Linda Kurtos, Director of Sustainability
A 1988 graduate of Michigan State University, Linda earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in 1991. She also earned a master of science degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2009. From 1991 to 2006, when she began her own practice, Kurtos served in the Chicago law firms Seyfarth Shaw, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal; and Eimer Stahl Klevorn & Solberg. Before joining the Northwestern faculty in 2010, she worked at the Environmental Law and Policy Center on federal, state and regional sustainability policies including the City of Chicago Climate Action Plan. Since 2006 she has specialized in environmental law and energy and sustainability practices and policies.
Erin Hafner, Senior Program Manager
Erin’s current projects include expanding the Green Ambassador and Green Office Certification programs she has developed. Erin created Notre Dame’s successful football Game Day Recycling program and is working to expand the model to other athletic venues on campus. She worked closely with Notre Dame Procurement Services and Office Depot to develop the national reusable tote delivery program and collaborated with several departments to bring a community garden to campus. Prior to joining the Office of Sustainability in September 2008, Erin was a member of Notre Dame’s Risk Management and Safety department, where she conducted one of the first comprehensive environmental assessments of campus. Erin has also held various environmental, health and safety positions within the public and government sectors. She holds a bachelor of science and a master’s degree from Indiana University, both concentrating in environmental science.
Annie Christianson, Associate Program Manager
A native of western Montana, Annie grew up on the shores of the Bitterroot River where she developed a deep appreciation and love for the environment. Annie has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Western Washington University and a M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana where she conducted research on conflict between recreational users on the Salmon River. Prior to joining the Office of Sustainability, Annie worked at Organic Valley where she helped to reduce the cooperative’s environmental footprint and educate employees on sustainability issues. Annie is a LEED Green Associate.
Dana Bakirtjy, Sustainability Communications Project Manager
Dana joined the Office of Sustainability in the summer of 2014 as the Sustainability Communications Project Coordinator. Before joining the team, Dana worked at a cleantech public relations firm in her hometown of New York City and served as the Communications and Marketing Chair for a local sustainability group as well as on several community organization steering committees. With bachelor’s degrees in both Environmental Science and Communications from Virginia Tech, Dana brings both a passion for sustainability and a love of creative communications campaigns to the office. In her free time Dana can be found baking, crafting, and playing with her extremely spoiled cat, Odd Job.
Kate is a senior majoring in IT Management with minors in Sustainability and Theology. Originally from San Francisco, Kate has always been surrounded by sustainability-conscious people. Her passion for sustainability stems from her love of nature and hiking in Northern California and a desire to preserve the earth through stewardship. Kate is interested in the ways business, sustainability, and theology intersect, and strives to integrate her three interest areas through her work in the Office. She is an active member of GreeND and is currently conducting research about geothermal energy systems on college campuses. When outside of the office (and when not hiking), Kate enjoys traveling, playing piano, biking, kayaking, and scuba diving.
Rob is a 2015 MBA candidate at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. He completed his undergraduate studies at Notre Dame in 2006 and has since earned his Juris Doctor from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, where he concentrated in Environmental Law. He has experience working with General Electric on the large-scale remediation of PCB-laden soils in New York’s Upper Hudson River and has also worked in the New York State Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Bureau. Throughout his academic and professional career, Rob has explored various strategies of environmental regulation, particularly the extent to which market-based economic regulations can pattern more environmentally friendly behavior. Currently, Rob is focused on advocating environmentally responsible behavior through sustainable business practices.
Max is a junior from Portland, Oregon studying Civil Engineering. His interest in campus sustainability began while working in the dining hall, where he witnessed the large amount of food waste produced by the student body. As an intern with the Office since 2013, he has led volunteers in the football tailgating lots during the Game Day Recycling Challenge, and he has tracked campus recycling and conducted waste audits for the RecycleMania competition, which tracks over 600 University’s recycling rates over an eight week period. Having returned from his fall semester abroad in Australia, he will resume work on RecyleMania and campus recycling efforts this spring. He looks forward to the implementation of a composting system on campus and an increased awareness of recycling at Notre Dame.
Sean is an off-campus Senior, previously from Keough Hall, studying Civil Engineering with a concentration in Environmental Engineering. His interest in sustainability began at a young age through learning about animals, exploring the outdoors, and just generally being from California. His hopes for the school year are to expand the sustainability network and make it something that people are truly passionate about. He hopes to do that through the dorm level and off-campus, so that people can be united in this common goal.
Shella is a senior from Orange County, CA majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Anthropology and Sustainability. Notre Dame has helped mold her interests in community sustainability, particularly in the areas of the future of health and food production. Two specific research experiences, one at an ecovillage in Ireland and another at Notre Dame’s environmental research center in WI, have shaped her ideas about the intriguing intersections of sustainability evident in human behaviors and ecological systems. Shella’s goals are to help the Office of Sustainability continue to make an impact through its initiatives and to spread awareness about how students can easily and creatively incorporate sustainability into their time at Notre Dame.