Photo of Phillip L. Thompson, PhD

Phillip L. Thompson, PhD

PhD, Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa MS, Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa BA, Biology, University of Iowa

Director, Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability

Phone: 206.296.5521

Building/Room: Engineering 524

Professor Phillip Thompson serves as Director of the Seattle University Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability and served as Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Chair from 2006-2013. He received the 2015 Seattle University Alumni Association's  Distinguished Faculty Award and the 2011-2012 Father James McGoldrick Fellowship, Seattle University's highest faculty honor. He was also awarded the 2009-2010 Thomas J. Bannan endowed chair of engineering. Dr. Thompson joined Seattle University after receiving his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Iowa in 1997. He also earned an M.S. in Environmental Engineering and a B.A. in Biology from the University of Iowa and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Washington.

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Yolanda Cieters

Sustainability Manager

Phone: 206-220-8400

Building/Room: Hunthausen 122

Yolanda graduated from the University of Brussels, Belgium, with a Masters in Contemporary History, specializing in Latin American and Immigration studies. She also holds post-masters degrees in Teaching and International Humanitarian Aid. She is the author of Chileans in Exile: Their Immigration, Reception and Integration (2004), published by the University of Brussels Press, and worked for the Regional Integration Center of Brussels, where she was responsible for providing social orientation programs to asylum seekers. After relocating to Seattle, she worked as a Program Officer at the World Affairs Council and Pacific Village Institute promoting international exchange and developing cross-cultural and global issues curriculum for high school students and educators. Yolanda also worked several years in documentary production. She co-produced short documentaries for KCTS Connects; assisted in the production of feature-length documentaries on topics such as Fair Trade, Motherhood, and The Ecological Footprint; and she edited over forty short films highlighting the life and traditions of Native peoples for Longhouse Media. Yolanda received the 2018 Seattle University Lee Thurber Outstanding Staff Award for distinguished service.

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Richard Conlin

Seattle University Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability

Richard Conlin is a consultant on sustainability, food policy, and local government. He has just completed a Food Policy Plan for the City of Riverside, California, and currently manages the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund for the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Richard is also a faculty affiliate at Seattle University, Antioch University Seattle and the Evans School of Public Affairs of the University of Washington. He served four terms on the Seattle City Council; his colleagues elected him to two terms as Council President. Richard has run an energy conservation business, led the City Light Study Group, directed Seattle YMCA Earth Service Corps, co-founded Sustainable Seattle, and directed the Energy Policy Project for PIRGIM. He is currently co-chair of the Regional Food Policy Council.

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Nicole DeNamur

Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability
Affiliate Faculty

Nicole DeNamur is a Seattle-based attorney whose practice focuses on insurance coverage and construction litigation.   She is a LEED® Green Associate™ with a passion for the intersection of sustainable building design, construction, and the law.  Nicole regularly presents on her holistic and proactive approach to risk management and the legal issues associated with sustainable buildings.  She is an Affiliate Instructor at the University of Washington’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies, where she developed the content for the interdisciplinary course, Risk and Reward in Sustainable Development.  Nicole also developed the content for, and teaches, Policy and Planning, part of the Master’s Program in Design for Human Health at Boston Architectural College.

Photo of John Hainze

John Hainze

M.A. Religion, Ethics concentration, Yale University
Ph.D., Entomology, University of Wisconsin – Madison
M.Sc., Entomology, University of Wisconsin – Madison
B.Sc., Biology, Lewis and Clark College

Seattle University Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability

John Hainze has pursued interests in environmental ethics and the relationship of religion and science through an M.A. in Religion from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Wisconsin. John served as Teaching Fellow at Yale in courses on Religion and Ecology, and Law, Religion, and the Environment. He worked on developing online courses for the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale. He served as Adjunct Faculty in Entomology at the University of Wisconsin and in Biology at Carroll University. John is also a film producer, and completed a series of educational videos on Christianity and Cosmology, Evolution, and the Environment. Previously, he worked as a scientist and manager at SC Johnson and Son. John is now president of BioOpus LLC, through which he pursues entomological consulting, writing, and film projects. Check out John's blog "Nature Underfoot", a blog that considers the smaller organisms that are intimately associated with human beings.

Photo of Danica Hendrickson

Danica Hendrickson

M.Ed., Mind, Brain, and Education program, Harvard Graduate School of Education
B.S., General Science, Seattle University

Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability
Affiliate Faculty

Danica Hendrickson is an educator with a passion for science, sustainability, and justice. She has taught middle school science and math for almost a decade, co-authored interdisciplinary curricular units for Facing the Future, and facilitated professional development events for teachers focused on global sustainability and energy. Danica served as Facing the Future’s Co-I for the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA), a USDA-NIFA-funded aviation biofuels project. As a member of the NARA Education team, her primary focus was the development and dissemination of educational resources that foster energy and bioenergy literacy in K-12 students. She led the research and development of Fueling Our Future: Exploring Sustainable Energy Use, co-developed an energy literacy assessment tool for middle school students, and participated in national conversations about energy and bioenergy literacy. Danica has a B.S. in General Science from Seattle University and a M.Ed. from the Mind, Brain, and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she focused on misconceptions and metacognition in science education. Danica’s interests lie in designing research-based educational resources and events that foster critical thinking, science literacy, and sustainable action.

