Sustainability Initiative at Aquinas College

Zero Waste Team

Our Zero Waste Team assists in educational programs concerning Aquinas’ waste streams. With everyone working together, we can reach this aggressive goal and be a zero waste campus! A "Zero Waste Advocate" is the zero waste point person in a respective area on campus. This volunteer is the campus community's one stop resource for recycling and composting questions, recommendations, ideas, and challenges related to zero waste.

Student Zero Waste Advocates (2019/20)

Below is a listing of the 2019/20 Student Zero Waste Advocate in each area. >Download the position description (pdf)

  • Commuters: Emmanuel Ibarra, Aimee Judd, & Emma Robertson
  • Dominican Hall: Rachel McCurdy
  • Fr. Bartolome De Las Casas: Ethan Crane
  • Hruby Hall: Teegan Galdeen
  • Ruth Rasmus Eberhard Hall (A): Anna Schlutt
  • Sr. Mildred Hawken: Wyatt Sabatino
  • St. Joe: Carolyn Slattery
  • Woodcock Hall: Vanessa Heylmun

Faculty and Staff Zero Waste Advocates

 Below is a listing of the Faculty/Staff Zero Waste Advocates in each area. >Download the position description (pdf)

  • Academic Building
    • 3rd Floor: Eric Bridge & Anne Marie Ferratt
    • 2nd Floor: Lynn Atkins-Rykert, Jessica Eimer Bowen, Kevin Cantley, & Liz Jorgensen
    • 1st Floor: Thad Salter
  • Albertus Hall: Dr. Rob Peters & Sr Damien Marie Savino
  • AMC: Mary Hurd, Betsey Ingraham, & Nate Lareau
  • Browne Center/Conferencing: Mark Schmidbauer
  • Cook Carriage House: Mallory Miller & Carson Perry
  • Flannery Hall: Ramil Collier
  • Grace Hauenstein Library: Kate Luebke & Christina Radisauskas
  • Holmdene: Chad Gunnoe
  • Housekeeping: Beth Ciangi
  • Hruby Hall
    • Admissions: Damon Bouwkamp
    • Student Accounts: Jessica Vaglica  
  • Sturrus Sports and Fitness Center: Duane Ambrose & Angelica Gero
  • Wege Center- Academic & Learning Services: June Stevenson

 Advocate Testimonials

“I was able to instantly incorporate composting my old coffee grounds. Each morning when I go to the sink and get water to fill my coffee pot I put my old coffee grounds and filter into the composting bin. I always disliked tossing the old coffee grounds into my office trash can. The convenience of the compost bin near the sink means ZERO excuses!”
- Lynn Atkins-Rykert, Executive Assistant to the Director of Graduate Management Programs

“I don't know if I am a guru so much as a sustainability parrot...it seems I am constantly chirping, ‘You can compost that’ ‘oh, that is recyclable.’ I must really be on top of it because a new employee actually thought I worked in the Center for Sustainability. I took it as a great compliment!” 
- Brigid Avery, Director of Alumni Engagement/Internship Coordinator

“One of the obstacles I faced with moving toward zero-waste in my own office were the many tissues I go through each day. (Allergies!) I know tissues are compostable, but a crock sounded too inconvenient (and yucky). After splurging one day on gourmet coffee, I found my solution -- paper coffee cups! I now keep a tall coffee cup on my desk into which I stuff my tissues (and orange/banana peels). At the end of the day I bring it to the compost bin down the hall and dump it all out. No mess! Once it gets too yucky I can toss the whole cup into the compost container -- and then treat myself to another gourmet coffee!”
- Susan English, Director of Institutional Research and Assessment, Associate Professor of Education

“Our office has been working to make small changes. We know that these can be easier than big changes, but still have an important impact on our overall waste. We've been reducing waste by having coffee can compost crocks in a few offices that aren't near the main compost bin. We empty these on a weekly basis into the larger bin and they really help cut down on the volume of waste in each trash can! We love having our coffee pot near the compost bin, it makes it so easy to compost all those coffee grounds. More people have been bringing in reusable table ware to keep in their offices to use for lunches. This helps reduce the paper and plastic waste from disposable items. We're also working to educate our student workers about what they can do instead of throwing everything in the trash can.”
-Anne Marie Ferratt, Technology Trainer - Colleague Support Specialist

“Thanks to the Zero Waste team our staff got a thorough (and fun training) this spring. We decided not only to implement our new knowledge ourselves but with our prospective students when they visit. We now have a trash/recycling/composting center in our lobby to demonstrate our options to our guests who come for individual visits. We also utilize all 3 options at our large visit AQ DAYS and have signage to indicate what category each component falls into as they are getting ready to dispose of their goods. Great way to not only utilize in the small numbers for our staff but for the hundreds of visitors we have on campus each year. And what better way to advertise to prospective students/parents than by demonstrating your work in action.”
- Angie Schlosser-Bacon, Director of Admissions at Aquinas College