U-Idaho Sustainability Center Joins Forces With Office of Community Partnerships

Monday, March 26 2012


MOSCOW, Idaho - This year has been busy for both the University of Idaho Sustainability Center and the Office of Community Partnerships (OCP). Provost and executive vice president Doug Baker approved the merger of the two organizations. Under OCP’s umbrella, the Sustainability Center will maintain its identity, student leadership-orientation and its wide range of student activities.

The Sustainability Center was started by students in 2006 and continues to serve as a test-bed for student leadership and advancing sustainability on campus, and in the broader region. Students gain hands-on learning experience through paid positions, internships, class projects, volunteer and service-learning activities, and mini-grants for student projects.

OCP supports Idaho communities through applied research and student projects focused on local priorities. It aims to advance innovation and sustainability, build leadership, and create vibrant communities.

“Merging OCP with the Sustainability Center expands our mission to specifically address community priorities in the area of sustainable development,” said Priscilla Salant, director of the Office of Community Partnerships. “The Sustainability Center’s expertise helps us develop community-based opportunities for hands-on student learning and applied research, especially in the areas of local food systems, waste management, and bio-energy.”

The merger also expands the scope of activity and resources for the Sustainability Center. OCP’s relationships with communities throughout Idaho are providing new learning opportunities for the Sustainability Center’s many student volunteers and service-learning participants. OCP is also providing additional staff and financial support for Sustainability Center activities, including additional student positions.

“We’re expanding our focus and building from our successful campus-based work to develop new activities involving students in Idaho’s communities,” said Adria Mead, student director of the Sustainability Center. ”This means more opportunities for students both on and off campus, and a bigger, more effective Sustainability Center.”

The merger has created enthusiasm and creativity far beyond expectations. For example, OCP will head up next year’s President’s Sustainability Symposium, focusing the event on sustainable economic development in small and mid-sized communities.  Plans are also underway for expanded student engagement activities, both on campus and throughout the state, helping realize the promise of the new collaboration.

For more information about the university’s sustainability efforts, contact the University of Idaho Sustainability Center at uisc@uidaho.edu or visit www.uidaho.edu/sustainability. For more information about the Office of Community Partnerships contact jeanniem@uidaho.edu or visit www.uidaho.edu/communitypartnerships.

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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.




About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu.