Newsroom

News Release

  • Home
  • News
  • New Purdue University Fort Wayne Sustainability Coordinator Will Expand Activities at Environmental Resources Center
For Immediate Release
September 04, 2019

New Purdue University Fort Wayne Sustainability Coordinator Will Expand Activities at Environmental Resources Center

Key Info

  • Sustainability Coordinator hired at Purdue Fort Wayne
  • Involved in effort to name PFW 'Tree Campus'
  • Wants to establish educational display gardens at ERC
New Purdue University Fort Wayne Sustainability Coordinator Will Expand Activities at Environmental Resources Center Image 1
Samantha Theisen, sustainability coordinator Print-quality image
New Purdue University Fort Wayne Sustainability Coordinator Will Expand Activities at Environmental Resources Center Image 2
Samantha Theisen at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming Print-quality image

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Samantha Theisen recently joined the ranks of Purdue University Fort Wayne’s staff employees as the new sustainability coordinator in the Environmental Resources Center (ERC). Now that classes have started for the fall 2019 semester, she is anxious to put her skills to work.

“There are three easily identified areas in which Samantha will concentrate her efforts,” says Bruce Kingsbury, director of the Environmental Resources Center, professor of biology, and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “She will help campus celebrate the sustainability successes we have already experienced here on campus; help to find new ways in which the university can expand its sustainability footprint; and help grow the overall activities of the ERC both on and off campus.”

One of the ways Theisen plans to increase campus knowledge of and participation in sustainability efforts is to work with Student Housing.

“I really want to work with the students and get them involved in something as simple as composting, which can be used in landscaping efforts on the housing campus, as well as at the ERC itself,” says Theisen. “Right now, I’m helping with a committee here on campus to get Purdue Fort Wayne designated as an Arbor Day Foundation ‘Tree Campus.’ I’m also working with the Grounds Department of Facilities Management to establish some educational display gardens around the ERC to highlight different landscapes such as pollinator gardens, rain gardens, native grasses, wildflowers, and others to show both campus and community audiences what’s in them, how to take care of them, and the benefits they provide.”

Theisen is a 2017 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources Planning with concentrations in land-use planning and social and policy sciences. During her time at the university, she held a number of positions on-campus and has experience is local government working on a variety of projects including aquatic invasive species, brownfield redevelopment, bicycle and pedestrian route planning, agritourism, nature-based recreation, and water quality monitoring

After she graduated, she spent five months living a leave-no-trace lifestyle while visiting the back country in 22 US National Parks, at the same time as being an advocate of public lands and natural resource conservation.

“That trip helped prepare me for the future and for this job because I learned to sharpen my communication skills in how to talk to people about natural resources and conservation issues,” says Theisen. “I also learned I am a very independent person, and that generally speaking, people as a whole are pretty generous and kind.

She’ll be putting those communication skills to work educating people—from school children to adults—to be aware of the green spaces, like ditches and streams, that surround them and what their impacts are on our daily lives with programs and activities at the ERC

For more information, contact Samantha Theisen at 260-481-5758 or samantha.theisen@pfw.edu.

###