NJHEPS | New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability
New Jersey Higher Education
Partnership for Sustainability


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NJHEPS Committee Openings

We could still benefit from a few more members on the below committees. If you know of someone with the expertise and/or interest to serve, please forward them the below message. I am happy to talk with them about their interest and where they would best be an asset to our organization.

NJHEPS Committee Position Openings

Interested in volunteering for a leadership position with NJHEPS? If you have expertise or an interest in promoting sustainability in the areas of education, development, facilities, architecture, construction, energy or scholarly and/or action-based research, consider becoming a member of one of the following committees:


Chair: Charles Lamb, County College of Morris


Chair: Ashwani Vasishth, Ramapo College


Committee Chair: Michael Kornitas, Rutgers University

Facilities and Construction

Committee Chair: John Hone, Union County College


Committee Chair: Scott Mittman, Essex County College

If you are interested in serving, please email us at njheps@gmail.org.

  • 08 Nov 2011 11:46 AM | Leslie Raucher (Administrator)



    The first-ever discussion between NJHEPS leaders and New Jersey's top sustainability non-profit organizations leaders was held on October 25, at Princeton. The goal was to explore how college and university faculty/student teams and interns might be able to assist NJ sustainability non-profits to advance their organizational mission and advance sustainability in New Jersey.

    Matt Smith, 350.org; Gary Minkoff, Executive Director NJHEPS; Patrick Hossay,VP NJHEPS,Prof. Sustainability, Richard Stockton State College


    It was very appropriate that Dr. Patrick Hossay, Professor of Sustainability at Richard Stockton State College and a Vice President of NJHEPS, led the discussion. Stockton has carried out exemplary student/faculty projects and internships working with the leaders of many of the groups represented at the Roundtable as well as community groups (energy audits, etc.) and development projects in Latin America.


    The sustainability non-profit leaders were not hesitant to voice their needs. One after another they told us how they could use the help and expertise that college students with faculty could offer-and not just for free labor. Dena Mottola-Jaborska, Executive Director of Environment New Jersey said it is not only environmental studies students who could be helpful, but knowledgeable students from Political Science and any field could help with telephoning and door-to-door canvassing in campaigns. Professors and students together could do useful public opinion research that could guide program planning. Tasks would range from clerical, service, tutoring, community canvassing, to activism in issue campaigns and other kinds of civic engagement.  


    Fifteen leaders from thirteen organizations participated including Environment New Jersey: Jim Walsh and Charles Kratoril, Food and Waterwatch- Eastern Region; Matt Smith, 350.org - NJ; Kelly Mooji, NJ; Audobon; Teri Jover, NJ Future; Debbie Alaimo Lawlor, NJ Meadowlands Commission; Anna Blank, NJPIRG- Students; Kathryn Addstein, NJPIRG- Students- Energy Service Corps; Matt Polsky, Passaic River Coalition and Fairleigh Dickinson University; Jaclyn Rhoads, Pinelands Alliance; Christine Guhl, Sierra Club; Randall Solomon, Sustainable Jersey; Drew DePalma, USGBC- NJ. From NJHEPS in addition to Patrick Hossay were Gary Minkoff, Executive Director, Shana Weber, NJHEPS VP and Princeton Sustainability Manager, Donald Wheeler, NJHEPS Senior Advisor and Kean Professor Emeritus.


    The meeting was lively, very cordial and there was a strong sense we could all benefit from this collaboration. To get started, we proposed a website to match up student/faculty projects and intern opportunities with the expressed needs of sustainability non-profit organizations. NJHEPS will shape the results of the meeting into a proposal, send it around to the participants for comments and suggestions, finalize it and seek support and funding to implement it.  

  • 06 Oct 2011 11:45 AM | Leslie Raucher (Administrator)
  • 07 Sep 2011 12:02 PM | Leslie Raucher (Administrator)



    On January 1, 2010, NJHEPS and Kean University began work on a partnership project, working together to help institutions in EPA Region 2 to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. NJHEPS and Kean were awarded a 3-year grant designed to update sustainability tools such as the Green Design Guidelines and a "How-To" manual that serves as a yardstick for sustainability management procedures.  In addition, there are 18 training workshops supported by this grant. This fall, 7 such workshops will be held at college and university campuses under EPA Region 2 jurisdiction in New Jersey and New York.


    Topics covered throughout workshops this fall will include: Green Design Building Guidelines, state & federal incentive programs, Greenhouse Gas Reporting Initiative (GRI), Hospitality Green's Resource Tracking Tool, Clean Air-Cool Planet and other GHG Calculators, and highlights of what campuses throughout the region are doing to track and lower their GHG emissions. We hope to see you at some of these workshops. There is no registration fee and lunch will be provided to those that pre-register.


    Here is a list of our autumn line-up of workshops and the main topic of each session. In addition, there is a website for each workshop that provides registration information.


