Here at SLS we saw a deluge of terrific applications for our Fall Funding Call for course development on the theme of “creating sustainable communities.” We are excited to announce that we gave out 35 awards, totaling $81,800, to faculty and instructors representing all 6 colleges and 13 schools.

We also enthusiastically welcome our first inaugural cohort of Level 1 Affiliates.  These 22 faculty from across all six colleges have been invited to engage in a deeper form of affiliation—through which SLS supports them in, for example, using the teaching toolkit, developing community engaged courses, and piloting new Foundation Courses. Some of this course development will center around SLS key issue areas such as Water and Green Infrastructure and Health, Food, and Communities.  We are so pleased to work with this group of dynamic faculty.  Please read on for the six course spotlights below, featuring Level 1 Affiliate faculty members from all six colleges.  For a full list awardees and their courses, please click here.

SLS will issue more calls for proposals this year, to be announced via our weekly Newsletter. If you’re not yet subscribed, please sign up on our website, here:

Congratulations to our awardees! We are honored to partner with you as we prepare students to develop sophisticated and effective approaches to creating sustainable communities where people and nature thrive, now and in the future. Thanks for your dedication and collaboration.

Spotlighted Faculty and Courses in the Level 1 Affiliation Program

Michael Elliot, College of Design: To be offered in Fall 2018, “the course Sustainable Food Systems will explore food as a system: a set of interconnected, structural characteristics that leads to the social, environmental, and economic system that now dominates food and which can be changed through research, planning, community activism, and conscious choice . . . . [The course] will deal with behaviors global, local and individual, exploring the interrelationship between structures, options, and personal choices.”

Neha Kumar, College of Computing: INTA/ME 4744, Global Development Minor Capstone “This course encourages students to think about how they might study or design technologies with a focus on UN Sustainable Development Goals objectives, paying special attention to the needs of underserved, under-resourced, and under-represented communities across the world.”

John Taylor, College of Engineering: “CEE 8803, Virtually Remaking Cities, involves students from multiple universities to work in task interdependent teams to conduct an energy efficiency retrofit of an urban building.  The Georgia Tech students act as both the global virtual team leaders and the subject matter experts.  They need to meet with the community to understand the building, how it is used, and how . . . a building is not a standalone feature of a city, [but rather] part of an urban fabric and that its interconnectedness to other aspects of the urban environment is critical to understand.”

Todd Michney, Ivan Allen College: "HTS 2803 HP, Semester in the City, invites students to explore how urban neighborhoods work and equally important, to work in and with urban neighborhoods.  The class focuses on nearby Westside communities facing serious sustainability challenges, but which are also developing significant strategies for positive change.  Looking at historic Westside neighborhoods from a variety of perspectives--historical, social, political, economic, and environmental, among others--we endeavor to understand these communities on their own terms, but also study them within the larger context of the City of Atlanta and its metropolitan region.” 

Hui Zhu, College of Sciences: “The course CHEM 2380, Synthesis I is designed to familiarize students with basic organic laboratory techniques and prepare them for their future career. In Spring 2018, the concept of sustainability will be introduced [through a new experiment in the course, aimed at emphasizing] the importance of sustainability in current chemical industry by the hands-on experience provided by the laboratory.”

Tiffany Johnson, Scheller College of Business: “In MGT 3101, Organizational Behavior, students hear from guest speakers from local community organizations and businesses about how they apply key OB concepts in non-profits, social enterprises, and/or diverse workplaces. Students also undertake group consultation projects with local social organizations that focus on sustainability and community.”