Sustainability Across the Curriculum

Notre Dame's first Sustainability Across the Curriculum faculty workshop was held May 20-21, 2015 in Innovation Park.

Sustainability Across the Curriculum Photo Collage

The agenda is below; for copies of presentations or additional information, please email

Wednesday, May 20

8:00 – 8:30 AM: Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 10:00: What should every Notre Dame student know? A planetary perspective (Jessica Hellmann)

10:00 – 10:15: Break

10:15 – 11:15: Panel Discussion: Teaching sustainability across disciplines (Angela Laws, Donna Glowacki)

11:15 – 12:00: Reflection and goal setting

12:00 – 1:00: Lunch & Speaker: Teaching students to lead (Luke Gascho)

1:00 – 2:00: Economics, Ecology and Ethics (Ken Sayre)

2:00 – 2:45: Course revision brainstorm at round tables

3:00 – 4:00: The campus as a living lab: a green tour of Notre Dame (Barbara Hellenthal)

4:00 – 4:45: Tour of Notre Dame power plant and Q&A with Utilities staff (John Brown, Mark Hummel, Bob Werner)

Vans leave power plant at 5:00 PM for St. Patrick’s County Park. Tour of ND-LEEF facility (Aimee Buccellato & Brett Peters) followed by dinner in the Harvest Room. Van will return to Notre Dame by 8:00.

Thursday, May 21

8:00 – 8:30 AM: Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 9:30 AM: Using learning goals & methodological approaches to teach an ethics of sustainability (Connie Mick)

10:00 – 10:30: Opportunities for community-based learning and research in South Bend (Therese Dorau)

10:30 – 10:45: Break

10:45 – 12:00: Course revision brainstorm at round tables

12:00 – 1:00: Lunch & Speaker: 2015: Pedagogical opportunities in a historic year (Rachel Novick)

1:00 – 2:00: Panel discussion: The meaning of sustainability in the humanities (John Sitter, Catherine Perry)

2:00 – 4:45 Field trip to Potato Creek; discussion of local environmental history (Jon Coleman & Annie Coleman). We will return to ND by 5:00 at the latest.

Speaker Bios

John Brown
Power Plant Manager

John’s career started in the U.S. Navy where he spent 3.5 years attached to a destroyer based in Charleston S.C and was directly involved in the operation of the ship’s steam propulsion plant. He has been with Notre Dame Utilities for 35 years, and in 2005 he became the Power Plant Manager. In this role he supervises 36 employees to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the Power Plant and is involved in fuel selections, equipment purchases, training, and Power Plant maintenance.

Aimee Buccellato
Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, University of Notre Dame
Aimee came to Notre Dame from professional practice in New York where she was an associate with G. P. Schafer Architect, PLLC. The primary focus of her research, teaching, and practice is to advance the study of building technology and sustainable design with particular emphasis on quantifying the inherently durable and sustainable characteristics of traditional principles of design, materials, and ways of making. As Project Designer for the Notre Dame Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility (ND-LEEF) she designed the Morrison Family Education and Outreach Pavilion.

Annie Coleman
Associate Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of American Studies, University of Notre Dame

Annie Gilbert Coleman is a 20th century American historian, whose work combines cultural studies, social history, and landscape studies with environmental history. Annie is interested in the intersection between consumer culture and nature, especially in the American West.  She is author of Ski Style: Sport and Culture in the Rockies (2004), which explains how the ski industry transformed Colorado resort towns and their people in powerful and strange ways. Currently she is working on a cultural history of professional outdoor guides to be published by Oxford University Press.

Jon Coleman
Professor, Department of History, University of Notre Dame

Jon Coleman’s books and teaching span colonial and contemporary America and integrate social, cultural, and environmental approaches. Jon is the author of Vicious: Wolves and Men in America (2004), winner of the W. Turrentine Jackson Award from the Western History Association and the John H. Dunning Prize from the American Historical Association, and Here Lies Hugh Glass: a Bear, a Mountain Man, and the Rise of the American Nation (2012). With the support of a Guggenheim Fellowship (2013), he is working on an environmental history of movement in America before the widespread use of fossil fuels.

Therese Dorau
Director of Sustainability, City of South Bend

Therese Dorau comes to South Bend from Washington, D.C., where she managed consulting projects related to energy efficiency, renewable energy and environmentally friendly practices for corporate and government clients. A former legislative assistant in the Iowa General Assembly and college chemistry instructor, Therese has worked extensively with city and county governments in developing sustainability programs. Therese holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Xavier University in Ohio and a master's in sustainable systems from U. Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment.

Luke Gascho
Executive Director, Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College

Luke Gascho has a B.S. in Biology/Secondary Education from Eastern Mennonite College, an M.S. in Christian School Administration from Grace Theological Seminary, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. He has guided the development of the master’s program in Environmental Education at Goshen College and teaches a course for the program titled “Leadership for Environmental Education Programs and Centers”.

