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FPU coordinators speak at conference

Franklin Pierce University sustainability coordinator Jess Gerrior represented the university at the annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education on Oct. 8 in Nashville. Gerrior also authored an article titled “What’s The Best Formula for a Sustainable Campus?,” which was published on the HuffingtonPost.com on Oct. 22.

In Gerrior’s presentation, “Digging In: A First-Year Food and Sustainability Experience,” she described the efforts of more than 100 freshmen composition students, faculty, and staff in building Franklin Pierce’s first campus garden and engaging the community in a semester-long exploration of food and sustainability. The Digging In project, which took place in the 2013 spring semester, immersed first-year students in an interdisciplinary, interactive learning experience. The project is an example of Gerrior’s Huffington Post discussion that higher education can best serve sustainability initiatives when the campus itself is valued “as a living laboratory” and when the “widest possible variety of stakeholders” is engaged.

In addition to presenting at the conference, Gerrior took part in AASHE’s Listening Project, which seeks to provide opportunities for meaningful dialogue on sustainability in the higher education community. As a “catalyst,” Gerrior has conducted peer-to-peer interviews, gathering information and ideas from AASHE members about their needs, goals, and visions for the future of sustainability in higher education. She and other catalysts moderated discussions at the conference.

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