Khristopher Dodson (Associate Director) 315-443-8818: Khris provides technical assistance to local government leaders on topics related to Asset Management, Land Use and Comprehensive Planning, stormwater management and other topics related to Local Infrastructure, Leadership, Management and Finance. He was also the coordinator for Onondaga County’s Save the Rain program. Khris holds a Master’s degree from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a Master of Arts from Syracuse University.
Melissa Young (Assistant Director) 917-576-4853: Melissa joined the SU-CSCS team in 2008 and oversees programs and staff working on community sustainability with a focus on Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) and Watershed Management. She leads SU-CSCS’s efforts in the Caribbean, including the development of the SMM Stewardship Program that has since engaged hundreds of college students and thousands of K-12 students and teachers in New York, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands. She is a Certified Mater Composter through Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency, New York City Compost Project, and the US Composting Council. Melissa received an M.S. in Natural Resource Management and Policy from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Lisa Ruggero (Program Manager) 315-443-0292: Lisa is currently a Program Manager at the Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions overseeing programs in New York and Puerto Rico communities. Through partnerships with organizations and initiatives such as the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling, the Puerto Rico Recycling Partnership, the GREEN-Puerto Rico network and the Plastic Free Waterways Partnership, Lisa’s work promotes a shift from traditional schemes of solid waste management towards Sustainable Materials Management, focusing on creative solutions at the top of the waste management hierarchy in source reduction, reuse, recycling, composting and redesign. She is inspired by the power and energy that comes from bringing people together to collaborate and is always looking for creative ways to engage people to be a force for good. Lisa holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Studies with a focus on communication and culture.
Kaira T. Fuentes, PhD (Program Manager): Kaira is an environmental scientist, community planner, and researcher from Puerto Rico. Her areas of competency include Collaborative Planning, Environmental Governance, Water Management, Environmental Justice, Caribbean Studies, and Sustainable Materials Management (SMM). As the team lead on Caribbean programs at Syracuse University’s Center for Sustainable Community Solutions, Kaira has developed and conducted multiple successful trainings and workshops on SMM, Watershed Management, and Resiliency for diverse communities across Puerto Rico. Kaira holds a PhD in Environmental and Community Land Planning from SUNY-ESF and a Master’s in Environmental Planning from Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. Her doctoral thesis looked at the role of community-based organizations in natural disaster recovery and community resilience in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Jesse Kerns (Program Manager) 315-443-8488: Jesse assists with Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) programming, including the NYS SMM Stewardship Program, SMM Facility Tours and Case Studies, the Trash Free Waters initiative, Plastic-Free Waterways Through Art, NYSAR3‘s Organics Council, and the NYS Food Recovery Campaign. Previously, he worked for Grid, a sustainability focused magazine based in Philadelphia, PA. He holds a Bachelor’s in Communication from SUNY-Fredonia and a Master’s in Environmental Science from SUNY-ESF.
Tess Clark (Program Manager) 315-443-1846: Tess works as a Program Manager on SU-EFC’s climate adaptation and resiliency program areas. She also works with the Sustainable Materials Management team on policy research and economic development. Tess received her M.S. from SUNY-ESF in environmental policy, with a research focus on New York State timber sales and forest policy. She has worked with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, the SUNY Research Foundation, and Brooklyn-based non-profit the Human Impacts Institute. She graduated with a BA in Environmental Studies from New York University.
Patrick Lynch (Program Manager) 315-443-3741: Patrick works as a Program Manager on SU-EFC’s climate adaptation and resiliency program areas. He is responsible for managing rural development programs throughout New York State, Puerto Rico and New England, providing research, policy, and technical support with a focus on climate adaptation and community and infrastructure resiliency. Patrick received his M.P.A. from Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a Louis Bacon Environmental Leadership Fellow and supported tribal sovereignty efforts through HKS’s Nation Building course. He holds a J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School and a B.A. in Economics and English Literature from Fairfield University. Patrick has worked with different nonprofits, coalitions and filmmaking collaboratives in Massachusetts, New York, and Latin America.
Stephanie I. Anderson-Morales (Program Assistant): Stephanie works at the SU-EFC/Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions (CSCS) San Juan Satellite office. She assists with the SMM Stewardship Program and Generating Replicable Environmental Education Networks in Puerto Rico (GREEN-PR). She holds a Master’s degree in International Development Studies from Utrecht University in the Netherlands and a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. Stephanie has worked in several economic development projects, including the community micro-enterprise Martín Peña Recicla where she gave support and technical assistance as part of her role with Americorps VISTA in Proyecto Enlace del Caño Martín Peña. She is also a founding member of the urban cycling collective, RUEDA Ciclista.
Jessica Eckerlin (Project Associate): Jessica assists with the Smart Management for Small Water Systems Program, which provides technical assistance to local government leaders on topics relating to Local Infrastructure, Leadership, Management and Finance. Jessica holds a Master of Science degree from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry specializing in water and wetland resources and a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
Averi Davis (Program Associate): Averi assists with outreach and engagement related to SU-EFC’s environmental finance and resiliency programs, primarily focusing on organizational and communication needs as they relate to adaptation, resiliency, public water infrastructure, and watershed management. Averi graduated from Syracuse University in May 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Communication & Rhetorical Studies, a double major in Political Science with a concentration in Public Policy, and a geography minor in Environment & Society.