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 knowledgeable 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

Ker Sidhu
Acting Executive Director of Sustainability

Ker Sidhu (she/her/hers) is the UPUA Department of Sustainability’s Acting Executive Director of Sustainability. Ker is a junior majoring in Industrial Engineering and pursuing minors in Economics and Sociology. In the UPUA Department of Sustainability, she is responsible for overseeing the Department’s internal development, planning partnerships with other organizations and entities, and creating a positive work environment for the UPUA Department of Sustainability’s various Directors. Ker’s tenacity and dedication to sustainable progress, as well as her knowledge of all facets of sustainability, enable the Department’s success. 

Contact Ker at kxs5875@psu.edu or sustainability@upua.org.

Lauren Smith
Director of Project Management

Lauren Smith (she/her/hers) is the Department of Sustainability’s Director of Project Management. She is a junior majoring in Statistics, with minors in Math, Economics, and Environmental and Renewable Resource Economics. Lauren supports the Directors within the Department of Sustainability by aiding with identifying, planning for, and benchmarking projects; through ensuring that the initiatives within the Department are well documented, Lauren builds a strong foundation for the Department’s future success, too. 

Contact Lauren at lus269@psu.edu. 

Nora Van Horn
Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of Sustainability

Nora Van Horn (she/her/hers) is the Senior Advisor to the 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’s “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 noravh@psu.edu.

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 wbt5067@psu.edu.

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 kem6169@psu.edu.

Hailey Johnson
Director of Corporate Partnerships

Hailey Johnson (she/her/hers) is the UPUA Director of Corporate Partnerships. Hailey is a junior studying Actuarial Science in the Smeal College of Business. In UPUA, Hailey is responsible for assessing external companies’ sustainability efforts as well as championing meaningful collaboration to further sustainability efforts on campus. She is particularly interested in building new relationships with companies that prioritize sustainability efforts.  Outside of UPUA, Hailey serves as the Social Media Lead for Sunrise State College and is a tutor for LionTutors. 

Contact Hailey at hqj5199@psu.edu. 

Benjamin Aronson
Director of Sustainable Transportation

Benjamin Aronson (he/him/his) is the UPUA Director of Sustainable Transportation. Benjamin is a junior studying Materials Science and Engineering. Through his role in UPUA, Benjamin sits on the Student Leader Transportation Commission to provide a sustainability-minded student perspective on transportation decisions. He is also responsible for interrogating transportation-linked decisions within the UPUA for sustainability considerations and developing initiatives that create sustainable transportation infrastructure. Outside of the UPUA, Benjamin co-founded a nonprofit organization, Young Chefs, Inc., to prepare and deliver homemade meals to women undergoing breast cancer treatment. 

Contact Benjamin at bfa5129@psu.edu. 

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 snb5548@psu.edu.

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 eeb5371@psu.edu. 

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