“Only when the last tree is cut, only when the last river is polluted, only when the last fish is caught, will they realize that you can't eat money.” - Native American proverb

Aquinas College

Center Contacts

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Center for Sustainability at Aquinas College
Academic Building 201 (Second Floor)
1607 Robinson Rd.
Grand Rapids. MI 49506

(616) 632-1994

Director of Sustainability

Ms. Jessica B. Eimer
Phone: 616.632.1994

Office Location: Academic Building, Rm 255


Ms. Kaitlyn Aholt
Phone: 616-632-2978

The Zero Waste Intern is tasked with supporting and furthering AQ's Zero Waste Initiative through advertising, education, and programming. The intern is involved with AQ's zero waste events, including gathering and connecting with volunteers, coordinating the placement of additional bins and signage, assisting in the selection of appropriate products, and other event management tasks. Other responsibilities include updating the zero waste web site and attending meetings with various departments to collaborate on and help guide zero waste initatives. Because the Students Striving for Sustainability Club is activily involved with the Zero Waste Initiative, the intern also acts as a "liason" with club officers to help coordinate activities and assigning tasks. The individual is in charge of marketing and educating the initiative to the campus population, and identifying additional opportunities for education. Special projects may be assigned as identified.

Ms. Kala Foerster

The Climate Action and Metrics intern is responsible for performing tasks related to the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The ACUPCC's mission statement is "to accelerate progress toward climate neutrality and sustainability by empowering the higher education sector to educate students, create solutions, and provide leadership-by-example for the rest of society." Aquinas is striving to reach Zero Waste by May 2014, and Kala works hard to assist in this initiative. The roles of her internship are to update the college's carbon footprint by using the Clean Air Cool Planet Calculator, tracking the college's progress, and making recommendations on improving the carbon footprint. Kala also will be assisting in the establishment of a data tracking system, as well as contributing to other special assignments. Kala Foerster is a junior-transfer student to Aquinas College. Although this campus is new to her, she already loves it and is beyond excited for her journey. She plays softball for the Saints and is also a part of SAAB and the sustainability business club, S3.

Ms. Makayla Putnam

The Marketing and Communications Intern is responsible for marketing projects and communicating information related to campus sustainability programs, including the Zero Waste Initiative. This intern also serves to publish the AQ sustainability newsletter, composes the SB student features, and publishes the interviews on the AQ website.
Makayla is enrolled at Aquinas College specifically to study Sustainable Business and is currently in her second year.

Work Study

Ms. Elizabeth Sensing

The Work-Study student is involved in the daily tasks of the Center for Sustainability, including maintenance of several websites. Additional duties include correspondence for the Center for Sustainability, S3 Club planning assistance, conference/event planning, and special projects. Elizabeth is a sophomore at AQ studying sustainable business because sustainability matches her passion for a clean and healthy environment and social good. Along with her studies, she is involved in AQ's Habitat for Humanity campus chapter as well as the Social Action Committee. She loves to travel and serve, and has found AQ's Service-Learning trips to be a wonderful avenue for exploring those interests.

Funded by the Steelcase Foundation of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Header photo courtesy of Bigfoto
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