Sustainability Committee

Committee Co-Chairs: Anne Lakayil (D2) & Laura Hibbard (D2)



Mission: To promote sustainable lifestyles and work environments, and to inspire the Marquette University School of Dentistry community to work toward a more sustainable campus, dental profession, and world.



We work to implement sustainable initiatives at the dental school, engage the local community through service, and connect students with resources around Milwaukee to explore their interests in the outdoors, conservation, and healthy living.



News, Happenings, Events

Sustainability Committee Lunch and Learn


The Sustainability Committee members compiled sources for students to become better communicators with their patients on controversial topics. Specifically, we learned how to approach conversations with patients when met with resistance such as “I don't want any X-rays. I think they're dangerous” or questions like “can mercury in dental fillings leak out and enter the body?” Fluoride was also discussed. Video snippets and advice from Drs. Abena, Dentino, Grady, Hagner, Hodgson, Knapp, Murdoch, and Nelson were presented. The book “Tough Questions, Great Answers” written by Robin Wright was used as a foundation for the topic and Internet links were also collected to share with our patients to provide more information for them. The overwhelming take home message was that these conversations need to be approached from a non-confrontational method with our patients. Patients should be treated as a partner in healthcare, including informed shared decision making, and it is our job to make sure they understand both sides of any controversial topic.

Ice Age Trail Hike 


About 30 minutes north of Milwaukee sits this small slice of paradise, the Lion's Den Gorge Nature Preserve. The park had a view of everything from breathtaking bluffs, rocky shorelines, and trickling streams within the woods. This group of sustainable living friends got some exercise, enjoyed good company, and even gathered decorative sticks to be used at the Senior Gala. It was a perfect hike for a beautiful fall day. 

The Third Annual Sustainable Living Fair


“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.” - Lady Bird Johnson, wife of U.S. President, Lyndon B. Johnson

            On Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015, the Marquette community celebrated Earth Day at the 3rd Annual Sustainable Living Fair.  The Sustainable Living Fair is hosted by #MarquetteASDA’s Sustainability Committee and features MUSoD students as well as local organizations in the Milwaukee area.  The purpose of the fair is to educate attendees about various aspects of sustainability and how to live a sustainable lifestyle.  In total, 17 booths presented; the MUSoD student and faculty booths included the ASDA Health and Wellness committee, the November Project, the Urban Ecology Center, homemade cleaning materials, homemade jewelry, and healthy lunch options.  Some organizations that presented include MU Students for an Environmentally Active Campus, MU Physical Therapy, Victory Garden Initiative, Herbalife, Wisconsin Bike Federation, Brew City Boxes, Outpost Natural Foods, the Ice Age Trail Alliance, and Focus on Energy from WE Energy.  MUSoD students, faculty, staff, and other members of the community had the opportunity to learn from these booths while enjoying coffee, bagels, and a delicious lunch of salad and fajitas.  Guests enjoyed live music provided by our students and had the chance to win prizes in a raffle.

            With this being the first year having the event during lunch, the 3rd Annual Sustainable Living Fair was a huge success.  Attendance more than doubled this year, with approximately 250 people in attendance.  But beyond high attendance, the most rewarding experience from the event was witnessing peoples’ interests spark and seeing new connections being made: staff members wanting to expand our plastic barriers recycling program, faculty members asking for maps of the Ice Age Trail, and students wanting to join the #MarquetteASDA Sustainability Committee.  The 3rd Annual Sustainable Living Fair was a great success and fun for all.  But more importantly, it proved that living sustainably appeals and applies to all of us, on Earth Day and everyday. 

#marquetteasda jumps into action!

Saturday morning, jumped out of bed…and volunteered in the Marquette University Hunger Clean-Up!  The Hunger Clean-Up is a one-day, university wide volunteer event where teams are assigned to various service projects in Milwaukee.  The purpose of the event is to combat poverty and homelessness.  12 students representing #Marquetteasda and the Sustainability Committee bravely volunteered on Saturday April 18 and were teamed up with Marquette’s Triathlon team.  The joint team was assigned to a project organized by Independent First, a Milwaukee organization that serves as a resource for people with disabilities.  The project was an electronics recycling event held in front of the Petit Center.  This event serves two purposes: 1) to provide people with disabilities computers and other electronics that they cannot afford and 2) to teaches people with disabilities or of other disadvantaged backgrounds how to fix computers.  By learning how to fix computers, these people gain a marketable skill which could lead to future employment.

         #Marquetteasda, the Triathlon team, and volunteers of Independent First worked together to make the recycling program a success.  People of the community drove up with their trunks full of electronics, and volunteers would unload their cars, sorting the electronic into large boxes.  The boxes were soon piled high with electronics!  Everything from lap-tops, waffle makers, to brail typewriters.  On this Saturday morning, not only did we serve the community,  meet awesome people, but we all got a good work out from lifting equipment.  Definitely a win,  and a great way to kick off Earth Week.  

Crunch, Crisp, Crack...fall hike and bonfire!

Winston Feng, '18


     Time to suit up! It was the night of the ASDA ice age hike. I scrambled around my apartment to find the warmest articles of clothing I could unearth in my closet. Thermal leggings, long wool socks, jeans, a fleece pullover, a down jacket, and a winter coat, boots I just bought a few days earlier with tons of treading, and some nice snowboarding gloves. It seemed a bit overkill but then again, I had never been hiking in the middle of nowhere at night. I stepped out of my apartment, sweating profusely from all the layers I have on, and made my way to the dental school. I got there a bit early so I thought that my peers might have deemed it too cold to hike. But once the clock struck 6 the cars started to roll in and we were on our way to the Ice Age Trail at Lapham Peak. There were 12 of us total, more than I expected on such a cold night.


