About Us

Founded in 2012 through the work of the Sustainability Council, the Center for Sustainability has quickly grown from a small group of dedicated students and a single full-time coordinator to a lively, accomplished community of passionate undergraduate students, graduate fellows and two full-time staff members. 

Our work happens all over the DU campus, with zero-waste events in the Ritchie Center and Newman Center, the Bike Shop in the basement of Nagel Hall, the Food Pantry in Driscoll Commons, and the Thrift Store on the first floor of Centennial Halls. The Center for Sustainability’s headquarters is on the first floor of the Community Commons (next to Starbucks) - there you will find a welcoming space to discuss sustainability projects, find community and forge relationships with those who share passions and values. 

The Center for Sustainability boasts a successful, holistic student internship program. 

With this group of amazing interns, the Center is able to run over 20 programs spanning all areas of the sustainability field.

Meet the Faculty Director

Headshot of Sarah Bexell

Sarah M. Bexell, PhD is Faculty Director of the Center for Sustainability. She is also Clinical Associate Professor with the Graduate School of Social Work, and the Director of Humane Education with the Institute for Human-Animal Connection all at the University of Denver. She teaches and does research in the areas of ecological justice, humane education, and animal protection. 

Sarah can be reached at Sarah.Bexell@du.edu. 

Meet the Assistant Director

Julia Senecal headshot

Julia E. Senecal, LSW is Assistant Director of the Center for Sustainability. She is also the Humane Education Research Projects Manager at the Institute for Human-Animal Connection within the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. Her background in public K-12 education as both a teacher and a mental health professional support her in developing and implementing ecological-social justice curriculum and research initiatives that empower youth to engage in practices that support global and ecological justice, regeneration, and equity for humans, animals, and the natural world.

Julia can be reached at Julia.Senecal@du.edu 

Meet the Program Coordinator

Headshot of Derek Brannon

Derek Brannon, M. Ed., joined the Center for Sustainability in 2020 as a Graduate Fellow. As a doctoral student in Curriculum and Instruction, he spent his first year developing curriculum for the Center. In February 2022, Derek became the Program Coordinator, which sees him spending time with, and programming for, the undergraduate interns and graduate fellows of the Center. Derek grew up in Colorado, developing a deep love of the local environment and spent much of his career, before coming to DU, teaching K-12 students at the Colorado History Center.

Derek can be reached at: derek.brannon@du.edu