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Meet Our Staff

The Sustainability Institute staff oversees the work of the non-profit organization Sustainable Jersey, which includes the Sustainable Jersey and Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification programs. Review the content below to learn more about our team.

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Randall Solomon
Executive Director
Renee Haider
Deputy Director
Sabrina Arauz
Program Assistant
Stephen Bass
Research & Program Specialist
Victoria Bearden
Research & Program Specialist
JoAnna Contarino
Program Assistant
Tracy Prescilla Glova
Program Coordinator, Policy & Planning
Anne Heasly
Program Manager, Policy & Planning
Véronique Lambert
Program Manager, Schools Outreach,
Training and Special Projects
Maureen Jones
Program Assistant
Melanie McDermott
Senior Researcher
Leanne McGowan
Program Manager, Energy
Samantha A. McGraw
Senior Program Manager, Core Operations
Rosalie Morillo
Program Manager, Schools Content and Special Projects
Danielle Profita
Research & Project Specialist
Nancy Quirk
Senior Program Manager, Energy
Lauren Skowronski
Program Director, Community Engagement
Jennifer Sontupe
Office Manager
Kaitlyn Vollmer
Program Manager, Grants Program
Tracey Woods
Program Manager, Energy

Randall Solomon, Executive Director

Randall Solomon has 20 years of experience working in government, academia, and the non-profit sector. He is one of the principals that founded and directs the Sustainable Jersey Certification program. Prior to his current position he was the founder and Executive Director of the New Jersey Sustainable State Institute at Rutgers where he worked to expand the capacity of public decision making to address sustainability. Mr. Solomon’s experience includes positions as a policy advisor on sustainable development for the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities integrating land use and energy policy, director of the States Campaign for the Resource Renewal Institute in San Francisco, and policy director for the non-profit New Jersey Future. Other jobs include a stint as a national Park Ranger and serving in the inaugural class of AmeriCorps volunteers. He has participated on advisory boards for federal and state government, civic organizations, and has advised major corporations. He writes and speaks frequently on sustainable development, energy, land use policy, using indicators in public decision making, and governance issues. Randy holds a B.S. in Biology from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and a M.S. in Public Policy from Rutgers University. He can be reached at 609-771-2290, or by email at

Renee Haider, Deputy Director

Renee Haider is the Associate Director of The Sustainability Institute at  The College of New Jersey. The Institute administers the Sustainable  Jersey municipal certification program. Prior to joining The Sustainability  Institute, she was a research associate at the Mineta Transportation  Institute at San Jose State University for two years and the Associate Director of the National Transit Institute at Rutgers University for 18 years. In these capacities she worked with teams of professionals from operating agencies, departments of transportation, industry associations, academic research centers, and Federal government entities to conduct applied research and develop education and training materials related to surface transportation, particularly public transit. This included working with the Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Highway Administration to support intergovernmental sustainability initiatives and collaborating with local, state, and federal government representatives on transportation and land use and statewide transportation planning and programming efforts aimed at supporting the core value of sustainability. She can be reached at 609-771-2307, or by email at

Sabrina Arauz, Program Assistant

Sabrina supports the marketing and communications of the Sustainable Jersey programs. Her responsibilities include the weekly program update emails, creating and updating website content, social media content creation, video editing, and maintenance of the program’s YouTube channels. Sabrina has a B.A. in Visual Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design from The College of New Jersey. She can be reached at 609-771-2921, or by email at
Stephen Bass, Research & Project Specialist

Stephen is a research and project specialist on the Sustainable Jersey Energy Team. He graduated from Binghamton University majoring in Environmental Law, Public Policy, and Administration. He has a background working in sustainability for municipalities and non-profits. Some of his research areas are economics, water systems, energy efficiency, pollution mitigation and monitoring, waste streams, food security, community planning, agriculture, resiliency, transportation, low impact development, economic empowerment, public health, equity, and sustainability in various environments. His work includes assisting in completing certification actions, reviewing submissions, and contributing to policies, programs, guidelines, outreach, and technical assistance for both schools and municipalities to become more sustainable. He can be reached at 609-771-2493, or by email at

