University Sustainability

Defining Sustainability since 1899

Energy Summit 2021 - Schedule

Updated May 11, 2021

Tuesday, June 22 2021
  • Opening Address

    Shan Arora - Director, The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design at Georgia Institute of Technology

    UNC System Utility Savings
    Reid Conway - Senior Energy Specialist, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality

    UNC System Recycling
    Tara Nattress – NCDEACS Local Government Recycling Specialist, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality

    11:00am – 12:30pm EST
  • Working Group Sessions

    Campus-based Energy Efficiency
    High Performance Campus Design
    Academic Integration
    Transportation-oriented Opportunities
    Finance, Regulatory and Energy Generation
    Zero Waste / Waste Reduction

    2:00pm – 4:00pm EST
  • Keynote Panel Discussion

    Dwayne Patterson – Director, North Carolina State Parks
    Jesse Pope – President and Executive Director Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation Lewis Ledford – Executive Director of the National Association of State Park Directors
    Beth Zimmerman Heile – President and Founder of the Friends of the Valdese Rec

    7:00pm – 8:30pm EST


Wednesday, June 23 2021

Click here for session Zoom links!

Policy, Finance & Planning Theme
  • Local Governments as Catalysts for Sustainability in the South

    Meg Jamison - Network Director, Southeast Sustainability Directors Network

    The Southeast Sustainability Directors Network is the place where local government sustainability professionals from across the South come to share best practices, and advance the field of sustainability. Learn about some of the trends that SSDN is seeing throughout the region, how local governments are working together to advance clean energy access, increase resilience, and more.

    10:00am – 10:45am EST
  • Sustainability Fundraising

    Michael Odom – Director of Development, Appalachian State University

    A conversation regarding best practices and ideas to secure the funding needed to support sustainable initiatives on your campus

    12:00pm – 12:45pm EST
  • Exploring the Opportunities of the NC Clean Energy Fund

    Jen Weiss - Senior Policy Associate, Nicholas Institute, Duke University

    In 2019, as work to finalize a set of recommendations for North Carolina’s Clean Energy Plan wrapped up, stakeholders articulated a need for a new type of financing mechanism that would leverage existing public funds to attract private capital into the market and to fill persistent gaps in the current financing landscape. The non-profit North Carolina Clean Energy Fund was established in 2020 to fill these gaps. This session will explore how the Clean Energy Fund will work to accelerate investment in clean and efficient energy solutions and increase climate resilience in North Carolina, particularly to the benefit of underserved populations.

    2:00pm – 2:45pm EST
  • Climate Action Planning

    Lee Ball - Chief Sustainability Officer, Appalachian State University

    Jim Dees - Data and Assessment Specialist, Appalachian State University

    This session will describe App State's recent experience with climate action planning. It will cover their approach to the writing process, soliciting campus input, identifying metrics, plan layout, progress dashboards, and more.

    4:00pm – 4:45pm EST

Sustainability 1 Theme
  • North Carolina is Electrifying, but Not Fast Enough

    Stan Cross - Electric Transportation Policy Director, The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

    North Carolina has electric vehicle momentum but still lags in EV adoption. Governor Roy Cooper's Executive Order 80 committed N.C. to address climate change and transition to a clean energy economy. State agencies have written electric transportation plans and joined a multi-state truck and bus electrification initiative, Duke Energy is investing $25 million and looking to invest more, and cities and universities are rallying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. How do we harness this momentum to drive effective public policy, attract federal, corporate, and philanthropic investment and accelerate the shift to EVs?

    10:00am – 10:45am EST
  • Zero Waste

    Heather Cashwell - Program Manager, Waste Reduction & Recycling, NC State University

    12:00pm – 12:45pm EST
  • Food Pantry and Free Store

    Jennifer Maxwell - Sustainability Program Director, Appalachian State University
    Joe Harvey - Assistant Director for Leadership and Community Engagement, UNC Charlotte
    Ashley Rankin – Food Pantry Graduate Student, Appalachian State University

    This session will explore means to address food insecurity within a campus community through food hub and pantry development. We will share our efforts here at App State with our Mountaineer Food Hub and Free Store, and hear from our colleagues with the UNC Charlotte Jami Niner Food Pantry.

    2:00pm – 2:45pm EST
  • Effective Sustainability Outreach During COVID

    Rebecca Walton - Sustainability Outreach Director, Appalachian State University

    This session is intended to discuss and celebrate the innovations made in sustainability outreach and education during Covid. We'll share examples from App State and invite other attendees to share their successes as well.

    4:00pm – 4:45pm EST

Sustainability 2 Theme
  • The Cities Initiative

    Zach Ambrose – Ambrose Strategy

    This session will explore how NC local governments are working to address systemic barriers to GHG reductions in North Carolina. We'll include examples from energy, finance, transportation and energy efficiency.

    11:00am – 11:45am EST
  • Updates on the last year of activity in the Center for Energy Research and Technology (CERT) at NCA

    Greg Monty - Director, Center for Energy Research and Technology

    With educational outreach activities on hold due to COVID19, the focus in CERT turned to research. It was a banner year for funding in areas like COVID temperature testing; energy efficiency projects for LMI households; establishing apprenticeship programs in energy efficiency and solar; and building pathways for students into National Labs.

