Meet the team behind sustainability initiatives at Penn! Housed in the Office of the University Architect, Penn’s Sustainability Office includes Environmental Sustainability Director Dan Garofalo, Sustainability Strategic Planner Sarah Fisher, Sustainability Outreach Manager Julian Goresko, and Sustainability Coordinator Rebecca Sokol.
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY DIRECTOR
Dan joined Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services in 2001 as a planner and architect. He received a bachelor's degree in Architecture from the University of Virginia, a master's degree in Architecture from Penn’s School of Design, and a master’s degree in Government Administration from Penn’s Fels Institute of Government.
As Penn’s first Sustainability Director, he is responsible for implementing the Climate Action Plan 2.0, Penn’s roadmap toward greater environmental performance and carbon emissions reduction. Dan was named the University’s Sustainability Coordinator in April 2008, as part of the effort to support President Amy Gutmann’s 2007 signing of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment that year. By 2014, the Sustainability Office staff had grown to seven individuals, with programs supporting environmental improvement in the built environment, energy and utilities, transportation, purchasing, waste reduction, communications, and academics.
Dan served twice as a Peace Corps volunteer, first in Malawi as the architect in charge of design for the capital city of Lilongwe from 1992 to 1994, and later on a three-month assignment in Sri Lanka to assist in disaster recovery after the tsunami in 2005. Dan is a LEED accredited architect and a founding member of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, and was the founder of Community Design Collaborative, Philadelphia’s pro-bono design center. In 2013, he was appointed the Vice Chair of Mayor Michael Nutter’s Civic Design Review committee for the City of Philadelphia. He serves and an adjunct lecturer in the Penn Masters of Environmental Science program, teaching ENVS 494, Toward Sustainability at Penn, and ENVS 682, Shifting Sustainability.
He lives in West Philadelphia with his wife, Dr. Felicity H. Paxton, the Director of the Penn Women’s Center.
SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGIC PLANNER
As the Sustainability Strategic Planner, Sarah oversees the implementation of the University’s Climate Action Plan 2.0, Penn's roadmap to environmental sustainability. She directs various energy efficiency, green building, waste minimization and academic initiatives on campus. Sarah also serves as the project manager for the Green Fund, a sustainability grant fund available to members of the Penn community to seed sustainability projects on campus.
Sarah received a Master of City Planning, with a concentration in Land Use and Environmental Planning, at Penn in 2009. While in graduate school, she was an intern with the Clinton Climate Initiative at the Clinton Foundation in New York City and Philadelphia. Sarah graduated from American University with a bachelor's degree in Global Environmental Politics and a minor in Spanish.
Sarah is a LEED AP Building Design + Construction and a Certified Carbon Reduction Manager.
Sustainability outreach Manager
Julian Goresko is the Sustainability Outreach Manager for the University of Pennsylvania’s Sustainability Office in the Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services. In his role, Julian serves as the director of Penn’s outreach programs focusing on environmental sustainability initiatives across the 45,000+ faculty, student, and staff communities including partnerships with schools, centers, athletics, facilities, and residences.
As a member of Penn's Green Campus Partnership, Julian also contributes to both operational planning and strategy development for Penn’s Climate Action Plan. He is a founding member of Penn’s sustainability team since 2009 and serves as one of four full-time staff overseeing sustainability initiatives for Penn’s urban campus.
Julian has expertise in organizational development, program coordination, operations, research and analysis, strategy development, community affairs, advising, and management. He has presented numerous times at national conferences on the subject of social and behavioral marketing and has a master's degree from Penn in environmental studies and a graduate certificate from the Fels Institute in nonprofit administration.
Originally from the Philadelphia area, Rebecca returned to Philly to join Penn’s sustainability team after graduating from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. At Wesleyan, she double-majored in Environmental Studies and Anthropology, and interned in Wesleyan’s Sustainability Office where she co-founded and directed the student Eco-Reps program. She was also appointed the student member of the Wesleyan College of the Environment Think Tank, a faculty-led year-long critical study designed to produce scholarly works in the field of environmental sustainability. She has held internships with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and a leading Hackensack law firm, where she researched brownfield remediation and environmental land use.
