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Sustainable Communities Collaborative

Who we are

Contact:

Ilona Ballreich
ixb20@psu.edu
(814) 599-6000

The Sustainable Communities Collaborative (SCC) connects University Park faculty, students, and staff with local communities to address sustainability challenges through an engaged, collaborative effort. Innovative University/community-based collaborations are developed to engage PSU faculty and students in existing courses from across the University with real world, community-identified projects to meet the partnering community’s sustainability priorities. Each project is a facilitated effort, involving interdisciplinary faculty expertise and students, co-led by a key community leader and the University’s SCC staff, to help develop and support thriving, healthy communities and advance student learning about the scholarship of sustainability. 

What we do

Through the SCC, Penn State faculty members partner with selected communities in Pennsylvania, including representatives from local governments, campuses, businesses, and other organizations. Once the partnering community leaders have identified a set of projects that contribute to advancing their sustainability goals, they are then matched with existing PSU courses that include an experiential learning element. Meetings are held to establish the details of the projects, taking into account the needs and interests of both the community and faculty partners. Projects are typically addressed in the time frame of one semester, although some projects may span two semesters and may involve more than one course, particularly if the project is multi-dimensional and would benefit from an interdisciplinary problem-solving approach. Written project reports are provided to community stakeholders at the conclusion of each project.

Project and program impacts will be evaluated through post-project faculty, student, and community partner assessments. Impact assessment metrics may include, but are not limited to, measuring the effects immersive and experiential learning has on students, the collective capability of a University-community partnership to advance and influence positive sustainable change, and how a sustainability project-based course may affect the way faculty teach.

Watch a video on the Sustainable Communities Collaborative below.  

Contact:

Ilona Ballreich
ixb20@psu.edu, (814) 599-6000

 

Current Community Partners

Bellefonte Area School District

The Bellefonte Area School District is a midsized, rural, public school district which covers approximately 115 square miles and includes the Borough of Bellefonte and Benner TownshipMarion TownshipSpring Township and Walker Township in Centre County, Pennsylvania. The district currently serves 2,695 students and employs 425 administrative, professional, and support staff members.

Centre Moves

Centre Moves is a community action group with the vision of all Centre County residents choosing healthy habits to live better lives. CentreMoves.org is the inclusive hub of education, communications, resources and passion for physical activity, nutrition and reducing the stigma associated with managing diabetes and obesity.

Halfmoon Township

Halfmoon Township is a township in Centre County, Pennsylvania, home to under 3,000 residents. The rural atmosphere, with its low population density and proximity to the cultural attractions of Penn State, has become appealing to people who have historically dwelled in or near a city; consequently, over the past twenty years, the population has increased dramatically, while the farming population has decreased.

Bellefonte Borough

Bellefonte Borough is the seat of Centre County, Pennsylvania. Established in 1795, it has a rich history and has preserved its historic character. It gets its name from the natural “Big Spring” (la belle fonte -beautiful fountain), the source of 11 million gallons of water per day. Bellefonte is only twelve miles from Penn State, and it strives to maintain the small town feel will growing with the region.

Walker Township

Walker Township in Huntingdon County is home to almost 2,000 residents with some suburban development due to the proximity to Huntingdon, the county seat, and still abundant agriculture and forest cover.

ClearWater Conservancy

The mission of ClearWater Conservancy is to conserve and restore the natural resources of central Pennsylvania through land conservation, water resources stewardship and environmental outreach in the community. ClearWater is an initiative-based, proactive organization who conserves land through easement or outright purchase, protects water through monitoring and stream restoration, and educates the community about conservation by directly engaging with people and making them part of the conservancy’s efforts.

The Student Farm at Penn State

The Student Farm at Penn State was established in spring 2016 on one acre as an integral part of the Sustainable Food Systems Program at Penn State. It is a living laboratory and a community gathering place for students and volunteers with diverse backgrounds. The farm demonstrates how food is grown and provide hands-on engagement opportunities for students and volunteers to gain skills and knowledge about food production, harvesting, and marketing.

YMCA

The YMCA of Centre County is a charitable, nonprofit organization that provides opportunities to all individuals and families in the community by putting high moral values and principles into practice through facilities, programs, services and activities that build healthy spirit, mind, and body. The State College YMCA offers camps, family time, swim, sports, and play, and other activities for people of all ages, incomes and abilities.

Penn State Human Resources

Penn State Human Resources strives to deliver HR solutions that attract, retain, and engage a diverse workforce, contributing to the University’s mission as a world leader in higher education.

