Alumni Association

Oberlin College EnviroAlums

EnviroAlums is a group of alumni who are passionate about sustainability and social justice and who seek to improve Oberlin College, community, and the broader world by empowering students.

About EnviroAlums

We focus on providing resources to students that enhance educational experiences (fellowships, career advice, etc.), providing resources and connections that enhance the sustainability for the college, and creating connections among alumni who are interested or working in sustainability.

As alumni concerned about environmental issues like biodiversity loss, climate change, over-consumption, equity, pollution, population, and social justice, EnviroAlums assists with and advocates for environmental education, sustainability, and stewardship within the Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music community. We define sustainability broadly and recognize the important relationships between social, economic, and environmental sustainability. We affect change by providing advisory input to the institution on sustainability, supporting environmental educational avenues and careers on and off campus, to nurture environmental stewardship, and by raising funds to empower students and foster positive change on campus.

Since its founding in 2002, EnviroAlums has broadened its focus to sustainability in all facets of the functioning of Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music. Working with the Environmental Studies Program, the Office of Energy and Sustainability, the Committee on Environmental Sustainability among others, EnviroAlums has been a proactive player in the ongoing development of a culture of sustainability at Oberlin.

We focus on providing resources to students that enhance educational experiences (fellowships, career advice, etc.), providing resources and connections that enhance the sustainability for the college, and creating connections among alumni who are interested or working in sustainability.

Volunteer to join EnviroAlums!

Stay Connected

For all the up-to-date news, announcements, and EnviroAlum activities, follow us on Facebook.

Follow Us On Facebook

Environmental studies majors and EnviroAlums looking for internship and employment opportunities, should join our LinkedIn community.

Join EnviroAlums on LinkedIn


Steering Committee

EnviroAlums Steering Committee on Zoom

March 2022 Steering Committee Meeting

Chair: Walt Galloway '69

Served in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia and Eritrea, 1969-1971. Retired June 30, 2012 after 38 years of environmental research, and various forms of training, facilitation, and organization development; working since 1974 with the EPA Office of Research and Development as a chemist, environmental scientist, facilitator, change agent, and manager. Mostly did the work he enjoyed most, working with local governments, citizens, and fellow research scientists on how to truly succeed in Community Based Environmental Protection.

Vice Chair: Eli Sadow-Hasenberg ’24

Eli Sadow-Hasenberg is a fourth year Oberlin student from Seattle, WA. As an environmental studies student, he has passionately pursued an interdisciplinary understanding of urban, agricultural, and energy systems. He looks forward to a career building equitable climate resilience through law and policy. 



Dyaami D’Orazio ’16

Dyaami was born and raised in unceded Lenapehoking known as the Bronx, New York. Dyaami graduated from Oberlin in 2016 with an ENVS major and 3 minors (one by accident!), attended Farm School NYC and studied as a Sacred Vibes Spiritual Herbalism Apprentice. Dyaami enjoys organizing things, visioning into the future, and being in spaces that cultivate growth, justice, and liberation.


Krista Egger '04

Krista Egger is vice president of national programs at Enterprise Community Partners. With nearly 20 years of experience leading green building, resilience, and healthy housing initiatives with affordable housing stakeholders, Krista manages the organization’s national climate sustainability efforts, spanning program development and policy advocacy.


Aviva Glaser '04


Cria Kay '16

Cria Kay (she/her) is a Chicago-based sustainability professional, urban ecologist, and water activist. Cria is the Program Administrator for Northwestern University’s Campus Sustainability Program, sustainNU. In this role, she provides direction and thought leadership for initiatives that further the University's sustainability strategy.


Abe Kruger '04

With over 19 years of experience in sustainable construction, Abe Kruger is a partner at SK Collaborative, a leading green building consulting and training firm. He holds numerous industry credentials and volunteers on a number of nonprofit Boards. He was an Environmental Studies and History major at Oberlin.  


Bryn Kearney ’25

Bryn Kearney is a Third-Year economics and environmental studies major at Oberlin College. She is a member of the Environmental Dashboard Team, with her primary role being the student coordinator for the Northeast Ohio Climate Action Community Voices Media Campaign. She has been a TA for ENVS 101 for two semesters and is currently also a member of the Resource Conservation Team and a peer tutor in economics and chemistry.


Jeayoon Lee '08 

Jeayoon lives near Atlanta, GA and loves working as a software product manager. Her experience spans consulting, media, software startups, health tech and now climate tech.


Michael J. Lythcott '70 

Michael Lythcott has over 35 years of experience designing and facilitating complex interactions between diverse, often deeply divided, environmental stakeholders. He has worked with grassroots community groups, government agencies and neighboring industries to develop unique strategies for collaborative problem solving around Environmental Justice urgencies. Lythcott received a Congressional award acknowledging his work to help build bridges between grassroots communities and their industrial neighbors and received an “Outstanding Community Service” award from US EPA Region 9. Former Vice Chairman of the Waste and Facility Siting Committee of National Environmental Justice Advisory Council Former Vice-Chairman of the National Black Environmental Justice Network.


Elise Paeffgen '04

Elise Paeffgen practices environmental law in Washington, DC.  She is a partner at the law firm Alston & Bird.  She works at the intersection with healthcare, and provides compliance counseling on waste and ESG issues. After Oberlin, Elise attended the Yale School of the Environment and Vermont Law & Graduate School. 


