The State College Borough and the Sustainable Communities Collaborative had a kick-off celebration at the municipal building Jan. 22. Speakers at the event included Tom Fountaine, borough manager; Denice Wardrop, director of Penn State’s Sustainability Institute; and Penn State Vice President and Provost Nicholas Jones.
Sustainable Communities partnerships are formed through agreements developed between the top local government official and the Sustainability Institute to link community-based sustainability projects with existing courses across the University. Projects are identified and developed based on the partnering community’s sustainability priorities. Collaboration teams bring together community representatives, faculty and students to define and carry-out projects.
“This is a true town-gown partnership which works to elevate and expand the opportunities for faculty, staff and students to be involved in the community and connects residents to the work being done on campus."
-- Tom Fountaine, borough manager
“This is a true town-gown partnership which works to elevate and expand the opportunities for faculty, staff and students to be involved in the community and connects residents to the work being done on campus,” Fountaine said.
Provost Nick Jones and State College borough manager Tom Fountaine at the Sustainable Communities Collaborative spring kick-off celebration
Image: Bill Zimmerman
The spring 2014 courses include two ongoing projects from the fall 2013 semester: Management of Human Capital (Talent Acquisition) and Sustainable Asset Management (Closed Loop Inventory & Surplus Goods). New projects include: Biking and Tourism in the Region, Evaluation of Borough's Residential Composting Program, Green Power Community, Live and Work Sustainability of Downtown - Young Professionals and Homestead Investors Program-Sustaining Quality Neighborhoods.
“The engaged scholarship created through this partnership, benefits students by immersing them in real-world problems, which bolster their portfolios and strengthen resumes after graduation as they begin their careers," said Fountaine
“This program is a really great symbol of what Penn State is all about and needs to be even more all about as we move forward,"
-- Provost Nicholas Jones
“This program is a really great symbol of what Penn State is all about and needs to be even more all about as we move forward,” said Jones.
Students, faculty and staff were also on hand to discuss what it was like to be involved in these immersive experiences and to showcase posters that highlighted last semester’s partnership.
“It was awesome to break through the walls of the classroom, use what we learned in a real world setting and apply it to the community we live in,” said junior Matt Body.