Santa Clara University

sustainability at scu
Participating High Schools
The following are high schools with teams committed to starting or enhancing sustainability initiatives on their campuses. Check back often, as more content will be added as we progress through the Decathlon!
View a map showing the schools.
  • iconThe Harker School
    • Main Contact: Jeff Sutton, teacher
    • Structure of Group: HEART Club
    • Fun Fact: HEART stands for Harker Environmental and Recycling Team.
  • iconPresentation High School
    • Main Contact: Corina Rahmig, faculty moderator
    • Structure of Group: Green Club
    • Fun Fact: The club is made up of 18 girls!
  • iconSaint Ignatius College Prep
    • Main Contact: Paul Totah
    • Structure of Group: Class called Nature/Nexus
    • Fun Fact: The class is made of 15 seniors!
  • iconSaint Lawrence Academy
    • Main Contact: Laura Stoll, Counselor and club advisor
    • Structure of Group: Sustainability Club
    • Fun Fact: This team participated in the Sustainability Decathlon 2007!
  • iconSan Jose High School
    • Main Contact: Alex Rudnick, teacher
    • Structure of Group: Environment Club
    • Fun Fact: This group is extremely passionate about recycling.
  • iconSilver Creek High School
    • Main Contact: Will Henninger
    • Structure of Group: Club
    • Fun Fact: They already have a self run recycling program!
  • iconWilcox High School
    • Main Contact: Dennis Dowling
    • Structure of Group: Dennis Dowling's biology class
    • Fun Fact: Over 30 students gave out their contact information to be involved in the project.
 

Meet the Mentors

Each participating high school is mentored by a Santa Clara University student. Learn more about the SCU mentors!
  • MaribelMaribel Alvarez

    Maribel Alvarez is a junior mechanical engineer and is working with St. Lawrence high school. She is from Houston, Texas and enjoys being a part of the Peer Health Educators and Solar Decathlon. She loves going to pinkberry, listening to Lady Gaga, cooking with her amazing room mate, and going to the movies with friends. She recently saw Slumdog Millionaire and her favorite food is sushi.
  • katesmKate Bradley


    Kate Bradley is a sophomore, biology major from San Diego. She spent her spring break in East LA on an SCU immersion trip to learn about how the communities there cope with gangs and violence. When Kate isn't training for a traithlon, she can be found drawing, or reading. Kate joined Kristin and Quentin as a mentor for Wilcox High School.
  • laurasmLaura Farley

    Laura is currently a sophomore, and is mentoring Presentation High School. Laura is truly passionate about the environment: not only is she an Environmental Science major and a vegetarian, but she also enjoys the outdoors through her love of the beach and hiking, as well as the occasional family trip up to Tahoe to go snowboarding. Earlier this year, as a part of another environmental class she took, she went on a “toxic tour” of Silicon Valley and saw the environmentally degrading effects of the high-tech industry’s chemical processing plants on low-income neighborhoods. Aside from anything environmental, Laura also enjoys cooking, art, music, movies, reading and spending time with friends and family.
  • kaelinsmKaelin Holland

    Kaelin Holland joined Emily and Laura as a mentor for Presentation High School. She's a sophomore, and an English and Environmental Studies major. Kaelin is from Hingham, Massachusetts, and will spend her fall quarter next year studying abroad in Cork, Ireland. She enjoys playing tennis, snowboarding, being outside, listening to music, reading, and getting the occasional 7-11 Slurpee.
  • mollysmMolly Kagel


    Molly is a spunky sophomore from Palo Alto, CA. She is double majoring in history and environmental studies. Molly recently traveled to Paris and London with her family. When she isn't playing in nature, she can be found biking, traveling, watching movies, reading, or playing  Frisbee or squash. She might also be found working in the Special Collections and Archives room at the SCU Library. Molly knows how to have fun. She loves a crazy dinner in the SCU dining hall. Molly's a mentor for Harker School.
  • Tracey ManginTracey Mangin

