Cynthia Lee Klein-Banai

    Email Address:
    College: School of Public Health Department: Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
    Title: Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director of Sustainability
    Office: PSPM 150 PSB Phone: 312-996-3968
    Participating in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Awards program: Yes

    Research Interest:
    1. I conduct applied research in energy and greenhouse gas emissions as they relate to colleges and universities. We collect institutional data and report on energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions. We also utilize campus recycling data to study recycling behavior and program performance.

    2. We also use a community assets-based approach to engage communities in sustainable practice. We relate environmental practices to social justice, health & wellness, education & outreach, campus systems, and structures. This is a unique approach to understanding the culture of sustainability within an institution or community and engaging people in sustainable practices. This research will enhance UIC's own sustainability programs and goals.

    Minimum time commitment in hours per week: 8

    Qualifications of a Student:
    -Sophomore level or higher, with gpa of 3.00 or higher
    -Any major but most suited to students studying or interested in anthropology, sociology, public health, urban planning, environmental science, communication and creative arts (writing, video, drawing, etc), engineering, or natural sciences
    -Strong communication skills,
    -Familiarity with Excel, preferred
    -Strong interest in sustainability, social justice or community health
    -Ability to work independently and with a partner under minimal supervision

    Brief Summary of what is expected from the student:
    Depending on the project:
    Waste, Energy & Greenhouse Gases
    1. Collecting institutional data, entering into Excel files, calculators and Energy Star Portfolio Manager
    2. Preparing progress reports, charts, and tables
    3. Possibly collecting field data through audits of campus facilities
    4. Conducting surveys

    Engaging Communities in Sustainable Practices
    1. Conducting interviews with community members
    2. Developing outreach programs that build on work community is doing to engage in sustainable practices
    3. Developing tools to engage in sustainable practices

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