Huntingdon Borough

Huntingdon Borough is located in central Pennsylvania, and is the county seat to the namesake county. It is home to almost 7,000 residents. It has preserved its small town character despite being home to Juniata College and a budding outdoor recreation industry. Huntingdon Borough is the largest community in a county that is predominately rural with agricultural as its largest industry.

Huntingdon County Business and Industry

Huntingdon County Business and Industry, Incorporated is organized for the purpose of advancing the commercial, industrial, recreational, educational, agricultural and civic interests of the County of Huntingdon. The Huntingdon County Commissioners have identified HCBI as the leading economic development agency for the county.

Penn State Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center

Shaver’s Creek was founded in 1976 as a resource for the community, and as a field laboratory for Penn State students to get hands-on experience teaching about the natural world. The programs at our Environmental Center, Outdoor School, Raptor Center, and Team Development Center provide a mix of educational and recreational opportunities for families, schools, corporate groups, and Penn State students.

State College Area School District

State College Area School District is a large, suburban/rural public school district based in State College, Pennsylvania with public schools in the Borough of State College, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding townships of CollegeFergusonHalfmoonHarris, and Patton. State College Area School District encompasses approximately 150 square miles, and includes nine elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. 

Arts Altoona*

Arts Altoona is a newly formed non-profit organization in Altoona, Pennsylvania with the vision of creating a cultural hub in downtown Altoona. In partnership with local government and organizations, Arts Altoona is seeking to redevelop the Kress Building and adjacent neighborhood with focus on the arts. These art based community development endeavors also provide significant educational opportunities for community engagement and art-based learning.

Blair County Planning Commission*

The Blair County Planning Commission (BCPC) consists of nine appointed members who serve as an independent council to local governments including the County of Blair, City of Altoona, nine boroughs and fifteen townships. The BCPC meets monthly to receive and act upon reports, review applications for federal and state assistance, proposed amendments to zoning ordinances and maps, proposed subdivisions and land developments, planning modules for sewage facilities and other proposed actions. The BCPC currently employs five full-time staff who perform the activities specified in grant agreements for transportation planning, stormwater management planning and community development.

*Identifies projects conducted in partnership with a PSU commonwealth campus


Contact:

Ilona Ballreich
ixb20@psu.edu, (814) 599-6000

Past Community Partners

Boalsburg Farmers’ Market

The Boalsburg Farmers’ Market is a year-round, “producers only” market. This means that the products sold at the market are locally grown and never produced by third parties. Roughly 20 purveyors participate with goods ranging from cut flowers and homemade soaps to vegetables and salmon. The Boalsburg Farmers’ Market takes place on Tuesdays from 2-6 p.m. at The Pennsylvania Military Museum in the summer season and at St. John’s United Church of Christ in the winter season.

Borough of Bellefonte

The Borough of Bellefonte is committed to working collaboratively to maintain a safe and secure family friendly community; to providing the public with premium, prompt, courteous service in a cost effective manner; and to managing community development to protect natural and cultural resources.

Centre County Conservation District

The Centre County Conservation District administers the soil and water conservation programs as a part of the county government. They are responsible for education, enforcement, and assistance with program participants. The CCCD is a collaborative effort with a seven-member board of public, farm, and commissioner directors.

Centre Region Council of Governments

The Centre Region Council of Governments is a voluntary association that represents the State College Borough and College, Ferguson, Halfmoon, Harris, and Patton Townships. Centre Region COG is comprised of seven committees that include a member from each of the locales. The committees include: Executive, Finance, Human Resources, Parks Capital, Public Safety, Public Services & Environmental and Transportation & Land Use. Together, the committees and locales develop fiscally responsible and high quality programs for their 93,000 constituents.

Ferguson Township

Ferguson Township is located right outside State College and is home to roughly 18,000 residents. The township is characterized by its open spaces and farmlands, many of which have been put into conservation easements and will be preserved into the future. Ferguson Township has also been declared a Certified Gold Community by Sustainable Pennsylvania.

Foxdale Village

Foxdale Village was founded in 1985 as a not-for-profit, Quaker directed community. Foxdale occupies a 21-acre campus that gives its 262 residential living residents a beautiful and comfortable place to call home for continued care in retirement. The Sustainable Communities Collaborative worked closely with the resident-led “Green Committee.” Members work with both the apartment and cottage living communities to enhance existing environmental efforts and hold discussions around sustainability.

Friends and Farmers

Friends and Farmers is a member-owned business seeking to create a full-time grocery store devoted to sourcing food and products locally. They currently have 455 member-owners and operate an online market. Friends and Farmers mission includes supporting the local economy, providing healthy foods, and bringing the community together. 

