JHU Symposium on Sustainability Leadership & Practice 

April 5, 2023 | Scott-Bates Commons

4th Annual Sustainability Leadership Council Symposium

Whether you are curious to learn more about sustainability issues and solutions, build new partnerships, or amplify the visibility and impact of existing environmental initiatives, you won’t want to miss this exciting convergence!

The all-day event will include interactive dialogues, panel discussions, research posters, an information fair, plant-based breakfast, lunch, and refreshments, and more.

Panel sessions will be available virtually through Zoom, primarily including audio and presentation slides. There will be no virtual moderator or virtual Q&A, but virtual participants will be able to observe the discussion and Q&A.

  Contact sustainability@jhu.edu with questions

Organized by: JHU Sustainability Leadership Council

Please click on the panel topics listed below for a zoom link, abstract, panelist details, and room location.

Panel Sessions

Concurrent panel sessions featuring sustainability researchers and practitioners are organized by topic, and will take place throughout the day, each with an interactive Q&A. Panel discussions and Q&A will be moderated in-person, with the option to observe virtually over Zoom.

Panel sessions will be available virtually through Zoom, primarily including audio and presentation slides. There will be no virtual moderator or virtual Q&A, but virtual participants will be able to observe the discussion and Q&A.

The following sessions will take place concurrently from 10:00 – 10:50 am. Each session will include a series short talks from panelists, a moderated roundtable discussion, and an interactive Q&A.

10:00 – 10:50 AM | Room: Salon A | Zoom link

This Panel discussion on sustainability transportation with research and practitioner experts will explore climate-smart transportation, influences on bicycling commuting, advancing sustainable transportation on and around JHU campuses, and transit equity in the region.  

Moderator: Megan Latshaw, PhD, Associate Scientist, Environmental Health and Engineering  


  • Shima Hamidi, PhD, Assistant Professor, Environmental Health and Engineering 
  • Megan Latshaw, PhD, Associate Scientist, Environmental Health and Engineering  
  • Michelle Duren, PhD candidate, Health Policy and Management  
  • Nelson Greenlee, Transportation Manager, JHU Transportation Services 

10:00 – 10:50 AM | Room: Barber | Zoom link

This panel discussion is centered on local efforts in Baltimore City to strengthen resilience, mitigate and adapt to climate change, and partner with community in this work. Panelists will be discussing Baltimore Social- Environmental Collaborative: Equitable solutions for climate action in Baltimore City, the CHARMED Center focused on Community-Based Research in Baltimore, and rescuing, redistributing and composting food in Baltimore with a local non-profit, 4MyCiTy.

Moderator – Matthew Aubourg, MSPH Candidate, International Health, Social & Behavioral Interventions 


  • Benjamin Zaitchik, PhD, Professor, Earth & Planetary Science 
  • Marsha Wills-Karp, PhD, Professor & Chair, Department of Environmental Health & Engineering 
  • Chris Dipnarine, Founder & Executive Director of 4MyCity  

10:00 – 10:50 AM | Room: 304 East | Zoom link

This panel is a discussion session on sustainability in medicine and clinical care. Medical students from the Planetary Health Alliance group will present a “Planetary Health Report Card” on the medical school’s progress in incorporating sustainability practices. Panelists from the school of medicine, nursing, and the university/community will then share their expertise and Hopkins-specific experiences as well as highlight avenues for growth. 

Moderators: Akanksha Suresh, Abigail Fleischli, & Melanie Alfonzo, JHSOM Planetary Health Alliance 


  • Akanksha Suresh, Abigail Fleischli, and Melanie Alfonzo, Students, School of Medicine Planetary Health Alliance 
  • Mel Pavelack, DO, Pediatric Critical Care Fellow, Department of Anesthesiology, Medicine
  • Dr. Cecelia Tomori, PhD, Associate Professor & Director of Global Public Health and Community Health, Nursing 

The following sessions will take place concurrently from 11:00 – 11:50 am. Each session will include a series short talks from panelists, a moderated roundtable discussion, and an interactive Q&A.

11:00 – 11:50 AM | Room: Salon A  | Zoom Link

This Panel discussion on renewable energy includes researchers and leaders from the Ralph S O’Connor Sustainable Energy Institute who are doing sustainable energy research or are ROSEI leaders and will include a short talk on careers in renewable energy planning and systems, roundtable discussion, and interactive Q&A. Panelists will discuss the big surprises in the past decade about each technology, and what surprises might lie ahead, and underappreciated facts about renewable technologies.

