October 14th, 2022
Hetzel Union Building, Penn State University Park Campus
PERC's first in-person Fall Conference in three years! We welcomed faculty, staff, and students of PA Colleges and Universities - as well as public and private sector leaders in the arts, clean energy, planning, public health, and policy - to explore the Keystone state's potential for leadership on sustainability, even in the face of an uncertain economy.
Across the Commonwealth, colleges, universities, and communities are working together to face big challenges. Our higher education members are confronting environmental justice and equity issues, collaborating to draw down carbon emissions and support climate change adaptation, and empowering young people to be the change they want to see in the world.
PERC is committed to making a difference and promoting positive change through collaboration and partnerships. This conference celebrated our successes and provided ideas and solutions for the challenges that lie before us.
Keynote Speaker: Malcolm Kenyatta, State Representative for the 181st Legislative District in Philadelphia County, vice chair of the Philadelphia House Delegation, and a member of the Governor’s Taskforce on Suicide Prevention. Kenyatta is the first openly LGBTQ+ person of color and one of the youngest members elected to the PA General Assembly. As a former Pennsylvania co-chair of Climate Power, Malcolm is a proponent of issues that matter to PERC. He champions a just transition into green union jobs and increased investment in clean energy as well as environmentally sensible infrastructure. (Excerpts from his remarks in the video below.)
PERC Executive Director Josh Hooper retires. After over a dozen years as Executive Director, Josh Hooper officially retired at the conference. Hooper noted that during his tenure PERC has hosted or partnered in over 150 events and webinars, founded the EPA award-winning Pennsylvania Higher Education Food Recovery Challenge, created PERC's Campus Sustainability Champions program and partnered with the Clean Air Council and other organizations to petition the PA DEP to adopt a mechanism to reduce Pennsylvania's carbon output. (Full text of his remarks.) The video below includes an excerpt of Past President Peter Buck's remarks about Hooper and his tenure as well as an excerpt of Hooper's remarks. Josh will continue to be involved; he is now Executive Director Emeritus of PERC. Our thanks for his service.
Lunchtime Sustainability Showcase: Judd Greenstein, Composer of A Marvelous Order.
Student Sustainability Poster and Project Symposium, to celebrate and share the sustainability works of all students across the commonwealth. Submissions can range from research posters to creative writing, sculptures, and beyond from all academic backgrounds and departments.