The Office of Sustainability is pleased to welcome Brian Cohen and Ally Hellenga, who joined the Wake Forest Sustainability team on August 1, as the Program Coordinator and Communication and Events Coordinator, respectively.
“We are fortunate to have attracted such bright and accomplished individuals to our team. These two bring experience in both sustainability and higher education – their talents and perspectives provide a fresh and creative lens on our work,” Dedee DeLongpré Johnston, Chief Sustainability Officer for Wake Forest University, said.
Cohen comes to Wake Forest after serving as an assistant tennis coach at Old Dominion University and Washington & Lee University, where he also became a leader in campus sustainability. He helped introduce a number of environmental initiatives to the athletic departments at both schools and served as the Athletic Department Liaison for Environmental Initiatives at Washington & Lee. In addition, Cohen has experience in marine conservation with two NGOs: SeaWeb and the Ocean Conservancy.
Cohen holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Bucknell University and a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
As Program Coordinator, Cohen manages all aspects of student, faculty, and staff peer education networks, collaborates with multiple units to collect and analyze sustainability-related metrics, and develops targeted operational and educational opportunities to accelerate the adoption of sustainability across campus.
“The Wake Forest campus community is comprised of some of the brightest and most dedicated people in higher education and I am honored to be working among them. I look forward to making a difference in the lives of the students, faculty, and staff and helping them to become agents for positive change,” Cohen said.
Like Cohen, Hellenga also has experience with sustainability programs and initiatives within higher education.
Hellenga has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. While at the University of Georgia, Hellenga held a two-year communications internship with the UGA Office of Sustainability—a solidifying part in her decision to pursue a career in sustainability within higher education. Hellenga also served as a sustainability intern abroad in Costa Rica where she designed the 2014-2015 Sustainability Report for the University of Georgia Costa Rica campus.
After graduating, Hellenga worked at the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Sustainability where she was tasked with marketing Atlanta as a hub for urban agriculture and the local food movement.
As the Communications and Events Coordinator, Hellenga designs and curates weekly and monthly communication pieces, manages social media accounts and coordinates special events and conferences for both the Office of Sustainability and Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability.
“I look forward to telling the stories of individuals who are implementing real sustainability initiatives on campus and are thus keeping Wake Forest on track to becoming a leader in campus sustainability,” Hellenga said.
Both Cohen and Hellenga look forward to working alongside students, faculty and staff to make Wake Forest an even more sustainable place to call home.