Director of Sustainability
As Western’s sustainability officer, Seth Vidaña oversees the functions of the Office of Sustainability, working with students, staff, and faculty to make Western a national leader in sustainability through advances in academics, operations, and co-curricular learning. Seth is driven to provide students with the opportunity to identify as protectors of people and planet, and hopes that their experiences at Western will stay with them for the rest of their lives. An envelope-pusher, knowledge source, and mentor, Seth is also co-chair of the Washington Higher Education Sustainability Consortium. He enjoys being a father, partner, trail runner, bee keeper, and is a proud first-generation American of Latino-Teuton heritage.
Sustainability Action Plan / Communications and Engagement Coordinator
A recipient of Western’s 2018 Team Recognition Award for writing Western’s first twenty-year Sustainability Action Plan, Susanna is now supporting its implementation by connecting people and resources across campus and throughout the greater Bellingham community. Susanna’s work includes overseeing communications of Western’s sustainability initiatives, giving voice to the efforts and achievements of students, staff, and faculty. She is passionate about social and economic justice and the deep ties to ecological protection, believing that the earth will be safe when people have what they need and feel secure. Susanna holds a Master of Arts in Education from California State University, San Bernardino. A practitioner and promoter of individual and collective resiliency, Susanna is a ballerina, gardener, and volunteer with the Whatcom County Community Emergency Response Team.
Location: HS 25
Social Media Coordinator
As the social media coordinator, Elayna understands that the best way to promote sustainable living is through the facilitation of social media marketing, as it is so widely used today. Inspired by a passion for creating a sustainable, renewable future she employs a variety of social media tactics to share the many events, achievements and developments in the community and around the world. Elayna is studying Business Sustainability with a concentration in Energy and a double minor in Economics and Environmental Policy. It is her personal mission to learn something new every day, and she looks forward to spending the year learning many new ways to shift toward a holistically sustainable future. Hailing from sunny Southern California, Elayna has come to greatly enjoy the variety of natural offerings in the Pacific Northwest and in her free time can be found golfing, hiking or sailing as often as she can.
Enya provides a digital platform to support the university’s commitment to sustainability as our web guru. She is passionate about the ability of a website to reach a wide range of audience, to connect people and planet. Enya’s enthusiasm for computers and programming since arriving at Western has led to her desire to attain a Bachelors of Sciences in Computer Science. A northwest native, Enya enjoys spending time outdoors hiking and hammocking, as well as cozying up with a graphic novel in the colder months.
As a graphic designer, Hunter strives for creative collaboration, sharing authentic stories, and serving a purpose greater than herself. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design, with minors in Women, Gender and Sexuality studies as well as Arts Enterprise and Cultural Innovation. Long term, she hopes to work in fashion media as a creative director to move the industry into a more sustainable and inclusive future. When she is not at work, you can find her going for a run, talking to her mom on the phone, or meeting friends for coffee.
As an artist and graphic designer, Lia understands the power of visual impact in everyday life. She is excited to apply that power toward a meaningful cause, and to continue to learn about how impactful even the smallest collective move toward a sustainable future can be. Having grown up in the beautiful state of Colorado, Lia has an appreciation for the outdoors that helps drive the work she creates, and believes that spending time outside is the ultimate way to recharge. When she isn’t working toward completing her Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design, Lia is a player on Western’s club volleyball team, and enjoys collaging, water-coloring, climbing trees, and thrift shopping.
Conservation and Outreach
Resource Conservation Outreach Assistant
Through a variety of programs, Lauren works with Western students, staff, and faculty to promote conservation across campus and in the greater Bellingham community. As someone who has lived in Washington her whole life, Lauren has a passion for wild spaces and the creatures that inhabit them. She considers herself to be a fierce advocate for all life on earth and works to incorporate all pillars of sustainability in her projects. As a journalism major and sustainability minor, Lauren seeks to make connections across disciplines and between individuals and communities to encourage sustainable living. When not working or studying, Lauren can be found doing yoga, exploring the Pacific Northwest, and taking care of her houseplants.
