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2022 Program - Postponed

The inaugural AESC will highlight partnership-focused approach to sustainability. These partnerships span across the conference membership, between campuses, between communities, between departments on each campus, between sports and sustainability and more; we will highlight the value of these partnerships and what they can accomplish. At the heart of these partnerships are common goals and synergies unique to The America East Conference which has led to the establishment of a formal network to collaborate and engage and help all members advance their environmental profile.

We are still actively confirming speakers so be sure to check back regularly!

Tuesday, June 7

3:00 - 4:00 PM

Attendees will be lead on a guided tour of the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. The Tsongas Center, home of UMass Lowell’s Riverhawk Hockey team, is a vibrant 7,000 seater stadium in the heart of the UMass Lowell campus. UMass Lowell’s Athletic/Sustainability partnership was initiated at the Tsongas Center through a significant upgrade to the facility with a focus on sustainability and enhancing the fan experience.

Recently certified under the WELL Health-Safety Rating through the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), the Tsongas Center prioritizes and promotes sustainability throughout its operations. Specific examples include:

  • Grind2Energy food waste systems
  • High efficiency lighting and water upgrades throughout
  • Athletic branded waste & recycling units manufactured from recycled milk-jugs and through the use of 100% renewable energy
  • Significant local food & beverage options
  • Green Cleaning Standards and Operations

Tour Guides:
Ruairi O’Mahony
| Executive Director Rist Institute for Sustainability and Energy UMass Lowell
Lucas Kistler | Tsongas Center Assistant General Manager

Sign up here. Must be a registered attendee to sign up for tours.

4:30 - 6:00 PM

Welcome Reception - at Costello Athletic Center

Costello Athletic Center – 261 Riverside St. Lowell, MA 01854

4:30 - 5:00 PM

UML Costello Athletic Center Sustainability Tour

5:30 - 6:00 PM


Susan DunkleeSusan Dunklee | Olympic Biathlete; EcoAthletes Champion; Director of Running, Craftsbury Running Center; Leader, Green Racing Project running team

Brian Rist Introduction by: Brian Rist | Chairman, Rist Family Foundation

Wednesday, June 8

8:00 - 9:00 AM

Breakfast, Registration & Exhibit Booths Open

9:00 - 9:15 AM

Intro & Announcements

Emcee: Marsha Florio | Executive Director Academic Consortium, America East Conference

9:20 - 9:30 AM

Welcome Address

Brad Walker | Commissioner, America East Conference

9:30 - 10:30 AM

America East Conference Executive Leadership Plenary

Jacqueline MoloneyJacquie Moloney | Chancellor, UMass Lowell

10:30 - 11:00 AM

Excel Logo

Break & Exhibit Booths Open

11:00 AM -
12:15 PM

Establishing a sense of connection with both environment and others can bring a positivity to humans, especially in areas of mental health and well-being. What strategies can your institution or organization use to give back to nature? How can these strategies also contribute to improving the well-being and mental health to members of your community?

Moderator: Ruben Sança | Director, Student Life & Well-being, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Michael Kennedy | Assistant Director, Student Activities and Leadership, University of Massachusetts Lowell

This panel session will convene some of the major players in America East foodservice to share the latest information about food operations, education, and procurement. Speakers will discuss farm to institution trends, values-based procurement, the value of campus growing spaces, community connections, best practices, and more! Foodservice is one of the many ways campus athletics can promote sustainability and demonstrate tangible examples for students, staff, and faculty through operations. Food brings everyone together and gives athletes and other students the fuel they need while also providing an educational platform to perform their best. Panelists will share about their efforts to bring more values-based (equitable, sustainable, local, humane) food offerings to campuses in the America East Consortium and beyond.

Moderator: Tania Taranovski l Director of Programs, Farm to Institution New England

Maeve McInnis | Maine Course Director, Sodexo

Jessica Wilson | Executive Director, Mill City Grows

Carolyn Gahn | Director, Farm-to-Institution, Global Supply Chain and Procurement, Aramark

12:15 - 1:15 PM

Lunch & Exhibit Booths Open

1:15 - 2:30 PM

Elkay Logo

This session will guide attendees through an in-depth analysis of the design, operations, and decision-making needed to operate athletic facilities with a focus on sustainability, energy conservation, and enhanced athlete and fan engagement.

The panelists have extensive experience in sustainable athletic facilities design and operations ranging from deep energy retro fits of older building stock to purpose built, large scale new facilities in collegiate sports and recreation facilities.

Each panelist will focus on how incorporating sustainability into design and operations has led to significant efficiency improvements while also contributing to an institutions larger sustainability and energy goals. This session will provide attendees with a unique cross section of the issues and opportunities that come from a robust and engaged design and planning process for athletic facilities and the long term operational benefits from this process.

Examples from each campus will be discussed (including Costello Athletic Center) which can be used as a model for attendee’s own institution/location.

In addition to the panelists, Moderator Ruairi O’Mahony has extensive experience in this field at UMass Lowell both from the planning and operational side. UMass Lowell has consistently been recognized by the State of Massachusetts as a leader in energy efficiency and green building design and operations.

Moderator: Ruairi O’Mahony | Executive Director Rist Institute for Sustainability and Energy, UMass Lowell

Colleen McKenna | Principal, Sports + Rec Practice Leader, CannonDesign

Ken Ralph | Director of Athletics, University of Maine

Peter Casey | Director of Athletics, UMass Lowell

2:30 - 3:00 PM

Break & Exhibit Booths Open

3:00 - 4:15 PM

Join this session to hear from Sarah Wroblewski, Carly Burson, and Darcy Hornberger, three former UML Women’s Soccer players who have pursued three different routes to sustainability related careers. They will take time to reflect on their time at UML, how they got into sustainability work, their career journeys, and how they use sustainability in their respective roles.

Sarah Wroblewski | Meteorologist, WBZ-TV

Carly Burson | Founder & CEO, LAUDE the Label; Head of Social Impact, Alltrue

Darcy Hornberger | Applications Director, Boston Materials

Join former UMass Lowell Athletics women’s Lacrosse player, Laura Kender, to hear exciting new advancements in sustainable product development.

Laura Kender | Product Developer, Converse

4:15 - 4:30 PM


4:30 - 5:00 PM


Jordan Marie Daniel | Professional Runner, Founder and Executive Director, Rising Hearts

5:00 - 6:00 PM

Networking Reception & Exhibit Booths Open

Thursday, June 9

8:00 - 9:00 AM

Breakfast, Registration & Exhibit Booths Open

9:00 - 9:05 AM

Welcome and Announcements

Emcee: Marsha Florio | Executive Director Academic Consortium, America East Conference

9:05 - 9:30 AM

Keynote Address

Joe Curtatone | President, Northeast Clean Energy Council

9:30 - 10:30 AM

Leading by Example: Sustainable Changes Through Governance

10:30 - 11:00 AM

Break & Exhibit Booths Open

11:00 AM -
12:15 PM

Universities interested in sustainability must make choices about what types of university structures to put in place to achieve their objectives. Our research suggests that certain structures and characteristics of universities are more effective at achieving sustainability outcomes than others. During this presentation we present the results of research and make practical recommendations to universities interested in increasing sustainability outcomes and sustainability rankings.

Pamela Mischen | Associate Professor, Binghamton University

Craig Thomas | Assistant Director, Office of Sustainability, UMass Lowell

This session aims to discuss our Sustainability Athletics Liaisons Group and how to garner best practices for effective, strategic programming. We are looking for feedback and advice on how to implement best practices, specifically infrastructure changes, to our teams sustainability habits.

Catie Lang | Student Athlete, Colgate University

Ally Giovino | Student Athlete, Colgate University