OU’s first sustainability coordinator to leave in January

Ohio University Sustainability Coordinator Sonia Marcus. Provided photo.

By CG Lifestyles & People Editor Sarah DeCarlo

Sonia Marcus, who has served as Ohio University’s first ever sustainability coordinator since 2006, will leave OU indefinitely at the end of January.

Marcus announced her decision to leave in early December. The exact date of her departure has not been established. As of now, she does not have plans to accept a position at another university.

“My husband and I are both leaving our respective jobs and we are going to take some time off from professional responsibilities to do some traveling,” Marcus said.

Associate Vice President for Facilities Harry Wyatt has already taken action to replace Marcus as quickly as possible.

“We’re developing a search committee that will be made up of faculty, staff and students,” Wyatt said. “We would hope that within a few months we will identify a replacement, but sometimes these things take a bit longer.”

Marcus has been involved in the creation and implementation of several sustainability initiatives during her time at OU, including the upcoming annual Residence Challenge competition. She has taken measures to ensure that these initiatives will not fail in her absence.

“Everything that’s an ongoing program will still continue,” Marcus said. “Erin Sykes will be taking on an interim coordinator position mainly to ensure that these programs are supported through the end of this [academic] year.”

Sykes is not new to the Office of Sustainability and is familiar with all of its initiatives. Wyatt said he hopes Sykes will continue to help implement sustainability initiatives even after someone has replaced Marcus.

Wyatt said Marcus’s replacement must have a Bachelor’s degree in an applicable field as well as three years’ experience in that field.

Based on Marcus’s achievements during her time at OU, her replacement will have large shoes to fill.

“I do feel like under Sonia’s leadership, the university has made significant strides in a transformation as far as how we look at our operations,” Wyatt said. “She’s made a great impact on the campus, and she will be greatly missed. She’s built a program that’s here to last.”

Marcus said that, while her work for the Office of Sustainability has had its ups and downs, her time at OU has been very rewarding.

“What I’m most proud of are the relationships that I’ve built with students and faculty over the years,” she said. “The projects don’t really tell the whole story.”

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