Sustainability Coalition Active Members

Debera Johnson leads Pratt’s commitment to sustainability in academics, research and practice through her role as Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable Design Studies (CSDS). She is the founder of the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation established in 2002 during her tenure as chair of the Industrial Design program. The Incubator has supported over 30 start-ups in clean energy, fashion and product design. She has led the vision for the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator which will host 25 fashion, product and media designers and underscore Pratt’s commitment to the success of its alumni. Deb also founded the Partnership for Academic Leadership in Sustainability (PALS), whose fellows represent over 30 art and design colleges internationally.


Tetsu Ohara is a Visiting Associate Professor and Director of Sustainability of Interior Design in the School of Design at Pratt. His commitment to integrating “smart design” (sustainable solutions as part of the design proposal) has been resulted in Graduate student’s works since 2007.  He leads Pratt Sustainability Coalition in order to organize the 10th annual GreenWeek (campus wide event showcasing green proposal/ideas/seminars/lectures).  With an architectural degree from College of Environmental Science at U.C. Berkley, He uses his knowledge to engage in lectures about Sustainability in NYC.  He is also a partner at SpatialDesignStudio, Inc. practicing interior design in Asia, Europe and the U.S.




Carolyn received her B.S. in Engineering Science from Smith College and worked for DEKA, developer of the Segway, where she worked on a high tech water purification system. Carolyn received her Masters of Industrial Design from Pratt Institute. Her thesis, entitled “Beyond the Tap”, explored how improved water is managed in the developing world. She has taught in the Industrial Design department at Pratt. Carolyn developed the CSDS Resource Center on Pratt’s Brooklyn campus, acted as project manager for a number of CSDS Industry and Research projects, coordinates the annual Sustainability Crash Course and runs the CSDS internship Program.




Carl Zimring is Associate Professor of Sustainability Studies and co-ordinator of Pratt’s Sustainability Studies minor.  He is an environmental historian concerned with the ways humans define, classify, and manage waste.  He is the author of Cash for Your Trash: Scrap Recycling in America (Rutgers University Press, 2005) and general editor of Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste: The Social Science of Garbage (Sage Publications, 2012).



Deborah Schneiderman, RA, IDEC, LEED AP is an Associate Professor of Interior Design in the School of Art & Design at Pratt Institute. Schneiderman received her MArch from SCI-Arc and her BS in Design and Environmental Analysis from Cornell University. Her research and practice (deSc) explore interior prefabrication and sustainable built environments. Recent research includes Schneiderman’s 2012 book, “Inside Prefab: The Ready-made Interior,” (Princeton Architectural Press), and forthcoming books include “The Prefab Bathroom: An Architectural History” (McFarland Publishing, 2014) and “Textile Technology and Design: From Interior Space to Outer Space” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). Schneiderman’s design work has recently been published in Interior Design magazine, Metropolis, dezeen magazine, and Inhabitat. Schneiderman has lectured Internationally in peer-reviewed conferences as well as invited lectures including the Storefront for Art and Architecture, The Center for Architecture, and Van Alen Institute Books, in addition to National and International Lectures.



Jacquelyn received her BS degree in Business Entrepreneurship and a Minor in Interior Architecture from the University of Oregon.  In 2013, she graduated from Pratt Institute with a Master of Science in Interior Design, and she currently works as a full-time designer at the hospitality design and concept firm AvroKO.  While attending Pratt, she was a recipient of the 2013 Sustainable Student Award and she was an active member of the Sustainable Coalition, serving as the assistant to the coordinator. She is honored to have the opportunity to continue this work as the new Sustainable Coalition Alumni Ambassador.





Jaime Stein is a practiced sustainability consultant and researcher with a proven and successful record of community engagement, sustainability planning and environmental policy analysis.  Her more than 12 years experience in advocating for sustainable communities ranges from public health assessment and education in West Africa to environmental policy analysis and technical assistance to New York City Environmental Justice communities.  While a research fellow at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning & Sustainability, Jaime reviewed the City’s greenhouse gas emissions inventory.  While the environmental policy analyst for Sustainable South Bronx, Ms. Stein served on the 2009 New York State Climate Change Resiliency Task Force, the 2010 New York State Climate Action Planning process and the New York State Public Service Commission’s review of Con Edison’s Demand Response programs.  Currently, Ms. Stein directs the Urban Environmental Systems Management program at Pratt Institute, a Master of Science in sustainability studies with a curriculum at the nexus of environmental design, science and policy.  Her current academic research focuses on green infrastructure and sustainability planning for New York City manufacturers and small businesses.  She serves as the chair of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Infrastructure Workforce Development Committee and coordinates a professional certificate in green infrastructure within the Center for Continuing & Professional Studies at Pratt.


Miranda Pearce is in her third year of the M.S. in Interior Design Program at Pratt Institute. She has her B.B.A in Global Business, concentrating on Economics and French language.
This year, she is serving as the 2014 Greenweek Assistant Coordinator.




