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Webinar: Leading Deeper Change: The 1st Cohort of AASHE Members Share Their Experience Completing the REFOCUS Applied Learning Program

May 29, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT


Last August, AASHE hosted a workshop on REFOCUS: a leadership development program designed to enable practitioners to generate deep organizational change and establish sustainability as a strategic priority.  The eye-opening workshop inspired several members to participate in a 5-month long, guided program focused on applying the method. As leaders committed to challenging boundaries and raising the profile of sustainability within their respective institutions, they are keen to share about the value of the program and how it has impacted both their outlook and future direction.

A brief introduction to REFOCUS will also be delivered during the webinar, in addition to details on the next REFOCUS workshop that will be hosted in August at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

For members: Access webinar recording and presentation materials


Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith, Assistant Director for Sustainable Campus Operations, University of Vermont (UVM)

Michelle facilitates the USGBC’s LEED process for all new construction and major renovation projects, participates in strategic capital planning, as well as climate action and resiliency planning, and works collaboratively on energy management, climate resilience, and institutional continuity initiatives. She has co-taught several undergraduate courses, has presented at numerous green building and sustainability conferences, frequently guest lectures, and provides specialized tours of the LEED-certified buildings on the UVM campus. She is a founding board member of the Vermont Green Building Network, and chair of the Institution Subcommittee of the BTV 2030 District. Michelle holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies from UVM, and a M.S. in Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies program from Woodbury Institute, Champlain College.

Cynthia Klein-Banai

Cynthia Klein-Banai, Associate Chancellor for Sustainability, University of Illinois at Chicago

Eleven years ago Associate Chancellor Cynthia Klein-Banai founded the Office of Sustainability at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her team promotes sustainability as part of UIC’s campus culture and enhances UIC’s mission of student success, improving public health, and serving the communities of Chicago. She guided the Chancellor’s Committee on Sustainability and Energy to develop the UIC Climate Commitments and the Climate Action Implementation Plan. She and her team collaborate across campus to execute the 33 strategies in the plan. The Office provides applied learning and research opportunities for students through internships, volunteer opportunities, and special projects. She has authored several peer-reviewed articles on sustainability in higher education and has spoken at many sustainability conferences as an invited speaker. She currently serves as Secretary on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of AASHE. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences from UIC and her dissertation was on metrics for sustainability in higher education.

Calandra Waters Lake

Calandra Waters Lake, Director of Sustainability, William & Mary

Calandra Waters Lake is the first Director of Sustainability at William & Mary. As director, she is responsible for helping others think long-term and inclusively about the environmental, social and economic impacts of university decisions. She collaborates with students, faculty and staff across all departments and schools, on policies, programs and initiatives. Calandra manages both the student Green Fee, funding semesterly sustainability grants, and the Green to Gold Revolving Fund, part of the Billion Dollar Green Challenge. As adjunct faculty in Environmental Science and Policy, she leads a sustainability reading and projects course. Calandra holds a Bachelor of Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute as well as a Master of Arts in Education from William & Mary.

Randy Sa'd

Randy Sa’d, Founder & Executive Director, REFOCUS 

Randy Sa’d is the Executive Director of REFOCUS, a ground-breaking, not-for-profit co-operative. REFOCUS has created a proprietary method and educational program designed to enable leaders to transform their organizations. As a management consultant, Randy has worked with large multi-national and boutique firms. For more than ten years, he has led a sustainability-focused, independent management consulting practice, advising a range of private, institutional and not-for-profit clients. Randy’s unique perspective on organizational sustainability has made him a sought-after facilitator and lecturer, having engaged with dozens of professional and academic audiences across North America and Europe. Randy graduated from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, where he later served for nearly a decade as Chair of the School’s Alumni Association.



May 29, 2019
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT
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