Location: HS 25
Feeding Western Staff
Feeding Western Coordinator / AmeriCorps VISTA
Tanner joins the Western Washington University community as an AmeriCorps VISTA and the head of the newly formed Feeding Western Program. In his role, Tanner aims to build and expand University programs dedicated to removing barriers for students experiencing food insecurity. He is very excited to be working within the Office of Sustainability because he and others realize that supporting community members who struggle with access to healthy affordable food is good practice in social and economic sustainability. Tanner holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a Biology minor from University of Wisconsin La-Crosse. He found his way to AmeriCorps VISTA and National Service through his desire to serve underrepresented, oppressed, and vulnerable populations. When not at work you will find Tanner volunteering in the community, at the gym, on Galbraith Mountain, or just sitting back and enjoying life.
Location: HS 25
Swinging into an area near you, Darrin is an International Business major with numerous interests stemming from sustainability. As a research assistant, he is assisting with Western’s STARs reporting and researching student transportation options on and around campus. When you can’t find Darrin nose deep in research, you can usually find him swinging in the trees with his hammock after a good hike. After university, Darrin hopes to serve internationally, working with humanitarian relief from a business standpoint.
Location: HS 25
Sustainable Communities Partnership
Sustainable Communities Partnership Program Coordinator
Serving as a liaison to communities around Western, Lindsey is connecting public needs and ideas with faculty and student energy and expertise. She also teaches Western’s Campus Sustainability Planning Studio. Lindsey is passionate about engaging students in real-world work and service toward positive change in their communities. She holds a Master of Science in Conservation Ecology from the University of Michigan, and has been working in sustainability in higher education for eight years. Her research has focused on leadership for sustainability, and sustainable food initiatives in higher education. When not at work, Lindsey enjoys growing and cooking food as well as playing in the mountains.
Location: HS 24
Sustainable Communities Partnership Graduate Assistant
Ashley is excited to be assisting Lindsey with work on the Sustainable Communities Partnership program. She is pleased to have returned to the Pacific Northwest after spending three and half years in the Florida Keys conducting coral reef restoration and educating folks about the importance of our oceans. Last year, Ashley spent time in residence at the North Cascades Institute and explored the steep mountains and the magical blue of Diablo Lake. She was called back to Western to complete a graduate degree after graduating in 2012 with a B.S. in Environmental Science and marine ecology. Ashley is working toward a Master’s of Environmental Education in Huxley College of the Environment. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, snuggling with her cat, and making meals with her partner.
Location: HS 23
Transportation Program Coordinator
Working to decrease the number of people who travel to Western in single occupancy vehicles, Jillian is involved in education and advocacy for pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders on campus. She is Western’s Campus Bicycle Educator and a League of American Bicyclists League Certified Instructor. Jillian earned a Master of Science in biology and her high school science teacher certification at Western Washington University. She is currently working on a master’s degree in sustainable transportation at the University of Washington. Outside of work you will find Jillian studying, hiking, or riding fast on her bike. She has also been known to enjoy a good play or movie.
Location: HS 25
Student Transportation Program Support Supervisor
Kay has been an employee of Western since 1997, and moved to the Student Transportation Program shortly after its inception in 2008. She handles the day-to-day business of the program, and works on projects to improve student bus pass availability and Late Night Shuttle operation. Kay assists the Western community with transportation needs, and works closely with the AS Alternative Transportation Coordinator. She has an A.S. degree in Paralegal Studies, and is a long time bus rider who enjoys supporting the Student Transportation Program and its goals.
