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

General Sustainability Intern (Zero Waste Ambassadors, Events)

Kamea Alleyne (she/her) joined OSI as an Ethics & Servant Leadership intern in Summer 2022. She is currently a sophomore at the College of Arts & Sciences and is a Film Major 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.

Justin Bright

General Sustainability/Communications Intern (Newsletter and Events)

Justin Bright is a senior studying Information Systems and Strategy and Management Consulting at the Business School. Justin is working as a Sustainable Event and Communications Intern at OSI. Justin enjoys writing and playing musical instruments in his free time.

Lucia Buscemi

General Sustainability Intern

Lucia Buscemi is a fourth year student majoring in Anthropology and Environmental Science. Her specific interests within sustainability include environmental policy & justice, public health, and the social impacts of climate change. Lucia is super excited to join the OSI team as a General Sustainability Intern!

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 (Student Events and Engagement)

Morgan is a Student Events and Engagement Intern with OSI. She is a senior studying environmental sciences and global health. Morgan is interested in environmental justice and climate impacts on health. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, running, and volunteering with the Educational Gardens Project.

Faith Lopez

General Sustainability Intern (Green Labs and Emory Farmers Market)

Faith Lopez is a General Sustainability intern with a focus on Green Labs, the Emory Farmers Market, 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!

Julia Marquis

Communications & Marketing Intern (Social Media, Marketing Materials, Tracking)

Julia Marquis is a Communications and Marketing Intern focusing on social media outreach. She is currently a sophomore studying Environmental Science and Film and Media. She is interested in studying ecology and the connections between sustainability and the film industry. In her free time, she enjoys leading trips with Outdoor Emory, volunteering with the educational gardens, and singing with her a capella group on campus!

Arvin Sarkissian

Climate Action Qualitative Data Analysis Intern

Arvin is a PhD student in Emory’s Neuroscience Graduate Program and a Qualitative Data Analysis Intern at the OSI. Arvin is passionate about data-driven, community-informed decisions for improving sustainability on and off campus.

Claire Todaro

General Sustainability Intern

Claire Todaro is a junior studying Environmental Sciences and Political Science and is a General Sustainability intern for OSI. She is particularly interested in environmental policy, sustainable food systems, and the economics of renewable energy. Last year, Claire studied abroad in the green city of Freiburg, Germany. She is a part of the Emory Women and Gender Expansive Ultimate Team and the Emory Climate Coalition. In her free time, she enjoys being active, exploring Atlanta, and being outside.