Working together for a sustainable future

The Office of Sustainability Initiatives team works with leaders and representatives to integrate sustainability into both the operational and academic functions of the entire Emory enterprise, including all academic locations and health care facilities across the state.

Ciannat Howett

Associate Vice President, Sustainability, Resilience and Economic Inclusion Adjunct Associate Professor, Emory University

Ciannat founded Emory’s first Office of Sustainability Initiatives in July 2006 before assuming her current role as Associate Vice President in 2019, managing an enterprise-wide effort to ensure that Emory’s actions and policies support environmental, social, and economic systems that provide a healthy, productive, and meaningful life for current and future generations. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health and Emory College’s Environmental Sciences Department and a Senior Faculty Fellow with Emory’s Center for Ethics. Ciannat attended Emory as an undergraduate, receiving her B.A. in 1987, and she received a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1992. She practiced environmental law with Kilpatrick Stockton for four years and was Senior Attorney with the Water Enforcement Division the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. for six years before serving as Director of the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Georgia and Alabama office until 2006. She is a Trustee for the R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation, the PATH Foundation, and serves on the Advisory Board of Emory Law School’s Turner Environmental Law Clinic and the National Council on Competitiveness. She received the 2002 U.S. EPA Gold Medal for Exceptional Service, the 2004 Environmental Hero Award from The Wilderness Society, the 2010 Pillar of Sustainability Award from EARTH University, the 2013 Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award from Rollins School of Public Health, a 2014 Award of Distinction from Emory, and a 2020 Woman to Watch award from the U.S. Green Building Council. She is a co-founder of the Greater Atlanta Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development of the United Nations. She is a frequent regional and national speaker on sustainability issues, and, for four years, was named a “Georgia Super Lawyer” by Atlanta magazine.

Taylor Spicer

Interim Director, Office of Sustainability Initiatives

Taylor joined Emory University's Office of Sustainability Initiatives as a graduate intern in 2013, became a Programs Coordinator in 2015, moved into the Programs Manager role in 2018 and became the Assistant Director in 2020, and currently is serving in the Interim Director role. She works directly with students and others to increase their knowledge about sustainability issues, engage them in action and support them in behavior change. She works closely with Emory Dining to support their efforts to source more food locally and sustainably and to co-manage the weekly Emory Farmers Market. She also runs the WaterHub student docent program, the OSI intern program, and the Zero Waste Ambassadors outreach group. Taylor also manages OSI's daily communications platforms and strategies.

While Taylor was a graduate intern for OSI, she was also completing her Master's in Development Practice (MDP) degree at Emory. Taylor has conducted research on land rights in Rwanda, social movements in Northeast Brazil, effects of gender norms on climate adaptation for smallholder farmers in Kenya and Ghana, and intimate partner violence prevention in Vietnam, giving her a broad and interdisciplinary context to champion behavior change and community engagement. Locally, Taylor was in the LEAD Atlanta 2022 cohort, has served as a facilitator for the Decatur 2030 Strategic Plan community engagement effort, and served on the Generation Green Board of the Georgia Conservancy, on the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Millennial Advisory Committee, and as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits. Taylor is also an Advisory Board member for the Youth Sustainable Development Network working globally, though centered in West Africa.

Akelia Hypolite

Administrative Assistant, Sustainability, Resilience & Economic Inclusion

Akelia joined the Office of Sustainability Initiatives team in 2015. In this role, she maintains office operations and supports event coordination. Before Emory, she worked at Pruitthealth-Brookhaven as a receptionist and admissions administrative assistant. Akelia earned her BA in Speech Communications from Georgia State University in 2010. While attending GA State, she volunteered with the SpeakLife Organization as a speech consultant.

Erik Edwards

Educational Garden Project Coordinator, Office of Sustainability Initiatives

Erik grew up on a family farm outside of Athens, GA. As a child, he had a passion for plants and gardening with some of his fondest memories being outside with his parents and grandparents working in the dirt of his family’s garden. Erik graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.S.A in Horticulture in 2013 and took a job managing 5 acres of floriculture greenhouses in Denver, Colorado. In 2017, he and his wife moved back to Georgia as he took on the position of research greenhouse manager for Emory’s biology department. During his time as the research greenhouse manager, he assisted with the garden project by growing the plant starters and volunteering his time. In June of 2019, he was able combine his position as the greenhouse manager with coordinating the OSI garden project.

Mindy Goldstein

Director of Law and Advocacy, Resilience & Sustainability Collaboratory

Clinical Professor Mindy Goldstein is director of the Turner Environmental Law Clinic and director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program at Emory Law School. Her work focuses on matters related to sustainable energy and climate change, land use and conservation, sustainable agriculture and urban farming, protection of natural resources, and access to information.

Rebecca Philipsborn

Director of Climate, Health Education, and Clinical Partnerships, Resilience & Sustainability Collaboratory

Dr. Rebecca Philipsborn is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine and the Director of Climate, Health Education and Clinical Partnerships for Emory’s Resilience and Sustainability Collaboratory (RSC). In research and in medical education, she focuses on the intersection of climate change and health, especially child health, and implications for health equity, clinical practice, and healthcare delivery.

