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Catawba College hosting virtual global conference on sustainability

With a theme of “The future is …”, this year’s GCSHE will reflect on shared struggles and...
With a theme of “The future is …”, this year’s GCSHE will reflect on shared struggles and invite participants to recommit themselves to the urgent work of building a future that is sustainable, equitable, and resilient.(WBTV File)
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 8:33 PM EDT
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SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - Catawba College has announced its involvement as a Host Institution and Sponsor for the Association for the Advancement of Higher Education’s (AASHE’s) Global Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education (GCSHE).

This three-day event, happening Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, will deliver live interactive sessions, inspiring keynote presenters, and engaging networking opportunities for innovative professionals and campus change agents.

This year, the conference will be held virtually with the opportunity for an even larger global audience to come together to advance sustainability in higher education.

With a theme of “The future is …”, this year’s GCSHE will reflect on shared struggles and invite participants to recommit themselves to the urgent work of building a future that is sustainable, equitable, and resilient.

“Our host institutions truly champion sustainability advancements in higher education. We are grateful to work with these select colleges and universities that directly contribute to the success of the conference and the sustainability movement as a whole,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser.

Dr. Mercedes Quesada-Embid, Associate Professor of Environmental Policy and Advocacy, initiated discussions surrounding the opportunity to become a host institution. She would like to see Catawba become an even more active member of AASHE because she believes Catawba has much good institutional and academic work to showcase. Quesada-Embid will be presenting a live session entitled, “Advocacy for Justice: Classrooms, Colleagues and Community”. “This interactive session will be an in-depth and perceptive discussion surrounding the intersections of communication, inclusion and commonality across the varied social landscapes of a college.” “The idea,” Quesada-Embid said, “is to create an interwoven blend of

experiences and perspectives fostering strategies for pragmatic, paradigmatic change at educational institutions.”

She will also be co-presenting a podcast style session with Dr. ChaMarra Saner, Associate Professor of Chemistry. This session has to do with their co-chair roles of the Equity, Diversity, Justice and Inclusion (EDJI) Task Force of Catawba. The session is entitled, “An ‘EDJI’ Conversation: Believing in Equity, Diversity, Justice, and Inclusion at Catawba College”. This session highlights the progress made by the task force to-date, and provides insightful commentary on overall strategies and successes. It is hoped the presentation can serve as a helpful resource to other individuals aiming to bring forward similar initiatives at their home institutions.

As a host institution, Catawba is providing access to the three-day conference to all of its faculty, staff, and students. The conference has many varied sessions spanning the sustainability spectrum, from green accounting, to healthful counseling, to an herbicide-free campus, to athletes in service-learning, to effective campus composting, on-site farm-to-fork dining services, and carbon-neutral operations, to name a few. Visit the Environment and Sustainability Department homepage to learn more.

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