The Penn Sustainability Team

Our Team

Our Team

Meet the team behind sustainability initiatives at Penn! Housed in Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES), Penn's Sustainability Office includes Sustainability Director Nina Morris, Sustainability Manager Natalie Walker, Sustainability Analyst Laura Barron, Sustainability Coordinator Austin Sutherland and many great undergraduate and graduate interns!


Nina Morris

Sustainability Director

Beginning in October 2020, Nina Morris joined the office as the Sustainability Director. Nina is responsible for managing the sustainability staff; tracking and reporting key performance indicators; and providing outreach, education, and collaboration with stakeholders to improve sustainability performance across campus. She also serves as the University’s primary spokesperson regarding sustainability performance and is responsible for compliance with University membership requirements for the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, the Ivy+ Sustainability Consortium, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and the Global University Leadership Forum’s International Sustainability Campus Network.

Previously, Nina worked for 10 years at the University of Virginia's Office for Sustainability. There, she served as co-chair of the Civic Engagement Subcommittee and helped found and run the Equity & Environment Fund and hosted annual environmental justice events. Nina holds a B.A. in Spanish & Religious Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University and a M.S. in Community and Regional Planning from Temple University. Nina is a LEED Green Associate, certified PROSCI Change Practitioner, and a mother who can be found exploring Philadelphia’s parks and playgrounds during her family time.


Natalie Walker

Sustainability Manager

Natalie joined the team in 2019 as the Sustainability Manager. She is responsible for managing the Student Eco-Reps program and serves as a point person for the Sustainability Office with the Student Sustainability Association at Penn (SSAP) and Green Labs program. Natalie also manages application review for the Green Fund, facilitates meetings for the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee, and co-manages the Student Advisory Group for the Environment (SAGE).

Natalie serves as an adjunct professor for a Design of Green Materials course at Jefferson University. Prior to working with Penn, Natalie led a team to conduct sustainability audits and certifications for products and facilities as the Director of Operations for GreenCircle Certified. She also has experience managing photovoltaic solar projects and Renewable Energy Certificate portfolios as an Assistant Project manager for Urban Grid Solar.

Natalie is both an International Society of Sustainability Professionals Sustainability Associate and a LEED Green Associate. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Development with a concentration in Community, Regional, and Global Development from Appalachian State University and a Master of Science in Sustainable Engineering with a concentration in Sustainable Infrastructure and the Built Environment from Villanova University. During her time at Villanova, Natalie worked as an engineering teaching assistant, served on the President’s Environmental Sustainability Committee, and assisted in developing e-learning content. In her free time, you might find Natalie camping, rock climbing, or cooking vegetarian food.


Laura Barron

Sustainability Analyst

Laura Barron joined the team as Sustainability Analyst in Fall 2021. She manages data, metrics, and reporting for campus sustainability, including producing the annual report and maintaining STARS certification, as well as manages the Green Fund and Green Labs programs. Laura previously worked at University of Pennsylvania as the Program and Communications Manager for the Penn Institute for Urban Research (Penn IUR), managing programs addressing climate change and sustainability in cities and author/co-authoring publications on anchor institutions, community-based disaster planning, urban stormwater, and climate governance in cities. She also worked for Penn’s Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, served on the Penn in Latin American and the Caribbean (PLAC) committee. Before moving to Philadelphia, Laura worked for various non-profits addressing urban food equity and access. She received her Bachelors of Art in Cultural Anthropology and Spanish from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and the first Dual Master’s in Environmental Studies and Public Health from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. She is an International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) Sustainability Associate. She has lived in Philadelphia for almost a decade and currently lives in Fishtown with her rescue dog and cat, Clementine and Hank.


Austin Sutherland

Sustainability Coordinator

Austin is the Sustainability Coordinator in the University of Pennsylvania Sustainability Office. Austin focuses on campus outreach programs and events; serves as the main sustainability liaison to student groups; and works to embed sustainability practices through-out everyone’s experience at Penn, these include the PennGreen pre-orientation program, the Green Living Program, Green Office Certification, Staff & Faculty Eco-Rep Program, and Creating Canopy. Austin is also responsible for Penn Sustainability’s communications, working with students to develop content and share across the website and social media platforms.

Previously, Austin worked for a local recycling and waste company, consulting on sustainability and landfill diversion projects. There, he was responsible for supplier emissions reporting as well as identifying new zero waste strategies tailored to each clients’ operations. Prior to that, he worked at the University of South Carolina as their Sustainability Coordinator where he lead the completion and submittal of the university’s comprehensive sustainability report (AASHE’s STARS); managed the office’s financial operations; tracked progress on university sustainability goals; and supervised the Sustainable Carolina Garden program. During his time at USC, he was selected to participate in the Obama Foundation’s inaugural Community Leadership Corp where he started an initiative in Columbia, SC providing Latinx and undocumented high school students and their parents with resources to pursue a higher education after graduating high school. Austin holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of South Carolina and is a LEED Green Associate. Austin has lived in Philadelphia for two years and in his free time you will likely find him hiking; camping; kayaking; with his two rescue dogs, Lizzie and Willow, in tow.


Morgan Allgrove-Hodges

Graduate Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) Intern

Morgan Allgrove-Hodges is the Summer Graduate Intern for Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) at the University of Pennsylvania. She studied English and Sociology at the University of Connecticut before coming to Penn to study Social Policy. During the year she is also a program assistant at the Penn LGBT Center. Her sustainability passions are focused on cities, transportation, and consumerism. She also loves cycling, skateboarding, and rock climbing! 


