The iconic Broyhill Wind turbine, installed on campus in 2009, is 153 feet tall and generates enough electricity to meet the demands of 11 typical American households.
The iconic Broyhill Wind turbine, installed on campus in 2009, is 153 feet tall and generates enough electricity to meet the demands of 11 typical American households.

Our Team

Dr. Lee Ball Jr.

Director of Sustainability
Office: East Residence Hall (Bottom Floor)
Phone: 828.262.2664
Email: balllf@appstate.edu

Lee F. Ball Jr. has a doctorate in Sustainability Education, a master's degree in Environmental Education, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Science. He spent fourteen years teaching sustainability-related content in Appalachian State University's Department of Sustainable Technologies and the Built Environment. Lee's primary research is focused on sustainability literacy, the valuation of green building, biophilic/ecophilic design, and change agency related to community engagement. Lee is a founding member of Appalachian State University's Sustainability Council and is the current chair of its Assessment and Data sub-committee. Lee is also a founding member of Appalachian State University's Living Green residential learning community and he developed its linked first-year seminar course, Contemporary Green Living. In addition, Lee serves as president of the Elkland Art Center, a local non-profit community-based experiential art and sustainability education organization that specializes in large scale community parades, puppetry, video documentaries, and community development. His other interests include art, birding, stone masonry, gardening, music, running, and spending time with his family.


Jennifer Maxwell

University Sustainability Program Specialist
Office: East Residence Hall (Bottom Floor)
Phone: 828.262.2667
Fax: 828.262.2666
Email: maxwelljb@appstate.edu

Jen has been with Appalachian State University since November 2006 and her role is to integrate sustainability into the campus community through program creation and management of student outreach and engagement. Jen also directs the campus zero waste program. She serves as a campus resource and develops working relationships that enhance collaboration. She is a founding member of the Appalachian State University Sustainability Council, Appalachian's Living Green Residential Learning Community, and co-led the development of the Eco-Reps Sustainability Leadership and Engagement Course. In addition, Jen serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC), a national organization that represents a vibrant community of waste reduction, recycling, and sustainability professionals in higher education.

She studied and received her BS in Appropriate Technology in 2001 and MA in Higher Education - University Leadership in 2017, both from Appalachian. Prior to returning to Appalachian, Jen served as the Recycling Outreach Coordinator at UNC Chapel Hill. Jen's family includes her husband, Eric, one son, Tyler, and two daughters, Tilli and Scarlet. Together they enjoy music, the great outdoors, and family time!


Karen Trefz

Office Manager
Office: East Residence Hall (Bottom Floor)
Phone: 828.262.2659
Fax: 828.262.2666
Email: trefzkr@appstate.edu

Karen joined the team in April 2014, and has a passion for sustainable living. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Human Resources at Bowling Green State University in 1992. Immediately after college, she was a claims representative for Nationwide Insurance. She then spent 14 years caring for her young children and working part time in a law firm. Now, she loves her role as "den mother" in the Office of Sustainability. If you have a question, feel free to contact Karen. She will be happy to assist you.


Jim Dees

Data and Assessment Specialist
Office: East Residence Hall (Bottom Floor)
Phone: 828.262.2658
Fax: 828.262.2666
Email: deesjh@appstate.edu

Jim serves the office as a specialist focusing on sustainability data, Appalachian's involvement with the ACUPCC Climate Action Planning process and the university's Renewable Energy resource responsibilities to the State of North Carolina.

Jim holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from Frostburg State University. He comes to us from Guilford College, where he built and managed their Sustainability Program. Jim brings with him a wealth of experience in the field of sustainability ranging from climate action planning to sustainable urban agriculture. Jim's a natural enthusiasm to educate, along with his intentionally simplistic approach to sustainability, are two strengths that he adds to the team. Oh yeah, and if you have a few minutes, ask him about his kids!


Leila Jackson

Communications Specialist
Office: East Residence Hall (Bottom Floor)
Phone: 828.262.2664
Fax: 828.262.2666
Email: jacksonlp@appstate.edu

Leila joined the office in fall of 2015 after several years of owning her own photography, graphic design and communications company. Prior to that she held positions as a graphic artist, multimedia designer, and media relations director in collegiate athletics.

She has a communications degree with a minor in graphic arts, and a Master’s degree in graphic arts, both from Appalachian.