UNCP Professor, Alumni Named as 2022 AASHE Sustainability Award Finalists

UNC Pembroke professor Scott Hicks and Almana Olivia Sadler have been recognized for the 2022 AASHE Sustainability Awards for Excellence in Higher Education Scholarships.

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) announced that “Environmental Attitudes and Knowledge of University Undergraduate Students for Faculty Development for Teaching and Learning Sustainability Objectives” is among the finalists in the Campus Sustainability Research category. .

The AASHE Sustainability Awards provide international recognition for individuals and organizations leading the higher education sustainability movement. Through a volunteer jury, this program promotes high-impact projects, pioneering research and student leadership to disseminate innovation and promote continued progress in environmental, social and economic health.

Hicks, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and professor of English, said: “I am grateful to AASHE for this recognition because it is a testament to UNCP’s students’ understanding of sustainability and how to act on climate change.

It is even more rewarding because of UNCP’s focus on primary research and faculty-student partnerships, and I am grateful to former sustainability directors Jay Blazer and Justin Duncan for funding Olivia as a student assistant for teaching and learning in sustainability.

Finalists were selected based on overall impact, innovation, stakeholder engagement, transparency and other criteria specific to each award category. Winners will be honored at a virtual awards ceremony on December 8.

Sadler, a psychology major and member of the Esther G. Maynor Honors College, will graduate with honors in 2021. Completing this study helped Sadler learn what it means to do research and how to be a researcher.

“The work that Scott and I were able to lead completely changed my undergraduate experience,” said Sadler, now a graduate student in psychology at NC State University. “This study allowed my passion for research to blossom and gave me first-hand research experiences that still influence my work while in graduate school.”

Sadler said the study’s findings show another way we can help our community through education. “The truth of the matter is that helping the environment helps people,” she said. “And one of the most powerful tools we have to provide that help is education.”

The article, published in Sustainability and climate change In the year In February 2022, it reported the results of a survey of 180 undergraduate UNCP students on topics related to the environment and sustainability. As today’s students face the scientific and social challenges of global climate change, it is critical that they graduate with ecological knowledge, environmental ethics, and citizenship skills to meet the challenge.

This study helps researchers develop, implement, and evaluate efforts in higher education to improve environmental knowledge and foster positive attitudes toward the environment.

“The 2022 AASHE Sustainability Award winners demonstrate an inspiring passion for pursuing sustainability on their campuses. They are reshaping what the continuum of higher education looks like,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser.

To learn more about AASHE’s Sustainability Awards programs, please visit aashe.org/get-involved/awards/.

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