Spring on the York College campus

President’s Task Force for Campus Sustainability

The President's Task Force for Campus Sustainability (PTFCS) was established in December 2019 by the College President, Dr. Pamela Gunter-Smith. She charges the PTFCS with: "coordinat[ing] activities and mak[ing] recommendations from the various groups" and to "not only position the College to join other institutions in signing the American College & University Presidents' Climate Leadership Commitments, but also to take action and monitor progress."

The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the activities PTFCS planned for spring 2020, but the task force reconvened in the fall of 2020.

Statewide Achievements

Joined PERC (Pennsylvania Environment Resource Consortium) becoming a member of it since November 1, 2020 

Nationwide Achievements
Currently gathering comprehensive sustainability data and information for AASHE's (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) STARS Report (The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System).

SIMAP (Sustainability Indicator Management & Analysis Platform) is a campus calculator tool to collect carbon footprint and nitrogen emissions. The Task Force is currently working with various offices collecting data to establish the YCP baseline. 2020
a student crosses the bridge at Tyler Run

Sustainability Events

  • Spring 2023 — Events and News

    Cultural Series Sustainability Events 

    • March 2, 7 p.m. - The Communication & Writing Department will sponsor a talk by this year's YCP Writer-in-Residence, a former New York Times climate reporter and current Gimlet Media climate podcaster Kendra Pierre-Louis.
      • Ms. Pierre-Louis' talk will be at 7:00 PM in DeMeester and will be followed by a Q&A. 
      • Masks will be required at Ms. Pierre-Louis' request: we'll have some ready to hand out as needed.
    • February 15, 7 p.m. - Dennis Drabelle's recent book The Power of Scenery examines the history and roots of the US National Park System and its connection to Fredrick Law Olmstead (who is best known for designing Central Park in New York City)  
      • Location: Weinstock Lecture Hall 
    • April 13, 7 p.m. - Dagomar Degroot is an Associate Professor of Environmental History at Georgetown University. He recently wrote a book titled What Can History Tell Us About Climate Change. In addition he co-founded the Climate History Network, an organization of scholars who study past climate change.
      • Location: Weinstock Lecture Hall 


  • Fall 2022 Events and News

    Cultural Series Sustainability Events - Every third Wednesday evening at 7 p.m.

    • September 21, Wednesday, 7-9 p.m. - Film Screening, Wall-E in HUM 218
    • October 19, Wednesday, 7-8 p.m. - Sustainability Guest Lecture by Katie Butler on Clean Water Act and Improve Green Infrastructure at Weinstock Lecture Hall (WBC 118). Katie worked for the EPA for many years on U.S. waterways and wetland conservation and she just started her own consulting firm in Atlanta.
    • November 16, Wednesday, 7-8 p.m. - Sustainability Guest Lecture by Timothy Hawkins on Climate Change in South Central PA through Carbon Footprinting at Weinstock Lecture Hall (WBC 118). Tim is a climate change expert and the Department Chair of the Geography-Earth Science Dept. of Shippensburg University. 

    Featuring Sandra Taylor at The Graham Center for Collaborative Innovation (GCCI) inaugural event - Tuesday, October 25, 2022, at 7 p.m. at the Waldner Performing Arts Center. Sandra is a former Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Starbucks and CEO of Sustainable Business International. She will discuss how collaboration across the York business and academic communities can innovate ways of "doing well" financially by "doing good" in (and for) the world. 

    Ken Ilgunas, an author, journalist, and speaker will be on campus for the book tour on Wednesday, October 26 talking about one of his latest books, Trespassing across America. Ken will give a guest lecture at 5 p.m. at the Kinsley School of Engineering, Sciences and Technology. 

  • Spring 2022 - Events and News
    Spring 2022 Student Research Showcase: Winning Sustainability Posters
    • First Place: Breah Kaliszak, "Effect of Land Use on Microplastic Concentration and Characteristics in Freshwater Ecosystems of York County, PA"
    • Second Place: Caleb Keller, "The Detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in Wastewater to Estimate COVID-19 Occurrence at York College of Pennsylvania"
    • Third Place: Ian Miller, "Forgotten Losses: Nature and Agriculture at the Battle of Gettysburg"

    The PERC (The Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium) Sustainability Champions program recognizes students, faculty, administrators, and staff (as well as student and non-student organizations) of Pennsylvania colleges and universities who have made meaningful contributions toward environmental sustainability on their campus, in their community, or in society at large. Four individuals from YCP are being recognized for the 2022 Campus Sustainability Champion. They are two faculty: Perri Druen from Psychology and Josh Wyrick from Civil Engineering; and two students: Sarah Martin, Sophomore in Nursing, and Reginald Sullivan, Senior in Political Science and first year student in Master of Public Policy and Administration. 

