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About the Sustainability Department

Our Mission

The Whitman College Sustainability Department unites the efforts of faculty, staff and students to promote leadership in sustainability. We recognize the impact our institution has on the environment and the college's responsibility as an institution of higher learning.  The Sustainability Department serves as a resource to catalyze our environmental principles and commitments into action. The Sustainability Department works to harmonize our interaction with the natural environment through outreach, environmental stewardship, institutional advocacy and the integration of sustainability into institutional policies, programs and practices.

  • Assistant Vice President of Facilities Services: Tony Ichsan
  • Sustainability Manager: Sarah Williams
  • Bike Share Assistants: Helios Santoro and Aibak Cheema
  • Climate Data Assistant: Hayden Garner
  • Recycling Assistants: Jeff Gillespie, Clara Bates, Phillip Telgen, Hugo Hall, and Sandy Ulziikhuu
  • Social Media Coordinator: Sequoia Dukes
  • Sustainability Assistants: Owen Schott and Mehrimo Bakhtalieva

The mission of this committee is to promote a respect for, and commitment to, environmental awareness and responsibility within the Whitman College community in support of Whitman's strategic priority theme of Environmental Justice, Sustainability and Climate Action.

As a standing committee of the college it is charged by the President with the following tasks:

Planning and Oversight. PSAC is charged with updating the college’s 2016 Climate Action Plan (CAP), and integrating it with other historically-supported initiatives related to recycling, waste minimization and climate resiliency, in order to produce a Campus Sustainability Plan (CSP). Once vetted and approved by appropriate stakeholders and the Board of Trustees in 2024, PSAC will monitor initiatives related to fulfillment of the plan. PSAC will work with the Sustainability Department to produce and to disseminate progress reports every two years. PSAC also provides feedback related to other sustainability commitments made by the College, such as the annual Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) report, the Paris Agreement, and the Environmental Justice, Sustainability, and Climate Action priority of the college’s current strategic plan. 

Advice and Counsel. PSAC is charged with providing the President, the Vice President for Finance and Administration, and the President’s Cabinet with advice related to environmental sustainability initiatives, as well as matters related to climate action, justice, resilience, and adaptation. This advice may include, but is not limited to, sustainability and environmental justice issues related to planned and current capital projects, learning opportunities, etc.

Review and Prioritization. PSAC will periodically receive requests and assess prospective college sustainability initiatives and analyze them for effectiveness, efficiency and practicality. The college may, from time to time, retain outside experts to advise PSAC on these ongoing prioritization efforts. PSAC then prioritizes these initiatives for possible funding through any financial resources at its direct disposal (e.g., the Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund), the college’s annual budget formation process, or philanthropic support. PSAC makes funding and prioritization recommendations to the President’s Cabinet, which ultimately makes the final decisions (with Board of Trustees approval, as appropriate). PSAC pays special attention to new opportunities or emerging technologies that support the college’s commitments to sustainability and environmental justice.

Communication and Education. PSAC serves as a liaison between college stakeholders, providing information and updates about the Whitman’s sustainability and environmental justice initiatives, as well as other related learning opportunities.


  • Chair: Sarah Williams, Sustainability Manager
  • Vice-Chair: Tony Ichsan, AVP of Facilities Services
  • Faculty: Heidi Dobson, Professor of Biology; Kurt Hoffman, Professor of Physics; Amy Molitor, Environmental Studies
  • Assistant Director, Off Campus Studies: Nadir Ovcina
  • Staff: Rachna Sinnott, Director of Grants and Foundation Relations; Victoria Wolff, Director for Career Education and Programs
  • Bon Appétit: Shannon Null, General Manager; Jon Sodini, Executive Chef
  • Ex Officio: Jeff Hamrick, Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • CTUIR Representative: Colleen Sanders, Climate Adaptation Planner
  • Retired Faculty: Bob Carson, Phillips Professor of Geology & Environmental Studies, Emeritus
  • ASWC Students: Owen Jakel, ASWC Sustainability Chair; Anna Shimkus, ASWC member
  • Sustainability Department Students: Paige Royal, Sustainability Assistant; Mehrimo Bakhtalieva, Sustainability Assistant

The Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC) Sustainability Committee is dedicated to building a sustainable campus, keeping in mind the three pillars of equity, economy and environment. We envision and work toward a world where our practices and actions make responsible use of resources to uplift one another. We help orient ASWC projects toward healthy development for a broad, inclusive Whitman community. We recognize and address the intersections of social justice and environmentalism by advocating for mindful policies through ASWC and the Whitman College administration.

Contact: sustainability@whitman.edu

ASWC WhitLife Portal   ASWC Website

ASWC Sustainability Committee Spring 2021

Director: Sam Kinzel

  • Sam Kinzel
  • Livvie Bright
  • Eila Chin
  • Nate Lange
  • Fraser Moore
  • Lillice Wilson
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