    • September 16, Ocean County College in Toms River: Green Design Building Guidelines and incentive programs - http://ku4.eventbrite.com/   
    • September 23, Kean University in Union, NJ: Clean Air-Cool Planet Calculations and tour of our new LEED Science Building - http://ku6.eventbrite.com/    
    • October 14, Sullivan County College in Loch Sheldrake, NY: New tools and case studies for sustainability on college campuses - http://ku3.eventbrite.com/    
    • October 20, Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY: Greenhouse Gas Reporting Initiative and overview of Green Design Guidelines - http://ku1.eventbrite.com/    
    • October 21, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY: Greenhouse Gas Reporting Initiative and overview of Green Design Guidelines - http://ku2.eventbrite.com/   
    • November (date to be announced): Bronx Community College: Green Design Building Guidelines and incentive programs   
    • December 2, Ramapo College in Mahwah, NJ: the NJHEPS Calculator and case studies of tracking and lowering GHG emissions - http://ku5.eventbrite.com/

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!


    Daniela Shebitz (dshebitz@kean.edu), 

    Terra Meierdierck (tmm@adm.njit.edu)

    or Gary Minkoff (gminkoff@njheps.org


    We hope to see you soon!

  • 31 Aug 2011 3:35 PM | Anonymous

    NJHEPS is moving forward on many fronts.  There is great interest again in what we are doing.  There is Interest from the State, interest from our sponsors, and interest within.  What we need now are the experts in our organization, at our institutions, in their respective fields, to step up and take the lead in the directions that we have set forth.  It is time to stop sitting on the sidelines and take action.  As with our success in advocating for, and providing resources, forums and information to make our educational facilities more sustainable, we are now moving toward these goals on the academic, and other fronts.  Don't be left behind.

    Let us know what you are thinking.  What is it that you are looking for?  What is it that your institution wants?  How can we help you while you help us?  We hear your compliments.  We listen and act upon your complaints.  Most of all we want your help in making the colleges and universities in New Jersey an example for the rest of the country to follow.
  • 31 Aug 2011 3:32 PM | Anonymous

    Dear NJHEPS Community,


    While for many, the month of August is a "slow" time, NJHEPS has been extremely busy conducting and planning future events, programs and projects:
    • On August 2nd, in partnership with the NJ Department of Environmental protection, we held our video simulcast of a Policy Briefing on New Jersey's Energy Master Plan, State Strategic Plan, and Green Career Strategy. We also launched our planning discussions for our Fall conference to be held Friday, 12/9. Stay tuned for location and registration details. That event will feature the presentation of 5 white papers on key issues of  the sustainability agenda for New Jersey's Higher Education Community:
    • Curriculum
    • Facilities and Operations
    • Law/Policy and Regulation
    • Green Careers
    • Green Technology Research, Development and Application.
    • We are currently soliciting participants for each of the working groups-which will meet approximately once per month, either physically or virtually, from now until December, to plan and develop the white papers. Our desire is to share NJ Higher Ed's perspective on sustainability with key stakeholders, identify issues, challenges, opportunities and the resources necessary for Higher Ed to play its proper role in driving sustainability in New Jersey. We invite stakeholders in Higher Education, the non-profit, public and business sectors to participate in this effort
    •  In early November, we are planning  a "hands on" workshop in partnership with the NJ Physical Plant Association to help those engaged in energy efficiency projects to complete the necessary administrative processes to enable them to  access the financial incentives associated for energy efficiency and renewable energy program available from New Jersey's Clean Energy Program. This will be an in depth session for people to bring their project details and receive step-by-step instruction on the necessary data analysis, form completion and submission process to move these projects forward
    • Dr. Daniela Shebitz of Kean University, Principal Investigator in the NJHEPS/Kean University P2 Greenhouse Gas Reduction project, has provided us with a project update and calendar of fall workshops you can attend to learn more about the tools and resources available to you measure your greenhouse gas reduction on your campus, along with the associated economic impact. Although many campuses have begun, or are actively engaged in this process, the EPA region 2 has hundreds of schools, are uncertain about how to best proceed with capturing and measuring the impact of these efforts; this initiative is here to help. Our work on this project would not be possible without the generous support of the US EPA, and PSEG.
    For more detailed information about the tools we have to support you with this effort, click here. If you would like to register for a workshop, please click here.


    On a "bittersweet" note, I would like to alert you to an NJHEPS staff transition. Our long-time intern and staff associate, Frank Nitti, is moving on to pursue other career interests. Frank has been an incredibly dedicated and productive member of the NJHEPS team. His talent and passion for sustainability are palpable and we wish him well in his future endeavors. 

