Emily Umbarger

Emily Umbarger
Director of Sustainability
College of Education, Michigan State University
Bachelor of Arts, Education
Converse College
Master of Arts, Education
College of Education, Michigan State University
PhD abd., Education, Curriculum, & Technology

About Emily

Emily is the sustainability director and instructor of agricultural sciences at Interlochen Center for the Arts, where she has spent the past 12 years. During her tenure at Interlochen, she has been instrumental in bringing about positive change in the world of sustainability on the institution’s campus, receiving numerous rigorous certifications for the school in the field of regenerative, sustainable, and earth-friendly practices. In 2019, she led the institution through the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon School award, where they were awarded prestigious national recognition for advancements made in sustainability across campus. She oversees the school’s campus-wide initiatives in composting, recycling, sustainability related outreach and community education, and manages the school’s botanical laboratory and school garden complex. Emily has spearheaded projects on campus to bring organic, student-grown produce to the local Interlochen Redeemer Food Pantry and the school cafeteria and helped forge relationships between Interlochen Center for the Arts and local food growers.

Emily sits on the Board of Trustees on the Allen Foundation, serves as Chairwoman for the Great Lakes Incubator Farm, and is a member of the Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network, Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Educators, Michigan Alliance for Environmental Professionals, and the Northwest Michigan Farm to School Coalition.

She is a lover of the outdoors and nature. She is the proud mother of two sons: Jake and Joey. Emily is a Michigan State University certified Master Gardener, a committed shepherdess to her cashmere goats, an avid knitter, a passionate cast iron chef, a devoted beekeeper, and a lover of our Mother Earth.

I believe that all students should have a safe environment to express their thoughts, feelings, emotions, questions, and ideas and to feel safe and accept for who they are. I believe that excellent learning experiences take place when students are able to experience content in meaningful ways that apply to the real-world and prepare them for the future. I believe that outstanding education occurs when respect, passion, inquiry, and learning occurs inside and outside of the classroom.

Aquaponics Certified Educator, August 2018

MSU Certified Master Gardener, June 2018

Summer Research Fellowship, Michigan State University, 2009

Michigan Teacher Professional Certification, Elementary Education; K-5 all subjects, 6-8 all subjects self-contained, 2003-2009

Michigan Special Area Endorsement: Social Studies and English Language Arts, grades 6-8 endorsement

South Carolina Professional Teacher Certification, 2004-2008

Florida Provisional Teacher Certification, 2003-2004

MLPP (Michigan Literacy Progress Profile), 2002-2003

MTTC (Michigan Teacher Test for Certification), Basic Skills Test, 2000

M. A, Education, Curriculum, & Instruction — Michigan State University, Converse College

B.A, Elementary Education - Michigan State University