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.


Zen Trenholm, Development Director

Zen Trenholm is the Development Director with the California Student Sustainability Coalition.

A graduate of UC Berkeley with a B.S. in Cooperative Business Development, he also serves as a board member with the Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive. He was previously a board member with the Berkeley Student Food Collective, a co-founder of the UC Berkeley Student Environmental Resource Center, and has worked at SkyDeck | Berkeley, UC Berkeley’s startup accelerator program.

He has recently co-founded the Resilience Collaborative, a consultancy and incubator program that cultivates the collective development and growth of business models focused on advancing climate justice and community resilience.

He is proud to work with an amazing community of dedicated, intelligent, and passionate students in tackling some of our planet’s most pressing challenges.

SCHOOL: UC Berkeley Alumni 2013; City College of San Francisco 2011

MAJOR: Conservation and Resource Studies; Co-operative Business Development

 HOMETOWN:San Francisco, CA


Emily Williams. Campaign Director

Emily Williams is a Campaign Director with CSSC, focusing mainly on fossil fuel divestment. She graduated from UCSB in 2013, with a B.S. in Environmental Studies, and concentration in Geographic Information Systems. She wrote her thesis on determining the financial harm UCSB is responsible for vis-a-vis its investments in the coal industry. She attended COP19 in Warsaw, Poland with the Climate Justice Project, a project of the International Institute of Climate Action and Theory (iicat.org/cjp), and is a member of the SustainUS delegation to COP 20 in Lima, Peru.

Interns and Volunteers

Kevin Killion, Op Team  Co-Chair

I was born and raised in the fertile soil of Chico Ca, where I continue to study. I am passionate about defending land and people using action, educations and advocacy. CSSC has been my family and community to support me in the movement. Together we empower and inspire students to take control of their lives and future by working together on common causes. I look forward to working with and collaborating with you!


MAJOR: Environmental Studies

PAST ROLES IN CSSC:  Council Representative, Happiness Coordinator, Convergence Coordinator



 Adam Sherman, Operating Team Co-Chair

shermanbioHe recently graduated from SanFrancisco State University with a degree in Environmental Studies (Sustainability and Social Justice). An outgoing activist, Adam spearheaded effort’s for his school’s Divestment campaign against fossil fuel companies, from presenting to student government representatives to being the opening speaker at the Fossil Free Convergence in San Francisco. He continues to support efforts for fossil fuel divestment campaign as well as anti-fracking efforts.

SCHOOL: San Francisco State University (Graduate)

MAJOR: Environmental Studies (Sustainability and Social Justice)

HOMETOWN: San Francisco

 Simone Cardona, Council Co-Chair


Hi I’m Simone Cardona, and I am Council Co-Chair for the 2014 cycle. I graduated in 2014 from UC Santa Cruz with Environmental Studies and Sociology.  As a student I was actively involved in many sustainability and arts organizations. I was an intern with UCSC’s Sustainability Office, co-facilitated a class with the Education for Sustainable Living Program, worked with the Common Ground Center providing students with tools to get involved, organized to protect our upper campus from development, and worked with Energy Service Corps and CALPIRG for two years. I was involved in a group of autonomous students during the Occupy movement planning direct actions for a just and affordable education system.i have always been simultaneously involved in social justice and arts communities  because I am interested in building movements through networks of artists and activists. I was an organizer with a multicultural performing arts group Rainbow Theater, and spoken word organization Kinetic Poetics Project hosting open mics, poetry slams, and the largest collegiate poetry festival in the country. I have a strong interest in political ecology, identifying and challenging the powers and systems that perpetuate environmental degradation. I also enjoy natural sciences, horticulture, conservation, and exploring the outdoors. Now I am pursuing work organizing on climate, energy, environmental and social justice. I am deeply passionate about the environmental movement, and working on campaigns and actions that challenge existing systems and offer solutions for a more just and sustainable world.

SCHOOL:  UC Santa Cruz

MAJOR: Environmental Studies, Sociology minor

PAST ROLES IN CSSC:  Member and supporter

HOMETOWN: La Crescenta, CA

Madeline Routon, Council Co-Chair

Madeline Routon is the Council Co-Chair of the California Student Sustainability Coalition.

She is currently a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, pursuing a BA in Geography/Environmental Studies and a MA in Geography concurrently. A foodie at heart, Maddy’s research and organizing revolves around sustainable food systems, as well as ecoliteracy and environmental education. Last year, she served as a team leader for UCLA’s Sustainable Food Systems Action Research Team, bringing sustainable policies to dining halls on campus. She was featured as a panelist at the Food Waste Panel of 2014, and now works as a Pick Leader for Food Forward, a non-profit organization of volunteers providing at-risk families and shelters with fresh produce sourced from the lush gardens of Angeleno backyards.

Maddy has also worked as an organizer for Ecochella: The Bike-Powered Concert, an annual music- and sustainability-themed festival celebrating all things green and groovy! This year, she will continue on as a member of the Board of Directors. She is incredibly excited to take on this year head-on, and feels honored to serve as a resource for all of the passionate, driven members of CSSC. Sustainabilibuddies, ubuntu!

SCHOOL: University of California, Los Angeles

MAJOR: Geography/Environmental Studies (Concentrations: Global Studies and Geospatial Information Systems)

HOMETOWN: Los Angeles

 Timmy Jacobs, Website Editor and Blog Editor

Timmy is currently a 4th year geography and environmental studies major at UCSB and will be CSSC’s website editor for this cycle. Timmy’s involvement in activism and the sustainability movement began through working on the fossil free campaign at UCSB. He quickly caught the activism bug and shortly after joining fossil free, he volunteered with the Santa Barbara Water Guardians, petitioning to get a fracking ban on SB County’s September ballot. He first got involved with CSSC while volunteering and attending the convergence at UCSB in spring 2014. He is super stoked to be a part of CSSC and looks forward to all the exciting things we will accomplish this year.

SCHOOL: UC Santa Barbara

MAJOR: Environmental Studies (BA) and Geography (BA)




 Patrick Stetz, Newsletter Editor

559244_4916361036904_1729071587_nI first became passionate about CSSC when I found out one of the S’s stood for sustainability… I haven’t looked back since.

SCHOOL: UC Berkeley

MAJOR: Physics





Eva Malis, Blog Editor

Eva is an outreach coordinator for Students Against Fracking and Blog Staff for the Student Environmental Resource Center at her campus. She volunteers with SEED (Students for Environmental Energy Development) at La Escuelita in Oakland to spread environmental passion to younger people. Eva has interned with Environment California to combat fracking and the Ecology Group of Bandelier National Monument as a field intern to assess post-fire regeneration. She is an alumni of the Global Environment Theme House, and is most interested in wildlife conservation, communicating sustainability, and environmental education. She became involved with CSSC through befriending the awesome CSSC-ers at her school, and is so excited to be a part of this crucial means to organize student impact with fellow passionate people.

SCHOOL: UC Berkeley

MAJOR: Environmental Science

HOMETOWN: Valencia, CA


Kyle Lefton, Newsletter Editor and Blog Editor

Kyle is currently finishing up his undergraduate degree at Cal State University, Northridge in English, with a minor in sustainability, while simultaneously interning with Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, in the Environmental Compliance and Services Department. Kyle has spent over a year and a half in Sacramento to become versed in legislative affairs, gaining valuable experiences with nonprofit organizations focused on government reform and environmentalism. Areas of focus include Fossil Freedom/Students Against Fracking, sustainable development, urban/city planning, environmental education, and ecoliteracy. Kyle was introduced to the CSSC in 2013 through the bi-annual Convergence and has been in love with the organization ever since.