    The good news is that we are pleased to welcome Willard Reasoner, of Ramapo College as our new staff intern. Willard will primarily be assisting us with our work on the P2 grant, so don't surprised if he contacts you about this project. Additionally, Willard is assisting us in updating our database of sustainability-related projects, programs, curricular and other initiatives occurring in Higher Education in New Jersey.  His boundless energy and commitment to sustainability will be great assets to NJHEPS, and we are happy to have him working with us.

    These are highlights of what's been keeping us busy in August. If you have questions or comments about these, or any of our other fall initiatives, please contact me at gminkoff@njheps.org


    All the best,

    Gary Minkoff

  • 31 Aug 2011 3:07 PM | Anonymous
    On August 2nd, NJHEPS and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) presented a video simulcast Policy Briefing featuring:
    ·         Hon. Lee A. Solomon-President of the NJ Board of Public Utilities-who reviewed New Jersey's Energy Master Plan
    ·         Michelle Siekerka, Assistant Commissioner of the NJ DEP's Office of Economic Growth and Green Energy, who discussed the New Jersey State Strategic Plan
    ·         Dr, Aaron Fichtner, Assistant Commissioner, Labor Planning and Analysis, of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, who provided an overview of the state's evolving Green Career Strategy. Dr. Fichtner was joined In his presentation by Tiffany Smith, a Research Economist from the Department's Labor Market and Demographic Research Division.

    The simulcast was made possible with the assistance and commitment of our 3 host locations: Atlantic Cape Community College, Mercer County Community College, and Kean University.

    President Solomon framed his remarks by emphasizing that there is strong link between the State's approach to economic competitiveness and the cost of energy. Among the many issues covered, he also discussed the rationale underlying the reduction from 30 to 22.5% in the Renewable Portfolio Standard by 2021, as well as constructing new generating capacity and improving PJM rules and processes. He also discussed issues related to energy production and investment and job creation. 

    Assistant Commissioner Siekerka focused her remarks on the State Strategic Plan on the major objectives to be accomplished, weaknesses in the current plan, and the process by which a new plan is being formed. A key aspect of her discussion focused on the "sustainability lens" used in the planning process. She defined this as the "three-legged stool", which is intended to balance environmental, economic and social imperatives. She also discussed the timing for a release of the plan, which is anticipated for the early fall. To view her Powerpoint from the event please click here.

    Dr. Fichtner and Ms.Smith highlighted the needs to better align education and workforce investments with employer skill needs, to improve access to career information, and to by sharing data from the job market with educators to inform curriculum decisions, while creating replicable models from "talent networks" that better connect educators, job seekers and employers. They provided an assessment of their initial research into the data they had analyzed on various types of green job listings, skill needs, and associated implications, and also discussed various characteristics of New Jersey's "green industries."  Additionally, they highlighted www.jobs4jersey.com and it's new green job search capabilities, and discussed the State Energy Sector Partnership Grants, which focuses on developing the talent networks to become fully functional, these industries are life sciences; transportation and distribution; financial services; technology and entrepreneurship; health care; and advanced manufacturing. A seventh network is planned for green jobs later in the year. To download their Powerpoint presentation please click here.

    The final portion of the event was a kickoff discussion of the NJHEPS Fall Conference, which has been set for Friday, December 9th. Location details will follow in an upcoming announcement.

  • 31 Aug 2011 3:07 PM | Anonymous
    NJHEPS Launches Planning of 12/9 Fall Conference-
    Seeks Participation from Current Members/Prior Participants in the NJHEPS' Communities of Practice


    Awhile back, the NJHEPS Sustainability Education Committee spearheaded a Communities of Practice Initiative. In the interim, NJHEPS has transitioned to new professional and lay leadership, and decided to migrate those communities into a new set of "working groups" to help articulate and drive the sustainability agenda and practices for NJ's Higher Education Community.


