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Director Named for New IUPUI Office of Sustainability

Colleen J. McCormick
Colleen J. McCormick


September 3, 2011

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Colleen J. McCormick has been selected as Director of the new IUPUI Office of Sustainability.

“An immediate priority is reaching out to IUPUI faculty, students, and staff to increase awareness of the new office, build relationships, and learn about what they think are key sustainability issues on campus to address,” McCormick said. “I also plan to reach out to community partners.”

While McCormick is stepping into a new role at IUPUI, she is not new to the campus. McCormick worked for nine months at the Regenstrief Institute in biomedical informatics research and served for more than six years in IUPUI’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Improving Kids’ Environment, a local nonprofit that seeks to protect children from environmental health threats.

McCormick earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 2000 from the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI and received a Master of Public Health degree in 2010 from the IU School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health.
Plans to create the Office of Sustainability were announced last April. Among the goals for the office are:
• Helping develop a coherent, campus-wide sustainability program by coordinating academic, research, operations and student activities;
• Developing and manage a program of environmental stewardship, energy conservation, applied environmental science and policy research, environmental literacy and community outreach;
•Promoting a culture of sustainability throughout campus and, when possible, connect with the local community to educate and enrich it.
“My vision is for IUPUI to serve as a national model for urban sustainability in both academic offerings and campus operations,” McCormick said. “The IUPUI campus will be a place where faculty, students, and staff are engaged in research, teaching, and learning to advance knowledge about urban sustainability and its practice.”

Immediate steps to be taken include creating a website, developing student internship opportunities, and enhancing the campus recycling program, McCormick said.

According to Jane Luzar, Dean of the IUPUI Honors College, and Rich Strong, Executive Director of the IUPUI Office of Environmental Health and Safety, who will oversee the office, IUPUI is in a unique position to become a leader in sustainability, especially in the urban arena, by capitalizing on its diverse strengths and expertise in the field and its location in the heart of a metropolis where sustainability has become an important element of local government.

“Colleen is an excellent choice for the Founding Director of the IUPUI Office of Sustainability for three key reasons,” Luzar said. “First, she has extensive experience with the “operations” side of sustainability at IUPUI from her previous employment. She understands the functions, responsibilities, and challenges of the units on campus who manage our immediate physical environment. Second, Colleen’s graduate training in Public Health uniquely prepares her to approach sustainability in a manner consistent with the mission of IUPUI as Indiana's urban research and academic health sciences campus. Third, Colleen is truly passionate about sustainability. This third quality will be obvious and important to the IUPUI and Indianapolis community as they get to know Colleen and work with her developing the IUPUI Office of Sustainability.”