Bennet is a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in Project Management. He graduated from ISU in 2018 with a degree in Renewable Energy and minors in both Engineering Technology and Business Environment & Sustainability. He came into contact with the former Director of Sustainability, Missy Nergard, when he signed up for the Innovation Consulting Community during his junior year. That same year, he worked on an independent study project titled “Developing a Sustainability Map of ISU”. This project heightened his interest in sustainability as he had to interview different faculty members about multiple sustainable and renewable energy assets throughout campus as well as map out the locations of those assets.
After beginning his internship with the Office of Sustainability, he began to work on more projects. The three projects he worked on are upgrading the lighting systems in the parking garages around campus to be more energy efficient, working with facilities management to create a preventive maintenance plan for the leaking faucets in the Science Laboratory Building, and writing a grant to fund electronic vacuum pumps for the chemistry department. As a graduate assistant, he has gathered and analyzed data from all over campus to complete the AASHE STARS report. He has spoken to high schools and committees about ISU’s sustainability efforts and has worked with other staff members to increase the outreach of the Office of Sustainability. His goal is to graduate from ISU and leave the campus more sustainable and energy efficient than when he arrived.
Kyle interned with Sustainability for the 2015/2016 academic year. His projects are outlined below.
Kyle Dkyema, also known as Ky, is a Senior Renewable Energy major with a minor in economics, which might shift to a second major for him. When he is not in Normal, he resides in Oak Lawn IL. He is extremely driven with sustainability. Kyle hopes for progress involving clean energy, which he hopes to make a contribution to. He is excited to utilize his efforts with the office of sustainability this semester. At the age of 16, Kyle and others raised $50,000 to finance a trip to Bolivia to help construct a hospital in one of the most rural areas of the impoverished country. They also donated a $10,000 directly to the hospital. His heart has always seemed to lie with doing life-changing things for others.
Kyle is working on two separate projects for the office this year. He is participating on the financial side of the Solar Pathways Grant project. Which that team are striving to bring a commercial solar array on Illinois State's campus. He is also personally interested in overseeing the watershed project, in which he will be designing a water recycling system for the University's golf course. His aspirations after graduation are to move out West (a popular goal for most) to work in his field of work. If that does not happen, he dreams to start his own sustainable design firm with a friend who is finance major. Clearly, from his Bolivia story if he wants to make something happen he will.
Stephanie Eidler from Sandwich IL, is joining the office of sustainability as an intern for her last semester here at ISU as a Renewable Energy Major. According to Stephanie, sustainability is a cause to get on board with because it is crucial for the synergy today and the future of large interwoven societal factors like the environment, economies, and social justice. She is focusing on getting us at ISU to be a bike friendly campus. She hopes to motivate students to bike instead of drive, helping reduce road congestion, parking accessibility, pollutants, and encourage exercise for health. The purpose of my project is to get ISU certified as a Bronze certification or above for being a Bike Friendly Campus by a third party certification through the League of American Bicyclists.
Stephanie is not new to working on eco friendliness progression. She was secretary for The Renewable Energy Society, a teaching assistant for Dr. Jo (the Program Coordinator of the Renewable Energy Program). Stephanie has found her passion with going green and benefiting the environment, she has been a vegetarian for over 2 years now! Being so active in her undergrad, she aspires to move out to an eco-friendly location such as the beautiful Colorado or Portland for job opportunities.
Bob Hopman is a Senior Renewable Energy Major from Lake Zuirch IL. Bob is a Jazz trombonist and plays in several groups in the Blo-No area and for Illinois State. He is very excited to be getting involved this semester with the Office of Sustainability. With the belief that people do not appreciate the environment he aims to change those beliefs. This “tree hugger” loves nature and the environment and wants to make a difference with how people interact and view our fascinating world. Bob’s drive, passion, and pursuit to better the environment hopes to gain his Masters degree in Human Environment Geography from the University of Oregon. His dedicated attitude will be a great addition to our team!
Adam Jann is a Senior Renewable Energry major from Rockford IL. This will be his second semester working towards his interests in self-reliance, developing individual’s abilities to take care of their own needs and to work together to take care of the community. Last semester, he focused his efforts on the MREA project. This semester he thinks he will be working on that again.
