Hixon Center Programs, Projects and Initiatives

Alongside pedagogy and research, the Hixon Center aims to promote environmental sustainability through campus projects and initiatives. Through each of these venue, we strive to engage students, faculty and staff throughout the Claremont Colleges, as well as members of the city of Claremont and beyond, to:

  1. open up dialogues about environment and sustainability topics outside of the classroom setting
  2. encourage sustainable behavior and practice in everyday living on- and off-campus, and
  3. establish connections between Harvey Mudd College, the Claremont Colleges, and outside community members in order to create sustainable change on- and off-campus.

Campus Projects

The Hixon Center is actively involved in the Sustainability Committee and works frequently with Facilities & Maintenance to implement sustainability projects on campus. The Sustainability Committee, which includes facilities staff, students and faculty, meets bi-weekly to discuss ongoing initiatives and prospective campus projects. The committee assists with producing and selecting projects to be proposed to the President’s Cabinet and the Board of Trustees.

Some of the projects that the Hixon Center is working on, or has worked on, include:

Programs and Initiatives

The Hixon Center, both independently and collaboratively, administrates and offers a variety of programs and initiatives that engage students, faculty and staff on sustainability topics in academic, professional, and behavioral contexts:

Energize Colleges Program

Administered by Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI) and funded by California utility ratepayers, the Energize Colleges program supports colleges and universities to prepare leaders in the new energy economy. The goal of the program is to develop students’ knowledge, skills, and experience to effectively evaluate energy career options and transition into the green workforce. The Hixon Center is a joint participant in this program with the Roberts Environmental Center at Claremont McKenna College.

Campus Composting and Waste Diversion

The Hixon Center is working with Facilities & Maintenance, Dining Services, and ASHMC to institutionalize composting and increase waste diversion from landfills. Compost bins are now available across campus, both in kitchens and break rooms across campus, as well as in exterior venues near campus residence halls. There is also an active composting program in the Hoch-Shanahan Dining Commons.

Hixon Center-Ecologic Institute Summer Internship Program

This is a new partnership between the Hixon Center and the Ecologic Institute in Berlin to provide students the opportunity to intern abroad with an international environmental think-tank.

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Data Science at Harvey Mudd College

HMC has received a 3-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for an REU in Data Science. The program hosts up to 9 students for 10 weeks during the summer to work on data science research projects with applications in the environmental, biology & life science, and industrial fields. More information about the REU is available online.

Green Office Program

The Green Office Program is an incentives-based initiative that promotes sustainable practices and purchasing in academic and administrative offices across campus.

Shareware Program

The Shareware program is designed to discourage use of disposable dishware and utensils by offering a reusable alternative for small events. The Hixon Center has a collection of stainless steel plates, tumblers and dishware available for loan to HMC students, faculty, and staff.

Events and Speaker Series

The Hixon Center hosts and participates in a number of events on- and off-campus regarding environmental and sustainability topics, both independently and collaboratively:

Biennial Conference for Sustainable Design and Solutions

The Biennial Conference for Sustainable Design and Solutions, held on the Harvey Mudd campus, intends to raise academic and personal awareness regarding environmental sustainability issues on local, regional and global scales.The inaugural conference took place in October 2016.

5C PowerDown Competition

The 5C PowerDown Competition is held annually between the 5Cs to see which campus can reduce its residential electricity consumption most substantially over a given period (usually three weeks).

Kanami Otani, Kevin de León, and Louis Spanias pose for a picture.

From left to right: Kanami Otani (Energize Colleges Coordinator), Senator Kevin de León, and Louis Spanias (Sustainability Program Manager)

Black, Gold and Green Speaker Series

Held every spring semester, the Black, Gold and Green Speaker Series brings speakers to campus from all around the world to speak to Harvey Mudd and Claremont College students, faculty and staff about large-scale environmental sustainability topics. Featured speakers have included Senator Kevin de Leon, renewable energy expert Daniel Kammen, and more.

“Eco-Engage” Sustainability Dialogue Series

Launched in fall 2017, the “Eco-Engage” Sustainability Dialogue Series was a string of educational programs oriented around group discussions on environmental issues. The aim of the series was to aid members of the Claremont Colleges community in a transition from critical thinking and discussion on environmental issues to action.

Collaborative Programming with OID and Career Services

The Hixon Center frequently collaborates with the Office of Institutional Diversity and the Office of Career Services on campus sustainability programs. These have included the “What Would You Do?” Workshop Series (held in spring 2017 in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Diversity and Annenberg Leadership Professor Werner Zorman) and the “Beyond the Bubble” Series (held year-long by OCS).

Sustainable Claremont Earth Day Celebration

The Sustainable Claremont Earth Day Celebration is an annual event held every year on Earth Day in downtown Claremont, where multiple vendors, school groups, and organizations share their work and partake in a large scale celebration.

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