Blog Archives

Buckeyes Host Zero Waste Synchronized Swimming Invitational

2017.01.31-NewsFeed-Ohios State Sync Swim-IMAGE

For the first time in school history the Ohio State Synchronized Swim team is set to host a zero waste event. That event is the season-opening OSU Zero Waste Invitational at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion on Saturday.

The technical events will begin at 10 a.m. and will be followed by solo, duet and trio routines beginning at 2 p.m. In addition to the Buckeyes, athletes from Miami (Ohio), Michigan and Wright State will also be competing.

As a university, Ohio State has embarked on a campus wide effort to go zero waste by 2025. One of the first steps taken by the athletic department was to go zero waste at all home football game which meant diverting at least 90 percent of material from the landfill to either recycling or compost. Through one synchronized swim team member’s efforts, that same process will now play out at every event inside McCorkle this spring.

Tori Baron, an environment, economy, development and sustainability major, took her idea directly to Director of Athletics Gene Smith. With his help, and the help of others within the athletic department, Baron was able to secure McCorkle’s first zero waste event.

I went to an AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) conference last year and everyone was asking me about our process for zero waste at our football games. They thought it was tremendous that we were able to do that at such a big event. So I thought why can’t we do this at our meets this year? I asked Gene Smith at a meeting and he connected me with Mike Penner (Senior Associate AD for Internal Operations) and Graham Oberly (Sustainability Coordinator for Athletics) and with their help, we were able to get this going.”

“With being a student-athlete and asking to do something this big, I thought it was going to be a struggle,” Baron continued. “But I’m so thankful that everyone who has helped us throughout the process has been so enthusiastic and really wanting this to work. Graham Oberly has really played a huge role in getting this event together.”

What will fans notice differently this year than in years past? McCorkle will get six new zero waste bins which are separated into three compartments for recycling, compost and landfill. The food supplied to the teams and judges as well as food at the concession stands will be served on compostable materials and signage will be in place throughout the building directing fans where to recycle their trash. Volunteers will also be on hand at the bins helping fans determine what is or what is not recyclable.

Read the full story here.

Title Game’s ‘Green Project’ Aims to Limit Environmental Impact

Bay News 9
By Fallon Silcox, Reporter

Customized CFP recycle bins will be used around Raymond James Stadium on gameday.

Customized CFP recycle bins will be used around Raymond James Stadium on gameday.

There will be plenty of action Monday night at Raymond James Stadium.

  • CFP green project aims to limit envirnomental impact from title game
  • In addition to recycling, food will be repurposed and energy will be renewed
  • College Football Championship Tampa 

But there also has been plenty of action behind the scenes as there has been a “green” push on for the College Football Playoff Championship Game.

The initiative is a project started by the College Football Playoff to make sure the Bay area environment is not impacted negatively by the big game.

“What we’re trying to do is address all the different environmental impacts of the game,” said Jack Groh with Playoff Green Project. “We address things like food waste, solid waste, green energy, we do some work with urban forestry, too, and material donation.

“All the beautiful stuff that you’re going to see all over the Tampa Bay area. The décor and all the stuff built up, all that gets donated to local nonprofits so it can be repurposed and reused.”

Part of that is customized CFP recycle bins that will been seen around Raymond James Stadium on gameday.

Another part of the environmental effort is to salvage left over food from the events across town during the days leading up to the game. The food will be collected and distributed to local agencies.

“We will send our agency partners to pick it up,” said Jayci Peters with Feeding Tampa Bay. “So the fact this is a week long initiative and it’ll wrap up next Monday, it’s just going to be a really big week for the Food Bank. I know for the National Championship game coming into town, it’s a big deal and hunger is a big issue in our community.”

Read the full story here.

Women Athletic Directors Lead Two of the Top Five College Football Programs

By Rachel DeSchepper


“This is huge!”

That’s what Patti Phillips exclaimed from her office the morning of December 5, as she typed out an email to us, her staff: “Two of the top five teams currently have women athletic directors, and Western Michigan is #15 right now…another woman AD. This is such an important milestone for women— it shows that women CAN run successful big-budget football programs, despite the myth that they can’t.”

We get emails like this that celebrate our members from Patti often. (They’re frankly the best part of our jobs!) This time, however, the celebration is particularly groundbreaking: To our knowledge, there have never been two teams with a top five ranking in the College Football Playoffs with a woman leading their athletics departments. But this year, Jen Cohen’s University of Washington Huskies are ranked #4, the Pac 12 champs, and headed to the Peach Bowl; Sandy Barbour’s Penn State Nittany Lions are ranked #5, the Big 10 champs, and headed to the Rose Bowl; and Kathy Beauregard’s Western Michigan Broncos are ranked #15, the Mid-American Conference champs, and headed to the Cotton Bowl. Are you kidding? As Patti says, “women rock!”

“The more women we see in these [AD] positions, the more likely we’re going to have more women who know that they can do it,” Cohen says in a phone conversation last Wednesday. “I think that that’s impactful and that tells a story for other women.”

But as we all know, getting to this point in a woman’s athletic career—especially at a Power 5 school, or on the Bowl Championship level—is not without its challenges and misconceptions. “Women don’t play football. So the question is always how does a woman manage a big-time college football program?” Barbour tells us. “The fact of the matter is, we manage it the same way we oversee wrestling or ice hockey, or some other sport we have in place. Having Jen and I with teams in that top 5, and us going to the Rose Bowl and Washington going the CFP … I think that starts to dispel that myth a little bit.”

For Cohen, who was promoted to athletic director at UW this past June and is in her 18th year at the university, past experiences helped pave the way to her new role. “These jobs are all about fit: Do you match up with what this institution represents, and what this athletic department stands for, and what this community believes in? This has been a great cultural fit, and it’s been the right partnership for the university and for me,” she says. “With all that being said, I’m not sure if anything prepares you for this position until you’re in it. The biggest challenge is really understanding leadership at this level: You’re working to bring hundreds of employees, hundreds of student-athletes, thousands of fans and community members all together under one mission. That’s an unbelievable task. I’m constantly learning and growing and evolving.”

Read the full story here.

Congratulations to our member, UW, for their great season thus far!