Institute for Sustainability 2020

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Faculty Innovation Fellows

IS inaugurated a new "Faculty Innovation in Sustainability" fellowship program for CSUN faculty. In partnership with PPM, IS offered 8 research fellowships. These research projects are highlighted below.

2021-22 Faculty Innovation Fellows

Headshot of Susan Belgrad

Susan Belgrad

Elementary Education Schools Engagement

The grant funded Belgrad’s student-led Project-Based Learning Sustainability Course. The funds led to projects that advanced both student and public knowledge about sustainability and earth-friendly consumption. Funding allowed students to receive expert lectures (Jet Propulsion Lab, Professors of Science and Mathematics, CSUN IS Champions) before visiting the Institute for a tour of the facility and the CSUN Garden.  They also had the opportunity to visit the CSUN JPL Environmental Literacy School sites that are community-based leaders in engaging students in campus wide sustainability projects.

Franck Vigneron


Vigneron used the funds to create online platforms to collect sustainability survey data related to his research specialty of luxury manufacturing and in particular the management and marketing of luxury brands.  Vigneron seeks to address solutions for luxury organizations to benefit from the sustainability movement. 

Tracie Tung

Family and Consumer Sciences

Tung utilized the fund to create a “sustainable fashion” index survey that promotes sustainable fashion more efficiently and applies “green nudges” to the field of sustainable fashion to synthesize the research and to systematically examine current research findings in sustainable fashion. Tung also hired a student assistant to assist the research

Lisa Chaudhuri

HERE Center/Sustainability

Chaudhuri used the funds to address some of the material needs for a student-led applied sustainability project focused on applied community engagement experiences at the individual level.  Community partners are identified for or with student groups as they develop and implement their main project. As students develop a relationship with their partners, they develop soft and hard skills that will make them stand out when completing their degrees at CSUN, while also enhancing their sustainability related skills and knowledge. 

Amanda Baugh

Religious Studies

Baugh’s supported project examines the environmental values of Latinx Catholics in order to decenter dominant narratives of religious environmentalism. Baugh’s grant supported her project in two ways. First, she hired a graduate research assistant from CSUN’s Spanish translation program in order verify her translations of Spanish-language transcripts. Second, the funds enabled her to have a few final interview recordings transcribed professionally.

Luke Drake


Drake’s stipend funded research examining the social and environmental impacts of compound disasters in the South Pacific country of Vanuatu. The project has three components: two main research questions, and one service project with evaluation component. Research question 1: What water conservation strategies have emerged across urban and rural households among the Walaha community? Research question 2: How has household food production changed to address disaster risks? Service project with evaluation: Can community seedling nurseries increase household access to traditional food crops? Funding supporting building one fenced seedling nursery in Walaha Village and three raised-bed seedling nurseries in Port Vila. 

Spiros Lazaris


Lazaris’s stipend supported a student-led active carbon sequestration project that offered proposals to beautify campus hard landscapes using sustainable solutions initially applied on specific demonstration project sites.  The funds from this grant helped Lazaris defray consultation costs which included meetings with the director, meetings and guidance with the students from the capstone class who are collaborating on this project.    

Headshot of Dave Moon

Dave Moon


The stipend support Moon’s project, “Artpreneurship,” promotes the sustainable entrepreneurial mindset for students pursuing arts and humanities. It is intended to create a broader understanding for these students to leverage their talents and develop skills that will enhance their career path—in art, dance, film, journalism, literature, music, radio, TV, theatre, theology/religion, or writing—for sustainable business practices.

Bautista worked with students to create an exhibition for the sustainable design work to appear in the CSUN West Gallery in the Department of Art in Spring 2021. The funding helped in materials and production costs to assist the students in building their physical prototypes for an exhibition