Half Moon Township

Halfmoon Township is a rural area that was incorporated in 1847 and has long been a major source of agricultural products. This rural atmosphere, with a low population density of 2,357 residents as of 2000 and proximity to the cultural attractions of Penn State University, has become appealing to people who have historically dwelled in or near a city.

Minitab

Minitab Statistical Software was created in 1972 by three Penn State professors to help students more easily understand statistics concepts. Today, 90 percent of Fortune 100 companies use Minitab Statistical Software. There are also many more data analysis tools available through Minitab that assist clients to “discover valuable insights in their data.” 

The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle

The Nature Inn is located within Bald Eagle State Park, giving visitors a chance for outdoor adventures and activities. The Inn is Gold LEED certified for its amazing efforts to green their amenities and operations through habitat restoration, rainwater harvesting, in-room energy monitors, Green Seal Certified cleaning products, and much more. 

New Leaf Initiative

New Leaf Initiative is a co-working space that brings together community members, students, government, and business to “work better, together.” The co-working space provides a location for these groups to increase their collaboration and efficiency. New Leaf also provides and directs innovators to resources that can take their ideas to the next level. 

Penn State’s Office of the Physical Plant

Penn State’s Office of the Physical Plant provides the services necessary to keep the university running. These services include ones related to stormwater, energy, building design, waste management, and landscaping. The Office of the Physical Plant is committed to sustainability through the möbius recycling program, energy savings program, energy conservation measures, LEED standards, electric fleet vehicles and more.

Penn State’s Performing Arts Council

Penn State’s Performing Arts Council is a student organization housed under Penn State’s Student Affairs that began in late 2014. The council is a collaboration of performing arts groups that works to achieve the goals of the organizations and of performing arts generally. The group has played a part in the THAW music festival, Arts Fest, and artsUP. 

Spring Creek Watershed Association

The Spring Creek Watershed Association plays a major part in ensuring and measuring the quality of the Spring Creek watershed. With this mission, the group promotes sound environmental and economic practices and educates citizens about watershed impacts and protection. 

State College Area School District

State College Area School District is a large, suburban public school district based in State College that serves students in this borough and surrounding townships. Their mission is to prepare students for lifelong success through excellence in education.

State College Borough

The State College Borough has been an SCC partner since the beginning in 2013. The borough is home to more than 42,000 residents, 75 percent of whom are Penn State students. The borough strives to create a community that entices visitors with their many historic, social, and retail attractions - but also a diverse community that can be home to students, young professionals, internationals, and retirees alike. Having committed to a Climate Protection Community in 2007, the Borough has also taken many steps to make State College an environmentally friendly community, such as purchasing green energy, installing rain gardens, recycling food waste, and restoring wetlands. Many areas of State College are also bike- and pedestrian-friendly, with an ever-increasing number of bikeways. As put by the Mayor of State College, “We are committed to a green lifestyle, reducing our energy footprint, and sharing what we have learned with our residents so that the entire State College community can work together to further our broad environmental commitment.”

Walker Township

Walker Township is a township in Centre County and It is part of the State College, Metropolitan Statistical Area. It has some of the largest and best iron ore banks in Centre County. Walker Township also had the first FHA financed water system in the United States. Settled in 1792, the population as of the 2010 Census is 4,433.


Contact:

Ilona Ballreich
ixb20@psu.edu, (814) 599-6000

 

Past SCC Projects

The 2016-17 SCC Annual Report below highlight projects completed in the previous academic year. Find out more about Penn State's Sustainability Institute, SCC, community partners and project outcomes.

Previous Reports

 

Fall & Spring 2018 Projects

PSU Office of Ethics & Compliance

The PSU Office of Ethics and Compliance seeks HR 460 assistance in developing policy and providing research to address full support from all University partners in its mission to promote an ethical culture and compliance consistent with the institutional mission of Penn State. Individual student groups will address onboarding practices and recommendations for Youth Program Directors; ethics and compliance among student organizations and in athletics; modifications to existing ethics and compliance training for the PSU community; and ethics and compliance management structure.
Course: LER 460: Human Resources Ethics
Faculty: Tom Hogan
Partner: Penn State Office of Ethics and Compliance

Volunteer Guidelines

ClearWater Conservancy is the foremost land trust and conservation agency in central Pennsylvania. In addition to regular staff, the Conservancy relies on volunteers to serve on their Board of Directors and in hands-on capacity, such as helping with events and activities. Students are asked to research volunteer guidelines issued by similar organizations, and to prepare a set of guidelines suited to the mission and level of volunteer engagement at ClearWater Conservancy.
Course: LER 460: Human Resources Ethics
Faculty: Tom Hogan
Partner: ClearWater Conservancy

