Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts


Sustainability Council

Sustainability Council

Our Mission

The Sustainability Council within the College of the Liberal Arts is working towards integrating sustainability in our educational, research, and service pursuits. These integrations:

  1. Facilitate stronger training for our undergraduate and graduate students.

  2. Develop participation and leadership in sustainability scholarship at Penn State and the larger academic community (increasing our contribution to larger efforts to achieve a sustainable world).

  3. Support University efforts to achieve sustainable practices.

Our Values and Principles


Sustainability is the responsibility of all members of our community and is essential to implementing the University’s priorities. The College is committed to advancing the understanding and resolution of sustainability challenges on campus, in our communities, and around the world.


Achieving sustainability is a fundamentally human challenge. The College, with its community of humanists and social scientists, offers a unique and essential perspective on defining, understanding, and attaining our sustainability objectives.


Evidence-based research is at the heart of the pursuit towards sustainability. It supports wide-ranging and interdisciplinary sustainability-related research activities across units of the College, the University, and beyond.


The College prepares all of its students to be responsible citizens and cohabitants of the planet by enhancing their awareness and understanding of sustainability issues within and beyond their fields of study.


Helping to empower the community is key in defining, pursuing, and achieving the individual and collective sustainability objectives of the University.

Our Members

The Sustainability Council is made up of an advisory team and three subcommittees: one for education, research, and operations. These committees are cross-departmental and reach across the entirety of the College of the Liberal Arts.

Advisory Committee

  1. Janet Swim (Chair, Jswim@psu.ed)

  2. Ted Toadvine

  3. Lilliard Richardson

  4. Mark Sentesy

  5. Laurel Pearson – Education Subcommittee Lead

  6. Xun Cao – Research Subcommittee Lead

  7. Austin Boyle – Operations Subcommittee Lead

Education Subcommittee
  1. Laurel Pearson (Lead, Lnp123@psu.du)

  2. Sarah Hanneboehl

  3. Brian Onisha

  4. Chris Witko

Research Subcommittee
  1. Xun Cao (Co-Lead,

  2. Marc Henry

  3. Shannon Cruz

  4. Ellen Stroud

  5. Chris Zorn

Operations Subcommittee
  1. Austin Boyle (Lead,

  2. Shannon Brace

  3. Alison Haas

  4. Chris Hort

  5. Leah Osowski

  6. Heather Rutten