College Green

Exploring environmental news in Southeast Ohio

About Us

College Green is an independent publication that explores the numerous environmental issues surrounding Southeast Ohio. The publication strives to present our audience – area residents and students, staff, and faculty members of Ohio University – with interesting and informative in-depth feature stories.

The purpose of College Green is to provide a positive learning opportunity for aspiring environmental journalists while also instilling a sense of pride in the area’s natural beauty, amenities and assets. Our goal can be summed up in the publication’s name.

At OU there is a section on campus known as “College Green.” This is a popular place for both students and residents to meet, hang out, and exchange ideas. While “College Green” is considered to be on-campus space, it is a place where that on-campus-off-campus line starts to blur. College Green hopes to further bridge the gaps among students, residents and the environment.

Contact | Write for College Green | Our Staff


1. Questions about policies, operation and/or editorial

2. Story comments

3. To announce events

4. Writer/photographer enquiries

1. Questions about policies, operation and/or editorial

Please direct all questions concerning College Green policies and editorial choices, to the Editor: Katherine Bercik, or leave her a voicemail at 614.270.9130.

2. Story comments

Readers are allowed to submit comments at the end of each story; however, they must adhere to all WordPress policies and be approved by the Editor before they can be posted onto the Web site. College Green will not approve of any comments containing vulgar, obscene, false or potentially libelous statements.

3. To announce events

If you wish to place a sustainability or environmentally themed event announcement on our Web site, please Email either the Editor (Katherine Bercik, or PR Chief (to be announced) with “CG – Upcoming Events” in the subject box. When announcing events, please give us the name of the event, date, time, location, admission and any other important information. If there is a URL or Web site for the event, please include that as well.

4. Writer/photographer enquiries

College Green welcomes freelance work. For more information, please visit the Writing for CG page of this Web site.

Writing for College Green

1. Official membership

2. Freelance

3. Re-publishing and other submissions

1. Official Membership

To become an official College Green staff writer, students must attend all mandatory all-staff and section meetings and adhere to the College Green Policies and Procedures requirements and staff expectations. For more information please contact the Editor: Katherine Bercik,

2. Freelance

Freelancers are always welcome to write for College Green.

Those interested in freelance work must:

  1. Contact the Editor: Katherine Bercik at or 614.270.9130.
  2. Submit a query letter (via Email is fine), giving a brief statement of the story idea and the desired section for the story
  3. If the story fits the College Green content profile (see below for further explanation) and is not yet being reported on by a College Green staffer, then the Editor will assign the freelancer to the designated section editor and the freelancer will work individually with that editor.

College Green Mission and Section Descriptions:

College Green is an independent, student-run online publication that covers environmental issues in southeast Ohio. Our target audience includes Ohio University students, faculty and staff and all other members of the Athens community. The purpose of College Green is to provide a positive learning opportunity for aspiring environmental journalists and also to instill a sense of pride and unity between the Athens and Ohio University community in regards to the area’s natural beauty, amenities and assets.

College Green provides readers with informative investigative reports divided into the following categories: Investigations, Politics and Economics, Lifestyles, People, Community, and Commentary.

  • “Investigations” explores the scientific and technological realm of environmental issues. This will include, but not be limited to, conservation, biology, wildlife biology, renewable energy, pollution, environmental health, natural history, land use, and environmental justice. Stories are in-depth investigations and may take a news writing or magazine feature writing approach. Story length can be anywhere between 1,000-3,000 words.
  • “News” covers the political and economic aspects of environmentalism, exploring the policies and regulations influencing businesses and their environmental impact. This section will also cover events within the OU campus and Athens community. Stories can be news brief, highlighting policy updates to in-depth analyses. Story length can be anywhere to 500-3,000 words.
  • “Lifestyles and People” takes an anthropological look at human behavior and cultural trends, examining the mores, ethics, and literacy behind the environmental movement. This section will also cover socio-ecological systems and provide personality profiles highlighting prominent environmental actors and other players involved in environmental decision making. Stories are in-depth investigations and may take a news writing or magazine feature writing approach. Story length can be anywhere between 1,000-3,000 words.
  • “Commentary” includes staff blogs, first-person narratives, and guest columns. Stories may take a personal narrative approach and vary in length. College Green will not publish anything vulgar, obscene, or potentially libelous. Guest columnists must follow the submission steps described above.

When submitting work, writers must disclose the following information:


-Year and major

-Other organization involvement (so that we may unveil any possible conflicts of interest)

-Email (for readers to submit questions)

-Date story was last updated

3. Re-publishing and other submissions

Writers who wish to reprint work already published in another magazine or newspaper are responsible for knowing and following the policies of that previous publication. Students who wish to republish a story in College Green must follow the steps described above. In addition, upon initial acceptance stories must be submitted directly to the Editor.

When submitting work, writers must disclose the following information:


-Year and major

-Other organization involvement (so that we may unveil any possible conflicts of interest)

-Email (for readers to submit questions)

-Date and location of previous publication

Please refer to the policy summary listed in the Freelance section of this page (above)

Our Staff

College Green is composed of both undergraduate and graduate students at Ohio University. We try to recruit students and members from a diversity of majors and academic backgrounds.

