Pomona College hired Ginny Routhe as its new sustainability director, concluding the months-long search to fill the position.
Routhe said that she hopes to encourage students and administrators at Pomona to pursue leadership in sustainability by providing structure to existing programs. She also said that she hopes to push Pomona’s existing programs to achieve broader sustainability goals.
“My position was vacant for nine months, and I don't think sustainability limped along in the meanwhile. I think things buzzed along just fine without someone in this position,” Routhe said. “To me, that says there's a lot of really good things happening.”
As Sustainability Director, Routhe works with Facilities and Campus Services to oversee sustainable operations and events on campus. She also works with the Office of Sustainability to manage its programs, which include distributing laundry drying racks, composting, running the ReCoop sales and recycling.
“The student energy and motivation in sustainability is really high on this campus,” Routhe said. “There's a good cloud of students who are really motivated about sustainability and actually making an impact here.”
Before coming to Pomona, Routhe started the sustainability program at Houghton College in New York, where she served as Sustainability Coordinator for three years. Before then, she worked in environmental education with K-12 students.
Routhe expressed interest in working with committees, professors and students at the other Claremont Colleges to achieve consortium-wide goals related to sustainability and awareness.
“Getting more students from majors other than [environmental analysis] involved and interested in sustainability is definitely a goal of our office as well,” she said. “We can build these LEED Platinum dorms, like we just have, but the energy efficiency of the dorms only goes as far as the users that are in them.”