Administration & Finance / News /

News Release


Kristina Michel
Communications Coordinator

New Sustainability Manager Hopes to Take Efforts to the Next Level

Houston, Jan. 12, 2018 - The University of Houston Office of Sustainability has been the driving force behind many important achievements in sustainability and conservation, from the University's recent Tree Campus USA certification for the second year in a row to earning Gold status in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System report.

As the new sustainability manager for the office, Michael Mendoza hopes to not only continue that success but also take it to the next level.

"We've done a really great job of educating the campus community of sustainability practices," said Mendoza. "Adopting thoughtful behaviors and going green is something relevant and important to every individual. I hope this office can implement action that will truly elevate UH as a sustainable campus." Mendoza joined the Office of Sustainability in November. He has a master's degree in higher education administration from UH and a bachelor's degree in history from the University of North Florida. He worked for seven years in the restaurant industry in Florida before moving to Houston in 2014.

After spending a year as a middle school teacher in Houston, Mendoza decided to pursue a career in higher education administration. He graduated in December. While pursuing his master's degree in higher education at UH, he worked as a graduate assistant for facilities and operations at the UH Student Centers, where he helped manage the Student Centers' sustainability programs.

"They were just starting a sustainability program, and I became the champion for that program," he said. "It went really well and got me interested in sustainability. We put recycling bins all around the Student Center, created a lunch and learn for sustainability topics, brought in an eco-artist to speak about using recycled magazines to create artwork, and partnered with a master's in graphic design class to install a sustainable art exhibit."

In the coming weeks, Mendoza hopes to restructure the office so that it will focus on data analytics and reporting as well as outreach. He hopes to build a more robust campus-wide sustainability policy that will incorporate sustainability into every aspect of the University's institutional structure.

"We're really proud of our office's accomplishments and the great work that our student workers perform getting the message of sustainability out there," he said. "We really couldn't do the work we do without our students. I believe there's opportunity to continue those successes and achieve more, and I'm really excited to be a part of that."

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves nearly 45,300 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.