Knowles Named Kent State University Sustainability Manager

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Melanie Knowles

Kent State University recently hired Melanie Knowles as the university’s first sustainability manager. Knowles will guide the university in becoming more cognizant of environmental consequences in its operations and community interactions. She will also work closely with the Sustainability Task Force to serve and help educate the entire university community.

Knowles joined the university staff earlier this month.

“Melanie Knowles possesses a strong commitment to sustainability as evidenced by her educational and professional experiences,” Tom Euclide, Kent State associate vice president for facilities planning and operations and sustainability task force co-chair, says. “She brings an understanding of the challenges facing Northeast Ohio and the skill set needed to drive university sustainability initiatives.”

Knowles holds a dual Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and economics from Miami University and a Master of Environmental Science from the Institute of Environmental Sciences at Miami University. She has worked in Northeast Ohio for several years, most notably for the Cleveland Green Building Coalition.

Euclide says as the sustainability manager, Knowles is responsible for identifying potential areas of improvement, developing and implementing programs and measuring the programs for results.

Knowles says she looks forward to collaborating with individuals and groups on campus and in the community to decrease the university’s carbon footprint, increase energy and cost savings and further education about sustainability.

“Kent State University and its community is a diverse and exciting work environment,” Knowles says. “I am going to draw heavily upon collaboration because there are so many people and groups with the ideas and energy needed to positively impact the university.”

In her new role, Knowles plans to set forth short-, medium- and long-term goals to improve Kent State’s sustainability.  

Two of Knowles’ short-term goals include examining Kent State recycling programs and participating in an energy-savings competition coordinated by the University System of Ohio for residence halls throughout the state.

Euclide says that through the creation of the position of sustainability manager and the hiring of Knowles, Kent State is strengthening its commitment to becoming a leader in campus sustainability.

By Lindsay Kuntzman

Return to Issue of Oct. 5, 2009

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