The Team

The Green Initiative Fund "Team" is the day-to-day staff that runs the whole TGIF program including the Zero Waste Research Center and Nature village. The team is made up of the TGIF Coordinator (staff person),TGIF Program Associates (student staff), Zero Waste Research Center Associates (student staff), and Nature Village Program Associates (student staff). TGIF also has a Committee and Project Leaders (those who implement TGIF funded projects).


TGIF Program Associates 
The TGIF Program Associates internship program first began in February 2013. The TGIF Program Associates assist the TGIF Coordinator with the documentation of TGIF funded projects. Duties include recording and calculating both quantitative and qualitative sustainability metrics produced by these projects, and involve reading project updates, reports, and interviewing project leaders. The TGIF Program Associates also assist the TGIF Coordinator with displaying and publicizing these metrics through new and innovative ways, including blog posts, articles, videos, and social media. Meet the TGIF Program Associates below!

Jimmy Dunn is a fourth year at UC Berkeley studying Environmental Sciences. He is fascinated with the interconnected living and non-living systems that make up planet Earth and is equally interested in how human beings define and interact with their environment. He joined the TGIF team in 2014 and is honored to have worked with such driven project leaders on expanding sustainability at the UC Berkeley campus. Jimmy enjoys singing along to Lianne La Havas', "Unstoppable" to help him time his showers.

Claremont Canyon Hike


Lauren Murphy is a fourth year double majoring in Rhetoric and Society and Environment (S&E) with an emphasis in global environmental politics. Wanting to become more involved with the environmental community at Cal, Lauren joined the TGIF team in January 2015 and has especially enjoyed working with project leaders and the TGIF Committee. Lauren has lived in the Bay Area her whole life and is most often found running outdoors or exploring open space trails. Clean energy and resource conservation are two of her particular interests, and after graduation Lauren plans to attend law school and pursue a career in environmental law. 


Brian Gialketsis, from Ventura County, California, is entering his third year here at Cal, and he's very excited to be a member of The Green Initiative Fund Team. He's pursuing a simultaneous degree in Rhetoric and Conservation & Resource Studies, with an interest in Political Ecology. When he's not at the beach or on a hiking trail, you can find Brian making playlists of new music; attending festivals, concerts, lectures and performances; reading about current events; spending time with family and friends or working to inspire environmental sustainability and justice.


Nature Village Program Associates 
Nature Village Sustainable Living is a multidisciplinary program led by University Village Residents, UC Berkeley students, staff, campus sustainability groups, and volunteers who work together to promote and engage residents in sustainable living practices at the University Village. Nature Village Program Associates work collaboratively with the Native Village Coordinator, University Village Director, other Nature Village Program Associate, and campus groups to complete projects and reduce the environmental impact of University Village.

Caitriona Smyth is a fourth year Economics major double-minoring in Forestry and Conservation and Resource Studies. In the past she worked on campus as a Program Associate for The Green Initiative Fund, and interned with the Berkeley Student Food Collective on a TGIF-funded project. In her free time she likes to cook or wander the outdoors, usually by backpacking or swimming. She loves good books, sustainable solutions and silly people.


Zero Waste Research Center Program Associates

The Zero Waste Research Center(ZWRC) at UC Berkeley researches and implements upstream strategies for reducing campus waste, with a focus on purchasing, redesigning products, creating behavior change incentives, and instituting closed-loop “circular economy” waste systems. ZWRC Program Associates manage, implement, and reserach best practices and policies for zero waste. 

Tara Singh is a third year pursuing a major in Urban Studies and a minor in Geospatial Information Science Technology. She is especially interested in sustainable environmental design and how it can create cities that are more efficient as a whole. Tara is thrilled to be a part of the Zero Waste team and is excited to execute her skills in GIS to do further analysis of the existing waste management systems that are in place. Tara grew up in Chicago, IL and moved to San Francisco, CA for high school. Her transition to a more environmentally-conscious area is marked by her passion to study and eventually implement sustainable interventions in cities. Tara is also an active member of the Bay-area Environmentally Aware Consulting Network (BEACN) where she contributed towards creating a five year marketing plan to reach Cal’s Zero Waste goal by 2020. In her spare time, Tara loves exploring the various neighborhoods of the Bay Area, photographing various landscapes, and playing tennis. 

Anna Yip is a second year at Cal intending to double major in Environmental Science and Environmental Economics and Policy with a strong interest in food sustainability and waste elimination. She has been active in the environmental community since converting to a vegetarian lifestyle for sustainability purposes at nine years old, and has since been devoting herself to bettering the earth in any way possible. Also a member of the Residential Sustainability Program (RSP) and Building Sustainability at Cal (BS@C), Anna is ecstatic to begin her journey with TGIF in pursuit of Cal's Zero Waste by 2020 goal. Besides for her commitment to being an environmental crusader, Anna is also an avid runner, reader, baker, biker, world traveler, and backpacker. She becomes most motivated when frozen yogurt is used as an incentive. annayip
Scott Silva is a first year student studying Environmental Science. He has worked with organizations in his hometown of Napa dealing with natural park management, resource conservation, and youth environmental education and stewardship. Scott is also the treasurer of the Cal Hiking and Outdoor Society, where one of his greatest passions is leading hikes around the Bay Area. In addition to hiking, Scott enjoys mountain biking, playing music of all sorts, and travelling to various natural wonders. Scott’s goals in working toward environmental justice relate to his interest in waste management, water allocation, and conservation policy.


The TGIF & Sustainability Initiatives Coordinator
The TGIF Coordinator manages The Green Initiative Fund, UC Berkeley's student-fee based campus sustainability fund. The TGIF Coordinator is responsible for coordinating and promoting the fall and spring TGIF Grant application processes, advising and supporting the TGIF Committee during grant selection, documenting the TGIF program, tracking the progress of TGIF funded projects, advising the TGIF project leaders, and providing consultation on green fund best practices to other colleges and universities. Detailed description here.

Sharon Daraphonhdeth was born and raised in San Diego county, where she began her educational endeavors at Palomar College. She currently oversees The Green Initiative Fund, the Zero Waste Research Center and Nature Village. Her passions lies among working with students, by assisting them to develop, implement and lead innovative sustainability projects and initiatives. At her leisure, she enjoys live music, cooking and spending time with her loved ones (especially her cat, Lucille). She also serves as a board member for a vegan food justice non-profit in her spare time. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from San Francisco State University



2010-2014 TGIF Coordinator

Katherine H. Walsh is a “wicked proud” Bostonian with a B.A. in Political Science and Environmental Studies from Boston College, and a Certificate in Leadership in Sustainability and Environmental Management from UC Berkeley-Extension. Katherine is the Director of the Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC) at UC Berkeley, after serving as Coordinator of The Green Initiative Fund from 2010-2014 and SERC Advisor since 2012.

Katherine sits on the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Sustainability, the Zero Waste Working Group, the Berkeley Climate Action Coalition Steering Committee, and is an affiliated staff member with the Berkeley Food Institute. She also leads the annual Beverage Alliance Sustainability Grant project and is a member of the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative Student Engagement Group. Katherine is a recipient of the 2008 Boston College Person of the Year Award and a 2013 UC Berkeley Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Award.



2008-2010 TGIF Coordinator- Nicole Leung

Past Program Associates: 

2015-2016: Jimmy Dunn; Lauren Murphy; Brian Gialketsis

2014-2015: Caitriona Smyth; Jimmy Dunn; Lauren Murphy 

2013-2014: Claire Kaufman, Kareem Hammoud



Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.