If you are interested in disc golfing, he is the cofounder and president of the ISU disc golf club and captain of the new disc golf team. He is learning how to blow glass too. Both of these interests of his will hopefully drive him to a career choice. His plan is to move out west, continue learning about glass blowing, and continue competing in individual disc golf tournaments playing on the professional level. His main career goal is still to be decided, but isn’t that how many of us college seniors feel too?
Cecelia is a senior transfer student from McHenry County majoring in Interpersonal Communication. She’s been a part of the Office of Sustainability since the spring of 2015. Currently she works on the offices social media and is a part of a team working on the Midwest Renewable Energy Grant. She serves on the executive board for a registered student organization on campus called High Rise, which is an intellectual group dedicated to lessening ignorance and bringing about enlightenment through constructive dialogue. After graduating with her B.S. in Interpersonal Communication, she hopes to continue her education in Sociology through the Master’s International Program offered at Illinois State, accompanied with a two year service commitment through the Peace Corps in a less developed country. Cecelia plans to dedicate her life to developing local food systems and improving the lives of others in hopes of building healthier communities.
Sam Moran is a Senior Apparel Merchandising major with a minor in Business Environment & Sustainability. You can find Sam at music festivals, playing volleyball, or repurposing old clothes, which is where her heart lies. The fashionista within her is excited for her project that will be promoting the use of sustainable practices when it comes to any apparel associated with ISU. She wants to encourage environmentally friendly methods and humane working conditions within the various levels of the supply chain that handles ISU attire. She also would like to organize some sort of recycling or charitable procedure that is used to handle unused or leftover clothing from the university. After she graduates this year she hopes to work for an apparel company that promotes sustainable practices in their production. Cannot wait to see what she comes up with for her project!
Missy joined the ISU family in 1994. A co-founder of the Office of Sustainability, Missy now heads the program and routinely seeks collaboration with campus and community partners to achieve the goals of Educate, Connect, Elevate (ISU's Strategic Plan). Missy volunteers extensively in the community representing Illinois State University in roles that reflect the institution's commitment to the environment, social equity, and economic vitality. She also serves as a K9 Handler for the McLean County Emergency Management Agency with her K9 partner Brennan. Her free time is spent off-the-grid backpacking or working on her small farm. Missy earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, her master's at Illinois State University, and is pursuing a PhD in Higher Education and Administration.
Keith Rohman or known by his nickname KJ, is a senior Renewable Energy Major. KJ is a business analyst intern this semester and he strongly believes that sustainability is vital for our future generations and in the importance of preserving the health of our planet. He is actively involved in the community with working at Pub 2, State Farm and owning his own lawn car and maintenance business.
KJ’s project is about analyzing business costs and trends in small businesses and campus facilities, specifically with waste management. He will be looking at areas where money can be saved and then, ideally, raising money and getting community support to install an anaerobic digester at ILSTU farm.
Just like so many of us, he dreams on traveling the world. When he settles he to find alternatives for fuels in businesses and open a small business of his own.
Zach Rose is working in his second semester of the Project Management Graduate Program and he is from a small town Germantown IL. Zach joined the office of sustainability in his last semester of his undergrad when he was part of the Renewable Energy program. For a year now he has been Project Manager. He strongly believes in sustainability because we have one Earth and it should be utilized and preserved the best way possible. Zach helps all of the interns/volunteers with all of their projects. He helps prepare goals with them and is there for a reliable resource for them. He is focusing most of his energy on the Solar Pathways Grant, which is a project to develop a plan to implement a 1MW solar array on campus.
Other than his devotion to the office of sustainability, Zach is actively involved with the surrounding community. He plays football, Frisbee, bikes, lifts, and works on his cars. He would love to stay in the area; his girlfriend of six years lives here too. Zach hopes to find work as a project manager for a construction firm and help build sustainable buildings. Him and his buddy Zach (yes same name) have been working on two cars for the pleasure of doing so and as an awesome stress reliever. One is a black Subaru Impreza and the other is a black Volvo 240d, so you might see him cruising around town in one of those!