Moderator: Ben Hobbs, Professor, Environmental Health & Engineering   


  • Ben Schafer, PhD, Professor, Civil & Systems Engineering; Director, Ralph S O’Connor Sustainable Energy Institute 
  • Ben Link, PhD, Managing Director & Associate Research Scientist, Ralph S O’Connor Sustainable Energy Institute 
  • Sijia Geng, PhD, Assistant Research Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering  
  • Yury Dvorkin, PhD, Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering; Civil & Systems Engineering  
  • Ruggero Rossi, PhD, Assistant Professor, Environmental Health & Engineering 

11:00 – 11:50 AM | Room: Barber | Zoom Link

What happens when we view climate change as a modern educational challenge? Working under this framework, this session will delve into the ways researchers and students at Hopkins create meaningful opportunities for sustainability education. Panelists will explore questions such as: What makes sustainability education impactful? Who is sustainability education for? And what role do students’ emotions, behaviors, and attitudes play in this education? Panelists will discuss climate change as a modern educational challenge, environmental justice curriculums, and lessons on climate change’s impacts on health. 

Moderator: Lisa Nehring, Doctoral student, School of Education 


  • Megan Latshaw, PhD, Associate scientist, Environmental Health and Engineering  
  • Hunter Gehlbach, PhD, Professor, Education  
  • Matthew Aubourg, MSPH candidate, Public Health 

11:00 – 11:50 AM | Room: 304 East | Zoom Link

A sustainable food system is ecologically sound, socially just, economically viable, and meets the nutritional needs of the growing population. In the face of climate change, our food system must also be resilient—able to endure, adapt, and return to a functioning state following extreme weather events and other climate disruptions. During this roundtable panel discussion, JHU researchers will share an overview of their findings from a variety of efforts exploring the connection between food systems and climate change. Brent Kim will present research underscoring the urgency of addressing food systems greenhouse gas emissions for climate mitigation. Stan Becker will explore why alternative population growth scenarios—and their implications for food production and security—need to be considered as part of the policy framework to improve food systems. Lastly, the Center for a Livable Future will share an overview of a recently created guide to help local governments be prepared for, adapt from, recover from, and transform their local food system despite natural and human made disasters, including those caused by climate change. 

Moderator: Raychel Santo, MSc Program Officer, Center for a Livable Future 


  • Brent Kim, MHS, Research Program Manager, Center for a Livable Future  
  • Stan Becker, PhD, Lecturer, Public Health  
  • Elsie Moore, PhD Candidate, Public Health

The following panel sessions will take place concurrently from 1:30 – 2:20 pm. Each session will include a series short talks from panelists, a moderated roundtable discussion, and an interactive Q&A.

1:30 – 2:20 PM | Room: Salon A | Zoom link 

The accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere contributes to radiative forcing, changes in climate, and then in turn effects on the biosphere, people, and their health. This panel presents research on investigation of sources of greenhouse gases, and then influences on heat, health and communities. The panel demonstrates the range of disciplinary approaches taken by researchers to investigate greenhouse gas emissions and their manifold effects. 

Moderator: Sherburne B. Abbott, Professor, Department of Environmental Health and Engineering 


  • Darryn Waugh, PhD, Professor, Earth and Planetary Science 
  • Jaime Madrigano, PhD, Research Scientist, Environmental Health and Engineering  
  • Jana Kopelent Rehak, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Earth and Planetary Science 

1:30 – 2:20 PM | Room: Barber | Zoom link

Decades ago, medical and lab supplies were made of reusable metal, cloth, and glass with little to no plastic used in their construction or packaging and sterilized before each reuse. Nowadays. virtually every piece of equipment such as surgical masks, syringes, and surgical tools as well as pipettes, test tubes, and growth flasks, are wrapped in, or composed of, plastic. The production, transport, use, and disposal of these supplies are responsible for around 80% of the health care industry’s carbon footprint, which accounts for 8.5% of US greenhouse gas emissions.  Following a brief overview of the history and ethics of single-use supplies, the panelists and audience will discuss the feasibility and cultural shift needed to return to reusable supplies and reducing the reliance on single-use supplies. The discussion will conclude with a brief remark on actions the audience can implement at JHU to reduce laboratory waste.  