Zilka_N Nina Zilka is the co-founder and designer for Alder New York, which creates high end menswear, and a natural apothecary line sold at retailers like Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters and high-end salons like Fellow Barber and Kaufmann Mercantile. As a member and the studio manager for the Pratt Design Incubator, Nina and her business partner David J. Krause are focused on sustainable production and local manufacturing. While still a student at Pratt Institute, Nina started her first women’s label, The Twentyten, with two of her peers, which found success in progressive boutiques in New York and LA and the fashion press before closing in 2011. Nina is also a Visiting Instructor in the Pratt Institute Fashion Department. Over the years Nina’s work has been featured and reviewed by publications such as WWD, Surface, Time Out New York, Daily Candy, Refinery 29, Elle, Nylon, and many others. Her work can be seen at


Frank Millero is a designer and educator based in Brooklyn. He holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Design from Pratt and a B.A. in Molecular Cell Biology from the University of California at Berkeley.  Frank began his career as an exhibit developer at the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco. His recent design work focuses on tableware, decorative accessories and textiles.  Frank has taught at Pratt since 2004; his courses include: Sustainability & Production, Artisan Made, Color Workshop, and Portfolio.  He is a member of the board of directors for SERRV, a nonprofit dedicated to eradicating poverty through fair trade.



Otis_J Professor Jon Otis is a tenured faculty in the Interior Design Department. He has taught at Pratt since 1998. In addition to teaching studio and lecture courses, Jon is conducting research and strategizing to create a new masters program in Interpretive Planning & Design. He is active in organizations such the AIGA, AAM, IDEC, IIDA, IDSA and has lectured at American universities and at industry conferences. Jon is the Founder and Principal of OlA – Object Agency, a multidisciplinary design studio and design strategy agency, whose work ranges from interior architecture and design, exhibition design, branding & visual communications, product design, web/media design, and strategic consulting.


Christopher Jensen teaches a broad variety of courses in ecology and evolution, including an introductory Ecology course with a heavy emphasis on how humans impact ecosystems. Using computer modeling as a means of exploring the stability of dynamic systems, Dr. Jensen’s research probes the balance between competition and cooperation in biological systems. He also serves as the faculty advisor to Envirolutions, Pratt’s student-run club dedicated promoting sustainable initiatives.




Alice Zinnes is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Foundation Department.  She has been a critical force in the anti-fracking movement since 2009, connecting the art world to the political and environmental worlds.  Co-curator and organizer of the seminal exhibition and panel at Exit Art in 2010, Art and Activism Against the Drill, Zinnes has lectured on fracking throughout NYC and Pennsylvania, and functioned as a resource to student groups and Sustainable Pratt.  Her current campaign is to persuade New Yorkers to enroll in 100% wind and solar-generated electricity.


Michael is in his second year of the M.S. in Interior Design Program at Pratt Institute.  He has his B.A. in Political Science concentrating in International Relations of the Middle East.  He is currently the Pratt Institute Material Library Coordinator and the Material Library’s representative to the Green Coalition.






Nadia Shaheen is currently pursuing an M.S. in the Interior Design program at Pratt Institute. Before coming to Pratt, she has received a dual degree from The Ohio State University in Marketing and Interior Product Development. She is now a campus liaison for Eat Your Design, a design competition and initiative to promote the knowledge of biomimicry and cyclical patterns through the use of reusable and biodegradable materials in the built environment.





Minott_NNatalie is in the first year of Masters of Science in Interior Design at Pratt Institute.  She received a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Engineering at Michigan Technological University in 2012.  She received a 2013 Green Week Award at Pratt Institute for sustainable design of an Integrative Health Center.






Turner_KSUNY Environmental Sciences and Forestry (ESF) graduate with a bachelors degree in Environmental Studies: Policy, Planning and Law. As a Project Coordinator at Pratt, Kateri organizes and activates students in taking direct action on environmental issues by putting pressure on politicians and bringing awareness here on campus. Kateri works with students to lead statewide campaings such as clean air and energy, banning fracking in NY, anti-incineration, recycling and many others. She organizes and coordinates the Pratt NYPIRG internship. NYPIRG also works on a number of social justice issues; for more information visit the office in ISC room 108.





Tucker_BBrynna has worked in the Center for Career & Professional Development since 2004.  She has produced seminar series, workshops, and other educational programming that focus on the varying and complex needs of artists, educators, administrators, and entrepreneurs. Brynna specializes in non-traditional career paths for innovators, activists, and artists with a focus on art related career paths, creative entrepreneurship, and social enterprise.  She received her BFA in Sculpture from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, her MFA/MS in New Forms and History of Art and Design from Pratt Institute, and recently completed a Certificate in Small Business and Entrepreneurship from Hunter College. 