Victoria Bearden, Research & Project Specialist

Victoria (Tori) Bearden works as a Research & Project Specialist with the Sustainable Jersey energy team. Tori graduated with honors from Ursinus College in 2022 with a B.S. in Environmental Studies, with minors in both biology and food studies. While attending school, Tori led outreach efforts and management of Ursinus’ Food Forest, planted in 2018 and managed by students to teach the importance of sustainable land management. Her passion for this work led to the development of her honors research project focusing on food insecurity and street trees. Outside of academics, Tori was a member of the women’s track and field program and on the executive board of Ursinus’ Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow. At Sustainable Jersey, Tori assists municipalities with completing certification and actions while providing useful data materials. She can be reached at 609-771-2549, or by email at

JoAnna Contarino, Program Assistant

JoAnna supports the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program. Her responsibilities include answering questions about the program, reviewing certification applications, updating website content, and conducting outreach to schools. JoAnna has a B.A. in Environmental & Sustainability Studies from Rowan University. In her time as a student she was involved in environmental advocacy on campus, in her community, and at a state-wide level in New Jersey. Most notably she led the NJ Student Sustainability Coalition for two years. In this role she connected students across the state to share resources, build skills, and ultimately create student power to work on sustainability initiatives that benefit us all. She is currently the Alumni Advisor of this group as well as the Secretary of her hometown Environmental Commission. She can be reached at 609-771-3427, or by email at

Tracy Prescilla Glova, Program Coordinator, Policy and Planning

As the Program Coordinator for Policy and Planning, Tracy (she/her) supports the development of policies and programs that help municipalities in New Jersey complete sustainability best practices, with a focus on land use and climate resilience. Her main responsibilities include creating and reviewing actions for the municipal and school certification programs, providing technical assistance to local governments and community members, and collaborating with partners to identify and create solutions to emerging sustainability policy issues. Tracy joined Sustainable Jersey after graduating from Rutgers University with a Master’s Degree in Public Policy in 2022. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Temple University. Tracy is a Public Policy and International Affairs Program (PPIA) alumna. She was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She can be reached at 609-771-2610, or by email at

Anne Heasly, Program Manager, Policy and Planning

In her role, Anne works with partners to develop policies and programs to assist local governments in implementing sustainable actions. Anne comes to Sustainable Jersey with experience in land conservation, planning, design and funding and most recently served as non-profit consultant. Prior to that, Anne worked on a range of planning and re-grant programs for Conservation Resources, Inc and was a conservation planner working primarily in the Delaware Bayshores and Pine Barrens for over 13 years for the New Jersey Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Anne has a BS in Natural Resources from Cornell University and a Master of Landscape Architecture with a Certificate in Urban Design from the University of Washington. Anne is a licensed landscape architect and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. She can be reached at 609-771-2865, or by email at
Maureen Jones, Program Assistant

Maureen supports the daily operations of the Sustainable Jersey programs. Her responsibilities include updating content on website and social media, reviewing certification applications from municipalities and school districts, and providing administrative support for the certification programs, grants program, conferences, events and trainings. Maureen has a B.A. in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from Marist College. She can be reached at 609-771-2938, or by email at
Véronique Lambert, Program Manager, Schools Outreach, Training and Special Projects

Véronique supports the development and implementation of the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program, working with schools, government agencies, community organizations, businesses and municipalities to further sustainability practices and education in New Jersey schools.  A member of her town’s Environmental Commission and Green Team, Véronique has previously worked in sustainability education and community outreach in New York City, London, Providence and Ithaca.  She has also performed cropping systems research in Hawaii and Guyana.  She received a BSc and MSc in Agronomy from Cornell University and University of Hawaii, respectively, and a MSc in Geography from Brunel University, London. She can be reached at 609-771- 3427, or by email at
Melanie McDermott, Senior Researcher

