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Last modified: Monday, July 9, 2012

IU Bloomington awards fellowships for new courses on sustainability

July 9, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Three faculty members at Indiana University Bloomington have been awarded Sustainability Course Development Fellowships for 2012. The awards are presented by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs.

Recipients of the fellowships are Lisa Sideris, associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies; and Meriem Chida and Jiangmei Wu, lecturers in the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design. Both departments are in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Sustainability Course Development Fellowship program, established in the fall of 2008, supports efforts to enhance instruction of topics related to sustainability and environmental literacy.

"Once again faculty members have developed creative and innovative approaches to engage students in the study of timely, real-world questions about sustainability," said Thomas Gieryn, vice provost for faculty and academic affairs. "The competition for these awards was unusually strong this year, and the recipients are to be commended for their efforts."

Chida's proposal, "Cheaper is not better, zero is: Sustainable product development starts with students," will create a 300- or 400-level course to introduce students to issues related to new product development in the context of issues of sustainability. The class will include a service-learning component in collaboration with the IU Office of Sustainability and its zero-litter campaign, as well as interaction with organizations and businesses in Bloomington and Columbus, Ind.

Sideris' proposal, "Pleasure, pain and peak oil," will bring together scientific, social and ethical issues related to energy policy. The course will be part of the College of Arts and Sciences fall 2012 Themester, which will explore the meaning of good and bad behaviors. It will also be included in the College's Critical Approaches series of courses intended to help first- and second-year students develop an understanding of the fundamental questions asked and methods employed in academic study.

Wu's proposal, "Hands-on LEED for existing buildings on IUB campus," will introduce students to key aspects of designing for the 21st century and beyond. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, provides a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

The fellowship program represents an instructional component of a broad-based initiative developed by the Indiana University Task Force on Campus Sustainability. It supports the development of innovative approaches to teaching about complex, interdisciplinary topics at both undergraduate and graduate levels of instruction, with a focus on service-learning courses and those that involve application of principles of sustainability to the IU Bloomington campus. The first awards were bestowed for the 2008-09 academic year.

For more information, visit the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs website, or view a list of past fellowship winners.