Department of Sustainability

Created in 2020, the Department of Sustainability institutionalizes sustainability into the University Park Undergraduate Association. It does so by utilizing the framework proposed by the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their respective 2030 Targets to strategize and act in a way that furthers the UPUA’s and the University’s sustainability efforts. By collaborating with others in the sustainability realm at Penn State to research and complete projects, the Department grants meaningful experiences to students knowledgable and passionate about specific areas of sustainability. 

The Department is led by the Executive Director of Sustainability. Those within the Department are grouped into clusters based on the subject matter of their position. Learn more about the Department’s members and work below! 

Department Leadership

Nora Van Horn
Executive Director of Sustainability

Nora Van Horn (she/her/hers) is the UPUA Executive Director of Sustainability. Nora is a junior studying Philosophy, Mandarin, and Global and International Studies. After joining the UPUA during her sophomore year as the UPUA Director of Sustainability, she established the Department of Sustainability to expand the UPUA’s capacity to champion sustainability efforts and provide learning opportunities for other students. Outside of UPUA, Nora serves as the Executive Director of the Council of Sustainable Leaders (CSL) and is a Student Engagement Coordinator for the Sustainability Institute.

Contact Nora at or

Sustainability in University Operations

Anne Lai
Director of Sustainable Waste Management

Anne Lai (she/her/hers) is the UPUA Director of Sustainable Waste Management. Anne is a sophomore studying Landscape Architecture from Toronto, Canada. Through her role in the UPUA, Anne is tasked with understanding waste processes and problems at Penn State, as well as researching and developing initiatives that create solutions to these problems; Anne has a specific interest in examining food waste. Anne is also involved in Penn State EcoReps as a member of the Dining Committee and is working on a research project about student behavioral changes with members of the Sustainability Institute.

Contact Anne at

Kelly Matuszewski
Director of Sustainable Materials and Products

Kelly Matuszewski (she/her/hers) is the UPUA Director of Sustainable Materials and Products. Kelly is a junior studying Material Sciences. In UPUA, Kelly is responsible for assessing life cycle analyses (LCAs) and making recommendations that interrogate irresponsible use and sale of unsustainable packaging and products on campus. Kelly also serves as Vice President of Women in Earth and Mineral Sciences (WEMS), on the EMS Student Council, and is involved in Dr. Robert Hickey’s Research Group. 

Contact Kelly at

Sustainability in the University Community

Sarabeth Bowmaster
Co-Director of Sexual Assault and Misconduct Prevention

Sarabeth Bowmaster (she/her/hers) is one of the UPUA Co-Directors of Sexual Assault and Misconduct Prevention. Sarabeth is a sophomore studying Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Philosophy. In UPUA, she works on long-term projects that address sexual violence and fosters collaborative relationships with faculty, staff, and students to educate on changes necessary to prevent sexual violence and support survivors. Sarabeth founded the Penn State League of Women Voters, the first collegiate chapter in the nation, and serves as its President.

Contact Sarabeth at

Erin Brown
Co-Director of Sexual Assault and Misconduct Prevention

Erin Brown (she/her/hers) is one of the UPUA Co-Directors of Sexual Assault and Misconduct Prevention. Erin is senior studying Communication Arts and Sciences and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. In UPUA, Erin advises the leadership team and works with Sarabeth to construct long-term projects. Erin has advocated extensively for education for incoming students and increased support for survivors, and was recently named a Penn State nominee for the Truman Scholarship and received a Rock Ethics Institute Stand Up Award for her previous work. 

Contact Erin at 

Make Your Impact

Help us catalyze sustainable change — apply to the UPUA's Department of Sustainability.

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