Meet the Office of Sustainability staff, AmeriCorps members, and Student Assistants!
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.
Khann received a Master’s degree in Environmental Education from Lesley University and a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Chinese from the University of Tennessee. After graduating from UT in 2004, she began two years of service with AmeriCorps, focusing on waste reduction and water quality education in Knox County Schools. She served at Beardsley Community Farm as its director and farm manager for eleven years before joining the Office of Sustainability in November 2019 to oversee its recycling and zero waste initiatives. She is excited and proud to join the Office of Sustainability, to continue working with students, AmeriCorps members, and dedicated staff to help the university reach its sustainability goals.
Compost Operations Specialist
Wayne spent his first 17 years growing up in Fort Worth, Texas before enlisting in the US Navy in 2011. He went to the Naval Nuclear Power Training school for two and a half years, specializing in aircraft carrier reactor technology, hazardous materials training, and mechanical engineering. Afterward, he was stationed onboard the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego, operating in an engineering setting in the pacific. After being medically retired in 2015, he and his wife moved to Knoxville, TN to pursue civilian life and start a family. Wayne initially began work as a stonemason, operating heavy equipment and training to become a foreman until medical reasons forced him to leave the construction field in 2017. He then began studying in physics at UT, but found a passion for sustainability as a student worker for UT’s Compost Site. When the position to supervise the compost operations presented itself, Wayne jumped on the opportunity to transform the muddy Compost Site into a proper Compost Facility. He is excited to bring awareness and much-needed improvements to UT’s composting program.
Alternative Energy and Transportation Coordinator
Amythest recently moved to Tennessee from the PNW to join the Office of Sustainability through AmeriCorps. She holds a B.S. in Sustainability from Arizona State University and is currently working towards a M.A. in Sustainable Energy at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Her passions include policy work aimed towards sustainable growth and infrastructure in energy and transportation and she is excited for the opportunity to work with those passions here at UTK. She is ready to make a difference on the campus, working collaboratively with others who share similar passions and students who are just beginning to explore sustainable development.
Alternative Energy and Transportation Coordinator
Max was born in San Francisco and moved to New York when he was 5. He lived and grew up there for 20 years before moving to Knoxville. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Loberal Studies with a minor in Journalism from Purchase College in White Plains NY. Max is honored to have the opportunity to serve as an Americorps member with the Office of Sustainability, as he is a huge advocate for sustainability and the environment as a whole. Max loves being outdoors, including playing sports like rugby and golf (which he played in college), swimming in any body of water and going on hikes. As the Zero Waste Coordinator, he is dedicated to making UT a more sustainable campus and making sure we are eliminating landfill waste as much as possible with projects such as My Tiny Trash and the Green Office Program.
Social Impact Coordinator
Deb is an Illinois native who is easily excitable when it comes to Tennessee’s topography. She graduated from ISU with BA degrees in French Studies and English Studies with a concentration in TESOL, and is now pursuing her passions through the Office of Sustainability. As social impact coordinator, she is happily repurposing, reusing, and refusing to let good food or items be wasted in the name of sustainability and food/basic needs security. Deb is happiest with a pair of hiking boots on, surrounded by trees; or similarly with her slippers on and a cat in her lap.
Data Analyst and Office Administrator
Jessica got her Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the year 2020. She spent the past year with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) working with nonprofits to support their community. In the year her team planted 10,000 native wetland plants in the San Francisco Bay Area, returned over $1 million to the Seattle community by providing free tax services, continued construction on four homes for Habitat for Humanity, and assisted in navigating over 6000 LA residents to get their Covid-19 vaccination.
She took on the opportunity to be part of the Office of Sustainability in order to continue her service and to follow her dream of making the environment healthier and happier.
Compost Logistics Coordinator
Emily is an East Tennessee native and UTK Alum who couldn’t be happier to spend this year of service at their alma mater. She graduated in 2021 with a B.A. in Theatrical Performance, where they worked closely with campus organizations as well as the Clarence Brown Theatre to create beautiful and challenging art. They are extremely excited to continue making connections with the Knoxville community, educating campus about Social and Environmental Sustainability, and creating tangible change in her own backyard.
Zero Waste Team:
Grow Lab Team: