The founder and Director_x000D_
of Pomona’s Sustainability Integration Office (SIO) Bowen Close PO ’06 announced this_x000D_
summer that she would be leaving her position at the end of this semester after three_x000D_
and a half years at the college. She cited a desire to “take some time off and_x000D_
pursue other opportunities.”
Close was selected for the position in 2008 as part of President David Oxtoby’s_x000D_
“desire to make sustainability a priority in the college.” Close explained that_x000D_
one of the largest steps Pomona has taken in its pursuit of environmental responsibility is the “simple_x000D_
contention to pursue pathways to sustainability” and the resolution to “take_x000D_
very seriously the environmental impact of [Pomona campus] activities.”
As an undergraduate, Close helped spur the creation of programs like ReCOOP and Green_x000D_
Bikes, as well as the installation of Zipcars on campus. Vice President and Dean of Students Miriam Feldblum observed that “many of the ideas [Pomona] has about sustainability actually came from students” such as Close.
“Bowen was really_x000D_
able to take the work that she had done” and put it towards creating policy, Feldblum added.
A key milestone that emerged during Close’s tenure was the Sustainability Action_x000D_
Plan, which was a joint project of students, staff, faculty, and trustees. According to Pomona’s website, the Plan is “a broad framework and strategy for moving forward with sustainability_x000D_
efforts.” Close was the primary author of the Plan and contributed_x000D_
to the “Objectives for 2020,” many of which have since come to fruition._x000D_
Some of these objectives include “the existence of partnerships with local off-campus sustainability efforts and_x000D_
programs” and a sharp decrease in synthetic fertilizer use.
of composting locations across campus and more eco-friendly food purchasing in the_x000D_
dining halls were two other projects that Close helped implement.
According to Close, the SIO had also been successful in_x000D_
“providing opportunities for students” through “grants for [their] projects” funded through the President’s Sustainability Fund. In coming years, the college plans to emphasize reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in particular.
Pomona has yet to hire a replacement director of the SIO or to announce the position’s vacancy, Close hinted that she knew of a few prospective applicants and “was_x000D_
very excited about the capable and intelligent people” vying for the spot. Feldblum also expressed confidence in the future of the SIO, predicting that “from a_x000D_
student affairs perspective…the Office [will continue] to work closely with_x000D_
all kinds of student groups.”
Close added that, although she does not know where or in what capacity she will next serve,_x000D_
she plans to resume her lifelong fight for sustainable practices in the near_x000D_
“Sustainability has always been a part of who I am, and it will always_x000D_
continue to be a part of my life,” she said._x000D_