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Common Experience Project on Sustainability launches multi-year project

Ohio University's Common Experience Project on Sustainability recently launched a multi-year effort to engage faculty, staff and students across disciplines to the concepts of sustainability literacy.

A reception was held on Oct. 24, National Campus Sustainability Day, and speakers included faculty and students who have been engaged in sustainability efforts.

The project is aimed at expanding sustainability literacy across the curriculum. It will address benchmarks related to ecological literacy in the Ohio University's Sustainability plan. The project will offer an opportunity for faculty engagement in all disciplines with the goal of educating students at Ohio University to the concepts of sustainability.

"We would like Ohio University graduates to have a broad understanding of sustainability," said Loraine McCosker, coordinator of the Common Experience Project on Sustainability. "The Common Experience Project will encourage collaboration between and partnerships with University College, the Office of Sustainability, Environmental Studies, Residence Life, The Athena Cinema, the Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs and many academic programs and departments."

McCosker said the collaborations will allow expanded sustainability literacy understanding of Ohio University students and the project will offer speakers, workshops, films and opportunities for engagement to faculty and staff throughout the academic year.

"Providing students and especially first-year students, a common learning experience is one of the best practices in the national literature on student success," said David Descutner, dean and associate provost for undergraduate education. "The new focus on sustainability will allow us to offer students abundant opportunities in the classroom and outside the classroom, to learn about ecological literacy and the challenges of sustainability. This focus also allows faculty from any discipline to become involved and creates the potential for partnerships across all of the academic colleges and schools and among Ohio University, the Athens community, and the surrounding region."

Annie Laurie Cadmus, director of Sustainability at Ohio University, explained that the Office of Sustainability will be adapting sustainability-related programs and offerings throughout the project to provide faculty with the support they need to be successful.

"Sustainability is a truly interdisciplinary topic. Every member of this campus and community can engage in the conversation in a meaningful way," said Cadmus. "That's why this program is so exciting and diverse!"

To become involved or receive further information, contact Loraine McCosker at mccosker@ohio.edu.