Guest Post: Erin Ward, Coordinator for USG’s Department of Administration

I attended classes at The Universities at Shady Grove for six years – all of my classes held in the Camille Kendall Academic Center – and I never realized what a unique facility it truly was. I was piecing together my Bachelor’s degree while working full-time at a construction company in Rockville so I had heard the acronym “LEED” before and knew, in general, what it meant, but in 2012 I began working for USG Administration and gained a whole new insight into the world of sustainability. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design.

Camille Kendall Academic Center at sunset (Photo credit: Ted Eytan)

Camille Kendall Academic Center at sunset (Photo Credit: Ted Eytan)

As you may already know, the Camille Kendall Academic Center achieved a Gold rating on the LEED scorecard. This “scorecard” covers a multitude of categories not only pertaining to the construction of and materials used in the building, but it also accounts for an educational element. How fitting for a place such as this, right? So in order to satisfy this requirement, we had to commit to taking an active approach to educating our building’s occupants, as well as the surrounding community, about the sustainable features of the building and how it impacts the environment. Across campus you can find different opportunities to learn about our sustainability, from signage to displays to the green touch screen. And if you’re more interested in hearing about it from a living, breathing person, you’re in luck! There was a Green Committee established to do just that!

The Green Committee’s members are mostly staff and faculty (we want to get students involved, too!) and we meet up to talk about how we can improve our campus culture to be more sustainable. It was the Green Committee that worked to get those awesome bottle fillers installed on the water fountains to cut down on the use of plastic bottles! My favorite thing about being on the committee is giving the Green Tour of the campus. I had always considered teaching as a profession growing up and, in a way, I feel like I get the chance to be one every time I lead a tour. I love having the opportunity to teach people about the green features incorporated into Building III and our current parking garage, and to be a witness to their intrigue and curiosity.

Erin Ward

Erin Ward

If you are interested in taking the Green Tour, joining the Green Committee, have ideas to contribute, or questions about sustainability here at USG, feel free to reach out to me any time! I’m on the third floor of the Camille Kendall Academic Center in III-3153, and of course always available by email at eward9@umd.edu.

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