The new program manager for the Office of Sustainability may seem familiar to many people on campus.
That’s because Sarah Kelly spent four years here earning a bachelor’s degree and immersing herself in activities that would prepare her well for her future job.
"I'm thrilled to return to the university and bring sustainability on campus to the next level," said Kelly, who graduated in 2012 with a perfect 4.0 GPA. "With proper outreach and education, I believe individuals will welcome the opportunity to sustain our environment. By making small changes in our daily lives and major strides at the university level, we can reduce the consumption of vital resources and products that harm the environment while mutually respecting our natural resources, plants and wildlife."
In her new role, which she started just last week, she will serve as the lead for all university sustainability efforts and manage, plan and coordinate university-wide sustainability efforts. That includes coordinating all aspects of sustainability for the university and interacting with surrounding neighborhood communities.
"Sarah brings a lot of excitement and passion for sustainability,” said Maria Honey, assistant director of marketing and communications for Auxiliary Services. “We needed a person who has a personal investment in sustainability and making the planet a better place. She will give the department a much-needed shot of adrenaline."
Kelly was active in sustainability-related activities while a student, including holding an internship with Green Lily Events, which provides eco-friendly event planning. She also was a student worker with GreenUH and served on the campus sustainability taskforce. She also worked at UH Outdoor Adventure and co-founded the Rock Climbing Sport Club.
After graduation, she landed a communications position with the University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics at Houston, a job she held until she accepted the sustainability program manager position at UH.
A Houston native, she moved to Alvin with her family when she was 5 and graduated from Alvin High School. Her future husband, Dwan, was a nearby neighbor, but she never met him until they were in high school. They were married two years ago after he returned from serving in Iraq. He’s currently finishing up his degree here at UH. They reside in the Museum District.
Kelly enjoys outdoor activities, including rock climbing and hiking. She also likes biking, although she never learned to ride a bicycle until she was 20 years old.
"While working in my previous job, I took to the Houston bayou bike trails in the morning to commute to work, which is something I hope to do on occasion to UH, depending on the weather," she said.