Office of Sustainability staff and students


Ellen Dux

Sustainability Programs Manager

Throughout her career in sustainability, Ellen Dux has garnered significant experience working on a broad range of renewable energy, clean power, and cleantech initiatives. Her primary focus is stakeholder engagement and communications, grant fundraising, and program development.

Most recently, Ellen worked closely with the Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office to help launch the Clean Power Alliance, Southern California’s new clean energy utility. She also has partnered with the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator to develop and source funding for a large-scale energy efficiency buildings retrofit program. From 2014 – 2016, Ellen worked extensively with the Viterbi School of Engineering’s Information Sciences Institute on the Department of Energy’s Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Smart Grid Regional Demonstration Project. She began her sustainability career working in utility-scale PV.

Prior to transitioning to sustainability, Ellen held a number of senior positions in the entertainment industry, including Executive Director of 20th Century Fox’s mobile content division. She also co-founded a filmed entertainment production company with musician Peter Gabriel.

Ellen holds a B.A. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia, and an M.B.A from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business.


Campus Partners

Gina Whisenant

Waste & Recycling Manager, Facilities Management Services

Gina has considerable experience creating and implementing waste diversion and recycling programs for large commercial operations. Formerly at Republic Services, she participated in the launch of RecycLA, Los Angeles’ new municipal trash collection and recycling program aimed at reducing the amount of waste in local landfills.


Carol Fern

Director of Energy Services

Facilities Management Services

Carol Fern is Director of Energy Services at the University of Southern California (2009-present).  Prior to joining USC, she worked as an engineer at Syska Hennessy Group (2004-2009), the 10th largest mechanical, electrical, and  plumbing (MEP) engineering firm in the United States.  She also was Director of Comfort Systems at AZ-based ESS Engineering, a full life-cycle environmental consulting and engineering firm (1991-2003).

Carol obtained her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, and has been certified in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design by the US Green Buildings Council.  She brings extensive  experience in energy and building control management from both the private and public sectors. She has over twenty-five years of experience with building facility operations, mechanical and HVAC projects, and sustainable energy-focused products, services, and applications. Carol is engaged in collaborating with the environmental research community, providing information and data for analysis. In addition, she oversees the Management Information Systems Department, which provides application development and support, user education and training, accounting data, and business information management consultancy support for USC’s FMS & CCD administrators, supervisors, support staff, work crews, and the campus community.


Green Teams

Coliseum Zero Waste Team

Two-time Pac 12 award winner for a zero-waste sports venue, Brian Grant, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Coliseum’s Program Director, and Jeffrey Farrell, the Coliseum’s Assistant Director of Facility Operations partnered with former Sustainability Manager, Halli Bovia, Waste Diversion Program Specialist Daniel Redick, and venue partners from Legends Concessions, Marsden Custodial Services, Athens Waste Management, BASF, and Fox Sports to create USC’s first zero waste program, diverting over 260 tons of waste from Los Angeles landfills every football season.

USC Hospitality Zero Waste Team

Capitalizing on the success of the Coliseum’s award-winning zero waste program, Erik Russell, USC Hospitality’s Associate Director for Residential Dining formed a zero waste strategic planning coalition with the USC Undergraduate Senate Government, the Environmental Student Assembly, Environmental Core, USC Facilities Management, the USC Office of Residential Education, and the USC Office of Sustainability to go “zero waste” by 2020.  The team’s first accomplishment will be to eliminate all straws from Residential Dining in the fall 2018 semester.  Before this team was formed, USC Residential Dining went “trayless” in 2012.