Donna Glowacki
John Cardinal O'Hara, C.S.C. Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame

Donna Glowacki has been doing archaeological research in the U.S. Southwest since 1992, and has conducted fieldwork at 63 of the largest sites in the Northern San Juan region. Her research focuses on social changes leading to regional depopulation and migration, pottery production and exchange, and the formation of aggregated villages. Her publications include an edited volume, several book chapters, and articles in American Antiquity, Kiva, and the Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry. She is also a Research Associate with the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Colorado.

Barbara Hellenthal
Associate Professional Specialist; Curator, Museum of Biodiversity and Greene-Nieuwland Herbarium

Barbara Hellenthal is Curator of the Museum of Biodiversity housed in the Jordan Hall of Science where she is responsible for preparing specimens for classroom and research use, and overseeing the work of the undergraduates who organize and document the collections. Barbara co-authored Trees, Shrubs, and Vines on the University of Notre Dame Campus, published in 1993 by University of Notre Dame Press.

Jessica J. Hellmann
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame

Jessica Hellmann’s research on the ecological impacts of climate change and her ideas about management strategies for biodiversity under climate change have been published in leading scientific journals, including Proceedings of the National Academy of SciencesConservation Biology, and Ecology. She serves as the Director of the GLOBES Interdisciplinary Graduate Training Program in Environment and Society, Research Director for the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index (ND GAIN), and lead of the climate change adaptation research group of the Environmental Change Initiative.

Mark Hummel
Assistant Director of Utilities & Maintenance, University of Notre Dame

Mark has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering degree from Western Michigan University and is a licensed Professional Engineer. He has over 28 years of experience, primarily in the fields of commercial HVAC and energy production and distribution.  He worked in the private sector for engineering consulting firms and a large temperature controls contractor prior to joining Notre Dame in 1994. Mark currently oversees a 5 member engineering staff as well as the Distribution Group and Building Controls Group within the Utilities Department. 

Angela Laws
Assistant Director, University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center - West

Angela Laws is a community ecologist, working in grassland ecosystems. Her interests are broadly focused on understanding how the biotic and abiotic environment influences species interactions, and how those interactions in turn affect ecosystem processes. She teaches Biodiversity: Its Challenge and Future as well as a practicum in environmental biology at Notre Dame’s environmental research center in Montana.

Connie Snyder Mick
Associate Director for Community-Based Learning, Notre Dame Center for Social Concerns

Connie Mick works with faculty to design and implement academic community engagement in courses across the University, informed by pedagogical research on engaged teaching and learning. Her teaching experience includes a variety of Social Concerns Seminars, the Capstone for Poverty Studies, Introduction to Poverty Studies, Community Writing and Rhetoric, and Multimedia Composition, as well as the Ethical Leadership through Service and Civic Engagement courses for Notre Dame's Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program.

Rachel Novick
Director of the Minor in Sustainability, University of Notre Dame

Rachel Novick is an Assistant Teaching Professor in Biological Sciences, where she teaches a course on ocean science and sustainability. Rachel advises the approximately 50 students enrolled in the Minor in Sustainability as well as the student environmental club GreeND. In 2008, Rachel co-founded Notre Dame’s Office of Sustainability and served as its Education and Outreach Program Manager until 2013.

Catherine Perry
Associate Professor of French, University of Notre Dame

Catherine Perry works on French and Francophone literatures from the 19th century to the present. Her interests include intellectual history, gender studies, representations of North Africa in European literature and painting, and francophone literatures from the Maghreb, and French and Francophone cinema. Catherine is a recipient of the Kaneb Award for Teaching Excellence, the Distinguished Notre Dame Woman Award, and the Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Brett Peters
Assistant Director,
Notre Dame Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility (ND LEEF)
Brett Peters is the assistant director of ND-LEEF, a unique ecological research facility recently constructed at St. Patrick’s County Park. Brett earned his B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from Michigan State and his M.S. in Biology from Notre Dame. Brett’s graduate research focused on the management of aquatic invasive species in the Midwest. Brett helped coordinate the design and construction of ND-LEEF and oversees the operation and maintenance of ND-LEEF as well as the community outreach activities at the facility. 

Kenneth Sayre
Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame

Ken Sayre has written extensively in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), cybernetics, information theory, philosophy of mind, environmental philosophy, epistemology, and Plato. He taught numerous seminar and lecture courses in environmental philosophy during the decade prior to his retirement in 2014. His book, Unearthed:  The Economic Roots of our Environmental Crisis, was published in 2010 and integrates environmental ethics, economics, and physics.

John Sitter
Mary Lee Duda Professor of Literature, Department of English, University of Notre Dame

John Sitter is a specialist in eighteenth-century poetry and a teacher of poetry, satire, and fiction from the Renaissance to the present. Current research and teaching interests include poetry, poetics, and satire from the seventeenth century to the present, ecological criticism and theory, and cultural issues of sustainability. He received the 2014 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award given by the College of Arts & Letters.

Bob Werner
Mechanical Engineer, Utilities & Maintenance, University of Notre Dame

Bob Werner has a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and has been a registered professional engineer since 1980.  He was president of his own energy engineering consulting firm from 1980 to 1997.  Bob is a Certified Energy Manager and a LEED Accredited Professional.  He has worked for the Notre Dame Department of Facilities Design and Operations since 1997, managing its Energy Conservation Measures Program since 2008.