TRACS Executive Committee

Richard Johnson, Executive Committee Co-Chair

Johnson_RichardAdministrative Center for Sustainability and Energy Management Director, Rice University
Richard Johnson earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Rice University and a Masters in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia. He currently serves as the Director of the Administrative Center for Sustainability and Energy Management for Rice University, where he leads Rice’s sustainability program and oversees a team of energy managers and analysts. Richard holds appointments as a Professor in the Practice of Environmental Studies in Sociology, as an Adjunct Lecturer in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and as co-director of Rice’s environmental studies program. He is the former President of the Board of the Houston Farmers’ Market, now the Rice University Farmers Market. Richard is a husband, father, foodie, traveler, and has served as a volunteer public radio deejay for 30 years.

Kelly Wellman, Executive Committee Co-Chair

wellman_kellySustainability Director, Texas A&M University
Kelly Wellman, MBA has served as the Sustainability Director at Texas A&M University since March 2008. She is responsible for developing and administering the campus Sustainability Master Plan, overseeing a grant-giving organization called the Aggie Green Fund and monitoring institutional sustainability performance through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Kelly represents the Division of Finance and Operations on the President’s Sustainability Advisory Council, the Sustainability & Environmental Management Committee, the Solid Waste Minimization Committee, and the Tree Campus USA Committee.

Gary Cocke, Communications Committee Co-Chair

Cocke_GarySustainability Director, University of Texas at Dallas
Gary has led the Office of Sustainability at UT Dallas since 2018 with previous sustainability experience in higher education and municipal government. He is responsible for facilitating the integration of sustainability into academics, student life, operations, and administration and monitoring campus sustainability efforts through the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) Report. Key affiliations and committees include; North Texas Regional Centre for Expertise, Sustainability Committee, Student Government Green Initiative, Tree Campus USA, Bee Campus USA, and Air North Texas. Gary is the point of contact for all sustainability related inquiries at UTD and is always happy to collaborate.

Brianna Duran, Planning Committee Co-Chair

Duran_BriannaCampus Environmental Center Coordinator, University of Texas at Austin
Brianna has served as the staff advisor for student-led programming in the Office of Sustainability since May 2017. She oversees the Green Offices and Green Labs programs as well as the Office’s sponsored student organizations, Campus Environmental Center and Longhorn Lights Out. A Wisconsin-native, Brianna found her calling for environmental sustainability during a study abroad program in the Ecuador wilderness. After completing a master’s degree in environmental science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Brianna developed and managed educational programs for a variety of organizations including a stint on the Waste Minimization team for the city of Auckland, New Zealand. Brianna is passionate about empowering students to become leaders in sustainability at UT and beyond.

Marianella Franklin, Planning Committee Co-Chair

Franklin_MarianellaDirector of Sustainability, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Marianella Franklin is the founding Director and Chief Sustainability Officer at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, leading the institutions global sustainability efforts with 14 years in higher education. Marianella’s leadership has helped launch various programs and centers that include: the UTRGV – International Center for Sustainability Across Curriculum; The South Texas Industrial Assessment Center; Sustainability Fellows, Scholars and Internship programs and assisted in developing new interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs in Energy, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. Marianella is a member of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), International Women’s Board (IWB), American Institute of Architects (AIA), USGBC and a LEED accredited professional. Marianella holds a BA in Architecture from the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, and a Certificate in Sustainability Leadership from The University of Vermont.

Veronica Johnson, Communications Committee Co-Chair

Johnson_VeronicaSustainability Coordinator, Southwestern University
Veronica is Southwestern University’s first-ever Sustainability Coordinator. Since she began her role in February 2019, she has launched Southwestern’s first EcoRep Program, the Georgetown Green Film Series, and several new Zero Waste initiatives. She earned a B.A. in Environmental Engineering from Rice University in 2016. During her undergrad, she interned in Rice’s Administrative Center for Sustainability and Energy Management for over two years, specializing in sustainability communications (newsletter, social media, and website). She is currently pursuing an MBA in Sustainability from Bard College and LEED Green Associate certification.

Ben Kalscheur, AASHE Liaison

Kalscheur_BenSustainability Assistant Manager, Texas A&M University
Ben has served in the Texas A&M Office of Sustainability since 2010. He started as a Graduate Assistant and became the Sustainability Assistant Manager in 2013 upon completion of his Master’s in Water Management & Hydrological Science. Hailing from Wisconsin, Ben earned a Master’s of Arts in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In the Office of Sustainability, his core job functions are running an internship program and institutional sustainability assessment. Ben is a strong advocate for the importance of incorporating social justice into sustainability and strives to build diverse and inclusive teams.

Karen Magid

Magid_KarenSustainability and STEM Director, Huston-Tillotson University
Karen Magid is the Director of Sustainability and STEM at Huston-Tillotson University (HT) an HBCU in Austin. She works on environmental sustainability and education across academics, engagement, and operations. Karen holds a PhD in Materials Science from the UC Berkeley, a Masters in Nuclear Engineering and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, both from North Carolina State University. After completing a Postdoctorate fellowship at the ETH-Zurich, she transitioned her career to connect with her passion for the environment and to have greater connection to community. She served in the Peace Corps for two years before moving to Austin and starting work at HT in 2014. She serves as the chair of the Austin-Travis County Food Policy Board, and she serves on the board of Earth Day Austin. She is Co-Director of the Dumpster Project, and co-founded Building Green Justice at HT.

Georgeann Moss, Texas Higher Education Renewable Energy Committee Chair

Moss_GeorgeannSustainability Outreach and Initiatives Executive Administrator, Dallas College
Georgeann Elliott Moss is the Executive Administrator of Sustainability Outreach and Initiatives for Dallas College. She is the first person to hold this position, which was created in 2017. However, she has led Dallas College’s sustainability program since 2007, when she co-founded Dallas College’s Sustainability Team. Georgeann has been working with North Texas environmental activists for almost 30 years. In 2015, she was honored by the Memnosyne Foundation with a GreenSource DFW Sustainable Leadership Lifetime Achievement award.

Jim Walker

Walker-JimDirector of Sustainability, University of Texas at Austin
Jim collaborates on sustainability initiatives across campus and with surrounding neighborhoods and the City of Austin. This includes facilitation of the President’s Sustainability Steering Committee, campus planning initiatives, supporting resource conservation efforts and various Green Fund projects. He received his Master’s in Community and Regional Planning from UT Austin last century, has worked on sustainability issues in Austin for over 20 years and will always share a cup of coffee to brainstorm the next cool idea.

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