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Climate Action Commitment Renewal and Updates: Working Group

Trees around the Duck Pond.

As the next step following President Tim Sands' charge to update and renew Virginia Tech’s Climate Action Commitment, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dwayne Pinkney issued invitations to faculty experts, governance representatives, and community members to participate in an ad hoc group to accomplish this mandate.

The working group has two fundamental goals.

First, to produce a summary of the university’s progress on sustainability since the university’s first Climate Action Commitment was put in place in 2009. The summary will outline the structure, partnerships, and arrangements that have developed over time to address sustainability; include high-level data summarizing the institution’s progress since 2009; and provide perspective on how these achievements compare to those at peer institutions.

Second, the working group will develop any proposed updates to the Climate Action Commitment that was last revised in 2013. They should consider whether updates to the definition, vision, and mission statements are needed; outline clear, measureable, and realistic goals; consider the long-term impact of the goals on policies, operations, and budget of the university; identify broad metrics and the elements for determining success in meeting these goals; and follow university policy format.

Working Group Membership

Faculty

  • Committee Chair: John Randolph, professor emeritus of urban affairs and planning,  College of Architecture and Urban Studies
  • Vice Chair: Todd Schenk, assistant professor of urban affairs and planning; and Commission on Faculty Affairs member
  • Tim Baird, associate professor of geography, College of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Shannon Bell, associate professor of sociology, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
  • Erin Hopkins, assistant professor of apparel, housing, and resource management, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and faculty representative to the Energy and Sustainability Committee
  • Chen-Ching Liu, American Electric Power professor, electrical and computer engineering, College of Engineering
  • Kray Luxbacher, Charles T. Holland Professor and associate head, Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Sean McGinnis, associate professor of materials science and engineering and director of the Virginia Tech Green Engineering Program, College of Engineering
  • Annie Pearce, associate professor of building construction, College of Architecture and Urban Studies
  • Peter Sforza, director of the Center for Geospatial Information Technology, College of Natural Resources and Environment

Students

  • Brooke Baugher, graduate student and former graduate assistant in the Virginia Tech Office of Sustainability
  • Jayme Bibbins, undergraduate student, Student Government Associate at-large
  • Brandon Burkey, graduate student and graduate representative to the Energy and Sustainability Committee
  • Owen Callahan, undergraduate student, Student Government Associate at-large
  • Brogan Dineen, undergraduate student and student representative to the Energy and Sustainability Committee
  • Gustavo Ventura Gargioni, graduate student and graduate student representative to the Energy and Sustainability Committee
  • Drew Harris, undergraduate student and student worker in the Virginia Tech Energy Manager’s Office
  • Natalie Koppier, undergraduate student and student representative to the Energy and Sustainability Committee
  • Jack Leff, graduate student representative, Graduate Student Assembly at-large
  • Phil Miskovic, graduate student and graduate student representative to the Commission on University Support

Staff (non-voting)

  • Blake Bensman, sustainability manager, Dining Services and Housing and Residential Life
  • Rob Glenn, director of Virginia Tech Electric Services and Facilities representative to the Energy and Sustainability Committee
  • Christopher E. Kiwus, associate vice president and chief facilities officer and ex officio member of the Energy and Sustainability Committee and Commission on University Support
  • Anthony Purcell, assistant director for Dining Services

Community (non-voting)

  • Carol Davis, sustainability manager, Town of Blacksburg
  • Shayla Utzinger, Blacksburg High School liaison