Sakimoto Photo

Philip J. Sakimoto, Ph.D.

University of Notre Dame 

Dr. Phil Sakimoto is Director of the Minor in Sustainability with responsibilities that include overseeing student progress and senior capstone projects, developing campus-wide sustainability-related curricula, teaching sustainability courses, engaging in related public outreach, and developing community partnerships. He was formerly the Program Manager and Acting Director of NASA’s Space Science Education and Public Outreach Program as well as the manager of a wide variety of NASA student development and diversity programs. At Notre Dame he has been the Director of the Program for Academic Excellence in the Center for University Advising and a diversity and outreach specialist for the Department of Physics. Dr. Sakimoto received his B.A. in physics from Pomona College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in astronomy from UCLA.


Valerie Vargas

Valerie Vargas, MFA

Valerie Vargas is the Program Coordinator for the Minor in Sustainability. She manages internal and external communications, assists in administrative duties for the minor, students, and faculty of the program. Valerie graduated with a Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame. Valerie Vargas received a B.A. in English, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, where she also concentrated on new media and professional writing. Prior to her role with the minor, she served as editorial assistant for Action Books, editor of Re:Visions, and taught poetry and creative writing courses at Notre Dame. Her work is concerned with the human experience and its relationship to the climate crisis.