Sustainability Leadership Academy

Chatham University's
Eden Hall Campus
July 8-14, 2018

Register today!

Want to help build a happier, healthier and more equitable future?


Interested in a career in sustainability but not sure where to start?

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Explore various sustainability careers during an unforgettable week-long experiential retreat at Eden Hall Campus–the world's first academic community built to be sustainable from below the ground up.

Open to rising 10th, 11th and 12th graders, as well as students leaving 12th grade, Chatham's Sustainability Leadership Academy provides the chance to:

  • Make like-minded friends from across the country
  • Explore Pittsburgh during excursions to the city's sustainable highlights
  • Develop the leadership skills needed to be a change agent
  • Experience a taste of college life and earn college credit (optional for an additional fee)
  • Participate in hands-on experiential learning with faculty in the field
  • Ask questions and gain mentorship from local leaders in the field


I feel better equipped to educate not just my family, but our school and our community as well so they can be more sustainable.

I had no idea Pittsburgh was making such strides towards sustainability.

I feel like it's really easy and kind of realistic now to make change. So many people say 'I want to make change' and don't know how, but now I know how. So that's really cool. I also used to feel like the odd ball out, but now I feel a sense of purpose and community, which is really cool. And comforting.


I definitely feel like I know a lot more now and I feel better prepared. I feel I have contacts and people to reach out to to ask questions and be able to be informed to make change. I definitely feel ready to be able to make change in my community.

It's so cool to see so many people from around this area doing all this. And it's pretty cool to see Pittsburgh doing all this stuff. I had no idea – I've lived here since I was born. And I feel a lot more capable of doing things now.



1:30 - 3:30 p.m. / Check-In and Move-In

3:30 - 4:00 p.m. / Campus Tour (for those who haven't had one before)

4:00 - 6:00 p.m. / Orientation and Icebreakers

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. / Dinner

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. / Teambuilding

Students on Kayak Tour


7:30 - 8:30 a.m. / Breakfast

8:30 - 9:00 a.m. / Sustainability 101 with Peter Walker, Dean of Falk School for Sustainability, Chatham University

9:00 - 10:00 a.m. / Sustainability Leadership on Campus with Mary Whitney, Director of Sustainability, Chatham University

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. / Leadership Studio with Kate Sheridan, Assistant Director for Career Development, Chatham University

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. / Lunch

1:00 - 2:30 p.m. / Free time

2:30 - 5:00 p.m. / Faculty Experiential Session - Applied Ecology

5:00 - 6:00 p.m. /Project Planning Workshop

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. / Dinner

7:00 - 8:00 p.m. / Low Ropes Teambuilding


7:00 - 8:00 a.m. / Breakfas

8:00 a.m. / Shuttle Departs for ALCOSAN

9:00 - 10:30 a.m. / ALCOSAN Wastewater Treatment Plant Tour

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. /Shuttle to Water Steps and Project Planning Workshop

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. /Picnic Lunch and Free Time

1:00 - 3:00 p.m. / Green Building Kayak Tour with Isaac Smith, Building Performance Analyst at Green Building Alliance

3:00 p.m. / Shuttle to Chatham University, Shadyside Campus

4:00 - 5:00 p.m. / Tour of Chatham University, Shadyside Campus

5:00 - 7:00 p.m. / Dinner and Athletic and Fitness Center (AFC) Free Time

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. / Project Planning Workshop

9:00 p.m. / Shuttle Departs for Eden Hall


7:00 - 8:00 a.m. / Breakfast

8:00 - 9:00 a.m. / Project Planning Workshop

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. / Eden Hall Farm In-Depth Tour and Harvesting with Tony Miga, Assistant Eden Hall Farm Manager

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. / Lunch

1:00 - 2:30 p.m. / Free Time

3:00 - 6:00 p.m. / Sustainable Cooking Class with Chef Chris Galarza, Chef Manager for Parkhurst Dining at Eden Hall Campus

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. / Hot Dinner, Prepared by Participants During Cooking Class

