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.

Photo of Yolanda Cieters

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.

Photo of Richard Conlin

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.

Photo of Nicole DeNamur

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.

Photo of Troy D. Abel

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.

Photo of Mitchell Thomashow

Mitchell Thomashow

Sustainability Catalyst Fellow at Philanthropy Northwest

Seattle University Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability

Mitchell Thomashow works independently, consulting with colleges and universities on climate, sustainability, environmental studies, and organizational process. Previously he was a Sustainability Catalyst Fellow at Philanthropy Northwest in Seattle (2016-2017), the Director of the Presidential Fellows Program at Second Nature (2012-2015), the President of Unity College in Maine (2006-2011), and the Chair of the Environmental Studies program at Antioch University New England (1976-2006). His new book, To Know the World: A New Vision for Environmental Learning will be published by The MIT Press in Fall 2020. His previous books include Ecological Identity, Bringing the Biosphere Home, and The Nine Elements of a Sustainable Campus, all published by the MIT Press. You can learn more about his work at He lives in the hill country of the Monadnock Region in New Hampshire.

Photo of Kevin Wilhelm

Kevin Wilhelm

B.A. History, Macalester College
MBA, Specialization in Entrepreneurship and Venture Management, University of Denver, CO
Certificate in Sustainable Business and Entrepreneurship & Intrapreneurship , Bainbridge Graduate Institute

Affiliate Faculty

Kevin Wilhelm is an Affiliate of Seattle University. CEO of Sustainable Business Consulting and is one of the world’s pre-eminent business consultants and teachers in the field of sustainability.Mr. Wilhelm has 21 years of experience working with 165+ clients in 37 industries including: Amazon, New York Life, Expedia, Nordstrom, REI, Alaska Airlines, The North Face, Expeditors, PSE, the Seattle Sounders, Whole Foods, the Cities of Seattle & Tacoma and the Norwest Seaport Alliance. He has taught 12 different courses in sustainability both in online and in-person formats at nine institutions, has lectured across the country hundreds of times including two TEDx Talks. Kevin is the author of six acclaimed books in this field including the just released: How to Talk to the Other Side: Sustainable Tools for Finding Common Ground.

Photo of Emily Nielsen

Emily Nielsen

Public Affairs & Environmental Studies

Program Assistant

Emily is a second year student double majoring in Public Affairs and Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Urban Sustainability at Seattle University. Originally from the SF Bay Area, Emily is involved in her hometown’s climate action coalition, Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda, which first sparked her interest in public policy work. Emily came to realize the importance of working through an environmental justice lens as a youth leader with The Mosaic Project: an organization working towards a peaceful future by uniting youth of diverse backgrounds and empowering them to use essential community building skills. The week-long outdoor school stresses the importance of intersectionality and the interconnectedness that exists between one another and the environment. It was a combination of these experiences which led Emily to pursue working with CEJS and to organize with Sustainable Student Action on campus. 


Photo of Olivia Blasi

Olivia Blasi

Philosophy & Environmental Studies

Program Assistant

I am a Philosophy and Environmental Studies major, specializing in Urban Sustainability and am a third-year student at Seattle U. I am from Oak Park, Illinois (just outside Chicago), but have always loved the mountains of the PNW. I have been passionate about helping the planet since I was young and had an obsession (and still do) with trees and how we as humans interact with all other life on the planet. I am also on SU’s women’s rowing team and spent many summers as a camp counselor so I am dedicated to getting people outside and connecting with the planet of which they are an important part! I hope to pursue work combining my passions for architecture and social and environmental justice.

Photo of Alex Chapman

Alex Chapman

Environmental Studies

Program Assistant Intern

Alex is a senior in the Environmental Studies major from Davis, California. Beginning at the University of Oregon as a freshman and making his way through UC Davis, in California, to end up in Seattle, Alex transferred to SU last year. Through his interdisciplinary college career, Alex has found a passion for the environment, which he believes is deeply intertwined with people. Alex has done a lot of work in the food sector, promoting sustainable agriculture and advocating for equitable food access. During his first year as SU, Alex worked with a small group of students on the Edible Campus Initiative to maintain and revitalize the edible gardens around the SU campus. Alex believes working with CEJS will broaden his understanding of and passion for Environmental Sustainability while connecting him deeper to local issues surrounding Environmental Justice. 


Photo of Ruby Rañoa

Ruby Rañoa

Environmental Science

Program Assistant Intern

Ruby is a third year environmental science student at Seattle University. Raised on the island of Oahu, Hawaii her appreciation for the environment sparked at an early age. By seeing Hawaii's fragile ecosystems affected by tourism and residents alike, her passion for environmental conversation and sustainable living began. This led to studying environmental science and working with CEJS, to broaden her understanding of sustainability in the professional world. She aims to be involved in restoration work in her professional career. 

CEJS Facebook