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Troy D. Abel

PhD Public Policy, George Mason University
Master of Public Administration, George Mason University
BS Public Health, Indiana University

Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability
Affiliate Faculty

Dr. Troy D. Abel is an award winning teacher and author whose research and teaching interests focus on the dynamic tensions of environmental science and democratic politics. He is an Associate Professor of Environmental Policy at Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment with specializations in the fields of environmental justice, natural resource conservation and climate governance. His scholarship informs a teaching program that fosters an interactive classroom and student research collaborations. Dr. Abel was recently selected as one of three Western faculty for their commitment to engaging social justice for the 2018 teaching showcase curated by WWU’s Center for Instructional Innovation and Assessment. He also was co-recipient of the 2012 Lynton Keith Caldwell award for the MIT book Coming clean: information disclosure and environmental performance. Dr. Abel believes that when we see environmental problems and solutions in only technical or political prisms, environmental governance suffers. His collaborative work and publications reflects Dr. Abel’s dedication to the pedagogy of environmental interdisciplinarity and the development of techniques and experiences to bridge the teaching schism between environmental science and political science, or, between learning about the natural world and the civic world.

Photo of Jose Antonio

Jose Antonio

Civil Engineering from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil)
MBA in International Banking and Finance
PhD in Accounting and Finance from the University of Birmingham (UK)

Seattle University Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability

Dr Jose Antonio holds a degree in Civil Engineering from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil), an MBA in International Banking and Finance and a PhD in Accounting and Finance from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. He built a technical and executive career at Lloyds Bank and the groups Andrade Gutierrez and Mendes Junior. He is professor and researcher at the Pedro Leopoldo Foundation and the Minas Gerais School of Engineering (EMGE), visiting professor at Fundação Dom Cabral and Skema Business School (France) and affiliated professor at the University of Seattle (USA). He works in areas related to business development, corporate finance and value creation, project development and financing, corporate governance, compliance and sustainable engineering. Since the early 1990s, he has devoted most of his work to the field of infrastructure concessions and PPPs. He is also a partner of Investor Consulting Partners where he is active in the field of M & A. He was Honorary Consul of the United Kingdom and Representative of UKTI (United Kingdom Trade and Investment) in the State of Minas Gerais between 2007 and 2015. In 2017 he received from Queen Elizabeth II the distinction (Honors Degree) of Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

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Mitchell Thomashow

Sustainability Catalyst Fellow at Philanthropy Northwest

Seattle University Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability

Mitchell Thomashow ( is currently a Sustainability Catalyst Fellow at Philanthropy Northwest, based in Seattle, Washington. He’s writing a monograph profiling exemplary sustainability projects in the Pacific Northwest. Thomashow also works independently, consulting with colleges and universities on climate, sustainability, environmental studies, and organizational process. He is an Associate Faculty member of Royal Roads University (Victoria, British Columbia) where he teaches “Developing Environmental Understandings.”

Previously Thomashow was the President of Unity College in Maine (2006-2011) and the Chair of the Environmental Studies program at Antioch University New England. (1966-2006). His books include Ecological Identity: Becoming a Reflective Environmentalist (The MIT Press, 1995), Bringing the Biosphere Home, (The MIT Press, 2001) and The Nine Elements of a Sustainable Campus (MIT Press, 2014). Currently he is working on Environmental Learning in the Anthropocene, a series of essays that reflects on dynamic environmental education challenges and opportunities. They can be read at


Photo of Devvy Symonds

Devvy Symonds

Environmental Science

Program Assistant (student intern)

Dev (Jennifer) Symonds is an environmental science major from the Bay Area, California. She is a Bannan Scholar at Seattle University and has been working at CEJS since her freshman year. They are passionate about urban sustainability and environmental design and hope to build a career in sustainable urban design. Summer 2018 she took part in urban ecology research in New York City. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering with environmental education groups and plans to use her time at CEJS to promote sustainable practices at Seattle University.

Photo of Shannon Higgins

Shannon Higgins

Environmental Studies and Political Science

Student Intern

Shannon was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and attended an all-girls Catholic high school, Xavier College Preparatory. She is double majoring in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in communication and education, and Political Science. She first became interested in Environmental Studies during a project for the reintroduction of burrowing owls into the Rio Salado river for her AP environmental science class. She has an older brother who attends and swims at Saint Louis University and a younger sister who is a freshman in high school at Xavier. She runs cross-country and track and field at Seattle University which means that she competes throughout all three quarters. Her events are the 1500 meter and the 3k steeple-chase. She is President of Student Athlete Fellowship (SAF) and Social Media Chair of Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). She enjoys running, hiking and pretty much anything outdoors! She also loves reading and writing! 

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