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The UNCG Sustainability Council is proud to announce the Sustainability Faculty Fellows (SFF) for the 2021-2022 academic year. The program, now in its sixth year, promotes collaboration among scholarly disciplines to encourage the integration of sustainability in research, teaching, and service across campus and in our local community. The Fellows work on clearly specified projects that may include, but are not limited to, co- or extra-curricular campus programs, curriculum activities (including team-taught and individual courses), and innovative research projects or collaborations. Fellows also serve on the UNCG Sustainability Council.

After serving two years as a Sustainability Faculty Fellow, Associate Professor Dr. Sarah Praskievicz (Geography, Environment, and Sustainability) will serve a two-year term as Academic Sustainability Coordinator (ASC). Praskievicz’s research focuses on river systems, water policy, and urban streams. As the ASC, she will continue to collaborate with the Office of Sustainability on the Sustainability Lecture & Dialogue Series and work to create a toolkit to help faculty integrate sustainability projects into their teaching.

“It’s important to integrate sustainability into everything that faculty do at UNCG, including teaching, research, and service,” says Praskievicz. “My two years as a Sustainability Faculty Fellow have given me the opportunity to provide hands-on fieldwork experience to nearly 40 undergraduate students, to build a dataset of physical habitat and water quality at nine urban stream sites across Greensboro, and to build new partnerships with community organizations focused on ecological restoration and environmental justice. As the incoming Academic Sustainability Coordinator, I’m excited to keep working on integrating sustainability into UNCG’s academic mission.”

Returning (non-concurrently) as a Sustainability Faculty Fellow, Associate Professor Dr. Gwen Hunnicutt (Sociology) will serve a one-year term to conduct research and community outreach to cultivate a culture of sustainability at UNCG through the process and practice of nonviolence.

“Sustainability should involve a holistic approach,” says Hunnicutt, “where our stewardship of the Earth is rooted in an ethic of care and respect, which includes a kind regard for our planet and the health of its current and future inhabitants. In the same way that environmental degradation is connected to racism, economics, electoral politics, animal liberation, reproductive politics, sustainable agriculture, and so on, the movement for ecological justice and sustainability are bound up with the work of nonviolence.”

Lecturer Tara Webb (Costume Technology, Theater) will also serve a one-year term as a Sustainability Faculty Fellow. Webb’s work combines design and environmental sciences to create conversations about sustainability through creative expression. As an SFF, she will coordinate with multiple campus and community stakeholders to offer educational opportunities, including the development of a local dye color pigment map to identify non-native plants, locally foraged resources, and food waste in an effort to create low-impact creations without compromising design integrity.

“I’m a big believer that dialogues in the arts about climate change and sustainability are an important way that I can take action,” says Webb. “I want to help communities participate in the environment through connection to the world around them, so right now I am researching and developing workshops around making and using plants to create natural dyes.”

The Sustainability Faculty Fellows positions are for one-year terms and are renewable through re-application. Each Fellow is remunerated on an ad hoc basis in consultation with the faculty member’s department head and dean. Remuneration may include a course release, funding for research or travel, graduate assistant support, or other mutually agreed upon non-financial resources. A call for FY2023 applications will be announced at a later date.

Dr. Sarah Praskievicz works with students along North Buffalo Creek in Greensboro. Photo courtesy of Sarah Praskievicz.
Dr. Gwen Hunnicutt takes in the view. Photo courtesy of Keith Buckner.
Tara Webb introduces students to making natural dyes from local plants and food waste for a painting class at the Swarthmore College Scott Arboretum. Photo courtesy of Tara Webb.

Story by Sean MacInnes, Office of Sustainability

 
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