About

Network Affiliates

Network affiliates are Illinois community college faculty and staff members who work with IGEN on initiatives and projects. They share best practices, advance specific initiatives or programs and act as a resource for other schools interested in advancing green goals.

Amy Bandman
Amy Bandman
Harper College

As the school’s first sustainability coordinator, Bandman works to bring Harper closer to achieving climate neutrality by 2053. She is also involved with the student Environmental Club and serves as the chair of Harper’s Sustainability Work Group.

Bandman is working on the sustainability reporting for the colleges and is currently making updates to Harper’s GHG report and CAP under the ACUPCC.  In addition, she is working to raise awareness and increase participation in sustainability initiatives on campus by hosting sustainability events, working with student groups and classes, creating informational signage, updating the college’s sustainability webpage and writing newsletter articles.

Sustainability Work Includes:

  • Sustainability Coordinator
  • Signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact
John Brophy
John Brophy
City Colleges of Chicago

The City Colleges of Chicago have a proud tradition of incorporating environmental goals into all aspects of curriculum, student engagement, facilities, and procurement. Brophy has experience working on city and state electric vehicle initiatives, green roofing, battery manufacturing, car sharing, and school fundraising. He is currently working with IGEN for PV installation at Richard J. Daley College.

Sustainability Work Includes:

Allessandra Kummelehne
Allessandra Kummelehne
Prairie State College

Since joining Prairie State in 2012, Kummelehne has implemented multiple initiatives to increase awareness around sustainability on campus and in the community including implementing IGEN’s energy efficiency programs. She is actively involved with multiple local, regional, and national sustainability organizations.

Sustainability Work Includes:

Bob Clark
Bob Clark
College of DuPage

Clark is involved with energy organizations and initiatives all over the country including groups such as NREL and BEST. He is currently working with IGEN to develop an energy industry-coupled career track. The goal is to model a program with cross-departmental curriculum that industry leaders can use to help develop their workforce.

The College of DuPage is also developing and implementing a building automation and energy systems degree program. Students are building a micro-sized campus heating and cooling system in their lab.  The lab will simulate and represent a major campus central heating and cooling system that will be controlled from the classroom by multiple building automation and energy systems.  The lab energy system also monitors both the electric and the gas that is used by the lab.

Sustainability Work Includes:

  • Instructor for HVACR and Facilities
Tyson Ellis
Tyson Ellis
Rend Lake College

Rend Lake College is engaged in numerous sustainability initiatives including hosting an annual electronic waste day, celebrating America Recycles Day, and offering a variety of Earth Week activities. Ellis works to fulfill the school’s sustainable needs on these and other projects including the installation of LED lights and water refilling stations. Rend Lake also participated in the Campus Conservation Nationals this year which focused on energy reduction across the campus.

Sustainability Work Includes:

  • Records Specialist
  • Sustainability Professional
Adrian Fisher
Adrian Fisher
Triton College

A co-founder of Triton’s Greening the Campus Committee in 2009, Fisher launched the sustainability coordinator position in 2011 with funding from IGEN. She works to advance sustainability on campus and in the community through education, programs and partnerships.

In addition to her committee involvement, she serves as an internal consultant for campus stakeholders and manages various external sustainability-related relationships and partnerships including the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact, the Chicago Network for Sustainability in Higher Education (CNSHE), the Chicagoland Bike2Campus Coalition, Chicago Wilderness, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, and the PlanItGreen Sustainability Plan for Oak Park and River Forest.

Sustainability Work Includes:

  • Sustainability Coordinator
Kim Hankins
Kim Hankins
McHenry County College

Kim Hankins is the first full-time administrator dedicated to sustainability at McHenry County College (MCC).  Sustainability has been an important part of daily life at MCC for the past 10 years.  Under Kim’s direction, MMC’s annual events include:

  • Publication of the Green Guide –  a comprehensive listing of recycling resources throughout McHenry County and beyond
  • The Green Living Expo –  an event focused on promoting green business and environmental advocacy
  • Bioneers speaker series – includes national experts on issues such as local food, climate change, and renewable energy

Sustainability Work Includes:

Greg Hollmann
Greg Hollmann
Rend Lake College

Hollmann has been working with IGEN since 2009 and has continually played a vital role in making his school an active member of the IGEN network. In addition to his teaching and committee work, he is an active advocate for sustainability.

Sustainability Work Includes:

  • Chairman of Greening the Campus Committee
  • Instructor of Physical Sciences
David Husemoller
David Husemoller
College of Lake County

Husemoller came to the College of Lake County with 10 years of policy development experience in renewable energy, recycling, local food, water, housing and sustainable building and development practices. He has worked on several committees related to the implementation of CLC’s Sustainable Master Plan including installation of renewable energy systems, LEED construction, retrofitting existing buildings and storm water best management practices. In addition to teaching, Husemoller also runs his own successful native landscape design business.

