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Franklin Pierce Announces New Sustainability Fellows

January 7, 2016

Franklin Pierce University Provost Kim M. Mooney, in partnership with Antioch University of New England (AUNE), announced two new sustainability fellows, Adriana Casillas and Francis Xavier. This past fall the new fellows began working with the faculty and staff on a variety of sustainability projects and initiatives at Franklin Pierce.

“Franklin Pierce is fortunate to benefit from the expertise and enthusiasm our sustainability fellows, Rocky and Francis, bring to this partnership,” said Dr. Kim Mooney, Provost of Franklin Pierce University. “Our mutual expectation is that their teaching experiences at FPU will enhance their future professional opportunities.”

Earlier this year the two universities, who share a commitment to the environment, partnered to offer a new way for students to seamlessly earn a bachelor’s and subsequent master’s degree in Environmental Studies and complete both programs in just five years.

Adriana “Rocky” Casillas will serve as the Sustainable Education Fellow at Franklin Pierce where she will work with Environmental Science and Environmental Studies faculty to provide students with engagement opportunities outside of the classroom as well as working with University constituencies to identify and support sustainability teaching and awareness. Casillas, who is a native of Baja, Mexico, received her bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Minnesota in 2012. She is currently a master’s student in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England in her second-to-last semester in the Conservation Biology concentration.

“As a Sustainability Fellow at Franklin Pierce University, my hope is to get people interested and involved in some of the environmental projects and events we are designing including a rebirth of the ECO Club, more accessible trails, activities in the garden, and a huge celebration of Earth Day,” said Casillas.

Francis Xavier will serve as the Sustainable Policy Fellow at Franklin Pierce University. Xavier’s work will focus on the collection and reporting of data for Climate Neutrality Commitment and monitoring the University’s overall progress towards sustainability. He will also work with the University to develop plans to reduce environmental impacts of campus operations and to increase awareness of sustainability issues as well as working with Residence Life to coordinate sustainability efforts in the residence halls.

Xavier is a finalist for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for African Young Leaders, an initiative of President Barack Obama. Francis also serves as the Editor-In-Chief of the PhD Newsletter of the Department of Environmental Studies at AUNE’s Graduate School where he is pursuing a doctorate in Environmental Studies. Xavier hopes his fellowship with Franklin Pierce University will create better knowledge and awareness around energy conservation as well as helping the university to achieve its sustainability goals.

Franklin Pierce University’s commitment to the environment is deeply rooted in the rich natural setting of the main campus in Rindge. With over 1000 acres of undeveloped forests, fields, wetlands and lake shore, the land provides excellent opportunities for experiential learning about ecology as well as the impacts of humans on the natural world. The Sustainability Program Fellowships aims to continue to make Franklin Pierce sustainable in all areas of operation while providing an enriching experience for the program participants.




Franklin Pierce University is a regionally accredited university grounded in the liberal arts, with a focus on personal attention and high-quality instruction. The University consists of the College at Rindge and the College of Graduate & Professional Studies with locations in Arizona and throughout New Hampshire. Degrees are offered through the doctoral level. The institutional mission embraces an education that matters: one that achieves academic success through the integration of liberal arts and professional programs. Our community of educators and learners creates an environment that fosters intellectual curiosity and encourages experiential and applied learning. A Franklin Pierce experience enables each student to discover and fulfill his or her own unique potential. We prepare students to become confident, knowledgeable individuals and leaders of conscience.



Founded in 1964, Antioch University New England’s (AUNE) commitment to social, economic, and environmental justice serves as a foundation for all certificate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Coursework integrates practice with theory in an environment that fosters scholarship and activism.  Academic departments include Applied Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Education, Environmental Studies, Management, and Self-Designed Studies. Based in Keene, New Hampshire, AUNE is just over two hours from Albany; two hours from Boston; and less than two hours from Hartford. 



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