Headshot of Ann KildahlAnn Kildahl, director of sustainability

Ann joined VCU in July 2021 after more than two decades in Asia, where she worked in higher education and the nonprofit sector. She served as the first Sustainability Manager at the University of Hong Kong, an urban research and teaching university with approximately 30,000 students. At the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, her work included multi-level program development and a landmark historic preservation and adaptive reuse project, now the Society’s permanent home.

Her ambition for VCU is to see sustainability practices and principles integrated into all aspects of campus life.

Originally from New York, Ann is a lifelong learner with degrees from Smith College (BA), Columbia University (MIA), and the University of Hong Kong (PhD). Outside of work, she loves biking and racket sports, good food and wine, and keeping up with family and friends.

Headshot of Sara BartonSara Barton, senior manager, sustainability programs and policy

Sara's academic and professional backgrounds in public health, food access and organic agriculture lead her to begin a career in sustainability in 2017. Having lived in Washington, D.C. and New York City before moving to Richmond, she is especially interested in sustainability work in urban settings. Sara's professional and academic interests include sustainable urban food systems, conservation landscaping, bike-friendly urban design and community-engaged climate action. In 2022, she completed the Certificate in Sustainability Planning graduate program at VCU's Wilder School and plans to continue to expand her sustainability knowledge and skill set. When she's not at work, Sara is most likely biking, roller skating, hiking, supporting local producers at the farmers market, vibing at a concert or tending to (including singing to) her 50+ houseplants.

Headshot of Lloyd BlakeLloyd Blake, urban gardens and forestry coordinator

Lloyd is a lifetime Richmond resident and arrives at VCU having spent the last ten years pursuing various agricultural and horticultural interests in the state of Virginia. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from James Madison University and picked up minors in Environmental Studies and Italian along the way. Lloyd is drawn to the power that agriculture and food have to bring people and communities together and hopes to create that atmosphere in the gardens at VCU.

When not in the garden, Lloyd enjoys cycling, reading fiction and spending time with his family.

No photo availableJane Hagen, sustainability data coordinator

Jane graduated from VCU in 2021 with a Master of Arts in English, focusing on ecological weird fiction. In this position, she plans to track and analyze sustainability data and help put it to use in the ongoing sustainability work at VCU. She is particularly interested in ways to approach complex, interconnected problems that exist far outside the human scale, like the climate crisis, and hopes to use data to help approach those problems in more informed ways. 

Outside of her work here, Jane can be found swimming, cooking or reading.

Parker LongParker Long, manager, sustainability administration and operations 

Bio coming soon.


Communications and Engagement Team

Portrait of Elsa HoppeElsa Hoppe, communications and engagement intern

Elsa is a sophomore studying public relations. As a VCU Sustainability intern, she plans and creates content for VCU Sustainability's communications platforms. In her free time, she works part-time at a thrift store and enjoys binge watching movies and shows.

Isabella Schmidt, communications and engagement intern

Isabella Schmidt is a Junior in the College of Humanities and Sciences at VCU, studying Creative and Strategic Advertising. As a Communications and Engagements Intern, Isabella creates social media and website content, helps plan and execute events, and assists with VCU Sustainability’s campus programs like the Free Store. Isabella has a background in education and has been teaching for the past five years, and she is now looking forward to a new adventure with VCU sustainability. Outside of school and work, Isabella loves create art in her free time, specifically painting and drawing. She also enjoys expressing her creativity in the kitchen, coming up with new recipes and food combinations.

Liv Weatherford, communications and engagement intern

Liv Weatherford is a Junior studying graphic design at VCUarts and minoring in media studies. She has used her designs for environmental preservation efforts at a large scale while working as a Marketing and Communications intern at a renewable energy company. She enjoys all things nature, art, and music and is the Marketing and Design chair for Note of Kindness, a music outreach club at VCU. As a communications and Engagement Intern at VCU Sustainability, she continues to engage in environmental and community-based projects.