    Tracey Mangin is a fun-loving free spirit of a person. A senior philosophy and environmental studies double major, she may love her home state of New Jersey, but her heart and soul would be left unsatisfied if that was all she knew. Some may say that Tracey simply won’t settle down in one place, but that would be an unfair characterization. One of her goals in life is to experience as many different things as possible and as many different places as possible so she isn’t missing out on any of the wonderful things life has to offer. Earlier this year, she spent a few months living and studying in Costa Rica, traveling to Nicaragua and Panama during her stay—an adventure she greatly misses. Tracey is all about adventures. While abroad, she developed a desire to push her own limits and live life on the edge, trying bungee jumping…once she got over her fears, she felt like a new world had been opened up to her. What next Tracey, jumping out of perfectly-functioning planes? But don’t think of Tracey as an adrenaline junky—she knows how to appreciate the simple pleasures in life. To keep life interesting, she loves listening to music and attending concerts and shows. By day, she is a world-renown hockey player known for her tenacity, but by night she is a fearless pirate who terrorizes people into recycling and saving the earth. Currently, she is working with Silver Creek High School on the Sustainability Decathlon to dominate the competition and kick saving the environment into high gear.
  • emilyosmEmily Orbanek

    Emily Orbanek is a sophomore economics and environmental studies major from Grand Junction, Colorado. As you can tell from her photo, she enjoys fishing. Emily also likes hiking, running, and reading. When she's not mentoring Harker School, Emily's either editing the sports section of the Santa Clara, listening to Wilco or at Disneyland on a prize vacation.
  • Quentin OremQuentin Orem


    Quentin Orem is one of the four boys mentoring the Sustainability Decathlon. Quentin brings something special to the group because he is a unique Ancient Studies and Philosophy double major, which means he has a lot of homework! Quentin is originally from Mercer Island, WA but feels right at home in the Santa Clara University community. Earlier this year Quentin visited India and Nepal and ate some really good food while he was there! His future traveling plans include hiking Mt. Diablo, which should be a breeze for this experienced outdoorsman. Homework and Sustainability Outreach are not the only things that keep Quentin busy, he also spends a lot of time volunteering with Santa Clara Community Action Programs (SCCAP). During the little free time this busy guy has, Quentin likes to play a pickup game of basketball and watch romantic comedies. Quentin is a mentor for Wilcox High School and has been very impressed with the students he is working with!
  • Katherine Quinn-SheaKatherine Quinn-Shea

    Katherine Quinn-Shea is a shining star who has a smile as bright as the reflection of the sun on the sea. No joke. She represents SEA-town (aka Seattle) and is a junior. She may have a slight weakness for Diet Coke and Chipotle, but she is the best boogie partner you’ll find, and she’s always down for some disco. Besides making the day brighter for every person she knows, she is busy being brilliant as a psychobiology major. Katherine spends her free time making the world a better place globally and locally, and that’s no joke either. She spent four months volunteering in Kenya this past summer and fall, and in just a few days will be on her way to Honduras for Spring Break, working with SCU’s Global Medical Brigades. On top of that, she volunteers with two Santa Clara Community Action programs. Katherine also reps the Alpha Phi sorority, and is by far the coolest gal you’ll find at that Popsicle stand. She is a mentor for St. Lawrence Academy, and they’ve got big plans in the making for this Sustainability Decathlon.
  • Lauren RomanazziLauren Romanazzi

    Lauren is a mentor for San Jose High School. She's a sophomore from Fresno, CA, majoring in environmental science. Lauren is not only super involved in the Sustainability Decathlon (she helped design and order our t-shirts!), but she's also part of the Solar Decathlon team! Lauren loves playing tennis, traveling, and scrapbooking. This Taylor Swift fan is also looking forward to learning how to canoe in Monterey.


  • Rose SaltamacchiaRose Saltamacchia

    The awesome Rose Saltalamacchia is a junior and is originally from Verona, New Jersey. She stays incredibly busy as a sociology major with both music and environmental studies minors. This year she has the fortunate pleasure of working with St. Lawrence Academy along with her partner, Katherine Quinn-Shea. Rose is constantly learning new things and this year she learned how to knit. She’s been sticking to scarves for right now but, who knows, maybe one day she’ll be wearing a home-made sweater! Rose is always doing her part to help the environment and she hopes to help organize more beach clean-ups this year. She is incredibly musically talented and hopes to learn how to play the banjo. She stays busy by playing the flute and the piano and by dancing ballet. She is famous throughout the residents of Market Street because of her beautiful chalk murals. She is also an important part of the Santa Clara orchestra and the GREEN club. Rose recently watched “Vicky Christina Barcelona” and thought it was lovely. You are lucky if you get a chance to meet this wonderful lady!
  • kristinnewsmKristin Sterling

