Abigail Abrash Walton, Assistant to the President for Sustainability & Social Justice
Abigail Abrash Walton is on faculty at Antioch University New England’s Department of Environmental Studies, where she founded and directed the award-winning Advocacy Clinic and teaches courses in leadership for change, political economy and sustainability, advocacy, environmental justice, and nonprofit management. She also serves as Assistant to the President for Sustainability & Social Justice and chairs Antioch’s Sustainability and Social Justice Committee, through which she has led the development and implementation of AUNE’s 2006 Social Justice Audit and 2007 Sustainability & Social Justice Action Plan. She also chaired AUNE’s Energy & Climate Action Task Force, which set the goal of carbon neutrality by 2020, and has led the implementation of AUNE’s two Greenhouse Gas Inventories. She is AUNE’s Implementation Liaison for the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. She is also founder and principal of ActionWorks, a consulting firm that specializes in organizational development and strategic planning.
Abigail has worked in the arenas of human rights, social justice and sustainability research, advocacy and community organizing at the international, national, state and local level, including as program director for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights and New Hampshire Citizens Alliance, and as a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program. She is a member of the City of Keene’s Planning Board, Master Planning Steering Committee and Cable Television Commission and served on the New Hampshire State Commission Studying the Feasibility of Public Funding of Elections.
Abigail’s publications include “Conservation through Different Lenses: Reflection, Responsibility and the Politics of Participation in Conservation Advocacy,” in the journal Environmental Management, “The Victims of Indonesia’s Pursuit of Progress,” a New York Times opinion piece, “The Amungme, Kamoro and Freeport: How Indigenous Papuans Have Resisted the World’s Largest Gold and Copper Mine,” in Blackwell Publishing’s The Globalization Reader, and “Let Freedom Ring: Recharging and Consolidating ‘Inside the Beltway’ Activism,” which appears in Feminist Approaches to Social Movements, Community, and Power. She also has served as a commentator for media outlets including The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, National Public Radio, “Democracy Now” and “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.”
Abigail holds a M.Sc. in Political Theory from Mick Jagger’s and George Soros’ alma mater, the London School of Economics and Political Science, a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center. She finds joy in the sustainable pursuits of gardening, canoeing, singing and birding locally.
Sara Hirsch, Solid Waste Coordinator
Hirsch is an Environmental Studies master’s degree student concentrating in Environmental Education. She earned a BA in Psychology from Wesleyan University, and then spent the next four years working as an educator and wilderness trip leader in North Carolina and Maine. Before coming to Antioch, Hirsch worked at the Outdoor Academy of the Southern Appalachians, the North Carolina Outward Bound School, and the Chewonki Foundation. Through her work at these schools, Hirsch discovered how powerful education can be when it intersects with wilderness experience, agriculture, sustainable living, and community-building. She came to Antioch hoping to find more of these intersections, starting first and foremost at the place where many of life’s most interesting interactions occur: the compost pile. When not playing with the compost, Hirsch can most likely be found walking in the woods, making soup, or trying to learn how to cross-country ski.
Nicole Sauber, Sustainability & Social Justice Coordinator
Nikki is an Environmental Studies master’s degree student, with a concentration in the Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability program. She earned a B.A. in Sociology from Bridgewater State University in 2012, where she collaborated with peers, faculty, and administration to hold annual fundraisers for the homeless and bring Fair Trade products into campus dining halls. Her experience includes several months as an intern at Corporate Accountability International in Boston, MA, where she worked on a campaign challenging the corporate marketing of fast food to children. Nikki is continually inspired by her work in community organizing around social and environmental issues and is happy to be a part of Antioch University New England’s engaged learning environment.
Ryan Kmetz, Transportation Coordinator
Ryan Kmetz is a master’s student in Environmental Studies, with a concentration in sustainable development and climate change (SDCC). Ryan graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Biology from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY. While in college he participated in research which studied the effects of climate change on Icelandic glaciers. He is interested in working with sustainable planning efforts, alternative transportation initiatives, and renewable energy. He attributes his inspiration to pursue a career in sustainability to his undergraduate mentor, Dr. David Smith. Ryan currently represents AUNE’s interests in a more complete regional transportation system by working closely with regional elected officials, planners, universities, and non-profit organizations.