Free Store Team

Tauryn Baptiste, free store intern

Tauryn Baptiste is a senior at VCU majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies, focusing on Marketing Strategy and Product Innovation at the da Vinci Center. Tauryn is also minoring in sales, which she became passionate about while being part of VCU’s sales team. She is also co-captain of the VCU Professional Selling Team, the River City Rainmakers.

Tauryn is extremely excited to bring everything she’s learned at VCU to her role at the Free Store. She can't wait to help increase the variety and flow of donations we receive. When Tauryn’s not busy with school or work, you'll likely find her working out with friends or hanging out with family.


Adam Lumsden-Cook, free store intern

Adam is a Senior at VCU, Graduating in May of 2025 from the Urban and Regional Studies program. Originally from Richmond, VA, Adam has a passion for giving back to his community and making the area a better place for future generations from a sustainable perspective. 

As a VCU Sustainability Free Store intern, Adam’s goal is to reduce waste from discarded items left behind from college students moving out of the dorms. Adam also plans to help the Free Store organize incoming donations and input them into VCU’s inventory. This is just one way he plans on giving back to the community and to also help protect the environment. This position helps him establish experience in promoting equity, economic growth, and climate protection. 

Outside of school and work, you can find him playing basketball at the gym, playing video games, ultimate frisbee, or shooting pool. Adam is excited to combine his knack for Urban Planning with his love for the environment and community engagement.

Photo of Jordan RichardsJordan Richards, free store intern

Jordan is a senior at VCU, set to graduate in spring 2024. Originally from Westmoreland County, Virginia, Jordan has always had a passion for computers and technology, which led him to pursue a major in information systems.

As a VCU Sustainability Free Store intern, Jordan’s goal is to assist in creating an efficient way to keep track of incoming donations and manage the store's inventory.

Outside of school and work, you can find him playing video games with friends or researching and building computers. Jordan is excited to embark on a career where he can combine his love for technology with his skills in information systems.

Sruthikaa Vishwanatham, free store intern

Sruthikaa is a senior at VCU studying marketing with a concentration in product and brand management and psychology. She is also pursuing a certificate in product innovation at the VCU da Vinci Center. As a free store intern, she leads day-to-day store operations, manages the inventory and storefront, and strategizes ways to increase donations. In her free time, she enjoys going hiking, playing badminton, and exploring Richmond. 


Urban Gardens and Forestry Team

Amelia Austin

Amelia is a Senior at VCU pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Sociology. Originally from Bristol in Southwest Virginia, she found a passion for the outdoors at a young age climbing trees and swimming in the Holston River. As a VCU Sustainability intern, Amelia aids in maintaining our urban garden sites on and around campus, looking after greenhouse hydroponic operations, and leading volunteer activities. In her free time, she enjoys observing and identifying mushrooms, visiting Belle Isle, and trying new coffee and tea shops in Richmond.

Tiffani Vasco, urban gardens and forestry intern

Tiffani Vasco is a Senior in the Urban and Regional Studies program. She is working on multiple research projects including the Urban Green Equity and Resiliency Project with Dr. Shruti Syal. She is interested in sustainability in all forms and has a growing passion for sustainability in the building sector stemming from VCU's inaugural participation in the Solar Decathlon design competition. 

Zero Waste Team

Kirsten Ponticelli, zero waste intern

Kirsten Ponticelli is a junior majoring in Bioinformatics with minors in biology and chemistry. Her passion for sustainability began while watching her older sister choose plant-based for a plethora of reasons, including the ecological advantages. As Zero Waste Intern she helps research and communicate solutions to campus-wide waste issues. In addition to school and work Kirsten serves as the Chair of Communications for VCU VegClub, a group focused on sharing the benefits of plant-based eating. Kirsten also founded Love Your Mother Co, an annual charity event that spotlights artists local to her home of Northern Virginia while raising money for environmental non-profit organizations.