HomeNewsNew team of academic leaders joins 2017 IonE Affiliates

New team of academic leaders joins 2017 IonE Affiliates

The Institute on the Environment welcomes the first cohort of IonE Educators, academic leaders seeking to advance sustainability education inside and outside the University. During their fellowship year, IonE Educators will pursue projects around effective pedagogy and curriculum development aimed at improving an existing course or developing new courses and educational experiences. These educators will extend the impact of the Institute on the Environment’s Sustainability Education minor in a breadth of educational contexts from the classroom on campus to high schools to sports arenas across the state.

Beth Mercer-Taylor, IonE’s sustainability educator coordinator, is looking forward to this new cohort model to enrich students’ educational experience. “Each of the four IonE Educators brings to the program impressive experience in a kind of teaching that lets students contribute to real-world challenges around sustainability,” says Mercer-Taylor. “This year they will be integrating sustainability into courses and programs in new and engaging ways. Drawn from across disciplines, the IonE Educators share in common a commitment to preparing students to understand complex systems and the importance of taking action for sustainability.”

The IonE Educators each have a focal project for this academic year and will be supported by graduate research assistant Patrick Roisen. The 2017 cohort of IonE Educators are:

Portrait: Ned Mohan

Photo courtesy of Energy Transition Lab.

Ned Mohan
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
College of Science & Engineering

Ned comes to IonE with over four decades of sustainability experience in power systems and renewable energy technology. His project focuses on developing a high school course for the “College in the Schools” program in Minnesota that incorporates contemporary approaches to renewable resources. His goal is to create a conduit for talented young students who are passionate about the environment and sustainable livelihoods.


Portrait: Tiffany Richardson

Photo courtesy of University of Minnesota, School of Kinesiology



Tiffany Richardson
School of Kinesiology
College of Education and Human Development

Tiffany recognizes the powerful platform that sporting events provide and the possibility to engage fans on issues surrounding sustainable solutions and climate change. Building on her professional experience in sports management, she will scale-up her efforts to “green” sports through partnerships with the University of Minnesota Gophers and the Minnesota Vikings. During her term as an IonE Educator, Tiffany will redevelop the “Sustainability through Sport” course, giving undergraduate students the opportunity to understand a variety of environmental concepts and ultimately provide interactive fan education during summer sporting events.

Portrait: Elizabeth Hill

Photo courtesy of University of Minnesota Duluth

Elizabeth Hill
Department of Chemical Engineering
Swenson College of Science & Engineering,
University of Minnesota Duluth

Elizabeth is passionate about issues surrounding sustainability and the ways we manage our energy consumption and waste in Minnesota. Her project will focus on developing a home energy reduction curriculum for grades
9—12 that involves students monitoring and understanding home energy bills and participating in science and engineering-based tasks to reduce their family’s energy use. The program will incorporate various perspectives and integrate diverse voices to help identify what works in reducing energy costs.


Michelle Garvey

Photo courtesy of University of Minnesota, College of Liberal Arts

Michelle Garvey

Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
College of Liberal Arts 

Michelle aims to develop a cutting-edge course for CLA that incorporates two of her passions: gender studies and environmental education. Through integrating the humanities into sustainability, she will produce new curriculum that promotes critical thinking, hands-on learning and cross-disciplinary conversations around topics such as climate justice and feminist environmentalism.

Recognizing the value of connecting colleagues across the university, IonE has also named new Fellows, Associates and Visiting Scholars to the 2017 class of IonE Affiliates.


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