Staff biographies are listed below in alphabetical order.

Rachel Ackerman, Writer

Rachel is a sophomore at OU studying science education and environmental studies. She plans to teach high school level environmental science before moving on to obtain a PhD and teach at the college level. Rachel is from the Cleveland area and enjoys Scuba diving, snowboarding, hiking, and spending as much time outside as possible. She sees the relevance of current issues facing our environment and wants to dedicate her life to educating others and helping restore and preserve the beautiful Earth we all share.

Devon Antonetti, Writer

Devon is a junior from Sylvania, Ohio. She has previously written for The Athens Insider. She is studying magazine journalism and sociology, and often accompanies her friend, Ethan, collecting fungi. Devon attributes her interest in the environment to the Planet Earth series.

Morgan Augur, Copy Editor

Morgan is a junior studying magazine journalism, Spanish, and world religion. She has been published in Suburban News and held an internship at American Farmer Magazine. A native of Columbus, Ohio, she hopes to work for McGraw Hill as a social studies editor after a long stint in the Peace Corps.

Katherine Bercik, Editor

Katherine is a senior magazine journalism major in Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Her interest in environmental issues blossomed after a journey to Australia where she performed volunteer conservation work.

Joe Brehm, Investigations Editor

Joe is a graduate student at Ohio University pursuing a Master’s degree in environmental studies. Originally from Zanesville, Ohio, Joe earned his Bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Montana. He has spent several years studying natural history and wilderness living skills in Ohio, the Rocky Mountain West, and the high desert country of central Arizona. Joe’s current focus within environmental studies is Education and Communication.

Becca Cochran, Writer

Becca is a junior student from Lebanon, Ohio, studying journalism. She has previously interned with the Cincinnati Enquirer and a local cable television station. Her interest in environmental issues has grown since being an Ohio University student, and she anticipates that interest increasing with her time at College Green.

Lisa Gumerman, Lifestyles and People Editor

Lisa is a senior HTC journalism major from Findlay. She is the section editor of Lifestyles and People, as well as the copy chief. She works at the Consortium for Energy, Economics and the Environment, and is currently writing a thesis about online publications. She has also worked on Southeast Ohio, The Ohio Journalist, and Findlay’s The Courier.

Ben Harshbarger, Writer

Ben is a magazine journalism major and psychology minor from Youngstown, Ohio. He has always loved to read and will read anything he can get his hands on. He loves to explore and meet new people and feels that every new obstacle or concept is an adventure. Ben is new to learning about the environment but it is something he considers important to be aware of as a reliant of the planet’s resources.

Erich Hiner, News Editor

Erich is a third-year journalism major in the news writing and editing sequence. He is specializing in sociology and political science. Erich has written for The Post, WOUB and He has been with College Green since March 2009 and is editor of the News section.

Amy Nordrum, Commentary Editor

Amy grew up in Lucasville, Ohio and is interested in organic agriculture, environmental philosophy and writing. She’s in her last year as a journalism major in the Honors Tutorial College and is active in campus sustainability efforts.

Audrey Rabalais, Writer

Audrey is a sophomore journalism student who is also earning a certificate in environmental studies. She is a student correspondent for Mother Nature Network and hopes to continue a career focusing on conservation and environmental efforts.

Michelle Shaw, Writer

Michelle is a graduate student in the environmental studies program. During her undergraduate time at Ohio University, she studied environmental geography and biology. She has previously worked with local watershed groups on issues like acid mine drainage remediation and taught environmental education in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Miaomiao Shoa, Writer

Miaomiao is a sophomore broadcast journalism major student at OU. She used to be a reporter for The Post. At present, she is a lifestyle writer for College Green, and sometimes does assists with production at WOUB. Environment protection is an issue she has always been concerned about. She hopes people are aware of current environmental problems and take action against environmental disruption.

Jessica Webb, Writer and Commentator

Jessica is a junior from Dayton, Ohio, working toward an English major with a creative writing focus. She writes for the Lifestyles and People section and has a column in the Commentary section. She’s also on the copyediting staff. Jessica is interested in sustainability, organic and local food, the local economic impact of current environmental issues, political environmentalism, as well as new green energy technologies. She has copyedited for the local publication The Interactivist in the past.

Tasha Webber, Contributer

Tasha, a sophomore, is working as a freelancer for College Green and currently works as a writer and Associate Copy Chief for Backdrop Magazine. Tasha has always had an interest in the environment and recalls multiple preminitions of her father preaching environmental journalism is the future. Tasha is from Oregon, after all, one of the most environmentally conscious states in the nation.

Laurie Winston, Writer

Laurie is a second year environmental studies master’s student and writer for the News section. She is writing her thesis about the environmental justice implications of the marketing of clean coal as a solution to the environmental problems associated with using coal as an energy source. Her academic interests include human rights, animal rights and environmental planning. For fun she enjoys playing with her dogs, hiking, camping, gardening and listening to music.

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