    April 20, Wednesday, 7-8 PM - Featuring Guest Lecture by Professor Richard Russo from Frostburg University of Maryland. His presentation's title is "The Words that Sustain Us - Geohumanities and Sustainability" at Weinstock. 

    This year, Earth Day falls on April 22, 2022 and Arbor Day is April 29. In recognition of both, YCP's 2022 Campus Sustainability Awareness Campaign will start on April 18 and end on April 29. During the two-week time period, there are about twenty different events ranging from shaved ice machine to bee hotel building, wild flower bombs, plant your own herb, to music and sustainability. Please mark your calendar and join us!

    Learn More | Campus Sustainability Awareness Campaign Events

    March 16, Wednesday, 7-8 PM - Lecture (Virtual): Sustainability Business Practices by Pete and Gerry's. This event has been cancelled.

    February 16, Wednesday, 7-9 PM - Film Screening, A Plastic Ocean in HUM 218

    February 15, Tuesday, 7-8 PM. - Lecture on Superfund Sites 101 at Weinstock Lecture Hall (WBC 118)


  • Fall 2021 Events and News
    • Is Green Gentrification Inevitable? 

               Locating the Green Space Paradox, by Dr. Hamil Persall - WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2021, 7 – 8 P.M.

    Location      Virtual
    Event Type      Cultural Series
    Event Host      History & Political Science Department

     This event will be accessible to all attendees via Zoom. Please pre-register for virtual attendance.

    Studies in several North American cities point to the connections between green space creation and gentrification, raising questions about how to improve environmental conditions in neighborhoods without unintended socio-economic impacts. This study uses spatial and field techniques and interviews to examine the emergence of the green space paradox in neighborhoods across the City of Philadelphia and to characterize the conditions leading to gentrification associated with new parks. This study finds that gentrification isn't an inevitable outcome but that some neighborhoods are primed for gentrification and parks can become part of this process.

    • Combating Food Insecurity through Stewardship, Sustainability, and Social Justice 

               A Role for University/College Campus Farms and Produce Outreach

    Guest lecture by Sean Cornell from Shippensburg University

    November 17, 2021, 7 p.m.
    Weinstock Lecture Hall (Capacity - 31)

    This event is limited to York College students, staff, and faculty only. All attendees must wear masks. The public is welcome to join virtually via Zoom. Pre-registration required for virtual attendance. 


  • Spring 2021 Events and News

    2021 Campus Sustainability Awareness Campaign

    Sustainability today has three interconnected pillars: environmental stewardship, economic viability, and social equality and justice. All  sustainability is local. The YCP's first Campus Sustainabilty Awareness Campaign starts on April 18 and ends on April 30 joining global celebrations of the 51st Earth Day (April 22, 2021) and Pennyslvania Arbon Day (April 30).   Sustainability for Every Spartan! YCP.

    Keynote Speaker - Vanessa Farquharson, April 20, at 7:00 PM  in Zoom. Click here to watch the recording of Vanessa's webinar.

    Research Showcase | Sustainability (April 17-23, 2021):  Three top sustability themed student projects are Annika Richards (1st), Sam O'Dea (2nd), and Arianna Evans (3rd).

    Speaking Green Panel Sessions: April 19, 20, 22, and 23 from 6-7 PM in Zoom. Click here to watch the recording of it!

    Spartan Rock Talk - Learn how to truly be Sustainable as an individual, an organization, and a college on April 21, 2021 at 7:30 PM in Zoom.  

    Residence Life - Terracycle

    EcoChallenge (April 1 to April 21): 61 participants this time, including students, faculty, and staff. Michelle Fellner is the top one in Student Group; Paul Ackerman for Faculty Group; and Annie Nguyen for Staff Group. Congratulations!


    Keynote Speaker: Vanessa Farquharson 

    Keynote speaker Vanessa Farquharson looks to the side as she sits beside leafy green plants Vanessa Farquharson is an award-winning author, public speaker and journalist. Vanessa worked as a staff reporter at the (Toronto) National Post for six years, where she covered topics ranging from urban development to rooftop beekeeping and wrote a weekly column called Sense & Sustainability. She has worked as a writer and editor for a range of top-tier Canadian publications and has more than a decade of experience in media relations.

