2017 Board of Directors Nominees

The USSEE Board of Directors is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2017 Board Elections. The following nominees are for 3 available positions: Secretary-Treasurer, 2 At-Large Member Positions, and Student Representative. Nominees are presented by position in alphabetical order. Elections begin June 2 and will run for two weeks. Please note, your ISEE/USSEE membership must be up-to-date to vote! Active members will receive a ballot via email.

Secretary Treasurer (Term 2017-2019)

John A. Sorrentino, Associate Professor of Economics Temple University

Bio: He was a co-founder of Temple University’s Environmental Studies Program, and was honored by the University with a 1999 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Most of his publications and consulting work have involved the micro-economics of energy and the environment, and have appeared in journals such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Environmental Economics & Management, Environmental Management, and Landscape & Urban Planning. His works-in-progress include such topics as sustainable housing placement, environmental information systems, sustainable business practices, urban agriculture and food justice, and using environmental and health amenities to offset wealth inequality. John received his B.B.A. from Baruch College of the City University of New York and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University, all in economics.

Candidacy Statement: John was a charter member of USSEE, is a member of the Scientific Committee organizing the 2017 Biennial Conference, and has gotten to know a lot about the Society as the current Secretary-Treasurer and member of the Executive Committee. As the Secretary, he has recorded minutes of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors meetings. As Treasurer, he oversees the USSEE bank and PayPal accounts, and interacts with ISEE concerning dues distribution. As USSEE presently cannot afford to pay an executive director, he has taken over many of the tasks that the energetic, tireless former executive director performed. John hopes that the 2017 conference-related boost in USSEE membership will continue as the Society becomes more active in curriculum sharing, web-based interactive communication with members, and social networking with other like-minded, trans-disciplinary organizations. All of us have a lot to offer; we just need to find the means. John looks forward to working on these initiatives for the next two years as Secretary-Treasurer.

At-Large Member (2) (Term: 2017-2019)

Erin Lennox, Adjunct professor of economics at various universities in New York’s Capital Region

Bio: I am a 2014 graduate of the PhD program in Ecological Economics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. My doctoral research focused on the impact of climate change and globalization on peasant agriculture in the Mexican Yucatan, and Peruvian Andes and has been published in Ecosystem Services and Society and Natural Resources. My current research is focused on ecosystem conservation and conservation education in the Yucatan. Right now I am postponing my search for a full time academic position to spend time taking care of my 3 year old and 9 month old sons. In the meantime, I am serving as an adjunct, and doing grant writing and consulting work for environmental and education related non-profit organizations in the area. In addition to my ecological economics degree, I also hold a bachelors and masters degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and am currently involved in a number of K-12 STEM education projects and initiatives.

Candidacy Statement: I am interested in continuing my position on the USSEE board of directors because I feel strongly about the importance of incorporating ecological economic concepts into traditional economics education. I believe that the field is often overlooked by both mainstream economists, and practitioners of other disciplines who could benefit from its interdisciplinary methods and theories. Over the past two years as a board member I have helped to create a new education component of our website, where professors can find syllabi and resources to help them incorporate concepts from ecological economics into their courses. I hope to continue to develop these resources, while helping to promote the field of ecological economics to a broad audience.

Regina Ostergaard-Klem, Associate Professor of Environmental Science, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Hawaii Pacific University

Bio: Regina Ostergaard-Klem is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science in the College of Natural and Computational Sciences at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) in Honolulu, Hawaii. She holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University, and both an MS in Environmental Engineering and a PhD in Systems Analysis and Economics for Public Decision Making from The Johns Hopkins University.  From 1994-1995, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Lodz, Poland. After completing graduate school, Ostergaard-Klem was a Science and Diplomacy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, DC.  Prior to coming to HPU, she worked as an environmental policy advisor at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). There she managed urban environmental and energy projects throughout different regions of the world. At HPU, Dr. Ostergaard-Klem teaches in both the undergraduate level Environmental Science/Studies program and the master’s program in Global Leadership and Sustainable Development, for which she is also the Program Director.  Her teaching is concentrated in the fields of ecological economics, sustainable human systems, industrial ecology, and environmental policy. Her most recent research efforts are focused on the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), a framework for evaluating social welfare as a supplement to Gross Domestic Product. She is a co-developer of “GPI Island Style,” the application of GPI at the state level in Hawaii. As an extension of that work, Ostergaard-Klem collaborates with partners across the state on several initiatives, including efforts to develop a state sustainability dashboard.