    1:00pm – 1:45pm EST
  • Campus Gardens to Promote Pollinator Conservation and Environmental Stewardship in Communities

    Kaitlin Campbell - Assistant Professor, Biology, University of North Carolina at Pembroke

    Rita Hagevik - Professor and Program Director for Graduate Programs in Science Education, Biology, University of North Carolina at Pembroke

    This session will discuss the utility and versatility of campus gardens as outdoor classrooms to promote authentic science experiences centered around conservation, sustainability, to promote environmental stewardship in people of diverse ages and backgrounds. Specific examples of impactful programming used by the UNC-Pembroke's Campus Garden and Apiary and Kids in the Garden program will be demonstrated in this interactive virtual workshop.

    3:00pm – 3:45pm EST
  • Sustainability in Boone

    George Santucci – Sustainability and Special Projects Manager, Town of Boone, NC

    This session will discuss Boone’s Sustainability goals, actions towards those goals, and future plans.

    5:00pm – 5:45pm EST

Built Environment & Energy Management Theme
  • The South’s 220% Net-Positive Energy Building: energy and facilities lessons learned

    Marlon Ellis – Area Six Maintenance Manager, Georgia Institute of Technology

    Greg Spiro – Senior Mechanical Engineer, Georgia Institute of Technology

    11:00am – 11:45am EST
  • BAS Controls Report – Building Tune-Up Strategies

    Jonathan Pierson – Energy Manager, Appalachian State University

    David King – Energy Manager & Building Automation Systems, Western Carolina University

    An open table discussion on existing opportunities to reduce usage by up to 30%.

    1:00pm – 1:45pm EST
  • Expedition Known, Finding Buried Treasure

    Reid Conway – Senior Energy Specialist, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality

    This session will look at ways to find and locate buried treasure/free money that exists on every campus, you just need to know where to look. You will learn how and where to find the treasure.

    3:00pm – 3:45pm EST
  • Executive Order 80 & the Built Environment - A Pathway to Success

    Mike Kapp – Architect, NC State University

    This presentation investigates proven steps that should be taken to honor North Carolina’s commitment to address climate change. Observations of successful measures taken by other states clear a pathway that is cost-optimized and socially equitable for North Carolina to become one of the leaders in carbon neutral architecture while saving billions in tax dollars statewide.

    5:00pm – 5:45pm EST



Thursday, June 24 2021
Appalachian Energy Student Summit

Student Summit Discussion Group Session 1
  • Social Justice and Sustainability

    Zoie Moore – Maye Corps

    Several Atlanta based students engaged in energy equity advocacy work will share their perspectives on how their college or university supported their ability to become leaders in energy equity, and what further opportunities colleges and universities could provide to effectively support this key aspect of sustainability education. These students lead MAYE Corps, a Metro Atlanta-based, youth-led team committed to implementing energy equity programs that center youth leadership, racial and social justice, and local collaboration.

    11:00am – 12:30pm EST
  • Successes and Challenges with Sustainability Clubs

    Rachel Sampey – AppState Enactus

    Claire Funderburk – Appalachian State Renewable Energy Initiative

    While student clubs offer huge potential for change and positive impact on campus, they don’t operate without their challenges. Student representatives from App State student clubs Enactus and the Renewable Energy Initiative will discuss the evolution of their clubs, challenges and achievements, what empowers them to make lasting change on campus, and some exciting projects they’re working on.

    11:00am – 12:30pm EST

  • Student Summit Leadership Lunch

    Sean Riordan – Communications Coordinator, Team Sunergy Solar Vehicle Team

    Claire Funderburk – Vice Chair, Appalachian State Renewable Energy Initiative

    12:30pm – 1:30pm EST

Student Summit Discussion Group Session 2
  • Peer to Peer Zero Waste Education

    Sydney Crisanti – NC State University Zero Waste Wolves

    The Zero Waste Wolves from NC State will be discussing their zero waste projects on NC State’s campus and the huge impact their club has had in just a few short years. They will be highlighting a few innovative projects that they hope other campuses in the UNC System can also adopt.

    1:30pm – 3:00pm EST
  • Sustainability on Campus: Endless Ways to Make an Impact

    Jordan Pilcher – Sustainability Peer Educator, UNC Wilmington

    Learn about the many ways to make a sustainable impact during your time on campus. Whether your interest is campus gardens, renewable energy, climate action planning, or social justice, there are countless ways you can use your passions to make a difference. Listen to UNCW Sustainability Peer Ambassador Jordan Pilcher discuss her experience using her multiple passions to make a difference on UNCW’s campus and learn from fellow participants during the discussion portion of the session.

    1:30pm – 3:00pm EST

  • Student Summit Career Panel

    Emily Willard – Sr. Inspections Coordinator, Tesla Energy (Baltimore MD)

    Kelly Harer – Assistant Director of Sustainability for Education and Outreach, Elon University

    Tomiwa Olufolabi – Superintendent, Turner Construction

    Sarah Hooper – Senior Coordinator, Sustainable Services, Holder Construction Company

    Kaley Cross – Founder, Rooted ReUse

    4:00pm – 5:00pm EST
  • Career Networking Session
    5:00pm – 6:00pm EST