Associate Director, Sustainability
Julie Cahillane has been with Northwestern University since 1994. Julie supports the development and implementation of Northwestern's Strategic Sustainability Plan (SSP), including waste reduction and diversion efforts. She began her career at Northwestern as the Recycling Coordinator and continued to expand environmental initiatives across the institution before the creation of Northwestern's sustainNU program.
Previously, Julie worked as an education coordinator for a national recycling company designing solid waste education programs addressing waste reduction, recycling, and recycled product procurement. Julie also served as Recycling Coordinator for the State of Illinois. In the position, she was responsible for the statewide office recycling program. She was appointed to the State of Illinois Task Force on Developing Markets for Recyclable Materials. Julie began her career in media relations, working in the Press Office of both the Illinois Governor and Secretary of State.
Under Julie’s guidance, Northwestern's recycling efforts have been recognized with awards from the Illinois Recycling Association, the IL Governor’s Pollution Prevention Awards, and the American Forest and Paper Association. Her interest in sustainability stems from an inherent sense of respect for the natural world and a desire to maintain balance and appreciation for all living things.
When she is not focusing on sustainability, she volunteers her time working with a no-kill, dog rescue organization in Chicago.
Program Administrator, Sustainability
Cria joined sustainNU in July 2021. She manages sustainability efforts across the Northwestern campuses, including the Green Labs and Green Office Certification programs. Cria supports the implementation of Northwestern’s Strategic Sustainability Plan and works with students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members to further incorporate sustainability into both the culture and function of the University.
Cria has expertise in urban wildlife ecology, water affordability, and environmental justice. Before joining Northwestern, Cria worked with Lincoln Park Zoo’s Urban Wildlife Information Network, where she managed an international collaborative of urban ecologists. Cria is particularly interested in how race, class, and gender intersect with environmental policy, planning, and design.
Originally from central Ohio, Cria grew her roots in the Midwest, earning a B.A. in Environmental Studies, Comparative American Studies, and Geology from Oberlin College and an M.S. in Environmental Justice and Environmental Informatics from the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability. In her free time, Cria volunteers with activist organizations fighting for water security in the Greater Chicago area, kayaks any chance she gets, and is often found crafting.
Jillian joined sustainNU in October 2023. She supports the sustainNU team in promoting sustainability across campus via social media, digital newsletters and our website. As a journalism and economics major, she hopes to develop an expertise on media coverage of environmental issues. She is from the greater Indianapolis area, where she worked locally on eco-focused events, a composting implementation program and political campaigns. In her free time, you can find her writing for student publications at Northwestern, hammocking by the lake or planning her (and her dog Sadie's) next trip to the Indiana Dunes.
Communications & Engagement Assistant