is not working, interning, at WSN or in class, Kelsey enjoys cooking new foods, listening to Ben Folds and running along the East River.
Adam Krebs · Chief Web Wrangler is a student at NYU's Courant Institute of Mathematical Science studying computer science and cinema studies. He dabbles in theater and sound design, deejaying and all forms of recorded audio. He has a particular interest in the intersection of technology and activism and he likes building awesome.
Hanny Ahern · Program Assistant, Web & Communications is a Graduate Student at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program. She is interested in sustainable lifestyle and communication. She makes Sculpture and conducts research and communicates to make the web content a better place to navigate.
Sarah Boll · Recycling Coordinator comes to NYU most recently from Parallel Products, a national recycling company that operates a facility in the Bronx. Having attained a Masters in Environmental Protection and Management after spending six years as an Officer in the US Navy, she is excited to coordinate NYU's Recycling Shop, leading reuse, reduction and recycling projects throughout the campus. Living proof that there are New Yorkers not from the city, Sarah grew up on dairy farm south of Buffalo.
Kate Fritz · Program Assistant, Sustainability Advocates and Environmental Purchasing graduated from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU. Though her "concentration" changes everyday, most of the time it has something to do with Environmental Policy and Human Rights. She plans to pursue a master's degree in Public Policy and a JD in International Environmental Law. When not busy with the Sustainability Task Force, Kate can be heard playing traditional Scottish, Irish, Scandinavian, and American folk music on her fiddle.
Evrim Sahin · Program Assistant, Sustainability Website graduated from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She is a product designer who is dedicated to researching and designing socially and environmentally conscious solutions for today's needs. She is originally from Turkey, and has been living in the States since 2001.
Stephanie Phillips · Program Assistant, Climate Action Plan graduated from the Gallatin school of Individualized Study, pursuing a concentration centered on environmental policy and political theory. She plans to pursue a career in environmental law. Besides her work in the Sustainability Office, Stephanie co-chaired the Energy and Water working group of the Task Force. Originally from Portland, Oregon, she loves the outdoors and when she’s not focused on sustainability, Stephanie can generally be found walking and biking around the City or riding for the NYU Equestrian Team.
Zoe Abram · Program Assistant, Sustainability Advocates and NYU Green Grants graduated from NYU's Gallatin School, with a degree in Environmental Policy and Food Systems. She received a Green Grant to start NYU's Community Agriculture Club, and is especially interested in intentional communities, politics, and developing a Green Canteen lunch stand on campus. Most days, she hopes to attend law school and pursue a career in Agricultural Policy. But on the other days she wants to farm. Before she started this job, Zoe went to sea for a semester and once did not see land for three weeks in a row. While not busy in the Sustainability Office, Zoe can most often be found cooking with friends, learning to be more aggressive on her bike, or engaged in a competitive game of Boggle.
Shane Crary-Ross · Program Assistant, Outreach and Engagement is graduated from the School of Social Work with a double major in Social Work and Economics. She is especially interested in public health and environmental justice. Besides working in the Sustainability Office, she co-chairs the Sustainability Task Force's Food and Purchasing Working Group, and also leads Sustainable Silver, the School of Social Work’s greening initiative. When she’s not studying, scheming, or working on sustainability at NYU, you’ll find Shane cooking, gardening, or reading science fiction.
Su-Anne Huang · Program Consultant, Climate Action Plan graduated with an Environmental Studies and Psychology dual degree at NYU. She seeks to improve environmental standards and performance in urban settings, hopefully one day back in her hometown Singapore. Suanne wants to figure out how to change people's perceptions on climate change and what will inspire them to take collective action. When not trying to reduce NYU's energy use, Suanne can be found painting with bright colours, attempting to cook, or ogling over small furry animals.
Jelani John · Program Assistant, Sustainability Website graduated in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at the NYU Tisch school of the arts. When not riding wild tigers and wrestling bears, he can be found hovering over the east village, keeping NYC running through sheer willpower. Jelani likes warm things, like sunlight, bees, and honey. Etcetera.
Max Liboiron · Program Assistant, Green Grants is a PhD Candidate in Media, Culture, and Communication. Her dissertation deals with models of pollution and how twenty-first century waste such as the Pacific gyre "garbage patch" and universal chemical "body burdens" defy those models. Her artistic work, also based on trash, is a cross between a cultural laboratory "experiment," environmental activism, and demonstrations of sustainable economies. She has taught university classes in animation, art activism, history, and environmental communication at several colleges and universities in the New York area.
Her commitment to sustainability was formed growing up in rural northern Canada in an area disproportionately affected by poor environmental health, tar sands, reservation poverty, and climate change. Though back then, it wasn't called "sustainability." It was called "doing chores."
Joe Beaglehole · Program Assistant, Sustainability Advocate Program is studying for a Master's degree in Politics at NYU's Graduate School of Arts and Science. His work focuses on political organizing around environmental issues. Before coming to NYU, Joe worked as a Parliamentary Assistant for the New Zealand Green Party where he helped to run campaigns about water pollution and worked to pass waste minimization legislation. When he is not dreaming about a Green future, Joe is acclimating to New York life through a strict diet of bagels and cream cheese.
Ashwini Srinivasamohan · Program Assistant, Outreach and Engagement is completing her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies, with minors in Anthropology and Latin American Studies. Her research is focused on oil politics in developing countries and the incorporation of renewable energy technologies into their development scheme. She also works as an intern at the Center on Law and Security and serves as Editor for NYU’s Journal of Politics and International Affairs. Ashwini’s love affair with energy issues and environmentalism grew out of avid traveling and interaction with a diversity of natural environments. She plans to wander around the world, write, and eventually do a PhD.
Wesley Chen · Program Assistant, Sustainability Website is completing his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a minor in Social Work. While he is particularly interested in communications and new media, Wesley has always been strongly concerned with environmental issues and the free culture movement. He also interns at StoryCorps (as heard on NPR), America's largest oral history project. When not flexing his web design wits, Wesley can be found biking across the Manhattan Bridge to/from work/class. He aims to visit 100 countries by age 30.
Michael Zick Doherty · Program Assistant, Special Projects is an engineer and social activist interested in intersections between community, the environment and technology. He is a graduate of the Design | Media Arts program at UCLA and is currently doing his masters in NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program. His work ranges from interactive projections to open source community web platforms. He has worked on projects with Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Windowfarms, and Showtime as well as taught classes in interactive media at 3rd Ward in Brooklyn. Current pursuits involve sustainability and sensor networks. He hopes use public spaces and create digital tools in order to empower and engage communities to rethink the way they live and provide new outlets of expression.
Zack Davidson · Program Assistant, Energy and Transportation is working towards his degree in Environmental Studies and Entrepreneurship in NYU’s College of Arts and Science. He is particularly interested in the nexus between business and environmental activism, having previously worked at THiNKGREEN! Global Advisors Inc., a clean-tech investment firm. In the office, Zack engages in a range of analysis of NYU’s environmental performance, and loves wading through seas of numbers to find pearls of value. He has a goal of eventually circumnavigating the globe by sail using celestial navigation and his wits.