With degrees in interdisciplinary social science (PhD.) and forestry (MSc.), Melanie McDermott has over 20 years’ experience in the U.S., Asia, Southern Africa, and the Caribbean in academic and applied research and consulting. Major topics of this work include community forestry, coastal resilience, and the impact of climate change mitigation policy on social equity. Prior to coming to TCNJ, she served at Rutgers University in various capacities, including as research faculty, lecturer, and Associate Director of the Climate and Society Initiative. At the Sustainability Institute, she is leading a collaborative effort to develop a vision, goals, and indicators for sustainability for New Jersey at the state level that will be promulgated in an annually updated report. It will further serve as a basis for creating the Gold level for certification for Sustainable Jersey. She can be reached at 609-771-2836, or by email at
Leanne McGowan, Program Manager, Energy

Leanne is the Energy Program Manager on the Sustainable Jersey Energy Team, currently focused on creating programs to support the SJ-PSE&G partnership to help increase energy efficiency and sustainability practices in municipalities, communities, schools and businesses. Leanne’s role includes Energy Program outreach and training to empower residents, business owners, and school and local government staff to better understand and manage energy use and lower their carbon footprint. Prior to joining our team, Leanne was the Director of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships for a transportation advocacy organization, where she created sustainability programming for employers, municipalities and organizations, directed the transportation electrification program and launched a broad coalition to advance Electric Vehicle adoption. Leanne holds a B.A. in Art History and Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis and has a background in art museum administration, educational program development, community education and training facilitation, project management and advocacy. She can be reached at 609-771-2063, or by email at

Samantha A. McGraw, Senior Program Manager, Core Operations

Samantha manages the Sustainable Jersey municipal and school certification programs, along with the small grants program.  She serves as the primary point of contact for New Jersey municipalities participating in the Sustainable Jersey program as they work toward certification. She provides program and technical assistance for municipalities and outside organizations about the program and certification process, and helps maintain the Sustainable Jersey website and contact databases.  She also serves as staff support to the Waste Management Task Force.  Samantha holds a B.S. in Meteorology from Millersville University, and a M.A. in Political Science from Colorado State University, and brings both a science and policy background to the Sustainable Jersey team, along with experience working in local government.  Samantha is also a Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program and President of the YWCA Princeton NEXT GEN Board, and also co-chairs its Nomination Committee, and chairs the Communications Committee.  She can be reached at 609-771-2938, or by email at

Rosalie Morillo, Program Manager, Schools Content and Special Projects

Rosalie Morillo supports the Sustainable New Jersey Schools program and the integration of the climate change standards and 21st-century digital learning skills. She has over 13 years of experience as a high school English teacher and is one of the founding educators for the Perth Amboy High School’s Communication Academy, a NJSPRA School Communications Award Winner. She also worked with the New York University’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication in developing dual-credit courses, including Designing Media for a Global World and Journalism for her district. During the pandemic, Rosalie served as a teacher leader and supported educators in implementing digital tools to enhance remote learning and instruction. Rosalie holds a B.A. in English Secondary Education from The College of New Jersey and a Master’s in English from Arizona State University. She also serves as the Library Board of Trustees President and works diligently with the Green Team in her hometown, Perth Amboy. She can be reached at 609-771-2802, or by email at

Danielle Profita, Research & Project Specialist

Danielle is a Project and Research Specialist on Sustainable Jersey’s Energy Team. Her work includes providing technical assistance to municipalities with a focus on improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions, as well as assisting municipalities in the completion of Sustainable Jersey’s energy actions. Danielle graduated from Fairfield University with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management. While at Fairfield, she served as a member of her campus environmental club, Leaders For Environmental Action at Fairfield (LEAF), where she helped implement various environmental initiatives on campus. Danielle previously served as an Intern at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in the Office of Local Government Assistance, where she assisted mayors of New Jersey municipalities in utilizing NJDEP services. Danielle was also awarded a fellowship to attend the Citizen’s Climate Lobby Climate Policy Camp in Washington, D.C. and gained invaluable experience in climate policy and advocacy. She can be reached at 609-771-2802, or by email at

Nancy Quirk, Senior Program Manager, Energy

Nancy Quirk serves as the Energy Program Manager with Sustainable Jersey providing guidance to local governments on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Her background includes engagement with local efforts to address waste management, energy efficiency, and sustainability planning. After Katrina, she worked with a university-community outreach program to assist homeowners in rebuilding with energy efficient and hazard resilient practices and materials. Most recently her work focused on providing support to local governments in reducing the “soft costs” related to solar photovoltaic deployment. She can be reached at 609-771-2902, or by email at

Lauren Skowronski, Program Director for Community Engagement

Lauren’s expertise lies in community development and civic engagement.  As Program Director for Community Engagement, she supports our grassroots regional networks across the state with leadership development, capacity building and technical assistance.  Lauren also heads our Community Information & Citizen Engagement Initiative which facilitates online engagement between local governments and their citizens.  Prior to joining our team, she served as State Campaign Director of The Citizens Campaign  for over ten years, where she focused on increasing civic engagement through education and grassroots organizing efforts, as well as collaborated with local, county and state officials on issues such as government reform, transparency and open government, environment, economic development, public safety and education.  Lauren assisted Green Teams and environmental advocates across the state with strategies to interface with government officials on policy development.   Lauren holds a Master’s degree from the School of Social Work at Monmouth University, where she concentrated in International and Community Development.  She can be reached at 609-771-3129, or by email at

Jennifer Sontupe, Office Manager

Ms. Sontupe plays many roles at the Sustainability Institute at the College of New Jersey. She is responsible for maintaining the Institute’s programmatic budgets which includes tracking income and expenses for over a dozen grants and programs and maintaining financial records for staff.  As Office Manager, Ms. Sontupe facilitates the hiring of employees, student interns, consultants and subcontractors; keeps track of timesheets and coordinates meetings for staff.  In addition, she serves as executive assistant to Senior Staff, and serves as the liaison between the Institute and various departments at The College of New Jersey including Finance and Business Services, Human Resources, and Grants and Sponsored Research.  Prior to working at the Institute, Ms. Sontupe worked for the State of New Jersey Office of Economic Growth as a confidential secretary to the Deputy Chief of staff during the Corzine administration. Jen holds an A.A. in Graphic Design from Mercer County Community College. She can be reached at 609-771-2832, or by email at

Kaitlyn Vollmer, Program Manager, Grants

Kaitlyn coordinates the Sustainable Jersey small grants program, a valuable resource available to municipalities and schools that are registered in the Sustainable Jersey program. Her responsibilities include intaking and reviewing grant applications and reports, providing program and technical assistance related to the small grants program, and updating the Sustainable Jersey website’s grants portal. Kaitlyn earned B.A. degrees in English Writing and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh and also holds a Public and Professional Writing certificate. Kaitlyn has experience working at the local level, including assisting the grant writer of the Human Rights City Alliance, a grassroots organization in Pittsburgh, to promote human rights education, action, and policies. She can be reached at 609-771-3189, or by email at

Tracey Woods, Program Manager, Energy

Tracey Woods works with the Sustainable Jersey Energy Team as a Energy Program Manager. Her responsibilities include assisting municipal leadership and green team members in completing Sustainable Jersey’s energy actions and helping create guidance documents to aid municipalities in completing sustainability projects. In addition to a professional background in project management, Tracey is a long-time green team leader. Her public service experience guides her work helping local governments move forward on sustainability projects.  Tracey has been awarded the New Jersey Governor’s Jefferson Award for Public Service. She can be reached by email at


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