Moderator: Leana Houser, MS, Waste Reduction and Recycling Manager, Office of Sustainability  


  • Jeremy Greene, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and the History of Medicine
  • Maria W. Merritt, PhD, Associate Professor, Berman Institute of Bioethics and Department of International Health
  • Ryan Weeks, PhD, Green Labs Specialist, Office of Sustainability  

1:30- 2:20 pm | Room: 304 East | Zoom link 

This panel will explore how different initiatives by students and staff at JHU have fostered more sustainable food systems through campus dining initiatives, education, and organization. Raychel Santo will provide a history and overview of the sustainable food procurement efforts at JHU, including the Meatless Monday campaign and its role at the university since its inception in 2003 and the implementation of the Real Food Commitment from 2013-2019. Graham Browning will share current sustainable food procurement practices within JHU Dining as well as future directions. Student leaders from the JHU Alt Protein Project will share their efforts to raise awareness around alternative proteins and their potential to both address sustainability and animal welfare concerns and foster healthy communities.  

Moderator: D’Ann Williams, PhD, Assistant Scientist, Center for a Livable Future 


  • Raychel Santo, MSc, Program Officer, Center for a Livable Future  
  • Graham Browning, MS, Sustainability Manager, Hopkins Dining  
  • Emily Yao, Student, JHU Alternative Protein Project

The following panel sessions will take place concurrently from 3:00 – 4:15 pm. Each session will include a series short talks from panelists, a moderated roundtable discussion, and an interactive Q&A.

3:00 – 4:15 pm | Room: Salon A | Zoom link

The Lower Stony Run Strategic Plan was a community-driven planning effort to provide greatly needed connectivity and accessibility projects to the beloved Stony Run Walking Path, the Stony Run stream valley, and its associated park spaces. A panel including JHU faculty, planning professionals, residents neighboring the Homewood Campus will discuss the Plan from multiple perspectives. Panelists will outline vital connectivity and accessibility projects and historical context for the Plan with regard to local communities, institutions, and landscapes.   

Moderator: Anand Pandian, PhD,  Professor, Anthropology


  • Tom McGilloway, Planner, Mahan Rykiel Associates 
  • Sandra Sparks, Chair, Strategic Plan Steering Committee, Friends of Stony Run  
  • James Wolf, President, Friends of Stony Run 

3:00 – 4:15 pm | Room: Barber |  Zoom link

Many of us who work in occupations that try to address ever-changing, significant global challenges are affected by stress, overwhelm, and burnout. These experiences can impede our ability to stay ‘in the game,’ even for issues to which we are deeply committed.  In this interactive practice session, we will discuss some of these experiences, as well as the recent science from positive psychology, neuroscience, and mindfulness that support personal resilience. We will practice using several tools that can build positive mental habits and foster personal agency, to help you navigate daily challenges, increase positive emotions, decrease stress, and plan for your future in sustainability work and beyond. 

Moderator: Hayley Kallenberg, MPH Candidate, School of Public Health 


  • Anita Shankar, PhD, Associate Scientist, International Health, JHBSPH, Executive Director of SEE Change   
  • Kate Cornwall, PhD Candidate, Johns Hopkins School of Education  
  • Hannah Marker, PhD, Research Associate, International Health, JHBSPH, Researcher with SEE Change

3:00 – 4:15 pm | Room: 304 East |  Zoom Link

Join a panel discussion on how JHU’s campuses are being used as testbeds for sustainability research and innovation and learn about the development of a new Campus as Living Laboratory Program being launched next year. This session will include presentations from panelists, a moderated roundtable discussion, and Q&A with the audience.    

Moderator: Julian Goresko, Director, Office of Sustainability  


  • Elsie Moore, MPH, PhD Candidate, Department of Environmental Health and Engineering  
  • Dr. Kellogg Schwab PhD, Professor, Department of Environmental Health and Engineering 
  • Kathy Szlavecz, PhD, Research Professor, Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences  
  • Marty Kajic, Senior Director of Facilities Management, Bloomberg School of Public Health 

The following panel session will take place concurrently from 4:30 – 5:30 pm. Each session will include a series short talks from panelists, a moderated roundtable discussion, and an interactive Q&A.