7:00 - 8:00 p.m. / Project Planning Workshop

8:00 - 10:00 p.m. / Game Night



7:00 - 8:00 a.m. / Breakfast in EBC

8:30 a.m. / Shuttle Departs for Downtown Pittsburgh

9:30 a.m. / Urban Planning and Public Transit, Walking Tour of Downtown Pittsburgh

11:30 a.m. / Picnic Lunch (Point State Park)

12:30 p.m. / Shuttle to Hill District, Larimer, Homewood and/or Millvale

1:00 p.m. / Sustainability and Social Change Pittsburgh Neighborhood Tours

4:30 p.m. / Shuttle Departs for Chatham Main Campus

5:00 p.m. / Dinner at Chatham Main Campus and Free Time in AFC

7:00 p.m. / Night Out in Pittsburgh #2

10:00 p.m. / Shuttle Departs for Eden Hall

Students on Pittsburgh tour


8:00 a.m. / Breakfast in EBC

9:00 a.m. / Shuttle Departs for North Shore

10:00 a.m. / Green Building Tour by Kayak

12:00 p.m. / Picnic Lunch and Free Time on the Water Steps

1:00 p.m. / Shuttle Departs for Eden Hall

2:00 p.m. / College Prep Session with Chatham's Admissions Office

3:00 p.m. / Follow-Up Leadership Session with Chatham's Career Development Staff

6:00 p.m. / Dinner in EBC

8:00 p.m. / Movie in the Pool and Campfire

Students in high tunnel


8:00 a.m. / Breakfast in EBC

9:00 a.m. / Closing Session

10:00 a.m. / Pack and Free Time

12:00 p.m. / Lunch in EBC

2:00 p.m. / Departures

Students at fire pit


Eden Hall Campus has been built as a sustainable college campus and living laboratory where students explore topics such as sustainable land management, food production and delivery, and energy generation. The campus features renewable energy technologies, high performance green buildings, onsite wastewater treatment, sustainable agriculture farms and gardens, and 200 acres of woodlands with hiking trails. You will live in the Orchard Hall dorm, which is built to achieve LEED Platinum standards. You'll eat in the Esther Barazzone Center (EBC) dining hall on campus, which serves meals with locally and responsibly sourced ingredients.

EBC Exterior


More information about travel, transportation, and other requirements can be found here.


Leaders in sustainability fields design green communities and buildings, implement next-generation energy and water technologies, support local and just food systems, conserve and protect land, hold companies and governments accountable for carbon emissions and so much more. Chatham's Falk School of Sustainability faculty and Pittsburgh's leading sustainability professionals will guide you as you explore career options in urban planning, engineering, field biology, ecology, aquaculture, architecture, community organizing, agriculture, sociology, food systems, business and more through interactions with people, systems and the land. As a supplement to the rich content knowledge you will gain, you will also explore and engage with concepts of leadership that focus on influence, value-sharing, and social responsibility, enhancing your ability to be an agent of positive change one person and one community at a time.

Group of Students


The program costs $1,000 and includes six nights' overnight accommodation, meals, admission to city attractions, professional mentoring, Chatham swag (including a t-shirt), and transportation for field trips.

This program can also be taken as a 3 credit undergraduate course for an additional optional $810.

Let's do this!


Note: The schedule is tentative and subject to change. $150 deposit due upon registration. Balance due by June 30, 2018. Need based scholarships are available.


To apply for a need-based scholarship, please email by June 1, 2018 with the subject title "SLA 2017 Scholarship Application" and attach the following documents:
- First two pages of 2017 Federal Tax Return
- Essay explaining student's interest in attending the SLA event and why student should be considered for the scholarship (2 pages max)
- Letter of recommendation from high school guidance counselor (optional but suggested)

Have you participated in
the Sustainability Leadership Academy (SLA)
in the past?

Take your leadership skills to the next level as you train to be a mentor for the following week's SLA. Sustainability Leadership II Participants are expected to also register for the full SLA week, when they will actually demonstrate their mentorship with new SLA participants.

Visit the SLA II page for more information »


Contact Kelly Henderson, Sustainability Leadership Academy Director, at or 412-365-2416.