SCHOOL: CSU Northridge

MAJOR: English, Sustainability minor


 Emili Abdel-Ghani, Field Organizer and Convergence Coordinator

Emili Abdel-Ghany is a recent alumna of UC Davis with a B.S. in Community and Regional Development. She comes from a family of women and ascribes to the ideology that it takes a village to raise a child, and heavily focuses on community building and collective action. Holding multiple identities: mixed White and Arab heritage, low income household, ciscgendered womyn, ducationally privileged, raised in the Lutheran church, fluid sexuality, caregiver, animal lover, earthly spirituality, radical politics and a feminist ideology she believes in accessibility and relationship building, identity recognition and affirmation within movements. She currently is working as both a Field Organizer and Convergence Coordinator with CSSC as well as a Northern California Regional Organizer with the Divestment Student Network. Emili has learned from and grown with CSSC, the UC Davis Campus Center for the Environment, Education for Sustainable Living Program at UC Davis, Occupy UC Davis, CSSC Council and Operating Team as a former Co-Chairs Actions Team manager for Fossil Free UC she coordinated the May 2013 and May 2014 UC Regents meetings actions in Sacramento.The Cross Cultural Center trained her to be a social justice facilitator as a volunteer trainer and then Coordinator for the Peer Education and Community Empowerment program. Ally development, collective liberation and communication for environmental leaders and activists is her specialty. Her theory of change is simply: the only kind of systems worth sustaining are ones that are socially just and regenerate earth and people, let’s work together to realize a more compassionate revolution.

SCHOOL: UC Davis Class of 2014

MAJOR: B.S. in Community and Regional Development with Policy

PAST ROLES IN CSSC: Council Rep, Operating Team Co-Chair, Fossil Free Senior Field Organizer, Fossil Free UC Davis Co-Founder, New York Climate Delegate.


Kevin Gong, Convergence Coordinator

Kevin is a fourth year student at UC Davis studying International Relations with an emphasis in environmental studies. He plans to start a second major but is still deciding what to study. Aside from CSSC, he also loves and DJs at KDVS, UC Davis’ community radio station. Kevin Gong likes: smelling things, romantic comedies, playing music, dumpster diving, his bicycle, Sam Smith, and singing/dancing really badly. Sometimes he can’t get himself to do homework and other societally constructed activities because he knows that this is not what the universe intended when creating Kevin Gong. But that’s ok. Instead, you can find him pondering/appreciating everything. Kevin Gong loves everything. Most of the time, he cannot articulate his feelings properly enough to come across as normal, but he stopped caring. He bases his life and actions around feelings. He doesn’t like to be defined or categorized. He wants to trek to the edges of this world so the cosmos can guide him to the answers of his existentialist inquiries. As long as he can stay afloat in the current capitalist machine, he hopes to travel and help others out with their troubles. When his time comes, he wants to be one with this earth, and his body creating a weary but enlightened tree of inspiration/optimism.


MAJOR: International Relations

HOMETOWN: Temple City, CA

Email me!!!!! klgong@ucdavis.edu

Madeline Oliver, Convergence Coordinator

Madeline has been a member of the CSSC since her first week at UC Davis and has loved every moment spent with her sustainabilibuddies since! Growing up in the Napa Valley she witnessed firsthand the importance of a steady climate on the success of rural communities as well as the social and environmental injustices that our current agricultural system depends upon. Identifying our dependency on the Fossil Fuel Industry as a major source of these issues, Madeline immediately set to work in her freshman year as a Fossil Free UC Field Organizer. While she hopes to continue working on the divestment campaign this year her current focus is set on planning the most amazing convergence in CSSC history. Feel free to shoot Madeline an email or facebook message regarding the Fall Convergence at UC Davis, Fossil Free UC, or just to say hi! Mcoliver@ucdavis.edu

SCHOOL: UC Davis Class of 2017

MAJOR: Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning




Gary Nelson, Outreach Coordinator and Blog Editor


Melody Leppard, Social Media Manager





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

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