Staffing for Sustainability

Sustainability Officer

Paul Helgesen, Director of Plant Operations and Sustainability, works with a team of dedicated staff members as Gordon’s sustainability coordinator to ensure sustainability remains a high priority on campus. He and his team actively participate in the following sustainability practices:

  • Planning, designing and construction
  • Facilities operation and maintenance
  • Curriculum development
  • Research

Helgesen, who oversees energy conservation measures, alternate energy sources (including solar and wind power investigations), purchasing green power, and universal waste collection works hand-in-hand with five other staff members to ensure these practices are followed. The following people assist Helgesen in these efforts:

  • Mark Stowell, Director of Facilities and Grounds, manages recycling, composting and Gordon’s Restore Creation efforts.
  • Grant Straton, Lead Custodian/Material Handler, directs recycling.
  • Dima Borisyuk, Custodial Services Manager, manages green cleaning on campus.
  • Jack Lawrence, Director of Dining Services, ensures that sustainability efforts are practiced in food services.
  • Mike Nawoichik, Purchasing Manager, directs purchasing green products, especially related to technology.

The sum total of people working on sustainability as part of their jobs adds up to two full-time employees for a campus of 1,600.

Sustainability Coordination

Gordon’s Sustainability Committee has been tasked by both the administration and board of trustees to advise on and implement policies and programs related to sustainability on campus. This committee focuses on sustainability broadly and covers the entire institution. The Sustainability has been tasked with the following:


In order to better prepare graduates to be leaders in the world and to provide a Christian voice in issues of global concern, the Gordon College Sustainability Committee will provide leadership in moving Gordon College forward in our understanding of God’s call to be good stewards of Creation. The committee will serve as an advisory group to the VP of Finance and Administration and will:

  • Promote learning around environmental stewardship
  • Initiate policies and practices that promote the wise use of natural resources and the stewardship of ecological systems including actions that lead to a reduced carbon footprint
  • Set goals and track our progress in moving the campus toward greater environmental sustainability

This year’s Sustainability Committee is ad hoc and is composed of:

  • Michael J. Ahearn, Vice President for Finance and Administration

  • Dorothy Boorse, Professor of Biology
  • Janel Curry, Provost
  • Paul Helgesen, Director of Plant Operations and Sustainability
  • Jack Lawrence, Director of Dining Services
  • Mike Nawoichik, Purchasing Manager
  • Brian Shultz, Institutional Research Analyst
  • Mark Stowell, Director of Facilities and Grounds
  • Rob Van Cleef, Director of Institutional Research

Next year and in following years, the Sustainability Committee will be composed of: Three faculty members who represent both research interests and curricular interests in sustainability

  • Director of Physical Plant for Facilities and Grounds
  • Director of Plant Operations and Sustainability
  • Representative of the Student Development Office related to Residence Life
  • Student leader from the student group, Advocates for Sustainable Futures
  • Director of Community Engagement
  • VP for Finance and Administration (to whom the committee reports and serves as his/her advisory group.
  • Provost (ex officio)
  • Director of Institutional Research (ex officio)