As the most recent staff member to join Penn’s sustainability team, Rebecca puts her environmental training and technical skills to work supporting Penn’s critical student and faculty engagement programs. She assists with developing and managing our environmental awareness campaigns such as ReThink Your Footprint, the Power Down Challenge, and the Penn MOVES move-out drive.
Austin is a junior from the suburbs of Chicago and a member of the Huntsman Program of International Studies and Business, a dual degree program between the College of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School. At Penn, he sits on the Advisory Board for the Penn Program in the Environmental Humanities and the Executive Board for SSAP, is president of Green Acorn and at GCP helps to manage the Green Living Certification Program. He is also an RA in Kings Court English College House. Austin hopes to use his education and his experience here to take sustainability international, while also taking what works internationally and adopting it here.
Rebecca is an undergraduate who is pursuing a major in biology with a concentration in ecology. Last year she served as an Eco-Rep for Kings Court English College House. This year she plans to continue her involvement in Eco-Reps as a Sustainability Intern helping manage the program in all eleven College Houses. She is also involved with the Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative and the service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. This past summer she taught 7th grade Life Science through a program called Breakthrough Houston. Her passion lies in food access, education equality and nature conservation.
SUSTAINABILITY graduate intern
Ellie Horner is in her second year in Penn Design’s Master in City Planning program, concentrating in Land Use and Environmental Planning with a focus in sustainability. Ellie graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences and a minor in Urban Planning.
Ellie has updated the Sustainability Course Inventory (cataloging courses relating to sustainability across the University), updated the Green Labs Program, and created a credit bank for future LEED construction projects. She will work on this fall’s ReThink Your Footprint educational campaign, and recertification with STARS, (a program of AASHE).
Amaris is a junior originally from a small New Jersey suburb.She is studying fine arts at UPenn concentrating in graphic design and illustration. Her goal is to combine her love for the arts and her passion for environmental studies to one day work in advertisement for organizations devoted to making our way of living more sustainable. In her spare time Amaris is a member of the UPenn varsity track and field team. She hopes to use that connection to encourage a "greener" athletic program both on her team and throughout Penn Athletics as a whole.
Originally from Greater Philadelphia, Berenice Leung is an undergraduate student pursuing a College-Wharton dual-degree to study Environmental Studies and Behavioral Economics. She helped to market the 2014 Power Down Challenge and is currently involved in Eco-Reps, Penn Vegan Society, and other eco-conscious organizations on campus. She also volunteered for the 2013 and 2014 Philadelphia Marathon Waste Watchers program-- organized by the Mayor's Office of Sustainability--after running the marathon in 2012. Berenice intends to dedicate herself to promoting sustainability and compassion to both the public and private sectors.
JoAna Smith is originally from San Diego, California, and is currently a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania. She is majoring in Material Science and Engineering, and hopes to one day use her engineering degree to help develop sustainable energy technologies. JoAna was previously a Rodin Eco-Rep and member of the Eco-Reps Executive Board. This year she is working as a sustainability intern helping manage the Greek Eco-Reps program for Penn’s Sustainability Office. Some of her previous work as an Eco-Rep includes organizing a Zero-Waste dinner, assisting the Green Living Certification project, promoting the Power Down Challenge, and encouraging food and supply donations during Move-Out.
Emily Wei is from Vancouver, Canada, and is currently an undergraduate student studying Environmental Policy & Management at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. At Penn's Green Campus Partnerships, she helped organize M.I. Green 2013 and facilitate an RA/GA Sustainability Training. Emily has also designed promotional materials for Eco-Reps, as well as created maps of recycling and water-filling locations on Penn's campus. Having grown up in a very sustainability-orientated city, she strongly values the importance of maintaing a balance between ourselves and our environment. In the future, she thus hopes to specifically work with business to help them adopt greener practices.