    More recently, Vanessa has focused on leadership roles in communications and PR within the environmental sector, raising the public profile of global recycling organization TerraCycle before steering a major rebranding effort for Earth Day Canada, where she was Director of Communications and Campaigns. She is also a member of the City of Toronto’s Circular Economy Working Group.

    Her 2014 book Sleeping Naked is Green recounted the adventure of attempting to add one more "green habit" a day for a leap year.  By end of it, she had attempted 366 moves to live a more sustainable life, from bringing her own coffee cup with her everywhere to a hilarious attempt to wash her hair with vinegar -- in the dark. 

    Vanessa currently is the Interim – Director of Communications for the International Institute of Sustainable Development, focused on editorial strategy, media relations and public awareness.

    April 20 at 7:00 PM. Registration now closed.

    Other Events and News

    • Cindi Reisinger in the President’s Office works with Veterans doing a clothing drive each semester.

    • April 22, 2021 – Earth Day (2021 Theme: “Restore Our Earth”)

    • March 2021 — Climate Change Action Plays
      YCP students spent a weekend working with internationally recognized theatre artist and social activist Joan Lipkin, creating short plays based around the themes of sustainability and the environment. Using performance and civic engagement, Lipkin creates events about the most pressing issues of our time. Students presented their work in the hopes of spurring us all to action

About the Task Force

  • Sustainability Programs

    Sustainability Programs

    The following academic programs are designed to educate York College students in areas directly related to environmental sustainability. Students in these programs often contribute to hands-on sustainability projects in our local community, collaborating with small businesses and organizations to create lasting change. 

  • Ongoing Projects

    Ongoing Projects

    • Tyler Run Flash Floods Mitigation Project - by Tyler Run Faculty team
    • Residence Hall - by Robbie Bacon
      • Install water bottle filling stations in all residence halls to reduce single-use plastic water bottle use
      • Install recycling containers in courtyards outside of the residence halls
    • 2023 Eco Challenge - by Daniel Kreiman
  • Job and Internship Opportunities
  • Recycling


    This semester, fall 2021, continues the Terracycle program to reduce solid waste. Residence Life will install water bottle filling stations in all residence halls and recycling containers in courtyards outside of the residence halls.

  • Student Clubs and Organizations

    Student Clubs and Organizations

    • Chemistry Society
    • Biology Club
    • Student Senate – Sustainability Ad Hoc Sub-Committee
    • Plant and Gardening Club
    • Beekeeping Club
  • Community


    York College's Center for Community Engagement (CCE) is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in York County. Housed in downtown York, the CCE engages in a number of projects and initiatives within the local community.

  • Meet the Task Force

    Task Force Members

    Robbie Bacon, Director of Residence Life

    Vinny Cannizzaro, Director of the Glatfelter Institute

    Anthony DeCocinis, Vice President of Finance and Operations

    Perri Druen, Faculty of Psychology

    Kevin Fell, Director of Facility Services

    Abigail Foxwell, Alum Representative

    Greg Foy, Faculty of Chemistry

    Nick Gaito, Student Representative

    Sara Goodwin, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and New Student Programs

    Pamela Gunter-Smith, President of York College

    Gail Huganir, Office of Communications

    Karl Kleiner, Faculty of Biology

    Rory Kraft, Faculty of the Arts and Humanities

    Aeryn McClain, Student Senate

    Tahera Naznin, Faculty of Horticulture

    Laura Niesen de Abruna, Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs

    *Jennifer Pomeroy (Chair), Faculty of Geography, Dept. of History & Political Science

    Rebecca Soyke, Office of Enrollment and Admissions

    Debra Staley, Staff Representative, Dept. of History & Political Science

    Calvin Stein, Student Representative

    Mikayla Trost, Vice Chair of York College IEEE Student Branch

    Corey Wagner, Senior Director of Dining Services

    Dylan Wagner, President of Biology Club

    Josh Wyrick, Faculty of Civil and Mechanical Engineering

Tyler Run Creek surrounded by trees with colorful autumn leaves

Ideas and Suggestions

Do you have an idea about how we can make York College a more sustainable campus? Let us know, and we'll bring it to the attention of the committee.
Contact Us
President's Task Force for Campus Sustainability
Daniel Kreiman

Sustainability Coordinator

Phone: 717.815.1705