David Hurley has a long standing interest and involvement in permanent remedies to poverty and homelessness. This led him to the position of Director of Development for Washington, DC’s largest non-profit housing developer and community development corporation. In that role, he raised over a million dollars in unsecured, flexible, low-cost capital to finance housing development activities. In addition to securing loans from churches, private individuals and religious communities, he successfully negotiated the Calvert Social Investment Fund’s first ever loan from its High Social Impact Investment Fund.
Since arriving in South Bend in the late 1990’s, he has worked as: a major gift fundraiser for the Brothers of Holy Cross, where he secured some of the initial gifts for the Holy Cross Village; started a business as a comprehensive financial planner where he was able to re-engage his interest in socially responsible investing; and was an active member of the Social Investment Forum. In addition to his professional experience, David has been an active board member of the NNN and was a founding board member of DTSB.
Jennifer Betz currently works as the Assistant Director of the MA Program of International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Prior to that, she taught Global Perspectives and facilitated student international experiences at Holy Cross College. Jennifer has experience teaching English and citizenship at La Casa de Amistad, directing adult education at St. Adalbert Parish in South Bend, and has worked both locally and internationally on community development, environmental, and peacebuilding projects.
Kristi Haas works with both the Templeton Religion Trust’s program Under Caesar’s Sword and as a research associate with the Catholic Peacebuilding Network, both on the campus of Notre Dame, where she also serves as the Founder and Chair of the Green Office Committee at the Kroc Institute, and on the Internal Advisory Board at the Center for Sustainable Energy. She has a strong background in project management, theology, peace studies, and has a longstanding passion for sustainable living (gardening, cooking, biking, composting).
Dave Blodgett is a well-known muralist and artist. Blodgett graduated with his Bachelors from IU South Bend in 1975 and got his Master's in Fine Arts from the University of Oregon in 1977. Since his graduation, Blodgett and his wife, Linda, have completed over 200 murals varying over eight states. Blodgett worked with Dr. Edwin Joseph, a professor at IU South Bend, as a Fellow in 2015-16 to teach SUST-S360 The Art of Sustainability together. Their class designed and installed an 8’x32’ mural depicting the history of agriculture for Green Sense Farms in Portage, IN, the largest vertical farm in America.
Therese “Theri” Zimmerman-Niemier has 20 years of experience operating Bertrand Farm, an educational farm whose mission is to connect people to local food production in order to promote sustainable agriculture, health, and earth stewardship. Additionally, she has extensive experience as a teacher and educator. At Bertrand Farm, organic and sustainable practices have been learned through firsthand experience. They have provided on-going education and training through years of work with GSMS, development of a curriculum for and implementation of a farm intern program, and numerous workshops and trainings made available to the public. They have managed a CSA for over 10 years and worked with other community networks such as the Purple Porch Cooperative and the Monroe Park Grocery Cooperative
Dave Blodgett is a well-known muralist and artist. Blodgett graduated with his Backelor's from IUSB in 1975 and got his Master's in Fine Arts from the University of Oregon in 1977. Since his graduation, Blodgett and his wife, Linda, have completed over 200 murals varying over eight states. Blodgett's major sucess pairs well with the knowledge of Edwin Joseph, a professor at IUSB as they teach The Art of Sustainability together. Their class will be designing a mural for Green Sense Farms in Portage, IN, the largest vertical farm in America.
Kris Krouse is Executive Director of Shirley Heinz Land Trust, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is "to protect habitats and eco-systems of Northwest Indiana through acquiring, restoring, and protecting environmentally significant landscapes for present and future generations." Krouse received his Bachelor's in Environmental Science in 2002 and his Master's in Business Administration from Indiana University Northwest in 2005. Krouse is investigating the possibility of setting up a land trust in St. Joseph County to help preserve natural habitats and eco-systems for future generations.
Brooke Hardy, BA graduate of Oberlin College (1996) and Masters graduate of Naropa University (2008), and Michael Patrick Griffin (Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame) will collaborate on The Local Cup, a pay-it-forward coffee house in the Near Northwest Neighborhood building. Visitors may get a free cup of coffee or muffin or pay for the next person's order at the level they choose. Hardy and Griffin will be joined by Aireal Newbill, an intern in the Youth Leadership Training Program at The Local Cup. Aireal started as a volunteer in the spring when the weekly coffee shop first opened.
Boniface Njuguna is Founder and Executive Director of the Green Youth Foundation. He received his MBA from Indiana University South Bend. Through his foundation, Njuguna helps youngsters from Michiana assemble kits that include a solar lamp and cell phone charging kits that are then sent to his home country of Kenya. There, Kenyan youngsters put the kits together bringing light and the ability to charge cell phones to their villages that are not connected to the grid.
John Kennedy is Principal of South Bend New Tech High School. He received his MA in Secondary Education from the University of Albuquerque. New Tech High School is a magnet program that uses project based learning to help students develop skills to effectively communicate, collaborate, think critically and utilize technology to solve complex problems. Their goal is to graduate students who are well prepared to go on to college or enter the workforce immediately. John will be working with his faculty to incorporate sustainability and innovation into the existing New Tech curriculum.
