Unity fills key sustainability post

DeHart entrusted with widening college’s conservation, efficiency impact as sustainability director

Jennifer deHart

Jennifer deHart has been appointed Sustainability Director at Unity College, a national leader in sustainability science and education.

In her new post, deHart will be counted on to provide leadership in advancing the college’s nationally recognized commitment to sustainability, working collaboratively with college staff, administration, faculty, and students to plan, develop and facilitate coordinated, best-practice sustainability efforts.

DeHart has led sustainability efforts on college campuses throughout the country, including Harvard University and her most recent post as sustainability coordinator for Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va., where she engaged diverse audiences in sustainability initiatives and collaborative projects.

“It’s hard to imagine a more important position at Unity, or a more qualified candidate as Jennifer,” said Unity College President Stephen Mulkey. “I have every confidence she will help our ongoing efforts and new initiatives that will keep Unity at the forefront of applied environmental learning and sustainability globally.”

DeHart is adept at employing a collaborative leadership style, Unity College Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Melik Peter Khoury said.

“She has proven effective at gaining approval and enthusiasm for environmental initiatives among disparate groups at a large private university and a small public college,” Khoury said. “We expect to see her increase those efforts at a school known globally for its environmental commitment, where sustainability is the framework for everything we do.”

At VMI, deHart selected, trained, and supervised summer sustainability inters; created and led a community advisory committee overseeing VMI’s public rail trail; reviewed capital construction documents and specifications for energy and resource efficiency projects; executed more than $300,000 in non-capital projects relating to energy or resource conservation; developed and managed a campus recycling program, including supervision of student employees; contracted managers for selected waste disposal, storm water, and hazardous waste services; and more.

As program manager in the Harvard University Office for Sustainability’s Real Estate Services Division from 2007 to 2011, deHart managed drafts, revisions, and progress reports for greenhouse gas plan and supporting documents; described energy conservation projects to multiple audiences through live presentations and written articles; trained building managers to use utility data in operational and financial decision-making; consulted on portfolio-wide sustainability initiatives including occupant education, building standards, and service level agreements; participated in award-winning office green team; and managed energy and waste reduction campaign among nine dining halls.

DeHart also has served as an industrial program associate for the Consortium for Energy Efficiency in Boston, as a teacher in the Baltimore (Md.) city and county public school systems; and is certified in the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program; accredited by the Green Building Council; an energy manager in the association of Energy Engineers; and a member of other recognized environmental and sustainability organizations.

She holds a Master of Science in Facilities Management from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy; a Master of Arts in Teaching from the School of Professional Studies in Business and Education at Johns Hopkins University; and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Swarthmore College.

“My experiences as a sustainability professional at Harvard University and Virginia Military Institute have led me to believe that sustainability decisions at an institution are opportunities for education,” deHart said. “Unity College leads the nation by putting this belief into practice. I applaud and wholeheartedly support the college’s strategic plan, ‘building a beacon’ of liberal arts education through sustainability science.

“I am ready to help Unity College prepare the next generation of environmental leaders,” she said.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015