Ann 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, table tennis, good food and wine, and keeping up with family and friends.
Parker Long, sustainability reporting and outreach coordinator
Parker graduated from VCU in 2011 with a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Studies. She worked as an intern for the Office of Sustainability for two years and was hired full-time as the reporting and outreach coordinator in 2012. In this position, Parker collects data for various sustainability reporting surveys, works to engage students and community members, manages this website and does her best to keep the number of emails in her inbox under control.
When she is not in the office, you can find Parker playing with her two dogs, cooking up a storm, drinking coffee, smelling flowers, hunting for treasures in thrift stores and daydreaming about 90° summer days.
Wyatt Carpenter, sustainability projects and program coordinator
Wyatt was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. In 2010, he moved to Richmond to attend VCU. Wyatt completed his undergraduate studies in 2014 with a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Studies and a Bachelors of Science in Urban and Regional Studies. Wyatt earned a Masters of Sciences in Environmental Studies - with a focus on spatial analysis - in 2016.
As sustainability projects and program coordinator for the Office of Sustainability, Wyatt is interested in building meaningful partnerships between VCU and the Richmond community in order to create positive change for the city.
Outside of work, Wyatt enjoys being outdoors, running, design, wearing sunglasses, architecture, eating, horticulture, bad television and spending what is arguably too much time fussing over houseplants.
Sara Barton, Learning Garden coordinator
Sara studied political science and psychology at the University of Virginia and, after years of working in the nonprofit realm in Washington D.C. and New York City, returned to graduate school in 2012. She earned a Master of Public Health, focusing on community health education, from the CUNY School of Public Health. She then moved back to her native Loudoun County for a respite from city life. It was here in Virginia that she was bitten by the farming bug. Sara worked on organic farms for almost three years, growing vegetables, herbs and flowers, before joining the VCU team.
She plans to utilize her production farming knowledge to grow heaps of nourishing foods for the Learning Garden's partner organizations. She hopes to make use of her community engagement experiences to not only teach Richmonders about growing food in urban spaces, but also to learn from community members the food justice issues that they feel most affect their health and well-being. Sara is thrilled to contribute to the impressive ongoing sustainability efforts at VCU.
Outside of the garden, you will find Sara dancing, singing when no one is within earshot, giving her plants daily pep talks, writing weird folk song lyrics, thrifting, concocting things in the crockpot, or watching stand-up comedy.
Elias Frantz, sustainability assistant
Elias was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. After graduating, he moved to Richmond to major in urban and regional studies and planning with a minor in environmental studies at VCU. He is passionate about cities, public transportation, bike lanes and public parks and hopes to see a day where Richmond, Bogota and all cities are sustainable and welcoming to all people.
At the Office of Sustainability, Elias wishes to better serve VCU and Richmond, encouraging students to take the bus or ride their bike, learn about urban gardens and healthy eating, and recycle by picking something up from the Free Store.
Elias enjoys travelling to other cities around the world and learning from their people and systems. He also enjoys hiking, camping and a good fútbol game. When he's not doing all of these things, you'll probably find him at home reading a book and enjoying a good cup of Colombian coffee.
Jake Holweger, campus sustainability intern
Jake has lived in Virginia for their entire life having lived in Roanoke, Norfolk, and now Richmond. Jake is currently about to begin their senior year of an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering here at VCU. They originally wanted to pursue engineering research to develop technologies to conserve resources, protect the environment, and promote social progress. However, after spending three years as a research assistant that culminated in publications in several journals, they felt that the urgency required to address the climate crisis required their direct action. Jake sees a future where all people’s needs are met equitably, and artificial scarcity does not stand in the way of anyone’s ability to enjoy their life.
Jake currently is interning with the Office of Sustainability supporting their various projects while gaining experience in maintaining urban garden spaces to mitigate food insecurity and developing urban canopies to alleviate heat islands. Outside of their work here, Jake serves as the deputy director of the Earth Hacks Foundation, a non-profit they co-founded to develop solutions to the climate crisis at innovation competitions called hackathons. To date Earth Hacks has hosted 24 events with over 1800 participants that together have developed more than 350 solutions. When Jake isn’t hacking the climate crisis or growing food in the gardens, they prefer to relax by tending to their plants on their balcony, feeding their fish, and cruising around Richmond on their bicycle