New sustainability manager hopes to strengthen green community

The+new+sustainability+manager%2C+Catherine+Liebowitz%2C+said+her+passion+for+the+environment+comes+from+her+childhood.+Photo+courtesy+of+Christina+Solazzo

The new sustainability manager, Catherine Liebowitz, said her passion for the environment comes from her childhood. Photo courtesy of Christina Solazzo

By Brynn O'Connor

Emerson’s new sustainability manager, Catherine Liebowitz, hopes to strengthen the green community on campus.

Liebowitz filled the role formerly held by Amy Elvidge, who left Emerson in July 2018 to accept a position at Boston University. Liebowitz took the position in April 2019, after a nine-month vacancy.

She is attempting to boost the green community by re-launching Eco-Corps, a volunteer- based environmental group that is a revival of Eco-Reps. 

Her main goal is to unite those interested in sustainability and work collaboratively to reach carbon neutrality. At a young age, Liebowitz became interested in community development and wondered how communities could work towards sustainability.

“A big piece of this is the community engagement—student, faculty, staff—and how as a collective we can progress, and how individually you can make choices to be more sustainable,” she said.

Manager of Facilities Duncan Pollock said over 100 applicants applied for the position, and he wanted an applicant with experience at higher education institutions. 

“The position of sustainability manager is not to go out and do sustainability, it’s to be the facilitator for the Emerson community, to engage in sustainability,” Pollock said in an interview. “We needed someone who knew the industry, and also was a self-starter and could engage with other people.” 

Pollock said he loves the work Liebowitz has done so far at Emerson and expects great things to come from her in the future. 

“She was super engaged, I could tell that she was passionate about [sustainability] … sustainability is part of her upbringing, it’s in her blood,” Pollock said.

Liebowitz grew up in Plainfield, New Hampshire, and credits her passion for sustainability to her hometown’s scenic environment, and a childhood of outdoor exploration. 

Liebowitz first began working in sustainability as a graduate student at the University of Maryland before working at the University of Illinois for over a year. 

In hopes to find a job closer to her family, Liebowitz began looking for opportunities in the Northeast and found an opening at Emerson.

“Emerson seemed like a place where there was a lot of drive and commitment, but at the same time it was really fun and community-based,” she said.

Liebowitz told The Beacon that sustainability is not something that can be achieved by one person. She hopes to be the force that unites Emerson’s community to be more environmentally friendly.

“I can’t by myself make this campus reach carbon neutrality, however, I can empower the people who make decisions, who have an interest,” she said.