Sustainability Work Includes:

  • Sustainability Manager
  • Member of CLC Environmental Action Committee
  • Environment and Operations Commission, Food Service Committee, and Site Committee
  • Instructor of Sustainable Landscaping
Nate Keener
Nate Keener
Lewis and Clark Community College

Keener leads the effort toward a campus goal of net carbon neutrality by 2058 by working with numerous campus staff groups and departments to implement projects in energy conservation, energy generation, waste reduction and recycling, commuting/campus fleet, policy, and education/outreach. He also works with Lewis and Clark’s unique research partnership with the University of Illinois and the Illinois Natural History Survey in the development of the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC).

Keener manages the schools commitments to other local and national organizations and participates in IGEN’S Career Pathways and the Smart Grid classroom. The school is also involved in the Equipment Loan Program(IHPELP), Smart Grid Working Group, and Electric Vehicle Road Trip.

Sustainability Work Includes:

Andrew Kerins, Ph.D.
Andrew Kerins, Ph.D.
Danville Area Community College

Kerins works with community colleges and business to create and promote certificate and degree programs for the manufacturing industry, including biodiesel technology and advanced manufacturing. He builds partnerships to address gaps in skills and training.

Through the planning committee for the Illinois Green Employer Alliance, he works to bring together representatives from Illinois’ employers, community colleges and other stakeholder groups.

Sustainability Work Includes:

Debra Kutska
Debra Kutska
Oakton Community College

Kutska works closely with her school’s Green Committee to identify ways they can highlight existing initiatives and develop new opportunities in areas such as building design, energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, green curriculum and job training.

Recent projects include completion of the new LEED Gold certified Margaret Burke Lee Science and Health Careers Center and its associated photovoltaic array (funded in part by IGEN), certification of the Des Plaines campus as a Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation and Bronze level recognition for the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact. Debra’s professional background includes experience with wildlife, informal education, conservation career training, assessment and community outreach.

Sustainability Work Includes:

  • Sustainability Specialist
Jeff Oder
Jeff Oder
Lake Land College

Oder has been instrumental in the development of a new A.A.S. degree in Renewable Energy as well as the installation of two 100 kW wind turbines and the construction of a Net Zero Energy building powered in part by 20 kW of photovoltaics. His current projects include the installation of 200 kW of photovoltaics, with assistance from Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, plus 100 kW of photovoltaics associated with IGEN renewable energy installations.

Oder is also working to install the Smart Grid classroom and the campus-wide energy dashboard with assistance from the Smart Grid Working Group.

Sustainability Work Includes:

  • Director of Sustainability
Thor Peterson
Thor Peterson
Parkland College

Peterson is the inaugural Sustainability Coordinator for Parkland College as of July 1, 2015. As Parkland’s Sustainability Coordinator, Thor will help leverage and integrate the existing good works of Parkland’s Sustainable Campus Committee, active since 2007. These include becoming a signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment; facility improvements in energy efficiency and renewable energy; student engagement and behavior change activities; and sustainability-focused curriculum development. Thor is especially interested in employing the Campus as Living Lab concept as an organizing principle for sustainability planning and implementation efforts at Parkland.

Sustainability Work Includes:

  • Sustainability Coordinator
  • City of Seattle Green Building Program
  • Research Director, International Living Future Institute
  • Technical Development Director for STAR Communities Program, Synthesis Consultants
  • Certified Sustainable Building Advisor

Contact information: tpeterson@parkland.edu  217.353.2324

Tish Powell
Tish Powell
McHenry County College

Tish joined the staff of McHenry County College as a Sustainability Specialist in October 2014.  Tish comes to MCC with an extensive background managing municipal waste reduction programs.  She played an integral role in the development of the City of Elgin’s Sustainable City Action Plan.  As the Sustainability Specialist, Tish is responsible for assisting with updating and implementing MCC’s Sustainability Strategic Plan, which is focused on three interconnected areas:  campus, community and curriculum.

Sustainability Work includes:

  • Sustainability Specialist
  • Co-Advisor – MCC Student Sustainability Club
  • Member – Various Campus and Community Sustainability related committees
Stephenie Presseller
Stephenie Presseller
Moraine Valley Community College

In her position since 2009, Presseller manages the college’s Center for Sustainability. The center supports greening of the campus, community outreach, student, staff, and faculty engagement, greening curriculum, and greening workforce. She also serves on multiple local, regional and national committees focused on advancing sustainability and resiliency in higher education, specifically community colleges and their communities.