Claire Glidden

Graduate Strategic Waste Intern

Claire Glidden is the Summer Strategic Waste Intern for Penn Sustainability at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Master of Environmental Studies Candidate. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a degree in Anthropology. Her interests in waste management, recycling, and sustainable solutions led her to work in environmental sustainability. Previously, Claire has worked for a local renewable energy cooperative and was a student volunteer at the Beahrs Environmental Leadership program for a few summers. In her free time, Claire enjoys running, playing volleyball, brewing kombucha, and finding local cats in the neighborhood.  


Tanvi GS

Graduate Climate Resiliency Intern

Tanvi GS is the Summer Graduate Climate Resiliency Intern for Penn Sustainability at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a master's student in the Environmental Studies program, where he is doing a concentration in Environmental Resilience and Adaptation. She is particularly interested in understanding how to build urban resilience, in the context of environmental justice. She has worked with disadvantaged communities in India and would like to continue to apply the knowledge and skills to build community resilience through building environmental resilience. 


Gigi Lam

Undergraduate Green Labs Intern

Gigi Lam is the Summer Green Labs Intern with Penn Sustainability. She is a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania, studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with a concentration in energy and the environment and a minor in architecture. She is passionate about developing interdisciplinary solutions to the climate crisis and education on sustainability. At Penn, Gigi is involved in APO, a community service organization and Soundworks Tap Factory, a tap dance group. In her free time, Gigi enjoys drawing and painting, playing the ukulele, and hiking.  


Bianca Montañez

Civic Sustainability Fellow

Bianca Montañez is the Summer Civic Sustainability Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, working with the Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA). She is a rising sophomore hoping to major in Environmental Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences. She is a member of the Wharton Undergraduate Energy Consulting Group and an Eco-Rep. Some of her sustainability passions include green energy and environmental justice. She also enjoys preparing delicious vegetarian meals, nature hikes, and going to the beach! 


 

Olivia (Liv) Morganti

Undergraduate Outreach & Engagement Intern

Olivia (Liv) Morganti is the Summer Undergraduate Outreach & Engagement Intern for Penn Sustainability. She is a rising junior studying at Wharton concentrating in Business, Energy, Environment, and sustainability (BEES). She is also a member of the cross country and track and field team at Penn. 


Carol Nie

Civic Sustainability Fellow

Carol Nie is the Summer Graduate Intern for Civic Sustainability at the School District of Philadelphia. She is a rising 3rd year master student, doing a dual master degree in Environmental Studies and Public Health, with concentrations in Environmental Policy and Environmental Health. Her sustainability passion is waste recycling and energy efficiency.  


Dylan Radley

Civic Sustainability Fellow

Dylan Radley is a Summer Civic Sustainability Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, working with the Philadelphia Office of Sustainability's Zero Waste team! He is a rising Senior in the School of Arts and Sciences studying Political Science and minoring in Survey Research and Data Analytics. After doing research in the political science department last summer, he is excited to use his data management and analysis skills to work with the office of sustainability. He also loves public transportation, renewable energy, and recycling/composting. He is particularly excited to be able to take the SEPTA trolley to go work on meeting Philadelphia's goal to be zero waste by 2035!  


Ryan Sassano-Higgins

Graduate Transportation Intern

Ryan Sassano-Higgins is the Summer Transportation Intern for Penn Sustainability . He is in his final year of a dual-degree graduate program in Education and Public Administration. Ryan is active in his neighborhood's beautification initiatives as a Block Captain and a member of his local Registered Community Organization. His sustainability passion is creating green and walkable neighborhoods. When he isn't studying, Ryan likes to ski, go to concerts, and spend time with his pet rabbit. 


Samantha Varela

Graduate Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) Intern

Samantha Varela is the Summer Graduate Intern for Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a second-year Master of Environmental Studies candidate, specializing in Urban Landscape Design and Planning. She worked at a Food Forest growing rare & exotic, tropical/subtropical edible plant species where she worked to educate the community on relevant agricultural topics. Her passions include the permaculture framework for regenerative living, and designing equitable spaces.  


Eugenia Warnock

Graduate Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) Intern

Eugenia Warnock is the Summer Graduate Intern for Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a student in the Master of Environmental Studies program with a concentration in Natural Resources. Her area of focus is the utilization of trees and green spaces in urban storm/wastewater management and increasing the urban canopy.  She has recently completed the 2021-2022 Martha S. and Rusty Miller Urban Forestry Internship at the Morris Arboretum and previously was awarded a Wastewater Operations Internship with the Borough of Conshohocken Authority. Prior to returning to Penn from which she has an undergraduate degree, Eugenia worked in both Construction Project Management in the Philadelphia area, and Development/Fundraising for national and international research universities.   


Vernon Wells

Undergraduate Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) Intern

Vernon Wells is the Summer Undergraduate Intern for Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) at the University of Pennsylvania. They are a rising junior in the College of Arts & Sciences majoring in Anthropology & Sociology and minoring in Asian American Studies. Vernon is invested in Southeast Asian political ecology and Indigenous climate justice, and they are a member of the Penn Philippine Association, the Southeast Asia Working Group, and the ASAM Undergraduate Advisory Board. In their free time, Vernon enjoys reading, cooking, and creating music.