President's Standing Committee on Environmental Issues

The President's Standing Committee on Environmental Initiatives was established during the 2007- 2008 Academic year to serve as a sustainability consulting group for the president of Wayne State University. This group meets on the first Thursday of every month to discuss current and future projects they wish to see on campus.  The central objectives of the committee are to:  

  • Integrate green practices into campus operations.
  • Increase knowledge and awareness of environmental stewardship within the University community.
  • Immerse sustainability concepts, values and innovations into academic courses offered and research conducted by the university.   

The committee was charged with oversight, tracking, and reporting of the 2017-2022 Sustainability Strategic Plan and the creation of the newer 2022-2027 Sustainability Strategic Plan which will be uploaded online when completed. Other current initiatives the Committee is working on are:

  • WSU student-led urban gardening initiatives
  • Window tinting for bird-strike areas across campus
  • Hosting the annual Green Street event in celebration of October as Sustainability Month. Find more on Green Street here
  • Creation and oversight of the first Sustainability Learning Community- now a Living Learning Community in Chatsworth residence hall

Committee members:  

  • Elena Past Ph.D.- Associate Professor of Italian and Associate Chair, Classical and Modern Languages, Literature, and Cultures, Chair, President's Standing Committee on Environmental Initiatives 
  • Daryl Pierson- Chief Sustainability Officer, Office of Campus Sustainability  
  • Barry Johnson Ph.D.- Alumni and former WSU instructor
  • Kami Pothukuchi- Distinguished Professor, SEED Wayne
  • Damon Wade- Associate Director of Parking and Transportation
  • Paul Bernard- Director of Utilities and Energy Management
  • Bridget Baker DVM- Clinical Veterinarian Medical School 
  • Tim Dittrich Ph.D.- Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering  
  • Jon Frederick- Director, Parking and Transportation 
  • Steve Gilsdorf- Senior Director of Facilities Operation, Associate VP to Facilities Planning and Managment
  • Jack Raab- Senior Director of Special Events and Services
  • Nic DePaula- Assistant Professor in School of Information Sciences
  • Noah Hall- Professor of Law 
  • Shirley Papuga Ph.D.- Associate Professor, Geology  
  • Michelle Serreyn- Biology Lab Coordinator and Program Coordinator for The Office for Teaching and Learning
  • Donna Kashian- Professor of Biological Sciences, Sustainability Learning Community Professor
  • Grace Maves- Student, Office of Campus Sustainability Intern
  • Camille Bedford- Student, Office of Campus Sustainability Intern

If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact our office at