Tom Hartzell

Tom Hartzell


BS in Environmental Science from Juniata College, 2008
MA in Environmental Education from Goshen College, 2012


Growing up in a home where we grew much of our own food, paired with a love of cooking, instilled in me an appreciation for good food and the connections it creates. This led me to work in three different restaurants during and after college. That was enough to show me it wasn’t the right career, but I carry a deep understanding and gratitude for the many hands and systems involved in our nourishment.

During summers in college, I was fortunate to work at a canoeing camp in Ontario, Canada. Building community and teamwork among a group of kids, while surrounded by beautiful wilderness on a multi-day canoe trip, gave me a foundational understanding of the key elements of sustainability. It’s about connection, mutual support, care, equity, aesthetics, and living within your means.

I spent a year in service with AmeriCorps, which helped me become aware of my dual passions of environment and education. That spurred me on to graduate school at the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College, where I am grateful to have worked for 10 years before joining Calvin in 2022. There, I was steeped in experiences involving sustainability, leadership, food systems, learning communities, curriculum development, mentorship, event planning, and more…all in the context of a beautiful nature preserve. That pattern continues here at Calvin, where I lead the Sustainability Fellows Cohort (and a good deal of student and community programming) from my cozy office overlooking the scenic Calvin Ecosystem Preserve and Native Gardens.

Academic interests


  • I’m all about community and connection. I love meeting new people and new places, connecting with them, and connecting people to each other and their places.
  • I am a growing theology student, and particularly drawn to Creation Care and the ways God speaks through nature – in the Bible and today.
  • I am absolutely fascinated by brain science and astronomy.
  • I love canoeing, hiking, camping…and pretty much anything outdoors.
  • I love games – from board games, to card games, to sports (especially soccer and ice hockey)
  • I am obsessed with my awesome spouse and our two amazing kids.

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