Gus Sandoval is a senior Renewable Energy major from La Grange Park, IL. He joined the Office of Sustainability this August as a Business Analyst intern. Sustainability is relevant to what he is studying and he believes that it will be vital for our society to keep moving forward. He’s also involved with the RSO the Renewable Energy Society (RES), and is even on the executive board this year.
Gus is currently working on developing a Trend Analysis on Waste Diversion for our University Housing and Dining clients. To him this project is “ pretty cool” because it is dealing with a real life and relevant issues. The issue being the Bloomington landfill will reach its capacity in a couple years. The University is going to see a lot of rises in costs, and Gus and others are hoping to minimize those costs through implementing new trends and methods of diversion that might be more economically efficient or environmentally sustainable than the current ones. He hopes to gain real life experience with dealing with a vital important issue and working with a professional project team. In the future he plans on being able to refer back to this experience as a positive one, and another step towards his long-term goals as a professional in the field.
If you ever need help with Spanish just ask Gus. He moved to Mexico for a couple years when he was younger not knowing any Spanish, and came back being fluent. Muy intersante!
Nick Skordilis is a senior Renewable Energy major with a minor in Environmental Studies. Nick joined the Office of Sustainability in January 2015 and is a team member of the Solar Pathways Project. He has also been involved in other student organizations on campus including the Renewable Energy Society since the fall of 2013 and also Circle K International from the fall of 2013 to the spring of 2014. After graduation Nick plans on starting a career in sustainable building or green energy. Outside of school, he enjoys traveling, running, music, and spending time with family and friends.
Taylor Torossy is a Senior Public Relations major with a minor in English. She is from a Northwest suburb of Chicago called Wauconda. She joined the Office of Sustainability this fall because she wanted to actively get involved with one of her passions, helping the environment in any way. Taylor loves writing, working with people and events. This is why she is going to be helping out the office with its website, blog, and help promoting awareness for events. After graduation she can see herself going in many directions. She might want to travel somewhere new or she might find a job and live in the city of Chicago. Either way she wants to focus on writing and promotional skills perhaps with non-profit or any company of her interest. Her dream is to write a book and one day open a wolf rehabilitation center! (Yes that is a wolf in her picture)
Peter Tozzi Jr is a native to New York, but now resides in Crystal Lake IL. He is an over achieving Senior Renewable Energy major with a minor in Engineering Technology and a Business Environmental Sustainable minor. He is interested in sustainability to help promote a friendlier environment especially on ISU’s campus. When he isn’t studying for his 3 fields of concentration, you can find Peter in ISU’s Drumline where he is a section leader. Or running around campus training for marathons, you can catch him (no pun intended) at The Chicago Marathon this October.
This will be Peter’s first semester at the Office of Sustainability. He will be working on the IT related field. Creating buying guides for the TechZone website: showing students and faculty how to buy environmental friendly products. This will also show how to make your computer eco-friendlier. It will have an e-recycling guide on where on campus you can recycle electronics. All his hard work will pay off in the end for him when he gets his Masters in Project Management which then he will hope to become a project manager for a company that focuses on sustainable practices.
Kyle Zulz is from the small town of Hudson IL. He is a Junior Business Information Systems major with a minor in Business Environment and Sustainability. He strongly believes in the importance of corporate social responsibility in the workplace. It is legally and economically important for businesses to better themselves and their stakeholders by promoting sustainability. He is an active member of Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity and a coordinator for the Business Week Team through the College of Business.
His project is responsible for conducting a financial and operational analysis of waste minimization and diversion for two campus clients, University Housing and Campus Dining Services due to the closing of the county landfill in June of 2017. He hopes to improve his analytical skills by researching various data sets. His team he’s coordinating with wants to find an innovative way to forecast and develop options for saving money, while reducing the landfill inputs. Practicing these analytical skills he hopes to improve business tasks in the future with his hands on experience with data management and aggregating sustainability metrics. As much as Kyle loves the business side of things, he enjoys a good ball game at Wrigley Field for the Chicago Cubs and boating in his free time.