Location: HS 25
Sustainability, Equity, and Justice Fund Staff
Sustainability, Equity, & Justice Fund Grant Program Manager
Johnathan Riopelle plans, promotes, and stewards the Sustainability, Equity, & Justice Fund Grant Program, instructs applicants in grant writing and project management, and writes the university’s annual sustainability report. He is an animal rights and meditative arts advocate, and holds degrees in Editing, Psychology, and Theology. Johnathan recharges with long bicycle rides, backcountry camping, and the works of Joseph Campbell.
Location: HS 25
Kate Rayner Fried
Sustainability, Equity, and Justice Fund Outreach Coordinator
Cultivating sustainability through student sustainability projects, Kate works to connect Western’s student with resources, opportunities, and support. She is currently in her senior year and plans to graduate with an interdisciplinary degree, Environmental Consciousness: Society, Culture, and Education from Fairhaven College, and a minor in Environmental Studies. Kate’s work is informed by her belief that engaging people with their ecological and social communities, and building collective power, is the key to creating systemic change. When she is not in class, the office, or at a club meeting, you’ll likely find her staring through her binoculars looking at whatever intriguing bird she has happened across.
Location: HS 25
Sustainability, Equity, and Justice Fund Projects Coordinator
Turner is spending this year providing students with opportunities to create positive change on campus through the Sustainability, Equity, and Justice Fund. Working toward large-scale systematic progress, Turner is pursuing a degree in Environmental Science. With a strong background serving socio-economically diverse populations, he is focused on providing long-term solutions to matters of inequality through holistic community and infrastructure development. In his view, life will always find a way, and thus sustainability is an issue of balancing human health with the needs of our natural world. The only solution to our environmental crisis is one which values the wealth of diversity on our planet and celebrates its’ intrinsic beauty. Turner is an aspiring artist and writer, and hopes to one day influence society at-large to induce widespread understanding of the human condition.
Location: HS 25
Sustainability Representatives Staff
Sustainability Representatives Program Coordinator
As the program coordinator, Maddy is excited to support residence hall sustainability, and is passionate about empowering program reps to be change-makers. In her senior year at Western, Maddy is currently in the Honors Program, working toward a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies specializing in education and policy, with a minor in Education and Social Justice. She believes that education can be used to move toward a more equitable world and create systemic changes. When not being overexcited about environmental issues, Maddy can be found running the trails, cooking vegan food, or with her nose in a book.
Location: HS 25
Sustainability Representatives Program Assistant
As the assistant coordinator, Jessica supports program representatives on their journey to implement sustainability initiatives on Western’s campus and in the greater Bellingham community. She is currently working toward a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a Terrestrial Ecology concentration. Jessica believes with education and empowerment, sustainability can be incorporated into small everyday practices and large-scale systemic changes alike. When not studying, or in the office, she spends her time gardening, hiking, knitting, reading, or cooking a delicious vegetarian meal.
Location: VC 24
Sustainability Representatives Intern
As the program intern, Mabel is organizing funding for the Sustainability Challenge, supporting representatives in their efforts, and working behind the scenes improving program efficiency. A Fairhaven student, she is working on an interdisciplinary concentration combining environmental education and identity in order to discuss how climate change disproportionately impacts marginalized individuals. Mabel is also working toward a dual minor in Education and Social Justice, and Spanish. She is passionate about making education more accessible and working to prepare the next generation of environmental advocates. In her free time, you can find Mabel climbing rocks, finding deals at local thrift shops, making art, and cooking food with her roommates.
Location: HS 30
Zero Waste Western Staff
Zero Waste Western Coordinator
Starting as a former intern for the Zero Waste program, Hope is newly the coordinator. She will be working on an array of projects, including the installation of a waste-tracking system to improve the efficiency of how Western manages its waste, and educating students in the residence halls about waste sorting to promote the new composting program. She is passionate about transforming our current waste structures through zero waste practices and policies, creating cleaner, healthier environments for all communities. Hope is working toward a degree in Environmental Policy with a minor in Political Science. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and traveling to various places via road trip with friends.
Location: VC 24