Bauman_J Johanna has been working in libraries since her days as a graduate student in art history at the University of Virginia.  An historian of gardens and agriculture, she has an abiding interest in shaping and preserving the environment and the role of humans in its stewardship.  When she is not managing digital assets and providing information services to the Pratt Community, Johanna works in her community garden in Prospect Heights where she is a longstanding member of the compost team.



Pratt Envirolutions, a student-run group dedicated to environmental activism, has maintained a strong tradition of collaboration with CSDS. The club aims to spread awareness of sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices on the Pratt campus and to promote green design.




Christian Rietzke has been teaching in the Interior Design Department since 2005. He is the founder of Eat Your Design.
Parallel to his teaching engagement, Mr Rietzke is Senior Associate at McKay Architecture/ Design, specializing in adaptive reuse projects in New York and New Jersey.
Mr Rietzke‘s work has been published in Domus and Icon Design magazine and shown in several exhibitions. He is a graduate of the architectural programs of Pratt Institute (M.Arch) and Münster School of Architecture (Dipl-Ing). Since 2008, he is on the board of the Rotary Club of Metro NYC.



RodriguezPebel Rodriguez, Architect and LEED Green Associate, is the Co-Chair of Leaders in Environmental Advocacy at Pratt, also head archivist for the PSDP department. Received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Ureña and is currently a candidate for the M.Sc in Urban Environmental Systems Management at Pratt.




DanantJoelle Danant is Visiting Associate Professor of the Yoga of Meditation (for wellness, creativity and sustainability) for the Wellness Program at Pratt’s Center for Continuing and Professional Studies (Pratt-CCPS). Joelle also serves as Academic Director at Pratt-CCPS (since 1999).  Joëlle holds a Master’s in Intercultural Management/ International Administration, from the School for International Training, Brattleboro, VT.  Joëlle is also an ordained interfaith minister from One Spirit Seminary, NYC (since 2005), a certified Music for People (MFP) instructor in music improvisation (since 2001), singer/improvisional vocalist, composer,  Native American (NA) style flute player, and writer. Joëlle is the 2013 Music Ambassador Award recipient from Music for People, for her workshops called “Music Improvisation for the Soul.”



Maddie is a first year graduate student in the Masters of Science in Interior Design program at Pratt Institute. She received a Bachelors of Arts in Art History and Curatorial Studies from Brigham Young University in 2012. She received a 2014 Green Week Award at Pratt Institute for her sustainable design of an Integrative Health Center.



Rose Barone is the Project Coordinator for the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) at Pratt Institute. NYPIRG is New York’s largest student-directed grassroots organization that advocates for environmental protection and students’ rights to affordable higher education. Students involved with Pratt NYPIRG gain experience in organizing and activating both their campus and greater NYC communities on environmental campaigns such as promoting the use of renewable energy, sustainable practices, banning fracking in NY, recycling and GMO labeling.




Vicky is in the first year of Masters of Science in Interior Design at Pratt Institute. She received a Bachelors of Arts in Ceramics. She has high interest in non-traditional materials as well as manipulating them through biomimicry, modern day technology, and hands on exploration that usually leads to disaster, but very interesting and applicable finds.




katieAfter receiving her Bachelor of Arts with an Emphasis in Interior Design from San Diego State University in 2008, she went on to earn her Master of Science in Interior Design from Pratt in 2012. She first became involved with the Sustainable Coalition during the 2010 Green Week, and spent the following academic year acting as assistant to the coordinator. As a LEED Green Associate, she actively incorporates environmentally smart products and designs into her projects.





gunnerGunner turns ideas into reality. Never being one to let inspiration gather dust, he’s known for expanding the scope of his work outside his core; architectural, industrial, and conceptual design. Whether it’s taking the helm of his own clothing line, pitching commercials to Cadillac, or having his tributary art mistaken by the press for originals; Gunner transforms design challenges into opportunities. He is involved in projects that span across the creative spectrum featured in magazines, television and documentaries, or built into the cityscape of Midtown Manhattan. Gunner has collaborated with design teams, such as Project Breaker, TED, Stanford University and hosts workshops at local institutions. After attending Pratt Institute Gunner founded TurnUpArt, a startup that upcycles all the wasted art supplies from colleges and donates them to community organizations. Looking out for students and professionals alike, Gunner is rescuing supplies for tomorrow’s artist.


suchingSuching is a first year graduate student in the Interior Design program at Pratt Institute. She received her BFA in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  As a former member of the IDSA Student Chapter who currently works in the 3D Prototyping Lab at Pratt, Suching strives to integrate technology and sustainable materials in her interior design projects






jenniferJennifer E. Telesca (PhD NYU, 2014) is Assistant Professor of Environmental Justice at Pratt Institute. With background in anthropology, law and media studies, she takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the oceans. She is currently writing a book about governing the high seas, probing how diplomats decide the fate of the iconic Atlantic bluefin tuna, now depleted. Some of her findings appear in the journal, Cambridge Anthropology and in the edited volume, The New Public Good (Berghahn forthcoming). Her recent work on visual citizenship has been published in the journal, Humanity.