Chair, Council of Chairs
For the past 20 years, Dr. Cushing has taught and conducted research on enhancing our understanding of how environmental policies and programs are implemented from an interdisciplinary perspective. Her primary areas of expertise are water resources management and sustainability in higher education.
Combining approaches from the fields of engineering, biology, chemistry, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology, Dr. Cushing uses multiple data collection techniques to address some of the field's most vexing problems. These challenges include identifying factors influencing program effectiveness and clarifying the relationship between an individual's knowledge of environmental problems and consequent action. She holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University. In addition to her teaching and research, Professor Cushing was the university's first Sustainability Director and helped establish the university's sustainability board. She serves as a board member of Monte Jade and sits on the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Independent Advisory Panel for Potable Reuse.
Before coming to San José State University, Dr. Cushing was the Associate Director for the Program on Urban Studies at Stanford University and a Senior Research Associate for the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security.
Through her consulting and research, Dr. Cushing has worked with a number of different public and private sector clients including the Army Corps of Engineers, the World Commission on Dams, Applied Materials, the cities of Palo Alto and San José, and the WateReuse Research Foundation.