Eri Saikawa

Director of Science Policy and Community, Resilience & Sustainability Collaboratory

Eri Saikawa is an Associate Professor in Environmental Sciences at Emory University. She conducts interdisciplinary research on the environment, and her main research questions are related to the source and the magnitude of emissions linked to air pollution, ozone depletion and global warming, as well as the impacts of these emissions on humans and on society.

Sofie diTommaso

Climate Solutions Fellow, Office of Sustainability Initiatives

Sofie joined the Office of Sustainability Initiatives team in 2022. She will assist with the annual greenhouse gas emissions inventory, and support campus climate goals through data collection, outreach, and supporting student-led groups. Sofie graduated from Emory University in 2021 with a BA in Environmental Science. While at Emory, she completed a sustainable farming and hunger relief internship at a community nonprofit in Massachusetts and worked as a Teaching Assistant for a course in the Environmental Sciences Department. She returns to Emory after working in Admission Operations at Agnes Scott College.

Zoe Price

Sustainability & Social Justice Fellow, Office of Sustainability Initiatives

Zoe Price first joined the OSI team as a student intern in 2021 and now works as a Sustainability & Social Justice Fellow. She will help manage and develop frameworks for the Green Labs program and the Emory Farmer's Market, as well as provide input for the Incentives Fund programs. Zoe graduated with a B.A. in Environmental Science from Emory University in 2022.

Lydia Stubbs

Sustainability & Social Justice Fellow, Office of Sustainability Initiatives

Lydia joined the Office of Sustainability Initiatives team in 2022. She will coordinate strategies for the Sustainability and Social Justice Incentives Fund, as well as the Green Offices, Sustainable Events, and Zero Waste Ambassadors Programs. She received a B.S. in Sustainability Science from Furman University in 2022. During her time at Furman she completed research on environmental justice in the upstate region of South Carolina.

Kamea Alleyne

Ethics & Servant Leadership Intern

Kamea Alleyne (she/her) is an Ethics & Servant Leadership intern for OSI. She is a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences and is on the Pre-Med Track. Her interests include health sciences, film, and media, music, and social justice. As a member of Volunteer Emory, Kamea has joined various community service trips in her first year and is excited to channel her focus into sustainability initiatives on campus.

Kendra Ding

General Sustainability Intern, Green Offices

Kendra Ding is a senior at Emory University studying Environmental Science and Film & Media Studies. She enjoys reading about food, health, culture, and environmental justice. She is currently the Co-Volunteer Chair of Slow Food Emory to help advocate “good, clean, and fair” food in a way that is adaptable and accessible to all Emory students.

Morgan Finch

General Sustainability Intern, Educational Gardens

Morgan Finch is a senior studying Environmental Sciences and Global Health. She is interested in sustainable food systems and the impact of environmental factors on human health. In her free time she enjoys hiking, running, and volunteering with the Educational Gardens Project. She is excited to join OSI as a Gardens and General Sustainability Intern and to make a positive difference on campus and in the community.

Jordan Hasty

General Sustainability Intern, Farmer's Market

Jordan Hasty is a General Sustainability Intern with a focus on the Emory Farmer's Market and the Educational Gardens program. He is studying Sociology as senior in the College and is an Oxford College Continuee. Jordan has a passion for sustainable food systems and has worked on vegetable farms using organic and ecological practices—including the Oxford College Organic Farm!

Faith Lopez

General Sustainability Intern

Faith Lopez is a General Sustainability intern with a focus on our zero waste initiatives, data analysis, outreach, and social justice issues. Faith is a current junior majoring in Public Policy Analysis and minoring in Sustainability. Faith is interested in studying the prevalence of environmental justice issues perpetuated by detrimental resource extraction, exposure to hazadorous waste, and unjust land uses. She hopes to expand Emory's resources to communities in the metro Atlanta area. With her free time, she enjoys riding MARTA public transportation systems to local vegan eateries!

Caitlin McConaghy

General Sustainability Intern

Caitlin McConaghy graduated with her B.S. from Ohio State and is now an MPH student at the Rollins School of Public Health studying global environmental health. She is excited to be working as a general sustainability intern this summer for OSI and is interested in the nexus between climate change and human health; more specifically in building community resilience through the implementation and evaluation of climate adaptation strategies.

Caroline McCormack

General Sustainability Intern

Caroline McCormack is a senior studying Chemistry and Human Health, and she is very excited to be a general intern with OSI. She is interested in green chemistry and the impacts of climate change on public health. She is involved in the Sunrise Movement Atlanta and research on antimicrobials in the Wuest Lab.

Claire Todaro

Communications and Marketing Intern

Claire Todaro is a junior studying Environmental Science and Political Science and is the Communications and Marketing intern for OSI. She is particularly interested in environmental policy, sustainable food systems, and the economics of renewable energy. Last semester, Claire studied abroad in the green city of Freiburg, Germany. In her free time, she enjoys being active (especially outside), writing and reading, and trying out new recipes.