August 01, 2012
Sustainability efforts at Knox College are expected to expand with the addition of the College's first sustainability coordinator. Shawn Tubb, who started his new role on July 9, comes to the community ready to build on the current sustainability projects and bring some of his own to campus.
Tubb, who was also the first sustainability coordinator at the University of Cincinnati, comes to Knox with a lengthy list of experiences in the sustainability and architectural fields. In addition, he is a LEED Green Associate. (Top: Shawn Tubb pumps up a bike tire of a reclaimed bike as junior Markie Crismon, left, works on another part of the bike on Wednesday, July 18, in an effort to get the bike share program restarted.)
During the first few weeks, he has explored the campus, meeting individuals and looking at the sustainability projects already in action at Knox. One of the many sustainability efforts that he was excited to see was the campus wide recycling program. (Right: Shawn Tubb tests out a recently fixed bike on Wednesday, July 18. Tubb hopes to use the bikes that are being reclaimed from storage in Post Hall to renew the bike share program that students started last year.)
"I think that it's great that there's recycling in every building," Tubb said, adding, that he looks forward to increasing recycling through more education and accessibility.
During his three year stint at the University of Cincinnati as the sustainability coordinator, Tubb played a large role in creating the university's climate action plan, helping the university become climate neutral by 2050, and helped start a bike sharing program and campus gardens. In addition to his work as sustainability coordinator, Tubb has two master's degrees from the university in architecture and city planning.
"He is already framing a sustainability ‘to do list,'" Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services Tom Axtell said. The list is two pages long and includes expanding current sustainability projects, as well as getting some new plans off the ground. This summer he has started the Sustainability at Knox College Facebook page to promote the green activities around campus.
One of the larger projects on Tubb's list is creating a sustainability plan for the college. This will help assess prior and current sustainability efforts and create a vision for the future efforts around campus. Tubb hopes that he can hash out this vision with the help of the Knox community during fall term.
In addition, he has been working with other staff, faculty, and students this summer to get the bike share program up and running. As a part of this, Tubb hopes to create a bike shop for the Knox community, especially since Galesburg currently lacks such a shop. (Left: Shawn Tubb, left, works with the Assistant Director of Campus Safety Mack Glass, top, and a student to repair a bike.)
"In addition to having a place to repair the bike share bicycles, a bike shop on campus encourages other people who have their own bikes to come and use those resources," Tubb said, "and it creates a bike culture where people can come and ask questions and learn more about biking and repair."
While increasing sustainability around campus is his main goal, he is also aware of the other benefits that might come with some of the projects. He hopes to expand that Knox-Galesburg relationship through sustainability projects like getting more students at the farmers market or even bringing the farmers market to Knox. "Any time you strengthen the Galesburg community, you strengthen the Knox community," Tubb said.
Tubb's addition to campus has many in the Knox community excited about what this will do to expand sustainability efforts.
"I think this represents taking a major step forward," Axtell said. "I don't think I can understate the enthusiasm that the community has for him."
Part of Tubb's time will include increasing efforts to showcase the numerous sustainability efforts around campus.
"Sustainably is a value that is held by a lot of prospective students," Axtell said. Axtell hopes that better showcasing the college's efforts will increase the excitement from prospective students wanting to join a community that puts a large focus on environmental sustainability.
Tubb hopes to get students on the right path towards sustainability when they first get to campus. It is important to "educate students as soon as they arrive," on the sustainability practices around campus, he believes. (Right: Shawn Tubb shares a laugh with the Audio-Visual Coordinator Todd Smith while repairing a bike for the bike share program.)
While much of his time so far has been meeting people and hatching ideas for projects, Tubb is eager for the school year to begin so he can get projects rolling and meet students.
"I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty and getting involved," Tubb said.