South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium

South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium

Three Decades of Higher Education Excellence Through Collaboration

2012 Fall Student Sustainability Summit

student presentingThe inaugural Student Sustainability Summit was held Sept. 28, 2012, at Governors State University. Elena Maans, Sustainability Coordinator at Dominican University, participated with the students at the 2011 SMHEC Sustainability Conference and was asked to return as this conference’s keynote speaker to discuss her transition from a student interested in sustainability to the first sustainability coordinator at Dominican and how she created that position.

A panel of student leaders including: Michael Topp-University of St. Francis, Erin Fletcher-Governors State University, Rebecca Garcia-South Suburban College and Antonia Franco-Joliet Junior College discussed how they started sustainability efforts on their campuses and had suggestions for how attendees could do the same at their institutions. Stephenie Presseller, Sustainability Manager at Moraine Valley Community College, was the facilitator for this session.

The breakout sessions included the following topics:

  • Green Lifestyles – Jamie Viebach, Governors State University
  • Using Campus Lands to Promote and Maintain Biodiversity – Rebecca Preisler, Jim Kleinwachter, Dwight DeVries, Dr. Jerry Kavouras and Lee Witkowski, Lewis University
  • Is Your Table Sustainable? – Lydia Quinones, Governors State University
  • Sustainable Tourism – Jaclyn Wingate, University of St. Francis
  • Appreciating Nature First – MaryJean Ricchiuto, Moraine Valley Community College
  • Organize, Analyze, Mobilize – Antonio Franco and Tiffany Mucci, Joliet Junior College



In the final session, students from the Moraine Valley Community College Intensive English Language Program presented sustainability initiatives from around the globe in an interactive museum-style workshop.

lunch and posters

A sustainable, locally sourced, organic, zero waste lunch was provided by GSU’s food service vendor – FSI.