This January 2017, Ann Erhardt, MSU's director of Campus Sustainability, was elected by her national peer group to the Board of Directors for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

AASHE strives to empower sustainability ambassadors in higher education. Membership provides access to resources for advancing campus sustainability, professional development programs that teach stakeholders leadership skills, as well as data from other university sustainability initiatives.

The Board consists of a diverse group of directors, administrators and faculty at higher education institutions, dedicated to advancing sustainability on their campus. Board members oversee, advise and promote AASHE's values and continue to set a positive example by living their own lives sustainably.

"MSU is committed to ensuring a sustainable future," Erhardt says. "Through my participation with AASHE, we can continue to build on our sustainable foundation by leveraging the vast knowledge of the organization and board members to foster increased innovation and leadership on our own campus."

Beyond Erhardt's membership on the board, MSU also participates in the AASHE Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) program, which rewards higher education institutions that monitor and report on their own sustainability performance. Leaders in sustainability are recognized for their innovative thinking and actions in five categories: Academics, Engagement, Operations, Planning and Administration and Innovation. The STARS program serves as an effective framework for long-term tracking and comparison of our sustainability programs and initiatives, continually driving the university and surrounding community to improve and embrace sustainability as a core value.

MSU will continue to set an example for higher education institutions in its commitment to integrated sustainable initiatives across campus. For Erhardt, this position provides a crucial opportunity to engage top industry leaders in a conversation about the next step for sustainability at MSU.

"As we envision a future in which sustainability is embedded into the core fabric of MSU, I believe membership to the AASHE board will help drive a more holistic approach to our most pressing sustainability challenges, building on our foundation of leading services and initiatives to cultivate a healthier, more efficient campus."