Vince Gresham is Director of Environmental Studies at South Bend Greene Intermediate Center. He received his BA from Purdue in Wildlife Management. One of Greene Intermediate’s goals is to incorporate environmental studies across the curriculum. Through his fellowship Vince will continue to work on Greene’s environmental curriculum by developing additional courses in <em ">Wildlife Science, <em">Agriculture and Gardening, and <em ">Environmental Issues, Careers and Capstone Projects.
Read the 2014-2015 press release HERE
Jon Helmuth is President of Genesis Products, an Elkhart based company that supplies wood products for the RV industry. Jon is also the head of the Sustainability Coalition, a group of regional industry leaders committed to sustainable business principles. Jon will work on establishing a pilot site for the Genesis Project in South Bend. The Genesis Project takes vacant and brownfield lots and plants them with hybrid poplar trees that can produce sought-after wood for the RV industry while at the same time providing soil remediation and sequestering carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.
Kelly Hofferth will continue as a fellow for a second year. She will work as the Center’s liaison with Energizing Indiana to recruit households and businesses to sign up for free professional energy audits. Households that sign up for an audit receive 9 free compact fluorescent light bulbs and four low flow faucet aerators and shower heads. For each audit successfully completed, the Center receives a $25 donation from Energizing Indiana.
Sara Lowe is founder of Michiana Yardeners, a virtual gardening club on Facebook whose participants grow fruit and vegetables in the city in their own front and back “yardens.” Members share advice, seeds and plantings, and pictures of their creations. During her fellowship, Sara will work to increase the number of yardeners in Michiana, and organize a yardener’s cooking contest for next summer.
Read the 2013-2014 press release HERE
Jan Pilarski (on left) is co-founder of Green Bridge Growers, an urban social entrepreneurial venture that grows greens and fish aquaponically to produce revenue and create jobs for highly-capable young adults on the autism spectrum in Northern Indiana. As part of her fellowship she will work with the DoubleTree Hotel and the South Bend Century Center to turn the skywalk connecting the two into a “garden in the sky” to grow fresh organic herbs for local restaurants.
Willow Wetherall will be producing an event called Ignite Michiana to be held in March 28, 2013 in downtown South Bend. Ignite is a global event, where participants are given five minutes to speak about their ideas and personal or professional passions, accompanied by 20 slides. The presentations are meant to "ignite" the audience on a subject, i.e. to generate awareness and to stimulate thought and action on the subjects presented. Ignite events serve as an information exchange for fostering and inspiring an area's creative community. Speakers from the creative, technical and business communities present their current projects or favorite ideas. Ignite events highlight innovation in the business and non-profit sectors and provide opportunities for networking and the advancement of new ideas and economic development. Ignite Michiana would help showcase sustainability and innovation in our region and inspire continued economic revitalization and creative-problem solving.
Myles Robertson has been the "star" of our educational YouTube series, “What’s Up Myles?” The series follows the adventures of IU South Bend student Myles Robertson as he goes in search of sustainability. It consists of a series of short videos (taken with our flash cam or an iPhone) in which Myles interviews various sustainability professionals or prominent political officials or business persons in our area, as well as visiting lecturers from across the country. Now that Myles has graduated and moved on to Notre Dame, he will continue the series for at least another year. He will be producing episodes of his series and post them on our YouTube Channel.
This is Kathleen Petitjean’s third year as a Sustainability Fellow. During the last two years her project was to organize our annual Rain Barrel Art Auction. This has been a very successful event, particularly in its educational capacity. Kathleen will be taking her last six years of experience helping to envision and develop public/private partnerships around sustainability to the next level. She is proposing to create a new not-for-profit organization called “Greening the Bend.” Its mission will be to bring together the artistic, business, not-for-profit, educational, and municipal sectors of the community together to create and help fund sustainability installations. Her first project will be the installation of a green roof on the Century Center. This project has been simmering for some time now, but needs an extra push and some additional funding. As a Sustainability Fellow for the next year, Kathleen will work on getting her not-for-profit status, creating a board of directors, and holding her first major fundraising event, “The Rain Barrel Ball.”
Jessica Mikels-Carrasco will study the Natural Step framework and explore how its sustainability guidelines can apply to environmental education. During this period, Jessica will participate in Center’s TNS workshops so that she can become a trained facilitator of TNS as well. As a Sustainability Fellow, the collaboration and training gained by working with the Center for a Sustainable Future will greatly augment her career goals of applying social science research to improving environmental education for young people. In exchange, she will bring to the Center a commitment to expanding our approaches to sustainability to include the youngest members of society and help us to work on some materials that are directed to helping to educate them about the principles of sustainability.
Kelly Hofferth will be focusing on our Friends of the Future annual giving campaign. Her fellow’s project is to help develop our Friends of the Future campaign and increase our number of donors to 100 during the next year. This fellowship will help improve our development and outreach efforts.
Read the 2012-2013 Fellows Press Release HERE