Linda Kurtos, Director of Sustainability
Linda Kurtos is the Director of Sustainability at the University of Notre Dame. She and her team of sustainability professionals and student interns partner with the extended Notre Dame community to help inform and create a more sustainable university environment. Prior to joining Notre Dame, Linda worked in a number of sustainability policy and education areas. After receiving a Master of Science in Sustainability and Environmental Management from the Illinois Institute of Technology, she instructed on climate change policy at Northwestern University and helped shape the City of Chicago Climate Action Plan with the Environmental Law & Policy Center.
A 1988 graduate of Michigan State University’s Lyman Briggs College, Linda continued on to earn a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in 1991, where she served as Articles Editor for the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. As a litigator, she managed a large case load focused on state and federal environmental, energy, toxic tort, and business matters and prepared written presentations to the United States Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and the Illinois Supreme Court.
Linda is a LEED Green Associate and is certified in GRI Sustainability Reporting.
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.
Isabel Cabezas is a sophomore studying art history and anthropology. Though she is from Bethesda, Maryland. Her interest in the environment grew from witnessing all types of landscapes – from beaches to mountains and deserts to glaciers – while visiting family in Chile. After taking a trip to Costa Rica to study sustainable agriculture, Isabel has concerns about the integrity of our food system. She is also interested in conservation and material waste reduction. Down the road, Isabel would like to pursue urban and environmental planning. Additionally, Isabel sits on the fundraising committee of the 2017 Class Council and helps to lead the second violins in the Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra.
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.
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.
Sarah is a sophomore from Westchester, NY studying Finance and Energy Studies. She became interested in sustainability as a kid, spending a lot of time outdoors and learning about energy efficiency home renovations from her dad. In particular, she is interested in learning how she can implement her business skills to increase energy efficiency within corporations. She hopes to spread awareness of environmental issues and implement campus-wide programs to reduce waste and carbon emissions through the Office of Sustainability. Outside of the office, she enjoys participating in Students International Business Council, volunteering at the Monroe Park Co-op and spending time with her friends.
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.\