4:30 – 5:20 pm | Room: Barber | Zoom link  

The Environmental Justice Workshop gives students at Johns Hopkins University and other local educational institutions the chance to join the collective struggle to build equitable and sustainable urban futures in the city of Baltimore. A project of the Ecological Design Collective, this year-long community-based learning course co-taught by community organizer Shashawnda Campbell of the South Baltimore Community Land Trust and JHU anthropologist Anand Pandian has brought together over 25 graduate and undergraduate students from diverse fields in the 2022-23 academic year. This panel introduces the collaborative projects in urban environmental justice and sustainable design that the course participants have pursued over the year, including many student voices and perspectives, and showcases the work that they have produced in collaboration with community partners. 

Moderator: Anand Pandian, Professor, Anthropology  


  • Anand Pandian, PhD, professor, Department of Anthropology
  • Shashawnda Campbell, Community Leader, South Baltimore Community Land Trust
  • Louisa Benatovich, student, Medicine, Science, and the Humanities
  • Arunika Bhatia, student,  Geography and Environmental Engineering
  • Angelica Brooks, student, Environmental Studies
  • Marcos Hernandez Canchola,Anthropology
  • Larkin Gallup, student, International Studies
  • Mansha Kapur, student, Physics
  • Stella Lee, student, International Studies
  • Lisa Nehring, student, Education
  • Alaa Saad, student, Anthropology
  • Carlos Sanchez, student, Ben Franklin High School
  • Dorothy Thompson, student, Environmental Health and Engineering

Research Posters & Information Fair

Throughout the day in Salon B & C the Information Fair tables and Research Posters will be on display featuring JHU sustainability research as well as information tables hosted by campus and local groups.

Explore the research posters and information fair during breakfast, lunch, and breaks, as well the designated Information Fair and Research Poster Session from 2:20 – 3:00 pm.

Reimagining a Downtown through Green Infrastructure and Multimodal Transportation | Kristen Corlay, Julia Choe, Ciara Darden, Maya Mann, Gianna Murphy, Adeola Ojuade

Designing air-stable sustainable ionic-polymer-based thermoelectric devices for energy conversion and storage | Nan (Louise) Chen

Operation-Adversarial Scenario Generation and Reserve Procurement | Zhirui Liang

Decision analysis of coal decommissioning strategy | Ziting Huang

Variability of heat (and possibly air quality) within Baltimore City | Darryn Waugh

Age-specific factors associated with Malaria between children of age 6-23.9 months and 24-59 months in Nigeria | Woojae Choi
Targeted PFAS Filtration by In-silico Materials Design | K. Michael Salerno

Assessment of the susceptibility of women and young children to negative nutritional outcomes through identification of risk factors for severe food insecurity, inadequate dietary diversity, and child diarrhea  | Noah Baker

Cross-sectional cluster randomized survey of women of reproductive age (15-49) and children under 5 from May-June of 2022 in East Hararghe Zone, Oromia, Ethiopia. | Noah Baker

Hazardous thread? Microplastic exposure and potential respiratory effects in the garment industry |  Angela Aherrera

The Carbon Footprint of Cataract Surgery: Assessing the Impact of Travel and the Potential of a Vision Center Model as a Solution | In Young Chung and Nakul Shekhawat

Linking Energy Sector and Air Quality Models Through Downscaling: Long Run EGU Siting and Dispatch to Account for Spatial and Temporal Variability | Shen Wang

The Climate Emergency: Individual Choices Toward Systemic Change | Jolene Sweitzer

The opportunities and challenges of clean energy transition from the perspectives of power grids and transportation systems | Sijia Geng

Associations between a Cash Voucher intervention and food consumption and coping strategy in Refugee camp in Somalia | Theresa Fang, Andy Tran, Yunhee Kang

Interventions focused on livelihood training and food production are associated with reduced food insecurity in the Rohingya refugee population in Bangladesh | Andy Tran, Theresa Fang, Yunhee Kang

  • Sustainability Leadership Council
  • JHU Office of Sustainability
  • JHU Green Labs & Freezer Challenge
  • JHU Recycling/Waste
  • Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation
  • Baltimore Social-Environmental Collaborative
  • JHU Alternative Protein Project
  • Community Solar
  • Maryland Public Health Association
  • Energy Quiz
  • Green & Connected: Urban Agriculture in Baltimore
  • JHU Center for a Livable Future