      It was a beautiful night to go hiking, snow had just begun to fall and filled the air with white flurries. Flashlights in hand we headed down the trail for several minutes before the trail split. It was a classic fork in the road. Our intuition told us to go left but then we decided to go right anyway. It reminded me of that defining moment during a dental anatomy quiz and you change your answer at the last minute only to find out your first gut answer was right. Heading down the path, we did not see any foot prints at all. We mused that the snow must have covered up the footprints of the tour group. After crossing a suspicious, slanted crosswalk, we decided that this was definitely not the right way. We did not see or hear any signs of life. We decided to head back to the fork and take the alternative path. Next thing we knew we saw flight lights in the distance. The hike started to become more challenging as the snow started to pile up. Not to mention, the trail started to incline.

     Nothing brings people closer than sharing a flashlight as you trek through a dark forest. We ended the night hike with a celebratory bonfire with a group of brave souls. There were a whole range of people in attendance from grandparents to young children and a really cute dog sporting a warm winter vest. We made s’mores and shared our bounty with our new comrades. They asked us where we were from and we told them we were dental students from Marquette. It was both satisfying and nostalgic to roast s’mores by the fireside with a group of friends. After the bonfire we headed out and made a short pitstop at Kopps, famous in Milwaukee for their burgers and frozen custard. What a great way to finish the night! It was my first Kopps experience and it was phenomenal. It was the juiciest burger I have ever sunk my teeth into…I have been missing out all my life. That wasn’t even the best part, the frozen custard to unbelievable smooth and creamy I will definitely be back very soon. It was a great night and I look forward to more Hikes bonfires and burgers with ASDA!


It's a beautiful, crisp fall day.  You're venturing out into unknown woods, surrounded by the vibrant colors of autumn.  The leaves form an endless curtain as they dance from the trees and gracefully float to the ground.  Thank goodness for your guiding companions because otherwise the path is invisible.  In this moment, you're removed from modern society.  There's no hurry or stress; there's only the beauty of the earth to discover.














Last Sunday, #marquetteasda members enjoyed their very own "Walk in the Woods" through part of the Ice Age Trail, the Monches segment.  The hike was guided by enthusiastic volunteers of the Ice Age Trail Alliance.  On this 5 mile hike, ASDA members bonded with eachother as well as other members throughout the community.  After the hike, we explored the Monches Farm "Fall Open House", consisting of local art, crafts, food, and music.  The day was a wonderful, relaxing escape - helping us "sustain" through the busy life of dental school!

Macaire Thiel, D3

Kyle Hresko, D2, co-chair of 

Sustainability Committee

Trip To Kohler-Andrae State Park


On August 24, ASDA's Sustainability Committee enjoyed the last day of break at Kohler-Andrae State Park. We hiked through the dunes, observed wildlife, grilled out, and went for a swim! What a great day enjoying our beautiful Earth!

Highway Clean-up!


On Saturday June 21st, the MU-ASDA Sustainability Committee participated in its annual highway clean-up, on a mile stretch of highway 145 between Walnut street and 6th street, near downtown Milwaukee. We want to do what we can to make this earth a better and more sustainable place. All we saw was just the tip of the iceberg...there is so much more waste for us to clean up around Milwaukee! We hope to find more ways to be eco-friendly to Brew City! Ten or so cars waved or honked and gave a thumbs up to us for taking our free time to clean-up a green space. Talk about motivation! One guy even stopped his car, backed up, and got out to say thanks to us! It really made our time spent worthwhile.

Sustainable Living Fair


The Sustainability Fair is an annual open-house style event held in the dental school. It is open to the Marquette community - both dental and undergrad - which provides a culmination of what the Sustainability Committee is all about. Typically held on or near Earth Day, it displays booths either run by students or business representatives. The businesses that attend are those that we feel are working towards a greener city. Examples of these are H2OScore, Brew City Boxes, and Growing Power. Booths run by students were mostly concentrated on healthier living and active lifestyle. These included everything from sailing clubs, to home brewing your own beer, to the November Project and our new MUASDA Health and Fitness Committee. All in all, this event was a fun and relaxing way to get a little education on how to better ourselves, as well as our relationship with the environment. And as an added bonus, we have a raffle afterwards for awesome prizes!

#MarquettASDA Without a Paddle


#MarquetteASDA paddles their way down the urban rivers finding the elusive Sasquatch. Okay, maybe they weren't looking for Sasquatch, but they did have a great Sunday afternoon, utilizing the resources found in Milwaukee, and the nature within our urban city Check out the pictures from the canoe outing. 



Highway Cleanup


Jonelle Doctor, Marquette ASDA Sustainability Chair


Students from Marquette University School of Dentistry spent Saturday morning cleaning MUSoD's Adopt-a-Highway site.  The ASDA Sustainability Committee organizes one clean-up per semester, with this being their 3rd clean-up.  It is rewarding for the students to see the highway look cleaner and greener each time.  All MUSoD students are welcome to join the clean-ups; you never know what interesting things you will find!


MUSoD's Adopt-a-Highway site is highway 145 (otherwise known as Fond Du Lac Ave) between Walnut St and 6th St. Look out for MUSoD's Adopt-a-Highway sign the next time you drive past!

Urban Canoeing


The Marquette ASDA Sustainability Committee and ASDA members visited the local Urban Ecology Center and had a great time canoeing on the lake/pond in Milwaukee, WI. A great Saturday morning was spent hanging with friends and seeing a different side of the hustle and bustle city life. 


Thank you to the Sustainability Chairs for organzing such a great outing!