Prof. Mary Savina ’72 And Suzanne Savanick Hansen ’89 Help Win Funding To Study Adding Sustainability To Undergraduate Curriculum

8 December 2009

Professor Mary Savina ’72 and another alum, Suzanne Savanick Hansen ’89, were among those who recently received Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE) grants from the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) to support collaborative faculty workshops with their proposal entitled “Integrating Sustainability into the Undergraduate Curriculum.”

The goal of this cross-disciplinary and cross-college collaboration is to develop, assess, and then disseminate well thought-out pedagogical strategies and practical, meaningful, usable activities for introductory courses across the disciplines at our institutions and beyond. Teaching and learning resources that will be developed over the course of the project will be disseminated online.

The project will gather carefully-selected faculty representatives of ACM schools to work together in an intentional and structured way over a full year. Plans include an opening workshop in summer 2010 and a culminating workshop and conference in spring 2011.

The planning team defines sustainability education as an experience that allows students to explore the interplay between the social, economic and environmental needs of current and future generations.  Among the ACM member institutions is a core of schools recognized as contributing national leadership on sustainability. Yet even among recognized leaders, the emphasis on sustainability is having more of an impact on campus operations than it is on the curriculum.  Sustainability education complements the goals of a liberal education in many ways.

The planning team for this Collaborative Event includes:

  • Carleton College: Mary Savina (Professor of Geology)
  • Macalester College: Suzanne Savanick Hansen (Sustainability Manager)
  • Luther College (lead institution): Ruth Kath (Professor of German and Director of the Sense of Vocation Program), Jon Jensen (Associate Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies), and Steve Holland (Assistant Professor of Economics)
  • St. Olaf College: James Farrell (Professor of History and Environmental Studies)