Sustainability Work Includes:

Maria Anna Rafac
Maria Anna Rafac
Joliet Junior College

Rafac’s work in promoting sustainability within her school began long before she became Joliet’s first official sustainability professional. Throughout the years, her work in this area has focused on student, faculty and community engagement for major issues. She also represents JJC on the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium’s Sustainability Taskforce, as well several local organizations.

Sustainability Work Includes:

  • Registered Architect
  • Professor and Program Advisor for architecture, engineering and construction programs
  • Sustainability Coordinator
  • Co-Founder of the Grand Prairie Faculty Development Project
  • Co-Chair JJC Sustainability Initiatives Committee
Julie Rourke
Julie Rourke
Lincoln Land Community College

As the Director of the Workforce Development Division Julie serves as the Green Center administrator. The Green Center and Green Center web site serve as resources for LLCC students, faculty, and staff as well as Springfield-area businesses and community members who are seeking information related to green jobs training and sustainability.

Julie also serves as the Chair for the Sustainability committee. The goal of the Sustainability Committee is to investigate options for assisting the campus in ways to conserve natural resources and recommend projects that will assist the college in becoming more environmentally neutral.

Sustainability Work Includes:

  • Director, Workforce Development Division, The Green Center
  • Chair, Sustainability Committee
Barry Schwalbe
Barry Schwalbe
Richland Community College

Schwalbe has over 17 years of experience in environmental chemistry, plays many roles at Richland and is involved in a variety of sustainability initiatives and programs. Recent work includes the Illinois Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (IL-ICCS) Project, the National Sequestration Education Center (NSEC), and the Sequestration Technology Education Learning Array (STELA).

Sustainability Work Includes:

  • Training Coordinator
  • Certified Hazardous Materials Manager
  • OSHA authorized instructor for HAZMAT and hazard communication
  • Training Center Coordinator for the American Heart Association
Amit Shukla
Amit Shukla
Triton College

Amit Shukla is the Renewable Energy Academic Program Developer at Triton College. Shukla develops renewable energy certificates, courses, and degrees for community colleges. Shukla is a goal-oriented and versatile renewable energy expert with twenty years of experience in business development, engineering, mentoring and teaching, and program and project management. Renewable energy is his passion and a way of life.

Sustainability Work Includes:

  • Renewable Energy Academic Program Developer
  • Certified Sustainability Professional from the International Society of Sustainability Professionals
  • Accredited Greenhouse Gas Verifier in California
  • Passed the NABCEP PV Entry Level exam
Julie Strauss
Julie Strauss
John A. Logan College

Through her IGEN efforts based at John A. Logan College, Strauss works with various community colleges creating certificate and degree programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She connects with both employers and colleges to promote STEM programs, address gaps in skills and training and build partnerships.

Strauss also serves on the planning and implementation committee for the Illinois Green Employer Alliance where she promotes bringing together representatives from Illinois businesses, community colleges, and other stakeholder groups, to discuss the green economy in Illinois.

Sustainability Work Includes:

  • Regional Coordinator for the IGEN TAA Career Pathways Grant
  • Planning Committee Illinois Green Employer Alliance
Tim Wilhelm
Tim Wilhelm
Kankakee Community College

Since 1981, Wilhelm has taught a wide range of subjects including renewable energy, alternative fuels, electronics, electricity and semiconductors.

Wilhelm has recently worked with the Community Colleges Confronting the Conundrum (C4) to develop a program to help expand and improve solar technician training.

Enhancing his teaching credentials, Wilhelm is a registered professional engineer in Illinois, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Class “A” public water supply operator, NABCEP certified solar-photovoltaic professional, CITCA certified wind tower nacelle rescue instructor and an IREC certified solar-photovoltaic master trainer.

Sustainability Work Includes:

Clay Sterling
Kankakee Community College

Clay joined Kankakee Community College in 2016, as a renewable energy instructor for the Electrical Technology program.

Clay is a certified Interstate Renewable Energy Council Photovoltaic and Small Wind Instructor. With over sixteen years of experience in renewable energy education and training prior to joining KCC’s program, Clay previous positions include the Education Director and Regional Training Officer for Midwest Renewable Energy Association.

Clay has trained electrical shops, supply houses, city municipalities, US federal agencies and Tribes throughout the Midwest to train a workforce in renewable energy installation and O&M techniques. As a result of his many years of experience teaching in the renewable energy industry, in 2013 Clay was awarded the IREC 3i Clean Energy Trainer of the Year.

Sustainability Work Includes:
Renewable Energy Education & Training
Solar Power International (SPI) Education Committee Member
Renewable Energy Curriculum Development
Developer of the Solar Training Academy
Auditor for the Interstate Renewable Energy Council

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