    Wilcox High School: consider your good fortune; you are paired with a mentor of the highest caliber. A junior, Kristin majors in both accounting and environmental sciences. She is currently considering several internship offers from the finest accounting firms in the world. Kristin was born in Sunnyvale, California, which was subsequently named a national landmark. This fall she backpacked in Yosemite National Park with her Outdoor Leadership Expedition class. While there, she was able to complete the world’s first jump across the Grand Canyon, despite the fact that the Grand Canyon is in Arizona. She can’t wait for her next backpacking trip when the weather warms up. She loves waking up in the snow, but she would enjoy carrying less equipment and freezing less. Kristin loves being outdoors and is an enormous movie buff; she has seen all but seven. She loves rock climbing, hanging out with her friends and family, eating, and playing water polo. If you need advising for business class, Kristin is the one to go to, and if you can’t find her she could be working in Accounts Payable and the University Finance Office. On any typical Wednesday, Kristin is doing homework, eating something, saving the world, or working out at the gym. She loves Coldplay and Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Beautiful, intelligent, and ready for action, Kristin can lower CO2 levels just by staring at the sky.
  • Silas StricklandSilas Strickland

    Silas is nothing short of a scholar and a gentleman. A junior majoring in both Communication and Environmental Studies, Silas is an accomplished student. This has not prevented him from having a successful social life. His many friends would describe him as a good friend. Like any good Washingtonian, Silas needs about fourteen cups of coffee a day to function. This year, Silas made an action-drama film that premiered in a theater in his hometown Seattle, so he is kind of a big deal. Along with running his own car detailing business (with which he has made plenty of Monopoly money), Silas spends his time hanging out with friends and being outdoors. It is difficult to describe the greatness that is Silas Strickland, but perhaps the fact that if he could be any animal he would be an energetic and playful cat elucidates his brilliance. When he is not being studious you might spot Silas listening to Dave Matthews Band, or getting really excited about the Sustainability Decathlon. He is working with Silver Creek High School, and is generally impressed with the fact that high school students now have their own e-mail addresses. If you spot Silas on campus, be sure to offer him fruit, because he really likes it, and he should have whatever he likes.


  • stoneysmStoney Strickland

    Stoney Strickland and Silas Strickland's brother. He joined Tracey and Silas on the Silver Creek team. Stoney is currently a freshman civil engineer and was born in Seattle, Washington. Stoney is on the Solar Decathlon ’09 team and he premiered a movie in an upscale Seattle theater. Three friends, his brother and Stoney were the five producers of the 35 minute film that premiered and an hour and 45 minute film that had premiered a year before. Stoney's favorite hobbies are playing late night pick-up games of soccer and intertubing on Lake Washington all summer long. Stoney spends his free time procrastinating on homework for as long as humanly possible, usually by listening to Imogen Heap, Dave Matthews, and Blue Scholars.
  • kevinsmKevin Sullivan


    Kevin is from Sarasota Florida, "yeah gulf coast livin’." He joined Lauren and Diana with San Jose High School. Kevin is a senior biochemistry major. Kevin is on the Men’s Ultimate Frisbee team, SCAB, and enjoys playing sports, drawing, working with wood and having fun. Kevin recently traveled to Panama.
  • Diana TarantinoDiana Tarantino

    Diana Tarantino is a very dedicated student who is currently a Junior. She is very involved with activities and clubs on campus. She enjoys meeting new people and helping others. One could find her serving meals in San Francisco with SCCAP (Santa Clara Community Action Program), leading students on retreats through Campus Ministry and the Ignation Center, and swinging on the swings with the children at Kids on Campus where she works.

    In her spare time, Diana enjoys hanging out with her lovely roommates and her friends in her sorority! Diana loves volunteering her time to help others and hopes to make a difference in the world. Her goals and interests fit perfectly with her Sociology and Environmental Studies major. Diana is well known around the world after her many adventures and international trips she went on this past year. She has experienced the sights and sounds of several European countries and went to Ecuador for a summer immersion trip. She will be returning to South America this summer to travel through the tropical forests of Peru!

  • Emily ThomasEmily Thomas



    Emily is a sophomore Environmental Science major, which is not surprising given her passion for all things environmental! She is from the lovely town of Los Gatos, CA and is working with Presentation High School. She recently traveled to Costa Rica and Mexico. Emily took in the beautiful scenery in Costa Rica and enjoyed the cuisine of Mexico, despite having an allergic reaction to jellyfish while she was there! Emily stays very busy with Santa Clara Water Polo. She is has been a vegetarian for most of her life and her hobbies include going to the beach, reading, and playing computer solitaire. Later this year, after the polo season ends, Emily plans on visiting friends who attend other colleges. All in all Emily is a very cool person and you should get to know her if you can!!

SCU Mentors share their thoughts and reflections about the 2009 Sustainability Decathlon. Check back often! Read the blog.

 

Sustainability Decathlon

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