Candidacy Statement: Are we preparing sufficient numbers of well-equipped sustainability professionals to meet the challenges that lie ahead? As an educator and director of a graduate sustainability program, I am constantly asking myself that question. Teaching ecological economics for the last eight years, the nexus between ecological economics and sustainability education is obvious to me. Yet translating ecological economics theory into practical applications to best cultivate the sustainability competencies of my students is challenging. The potential to strengthen the inherent connection between the two fields is tremendous. I have been a member of USSEE/ISEE since 2013, and I regularly attend and participate in USEE and ISEE conferences.  During the 2016 ISEE meeting in Washington, DC, I coordinated a session on teaching ecological economics from principles to practice.  As a USSEE board member, I would hope to expand this effort, advocating a greater connection between ecological economics and educating the next generation of sustainability professionals. However, education is just one of many important, relevant roles for USSEE. Along with other members of the board, I would hope to similarly build or strengthen other connections, like that between researcher and practitioner communities or between USSEE and other stakeholders, according to the priorities set by USSEE members. Thank you for your consideration.

Madhavi Venkatesan, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Bridgewater State University

Bio: Madhavi Venkatesan’s present academic interests are specific to the integration of sustainability into the economics curriculum and she is currently pursuing scholarly interests in sustainable development. Prior to re-entering academics, Madhavi held senior level positions in investor relations for three Fortune 250 companies. In this capacity she was a principal point of contact for investors and stakeholders and was instrumental in the development of socially responsible investing strategies and corporate social responsibility reporting. Madhavi started her financial services career after completing her post-doctoral fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis. She earned a PhD, MA, and BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University, a Masters in Environmental Management from Harvard University, and a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. She is the author of Economic Principles: A Primer, A Framework for Sustainable Practices and forthcoming Foundations in Microeconomics, A Framework for Sustainable Practices and Foundations in Macroeconomics, A Framework for Sustainable Practices. She has authored numerous chapters and journal articles, as well as participated in a TEDx and EconEd program. Her work is focused on conscious consumption, the role of economic education in promoting sustainability, and sustainable economic development. In addition to her academic interests, she writes a monthly column, Globally Local, for the Cape Codder, the newspaper of the Cape and Islands (Massachusetts). Madhavi was recently granted the Fulbright-SyCip Distinguished Lecturing Award to the Philippines where she will give lectures in the host country on sustainable economic development in early 2018.

Candidacy Statement: I have a passion for sustainability and specifically view the discipline of economics, in general and ecological economics, in particular as the nexus for facilitating both the understanding of and solution to the problems, issues, and cultural perceptions that presently form the at-large institutional framework of decision-making. My background and experience in the private sector as a senior communications strategist has given me a unique set of skills that include understanding the significance of marketing communications across multi-channels to promote the engagement of diverse, as well as, overlooked stakeholder groups. I would like to serve on the USSEE board as I believe that I, given my background, interests, and focus, can assist in positioning and marketing the organization to increase its visibility along with the significance of the inclusion of ecological economics in education, practice and policy-making. I appreciate your consideration and am happy to answer any questions you may have (mvenkatesan@bridgew.edu

Student Member (Term: 2017-2019)

Joe Ament, University of Vermont. Graduated from The Ross School of Business focusing on Economics and Finance, The University of Michigan

Bio: After spending 7 years in corporate strategy in both the for- and non-profit sectors, he spent 3 years writing about the ecological and economic problems we now face. In the Rubenstein School, Joe’s research examines Monetary Theory in the context of socioecological stability. His interests lie in how economic rent and modern monetary systems affect social justice and environmental degradation; and how a socioecologically-resilient society will use money and distribute wealth. Outside of reading and writing, Joe loves to kayak, bike slowly, paint, and listen to Stevie Wonder.

Candidacy Statement: I am very excited at the potential to serve as the student representative on the USSEE Board of Directors. I am a third year PhD Candidate at the University of Vermont and my researche centers on Monetary Policy on a Finite Planet. I am funded through Economics for the Anthropocene, an international PhD training project in Ecological Economics. I have been very fortunate to make great connections in my short time in academia. In this position I hope to make new connections and leverage my current network in order to continue to make Ecological Economics a viable alternative to the destructive systems we currently use. If you have any questions, feel free to view my CV here or contact me at jament@uvm.edu.