Lindsey Abernathy named Associate Director of Sustainability at Ole Miss

Published 10:52 am Monday, August 21, 2017

By Michael Newsom

University of Mississippi

OXFORD — The University Mississippi Office of Sustainability, which is a catalyst for environmental change in the community, has named Lindsey Abernathy its new associate director.

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Abernathy, a native of Ocean Springs who has been a part of UM’s sustainability team since 2014, previously served as project coordinator and, most recently, project manager there. She has worked at Ole Miss since 2011 when she served as a communications specialist in University Communications.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and an MBA, both from the university.

“This is an exciting time to be part the growing sustainability culture at our university,” Abernathy said. “I am fortunate to be part of a department that has a record of fostering positive change in our community.”

Abernathy began her new job Aug. 7, taking over for Anne McCauley, former assistant director of sustainability, who recently left the university to pursue other opportunities.

Ian Banner, director of facilities planning, university architect and director of sustainability, said he’s pleased to welcome Abernathy into her new role. The experience she’s cultivated over the last three years in the office will serve her well, he said.

“Lindsey has the blend of experience and drive to continue the momentum that exists in the Office of Sustainability,” Banner said. “She has ideas of her own and we want to support her efforts.

“She is a great choice for this position, and we are all looking forward to the coming years as the impact of the OOS continues to grow.”

The office was created in 2008 when then-Chancellor Robert Khayat signed the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment and publicly pledged UM’s commitment to the environment and sustainability. Ole Miss is a signatory institution in the national Climate Leadership Network.

The Office of Sustainability aims to foster change at the institutional level as well as influence individual behavior. Programming supports student leadership capacity, creates co-curricular learning experiences and works to incorporate sustainability principles into the curriculum.

The office directly operates programs that engage hundreds of students each year, such as Green Grove game day recycling in the Grove and Circle on football game days; Eco-Reps, which allows students to serve as residential leaders in sustainability; and the UM Compost Program. Green Week is also one of its major programs.

Using assessment tools to inform the office’s work is one of Abernathy’s main goals for her new job. A program in place facilitates this, but she said she wants to use it to take a look at sustainability efforts across campus.

This can highlight needs for some new projects, and also assess areas in which the university is doing well. It also creates awareness about opportunities for more collaboration.

She also wants to increase opportunities for UM staff involvement in sustainability efforts. More communication to campus and the public about the work being done to make UM as sustainable as possible is another objective, she said.