    If you are not already familiar with our collaboration with the NJ DEP's Office of Economic Growth and Green Energy, it has resulted in several very successful programs; most recently was our August 2nd, 2012 Policy Briefing (which featured key NJ Government leaders discussing the State's Energy Master Plan, Strategic Plan and Strategy for Green Careers) and Fall Planning Session for an NJHEPS fall conference.  Regarding the latter, please save the date of 12/9/11 (location to be determined) for that conference. We were gratified by the strong interest in our 8/2 event and have determined that an appropriate follow-up is to convene a set of working groups to develop white papers on each of 5 key categories-as they relate to sustainability:
    • Curriculum
    • Facilities and Operations  
    • Law/Policy and Regulation
    • Green Careers
    • Technology Research, Application and Development.
    A meaningful and diverse group of professionals, faculty members and members of the not for profit and private sector have already expressed interest in participating in this effort. Our working group chairpeople will be reaching out shortly to interested participants to plan an initial meeting to move forward with this whitepaper effort. Please note: participation in this effort is not limited to prior participants in the Communities of Practice initiative; any of our stakeholders are welcome to become involved in this effort.  We envision the timetable (in concept) as:
    •  Mid-September-Initial meeting to plan/coordinate roles and output for the group effort; launch initial drafts of individual/small group collaborations
    •  Mid October-Conference call to discuss group progress and review content developed to date
    •  Mid November-physical meeting to update progress and agree to final plans for completion/submission of whitepaper content
    • December 9th -Presentation of white papers to NJHEPS and other stakeholders with request for comments from 12/9/11/-1/31/12
    • Feb 1st-Final receipt of comments
    •  Feb 2012-revision/final release of whitepapers to DEP, NJHEPS, NJ Higher Education Community and other stakeholders, media, etc.
    Although December is several months away, for this process to be effective, you can see that our schedule requires timely response. Please let us know by Thursday 9/8  if you are willing to participate, so that the Chair of your group will have sufficient time to plan an initial meeting and communicate with your group. NJHEPS will be supporting your group with various communication tools as appropriate; we hope you will be both willing and able to support this important project.
    Accompanying this email is a link to a survey tool you can use to rank your interests in these various groups. Please realize that logistics may dictate that we assign you to your 2nd or 3rd choice of group, so please be mindful of this possibility when responding. The survey can be found at  https://ramapo.qualtrics.com//SE/?SID=SV_1LV7vorUGqcFV5i


    Please contact Gary Minkoff (gminkoff@njheps.org732 777 6892 and let him know if you will accept our invitation, or if you need additional information.
  • 07 Jul 2011 1:24 PM | Anonymous

    Michael Kornita

    As I take over as president of NJHEPS the first thing that I want to do is to thank our soon to be Past President, Emma Rainforth, for her hard work and dedication.  After NJIT did not extend its invitation to host NJHEPs, we saw our organization physically move from NJIT to Ramapo. With Emma's help this transition was done as smoothly as could be.  She has always stood up for NJHEPs even when the stand was not popular. In the past six months we have seen a change in our Executive Director and support staff.  Within a few short months, the new Executive Director, Gary Minkoff, has been a great asset to NJHEPS, and over the next two years, I look forward to working closely with him. Gary has been very instrumental in opening up dialogue with various departments in State government, such as the BPU and EDA.  For those of you who were fortunate to attend the Energy workshop that he put together you understand what I am saying.  Under Gary's guidance, NJHEPs is rebuilding its support organization and soon we will see the fruits of that effort.

    Over the next two years I plan to rely heavily on member institutions as a whole to move the organization forward.  I plan with the help and support of our Vice Presidents and Executive Committee to firm up our rules and regulations so that our colleges and universities will feel comfortable working with us.

    NJHEPS is here to support Sustainable Practices and Principles at our member institutions.  We need your feedback.  What is it that we can do for you?

    Again, thank you for your support.  

    Mike Kornitas

  • 27 Jun 2011 2:17 PM | Anonymous

    Gary Minkoff

    I'd like to thank you for taking the time to review our new monthly e-newsletter, NJHEPS Community News.

    It's no secret that NJHEPS has been going through an important transition period, but wherever I have gone in New Jersey and beyond to reach out learn about what we can do to make our organization better, I have received both encouragement and support. We've done many exciting things in just the past few months, as you'll see from our reports.  First you'll note our new logo; now we launched our new website.

    New partnerships and events featuring the NJ Board of Public Utilities' Office of Clean Energy, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Economic Growth and Clean Energy, and an infusion of enthusiasm from student leaders around the state, have collectively helped us re-engage with Higher Education executives and administrators, professional staff, faculty, researchers and students. 

    I think you'll be pleased to learn from Amanda Neshiewatt about her plans to mobilize a significant number of our students to participate in a PowerShift NJ conference this fall.  Working with students like Amanda, and our staff intern Frank Nitti, who facilitated our Co-Sponsorship of a Green Jobs Career Fair this Spring at Ramapo College, keep me focused on why we are involved in the important work of sustainability; we're preserving the world for their generation and those beyond them, while fulfilling our needs today.                               

    I look forward to a sustainable future with your collective assistance and involvement.


Winter Newsletter: Call for Campus Initiative Submissions

The NJHEPS winter newsletter will be available February 1. If you would like to highlight an initiative such as new facilities or energy project, academic program, new course, student activity, research or scholarly work on your campus, please reach out to Kristie Reilly at njheps@gmail.com.

Please submit a two paragraph abstract of the project you would like highlighted in the newsletter and include a link to a more detailed website if you wish (optional). Please allow seven days for review and a return follow up email regarding acceptance.

We look forward to hearing from you!

The New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability
     c/o Ramapo College of New Jersey - SSHS
505 Ramapo Valley Rd, Mahwah, NJ 07430
Phone:(201)684-7830 | Fax:(201)684-7932
Email - njheps@gmail.com

© 2013 NJHEPS
Website last updated: August 14

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