Operating Team

The CSSC Operating Team consists of staff, interns, and volunteers who fill roles that maintain the regular operations, events, and projects of CSSC. Our operating team primarily consists of recent alumni and current students from various California universities.


Silver Hannon, Fossil Free Campaign Organizer

Silver works with fossil fuel divestment campaigns across California in addition to specific coordination duties with the Fossil Free UC campaign. Her passion is to support strong campaigns and develop student leaders dedicated to long-haul organizing around climate justice and social justice issues. During her time as a student at UC Berkeley, Silver was involved in many facets of the Fossil Free Cal campaign. The very tangible change-making power divestment holds and the commitment to solidarity with both environmental and social justice causes it is grounded in makes her work both invigorating and deeply meaningful.

SCHOOL: B.A. University of California, Berkeley, 2014
PAST ROLES IN CSSC: Fossil Free UC Intern Spring 2014
MAJOR: English


Emili Abdel-Ghani, Solidarity Organizing Program Director

Emili Abdel-Ghany is a recent alumna of UC Davis, originally from Santa Monica, CA. She has spent her college career and much of her adolescence working towards effective and fierce allyship and solidarity organizing. In particular she served as Operating Team Co-Chair for the California Student Sustainability Coalition, lead campaign organizer for Fossil Free UC Davis, and Senior Fossil Free Field Organizer for CSSC. She is trained primarily through the UC Davis Cross Cultural Center and the UC Davis Campus Center for the Environment as a facilitator, community educator, and social and environmental justice organizer. She was a coordinator for the CSSC Convergence at UCD and the Field Organizer for the Fossil Freedom Solidarity Organizing Program: working to transform youth climate and environmental leaders towards a social and climate justice framework of organizing, challenging racism, sexism, and all forms of oppression.

SCHOOL: B.S. University of California, Davis, 2014
PAST ROLES IN CSSC: Operating Team Co-Chair, CSSC Fossil Free Field Organizer, Coordinator for UCD CSSC Convergence.
MAJOR: Community and Regional Development
​HOMETOWN: Santa Monica, CA

Kristyn Payne, Online Communications Coordinator

Kristyn Payne is the Online and Communications Coordinator for CSSC. Before this, she acted as the volunteer Newsletter Editor for CSSC and bottom-line social media outreach for the CSSC Spring 2014 Convergence.  Her interests concern institutionalizing sustainability into current structures and systems, using innovative marketing, planning, and systems-thinking tactics to make sustainability-related initiatives a reality. Since May 2013, she has also been an Event Coordinator for the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference, a unique event  jointly organized by the four California higher education  systems, creating the opportunity for dialogue across institutions on cutting-edge research, case studies with proven successes in curriculum development, operational programs, and community partnerships . She is also a Green Office Coordinator and provides free sustainability assessments and consultations for departments on her campus.

SCHOOL: B.A. University of California, Santa Barbara, 2016
PAST ROLES IN CSSC: Newsletter Editor, UCSB CSSC Convergence Social Media Coordinator, Council-Person
MAJOR: Environmental Studies |Emphasis in Urban, Regional, and Environmental Planning
CONTACT: kristyn.a.payne@gmail.com

 Field Organizers

Jacob Soiffer, Fossil Free UC Field Organizer

Jake is a second-year student at UC Berkeley working with the Fossil Free UC campaign on actions/events, coalition-building, and on-campus engagement. Born in bred in Brooklyn, New York, Jake was radicalized and introduced to social justice organizing by Occupy Wall Street, walking the five blocks down to Zuccotti Park many afternoons as a high school sophomore. He has also worked with Amnesty International, 350.org, and the direct action groups Queer Rising and 99Rise in New York, and is passionate about connecting struggles and engaging in direct action as we work together to build a just future. Jake also writes poetry, plays jazz drums, and needs more road-trips in his life!
SCHOOL: UC Berkeley
PAST ROLES IN CSSC: Intern, Spring 2014
MAJOR: Sociology
HOMETOWN: Brooklyn, New York
CONTACT: jake@sustainabilitycoalition.org

Victoria Fernandez,  Fossil Free Field Organizer

SCHOOL: UC Berkeley (alumna)
PAST ROLES IN CSSC: Member of Fossil Free UC campaign
CONTACT: victoria@sustainabilitycoalition.org

Arlo Bender-Simon, Students Against Fracking Field Organizer

Almost three years into college, Arlo realized that he was floating along with no direction and little engagement in local efforts/organizations that caught his attention. After attending the 2013 CSSC Fall Convergence in Humboldt, Arlo volunteered to join the planning team for the 2014 Spring Convergence at UCSB. Along the way, he joined the Santa Barbara County Water Guardians in an effort to ban fracking in Santa Barbara County.

Now, Arlo remains committed to engaging students in a dialogue around fracking by helping CSSC build a statewide network of students against fracking. He remains near UCSB and works as a clerk at the Isla Vista Food Cooperative.

SCHOOL: UC Santa Barbara, Class Of 2014
PAST ROLES IN CSSC: Spring Convergence 2014, Accommodations Coordinator
MAJOR: BAs in History and Environmental Studies
HOMETOWN: born in Santa Monica, raised in Woodland Hills


 Simone Cardona, Council Chair

Simone is the current Council Chair for the 2015 cycle. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2014. As a student, Simone was a facilitator with the Education for Sustainable Living Program, Provost Sustainability Intern with the Sustainability Office, CALPIRG intern, and Kinetic Poetics Project organizer. With a passion for the natural world, she worked at the the UCSC Arboretum practicing horticulture, ecology and conservation.

Simone is an Extreme Oil Campaign Intern with ForestEthics, organizing to stop oil trains in California. She is passionately pursuing fossil fuel resistance organizing, and advocacy for a just transition to a clean energy economy. Simone identifies as a second generation mixed, multi-racial female from a hard working family. She enjoys communicating with people across backgrounds and interests, building the movement for social and environmental justice through diverse collaboration and the arts. Simone is also a passionate artist practicing painting, spoken word poetry, dance, and photography

SCHOOL:  UC Santa Cruz                                                                                                                                               MAJOR: Environmental Studies, Sociology minor                                                                                                   PAST ROLES IN CSSC:  Council Co-Chair, Climate Delegate, member and supporter

HOMETOWN: La Crescenta, CA






Learn how you can join CSSC’s Leadership


One Comment

  1. Pingback: Apply to Join CSSC's Operating Team - California Student Sustainability Coalition

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *