Sunday, May 06, 2007

Parkie to develop sustainability course....(and did I mention she's a STUDENT)?

Now, this is what I call stepping up and doing your part -- for the school, for the college, and for the environment.

Congratulations -- and thanks -- to Sarah Brylinsky, who wrote to tell us about the new course she's developing this summer:

I was just reading the latest article on your blog, about alumni connections, and wanted to share my own story about "going out and getting the opportunity" most recently.

At Ithaca College, there is a cooperative grant committee between I.C. Faculty and EcoVillage who gives 8 grants each year to either faculty or village members who propose to develop a sustainability-related course for the college. Each year about 50 people apply, and the top 8 proposals chosen receive a $1,000 grant to develop the course over the summer.
The Park School is the only school from which a faculty member has never applied. When I found this out, I decided that it was time Park offered a really sustainable-oriented course that could put the unique talents of students in my major (CMD) and other sectors to good use. The communication of sustainability is as important as its' concepts and practices, after all.

So, I set out to apply for a grant that was only offered to faculty. I put together the proposal, and went and talked to the professors here at I.C. who sit on the grant board. I pleaded my case to them: "I've developed many programs and 'coursework' before for a myriad of jobs, projects in my major, as being a first-year program RA, and am currently working on a project developing a study-abroad program for an
international NGO in Ecuador. With a little help, I could definitely create this class."

I pitched it, submitted the proposal, and guess what? I was one of the 8 grant recipients this year! So this summer, I will be researching and developing "Strategic Sustainability: Intersections and Immersions", a course which focuses on examining the failure of the sustainable movement to communicate goals and possiblities clearly, how sustainable relations can be an integral part of corporate communication, etc... The full proposal, and course description, can be found attached. The course will be taught by Cory Young in the spring semester; she and Tammy Shaprio have agreed to be my mentors during the project's development.

I am hugely excited to be working on this project, and just wanted to share another great story with you about how your communication students are out there shaking up, starting early, and inventing possiblities for themselves!

In peace,
Sarah Brylinsky


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