Yvonne Socolar '13 Joins President Chopp, Professor Carr Everbach at National Sustainability Conference

Alisa Giardinelli

Yvonne Socolar '13 Joins President Chopp, Professor
Everbach at National Sustainability Conference

by Alisa Giardinelli
10/18/10

national sustainability conference
A storm water runoff and collecton system employed by the College's LEED-certified Science Center is one of several examples of sustainablity efforts on campus.

Yvonne Socolar '13 joined President Rebecca Chopp and Professor of Engineering Carr Everbach at the largest conference on campus sustainability in North America. The event, sponsored by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and held recently in Denver, Colo., brought together educators and other professionals to exchange ideas and explore tools to create a more sustainable campus.

"The conference was a wonderful opportunity to meet passionate and inspiring people from colleges across the country who were full of fantastic ideas," says Socolar, a member of the College's Sustainability Committee who gave a presentation on efforts to expand the College's composting program. "It was also great to get a chance to reflect on future sustainability goals at Swarthmore."

Chopp agrees, describing as "dynamic" an event in which she met a number of alumni serving as college and university sustainability coordinators, as well as presidents and faculty. "All the alums I met," she adds, "were interested in how our Quaker heritage and our commitment to academic rigor combine to serve as a platform to prepare the next generation to address the challenge of a healthy earth able to support nine billion inhabitants by 2050."

Earlier this year, Chopp co-signed the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, joining the leaders of many institutions across the country in accelerating the research and educational efforts to work towards carbon neutrality in order to re-stabilize the earth's climate. Following the conference, she attended the group's Climate Leadership Summit and accepted an invitation to join its steering committee.

Everbach, co-chair of the College's Sustainability Committee, also attended both meetings and cited the "contagious optimism that U.S. higher education is once again in the vanguard of positive social change." He plans to focus the committee's efforts on completing the data collection and reporting required for AASHE's sustainability tracking, assessment, and rating system.