John Petersen '88

John Petersen is the Paul Sears Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology at Oberlin College. A systems ecologist by training, Dr. Petersen's research focuses on understanding the role of feedback control in both environmental and social systems.  Through the Environmental Dashboard project he leads, he has been instrumental in developing real-time feedback display technologies for buildings, organizations, and whole cities with the goal of engaging, educating, motivating and empowering resources conservation and pro-environmental and pro-community behavior. A founder of the design firms “Lucid” and more recently “Community Hub”, technology he has developed is now installed in thousands of buildings across the U.S. and Canada.


Michael Rossotto '84

Michael Rossotto is a non-traditional attorney based in Seattle, WA. He has worked as a grassroots organizer, policy analyst, lobbyist, program manager, grant writer, consultant, executive director, and at times as an attorney, for nonprofit organizations such as the Washington Environmental Council, Save our Wild Salmon, and Friends of the Earth; local government entities such as Sound Transit and the City of Seattle; and tribal government entities such as the Northwest Intertribal Court System and the Quileute Indian Tribe Department of Natural Resources. Michael is a certified Washington Native Plant Steward with experience and expertise in law and policy regarding energy, water, land use, forestry, habitat restoration, federal Indian law, and tribal law and government.


Paul Safyan '68

Paul Safyan had two careers: a family therapist and a computer software/softskills trainer. He lives near Chicago and participates in Sierra Club's reduce the use of plastics in restaurants campaign. He has been a Steering Team member since 2014, serving on the communications subcommittee and helping with career day events.


Phillip Singerman '65

Phil Singerman '65 has been actively supporting local community development from his post-graduation service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Colombia, S.A., through his tenure as  U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, to his current position as a member of the advisory board of Global Urban Development, a non-profit which pioneered the concept of Sustainable Innovation Zones in Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil.  Climate change is the #1 challenge to life form existence  and Oberlin has played a leading role in responding.  He is delighted to join the Steering Committee of EnviroAlums.


EnviroAlums Student Fellow: Courtney Horner '24

Courtney is the EnviroAlums student intern, meaning they send out communications, such as the bimonthly newsletter, plan the Careers in the Environment Series, and work to connect students and alumni. Courtney is an Environmental Studies and Musical Studies major, intending to go into Community Planning/Urban Sustainability after Oberlin. Throughout college, they have been heavily involved with the Sunrise Movement, The Green Schools Alliance, and was a student rep on the Oberlin Divestment Committee.

The Environment and Oberlin College

Oberlin College has an exceptional opportunity to lead in educating not only students but also the entire Oberlin community, for dealing with the environmental issues that face humanity. Oberlin’s involvement in broadly defined environmentally based issues has a long history, but the formal focus on this area came in the 1970s and developed over the 1980s. In the fall of 1993 the college’s Strategic Issues Study Committee recommended Oberlin further develop its Environmental Studies program as a matter of high priority. The number of majors in Environmental Studies tripled in the past decade and is one of the three most subscribed majors on campus. But Oberlin has not become a model for educating all students, or the larger Oberlin community, for dealing with the environmental issues that face humanity.

Vision and passion on the part of a dedicated core in the Oberlin community made the Adam Joseph Lewis Center a reality — a building that teaches, an exemplar for “green” construction, and a high performance building, among the best in the world despite some engineering snafus now being corrected. The college administration and students are currently discussing the major issue of climate change and considering Oberlin's role in addressing this challenge. The monumental importance of climate change along with other environmental issues including over population, excessive consumption, biodiversity loss, pollution and social justice make the twenty-first century the environmental century. Humanity has a choice: Will it be a century of human activities that increase the likelihood of local and global social disruption and collapse, or the century of environmental recovery? This is the grand opportunity: Oberlin College can be an exemplar institution in making this the century of environmental recovery.

In March of ’04, the Oberlin College Board of Trustees voted to adopt a far-reaching environmental policy that addresses campus energy consumption, building construction and operation, land use, transportation and material use by the college. This policy was developed by the Environmental Policy Advisory Committee (EPAC), a committee composed of faculty, administration, facilities personnel, and students appointed by College President Nancy Dye.

In Fall 2015, General Faculty adopted the Environmental Policy Implementation Plan. This document was a culmination of a multi-year effort by the Committee on Environmental Sustainability (CES) to update and revise the Environmental Policy. Building upon the principles laid out in the 2004 policy, the Implementation Plan clarifies progress and charts strategies to achieving stated goals.

Oberlin College took a leadership role in environmental stewardship when former President Nancy Dye established Oberlin as one of the nation's first institutions of higher education to accept the goal of climate neutrality by signing the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment  (ACUPCC). Thus, Oberlin College selected the year 2025 to achieve carbon neutrality.

As a charter signatory in 2006, Oberlin was one of the first four schools in the United States and the first in its peer group to sign the ACUPCC, an initiative developed by Second Nature, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), and ecoAmerica to address what they term "the defining challenge of our century—the twin crises of energy sustainability and climate change."

In 2015, Second Nature added an additional commitment opportunity to their framework - resilience. Oberlin signed this commitment in the charter signatory period taking leadership to work alongside the greater Oberlin community to increase our community resilience.

For the most up to date information about Oberlin’s Environmental Policy, go to the Office of Energy and Sustainability ’s website.