Title

Fostering Global Sustainability through Teaching, Service and Research

Location

Room 212

Strand #1

Teaching - Higher Education

Strand #2

Service/Programs - Higher Education

Relevance

Georgia Southern University panelists will provide a framework for how to foster sustainability awareness and action through local and global means, through service: by creating local service learning opportunities, through teaching; including global sustainability across the curriculum, offering sustainability study abroad courses, and through research: establishing a global sustainability research network.

Brief Program Description

Global sustainability awareness and action are critical to ensure a healthy future for the planet. Georgia Southern University panelists will provide a framework for how to foster sustainability awareness and action through local and global means, by creating local service learning opportunities, teaching global sustainability across the curriculum, offering sustainability study abroad courses, and establishing a global sustainability research network.

Summary

Global sustainability awareness and action are critical to ensure a healthy future for the planet. Global environmental problems such as climate change, human population growth, habitat destruction, loss of genetic diversity, water scarcity, soil erosion, and pollution require global cooperation and action, beginning with education about the issues. Universities have an opportunity to foster sustainability awareness and action through teaching, service and research, and to pair local actions with education about global sustainability issues. Sustainability education can be effectively incorporated through courses across the curriculum, sustainability study abroad courses, and co-curricular activities. Study abroad courses represent a particular opportunity for fostering sustainability education in a cross-cultural and cross-structural setup. Service learning opportunities that engage students in local actions to solve global problems can increase student learning, skills and confidence as well as providing measurable action towards improving sustainability. Examples of sustainability-oriented service learning opportunities include No Impact Week (a campus-focused sustainability week), GreenFest (a community outreach festival), a K-5 Afterschool Garden Program, and collaboration with additional non-profit partners. Sustainability research that connects countries in a global network of problem-solving can broaden research approaches and perspective and improve outcomes. One panelist has ongoing research collaborations in environmental sustainability with RKMV University (India), Gottingen University (Germany) and University of Veracruzana (Mexico). This panel will 1) provide a framework for encouraging sustainability across the curriculum as well as examples of its implementation in diverse courses 2) present a strategy for the development and implementation of sustainability service learning opportunities 3) provide examples of study abroad courses with a focus on sustainability and 4) discuss the development of a global sustainability research network.

Format

Panel Discussion - 60 minutes

Biographical Sketch

Becky Larson, MS, RD, is a Clinical Instructor of Nutrition & Food Science at Georgia Southern University, teaching undergraduate courses in the Nutrition & Food Science program and a graduate course in the Dietetic Internship Program. She teaches Sustainable Foods, Cultural Foods, Community Nutrition, School Nutrition Administration, Quantity Food Systems Administration, Quantity Food Practicum, and Meal Management, and has made sustainable foods part of the foundation of the dietetic internship and every course she teaches. Becky incorporates service learning and project- and problem-based learning into her courses to help students better understand and participate in the real world. She coordinates students in several food and nutrition projects throughout the community, fostering partnerships between Georgia Southern and community organizations, such as local farms, Parks & Recreation, the farmers market, the county food bank, schools, long term care centers, and others.

Lissa Leege is a Professor of Biology and the founding director of the Center for Sustainability at Georgia Southern University. She earned her undergraduate degree in Biology from St. Olaf College and received her Ph.D. in Plant Ecology at Michigan State University. Her ecological research concerns threats to rare plants, including the effects of fire and invasive species on endangered plant populations and communities. Lissa was instrumental in the development of an Interdisciplinary Concentration in Environmental Sustainability for undergraduates at Georgia Southern and organizes dozens of capstone practicum opportunities for students in the program each year. Under her direction, the Center for Sustainability engages the campus in an annual “No Impact Week” and reaches the community with an annual GreenFest celebration, as well as a robust sustainability speaker series. She manages a $200,000 sustainability grant program with an annual budget of $200,000 and oversees an Afterschool Garden program at 5 local elementary schools, as well as creating sustainability service learning opportunities for hundreds of Georgia Southern students each year. Lissa is involved with the environment on a statewide level as a member of the 2013 Class of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership and is a founding member of the Georgia Campus Sustainability Network. She serves on a local tree board, and as a board member for Georgia Southern’s Botanical Garden. She teaches Environmental Biology, Biology of Plants, Plant Ecology, and Study Abroad sustainability courses in Italy, and has just coauthored a college level Environmental Science textbook.

Jacek Lubecki received his Ph.D. in International Studies from the Graduate School of International Studies, University of Denver in 2000 and taught at University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, and at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. Between 2005-2012 was Coordinator of International Studies and of Middle Eastern Studies, and Assistant, and, since 2009, Associate Professor of Political Science, at University of Arkansas at Little Rock.Among others, he taught classes on global issues (with an emphasis on sustainability) and world cultures, counter-insurgency, and politics of the Middle East. He was also the chair of curricular sub-committee of the inaugural campus sustainability committee between 2010-12. On July 1, 2012 he became Assistant Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Director of the Center for International Studies at Georgia Southern University (GSU). As Director of the Center for International Studies (CIS) at GSU Dr. Lubecki has managed a unit in charge of most international activities at a campus of 20,000 students. The CIS includes two academic programs (International Studies and International Trade majors); study abroad programs (including exchange, faculty-led, consortia, and transient programs); visa, immigration and accommodation services for F-1 and J-1 students and scholars, a task of comprehensive internationalization of GSU campus and curriculum, and of the Bulloch County and neighboring counties, and the English Language Program for international students.

Dr. Subhrajit Saha is an assistant professor at the department of Biology of Georgia Southern University (GSU), Statesboro, GA since 2011. He received his PhD in Forestry and MS in Environmental Horticulture form the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. He teaches courses in agroecology, sustainable forestry, and environmental biology and has been awarded a certificate on Teaching in Higher Education by the Center for Teaching and Technology at GSU. Dr. Saha’s research focuses on the art and science of sustainable agriculture and its applicability to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Dr. Saha has an extensive international experience. He has visited 30 countries and gathered professional experience in Europe, Central America, East Africa and South Asia. He has interned with Wildlife Conservation Society in Guatemala, received Bilateral Cooperation Fellowship from DFG and worked at Gottingen University, Germany as a visiting faculty and given an Adjunct Faculty status at RKMV University in India. He has ongoing research collaboration with Gottingen University, RKMV University and University of Veracruzana, Mexico. He has given numerous invited presentations, Aarhus University, Denmark; University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic; CATIE, Costa Rica-Nicaragua; and FAO-United Nations HQ in Rome, Italy are a few to mention. Dr. Saha is actively associated with GSU’s sustainability initiatives. He was one of the first Sustainability Fellows and Green Eagle award recipients. He organizes GSU’s Arbor Day and involves his students to service learning events such as, No Impact Week, Campus Farmers’ Market, a K-5 Afterschool Garden Program, Green Fest and GSU’s International Festival.

Keyword Descriptors

Sustainability, Service-learning, Study abroad, Environment, Problem-based learning, Sustainability research

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

9-18-2015 10:15 AM

End Date

9-18-2015 11:15 AM

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Sep 18th, 10:15 AM Sep 18th, 11:15 AM

Fostering Global Sustainability through Teaching, Service and Research

Room 212

Global sustainability awareness and action are critical to ensure a healthy future for the planet. Georgia Southern University panelists will provide a framework for how to foster sustainability awareness and action through local and global means, by creating local service learning opportunities, teaching global sustainability across the curriculum, offering sustainability study abroad courses, and establishing a global sustainability research network.