The Staff of the Center


Mike Keen, Director

Mike Keen is Professor of Sociology and a LEED AP.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.  Previously he has served as Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and as Director of the Master of Liberal Studies Program at IU South Bend.  Professor Keen is Co-Chair of the City of South Bend Mayor’s Green Ribbon Commission and Vice-President of the Board of Director’s of Unity Gardens, Inc.  He is also a regular guest on WNIT Public Television’s Economic Outlook.  In addition to general administrative oversight of the Center, he is responsible for curriculum development, community outreach, strategic planning, and grants, contracts, and external support.  Trained in the Natural Step Framework, Professor Keen offers sustainability workshops and consulting for business, not-for-profits, and municipal government.

Trish Linner

Trish Linner, Acting Assistant Director

Trish is an IUSB graduate with a degree in Political Science and in Women's and Gender Studies. She is currently working on her Master's degree in Liberal Arts and pursuing the graduate certificate in Strategic Sustainability Leadership. Trish previously worked for the Center as program cooridinator.


Kathi Piekarski, Administrative Assitant

Kathi Piekarski is the administrative secretary for the Sociology and Anthropology Department, the Women’s Studies Program, Wolfson Press and the Center for a Sustainable Future. She received her B.S. in Secondary Education Degree from IU South Bend and has a License Practical Nursing Degree from Ivy Tech. Kathi has been employed at IUSB for the past 16 yrs.  She loves reading, is passionate about animals, and currently volunteers in the community with her certified therapy dog, Paris, a black Standard Poodle. Some of the places they visit include Memorial Hospital, Family Children Center, Juvenile Justice Center, St Mary’s and Inwood Hills Estates. Kathi has also developed the Read to a Canine Friend Program at the St Joseph County Public Library. This is a program where children can spend time reading to Paris and other certified therapy dogs at both the Francis Branch library and the main library in downtown South Bend.