Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue


Jay Price

Recycling and Sustainability Manager

Jay Price has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Bioregional Planning from Utah State University, as well as an MBA from the University of Memphis. Jay was the Recycling Education Coordinator at Utah State University for three years prior to arriving at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2007. Jay started out as the Environmental Coordinator at UT, coordinating the budding recycling program and the residence hall sustainability competition. As the program evolved to include more staff, AmeriCorps members, student workers, Solid Waste Management, Universal Waste management, and the UT Composting Facility, Jay was promoted to Recycling Manager in 2013. With the merger of UT Recycling and the Office of Sustainability, Jay was promoted to Sustainability Manager in 2019.

Leah Fontaine

Outreach Coordinator

Leah hails from Byhalia, Mississippi and received a BA in Anthropology and Religious Studies from The University of Alabama. She planned to go to graduate school for Museum Studies but found herself unsure of the career path she wanted in the future. While searching online for other opportunities, she found AmeriCorps! Her passion has always been to educate and make a difference, so she felt like this was the perfect opportunity for her. She has loved working at the University of Tennessee so far and is getting used to saying Go Vols! In her spare time, she enjoys crocheting and making things for her hamsters.

Cassie Austin

Cassie Austin

Academic Engagement Coordinator

Cassie is originally from Durham, North Carolina and recently graduated from North Carolina State University with a BS in Environmental Engineering. In college, she was involved with various environmental organizations, including the Sustainability Stewards and Food Recovery Network. This year, she hopes to further develop the Sustainability Internship Program and help students find a passion for sustainability no matter what degree they are pursuing. She is passionate about environmental education and loves to teach others about how to recycle and compost. When not working, she enjoys hiking, drinking coffee, and finding good deals while thrift shopping.

Heather Brinton

Heather Brinton

Alternative Transportation Coordinator

An alumn of the University of Tennessee, Heather Brinton is thrilled to be returning to Knoxville as the new Alternative Transportation Coordinator for the UT Office of Sustainability. After receiving her undergraduate degree in Sustainability, Heather went on to obtain her Master’s degree in Sustainability from Lipscomb University. While in school, Heather volunteered alongside several AmeriCorps members and was always inspired by the passion they showed for their service. It was the dedication of those previous service members that guided Heather into applying for a CAC AmeriCorps position. As Alternative Transportation Coordinator, she hopes to improve the environmental health of Rocky Top by way of new and exciting transportation initiatives at UT.

Leah McCord

Leah McCord

Food Systems Coordinator, Grow Lab & Free Store Director

Leah grew up and still lives on a farm in Maryville, TN. She is currently finishing a degree in Anthropology & Religious Studies with a focus on socially sustainable communities. She loves books; quirky, dark comedies; tea; solo traveling; and her gaggle of nieces, nephews, and godchildren. Leah is very passionate about sustainable agriculture, food justice, issues surrounding women and children, and living a purposeful life. She hates unnecessary packaging, cilantro, and scented candles more than is probably good for anyone.

Annalisa Tarizzo

Annalisa Tarizzo

Program Development Specialist

Originally from the Chicago-land area, Annalisa studied Italian and French with a minor in Global Sustainability at the University of Michigan. Near the end of her time at Michigan, she realized that environmental work and sustainability are her true passions, so she applied to AmeriCorps to gain real-world experience in the field she’s planning to pursue in the future. She loves playing guitar, backpacking, and traveling whenever she can.

Jillian LentzJillian Lentz

Zero Waste Coordinator

Drawn to the green spaces of Knoxville and availability of environmental courses, Jillian moved from Clarksville, Tennessee to attend UT. After graduating with a degree in Geology and Environmental Studies in 2018, she was hired at a local non-profit called Three³ to help research the health benefits of weatherizing homes. Her coworker, a CAC AmeriCorps alumnus, spoke highly of their experience and encouraged applying. The position of Zero Waste Coordinator with UT’s Office of Sustainability caught her attention as her study of interest is food waste. During her term, Jillian wants to make strides toward achieving a 50% diversion rate for the university by 2030.

Randall EakerRandall Eaker

Business and Data Coordinator

Born and raised in Northwest Georgia, on the border of Chattanooga, Randall finished his bachelors degree at The University of Kentucky where he majored in Environmental & Sustainability Studies with a concentration in Economics. After graduating, he was blessed to hear from CAC Americorps about the opportunities they provide for service-based work experience in the greater Knoxville area. His first year in AmeriCorps gave him the opportunity to serve with TVA. After his first year of service, he decided that one year was not enough. So, he decided he wanted to gain different service-based experiences and agreed to take on the Business & Data Coordinator position here within the Office of Sustainability.

Student Interns and Assistants

Outreach Team:

Josie Tunnell

Rachel Heckle

Jaden Hodges

Bailey Burroughs

Zero Waste Team:

Andrew Bowen

Elizabeth Price

Grow Lab Team:

Shelby Wilkinson

Natalie McPherson-Seigrist

Donations Team:

Maryn Miles

Data Team:

Nicholas Williams

Operations Team:

Adam Barbian

Daniel Covington

Alex Cole

Wayne Mason

Emily Rice

Luke Sivley

Henry Travis

Matt Yarborough

Student Interns:

Rita Arkhipenko

Rose Crawford

Eli Darby

Meredith DeBow

Nicholas Doran

MacKenzie Hall

Ashley Hatchell

Simon Jolly

Emma Karls

Hannah Loftis

Maggie Monaghan

Rachel Stewart