Local Government HR Policy Addressing Nepotism

Small, rural communities often struggle with a small pool of prospective employees, leading to often unintentional favoritism. Borough management is seeking recommendations on how to best address current limitations through policy. Students are asked to provide sample policies and actions to be considered in creating a more egalitarian work environment.
Course: LER 460: Human Resources Ethics
Faculty: Tom Hogan
Partner: Huntingdon Borough

Artist Center, Architectural Design

The non-profit group Arts Altoona received a former five and dime building to be converted into a center for the arts in down town Altoona. A rust-belt city, Altoona hopes for a renaissance through development of a cultural district which is anchored by the Arts Altoona building. Architecture students are tasked with creating a vision and design for the building to inspire the rebirth of the downtown and the inspiration for significant fundraising effort.
Course: ARCH 432: Architectural Design IV
Faculty: Tom Hogan
Partner: Arts Altoona

Solar Design Applications

Two municipal and two state park partners sought recommendations from students in EGEE 437 for solar applications on their building and within the parks. In addition to energy savings, community partners hoped to be able to showcase and become leaders in renewable energy applications. Students were to analyze the sites and prepare designs suitable for sites with associated measurements for energy production and installation costs.
Course: EGEE 437: Design of Solar Energy Conversion Systems
Faculty: Jeffrey Brownson
Partner: State College; Bellefonte; Greenwood Furnace State Park; Canoe Creek State Park

Spring Creek Watershed Water Forum

This project will inform the community of stakeholders of water resources in the region as to potential divergent positions and issues, as well as opinions and attitudes towards an integrated regional water management approach. Student research and role play will identify stakeholders’ values and perceptions with the goal of framing procedures towards future resolution while acknowledging individual stakeholders’ viewpoints.
Course: EXPR 972: Mediation of Environmental and Public Conflict
Faculty: Lara Fowler
Partner: Spring Creek watershed Commission; SCWS Association

Centre Region Curbside Compost Program

The Centre Region COG is expanding its curbside recycling program to include organics recycling and is seeking assistance in developing consistent messaging to educate its residents. The campaign should encourage residents to use the service and educate them on the basics of the program and where to find additional detailed information. Student work should include evaluation and recommendations for messaging for website, on paper or promotional items, and other means of communications.
Course: BA 442: Sustainability Behavior of Consumers, Firms, and Societies
Faculty: Karen Winterich
Partner: Centre Region Council of Governments

Starbucks Reusable Cup at Penn State

Penn State is seeking a plan that includes appropriate, ongoing messaging and tactics with the goal to affect behavior change among students to regularly reuse the cup and to be aware of and encourage sustainable behaviors that reduce overall waste. The plan should also include associated events for cup distribution that student interns can facilitate. This partnership aims to be an ongoing relationship that continues to drive down overall waste from single use beverage containers.
Course: BA 442: Sustainability Behavior of Consumers, Firms, and Societies
Faculty: Karen Winterich
Partner: Penn State SI

Wind Energy Team Marketing

Penn State’s Wind Energy Teams compete in the national Wind Competitions annually. As part of their competing proposals, teams also have to submit a marketing plan for their solutions. Students in BA 442 assist in devising a marketing campaign for PSU teams.
Course: BA 442: Sustainability Behavior of Consumers, Firms, and Societies
Faculty: Karen Winterich
Partner: Penn State Wind Energy Team

Multi-Residential Recycling and Energy Conservation

State College Borough is home to about 30 fraternity houses off campus. In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, the borough would like to increase recycling and energy conservation behaviors among multi-residential housing occupants and in particular in fraternities in the borough. Students in BA 442 are to determine effective messaging based on research and in person interviews withstakeholders.
Course: BA 442: Sustainability Behavior of Consumers, Firms, and Societies
Faculty: Karen Winterich
Partner: State College Borough; PSU Interfraternity Council

YMCA Sensory Garden Design

The State College YMCA is seeking design assistance for entrance gardens; one is to serve as a memorial garden with opportunity for reflection, and the other to serve as a sensory garden for multi-generational audiences. Students in the senior design class are also tasked to design gardens with the possibility for staggered implementation.
Course: HORT Senior Design Studio
Faculty: Martin McGann
Partner: State College YMCA

Traffic and Pedestrian Safety in State College

COMM 473 students in previous semesters studied the safety issues along Atherton Street in State College, in particular focusing their research and work on pedestrian and bicycle safety. In fall 2016, students developed a Public Relations Campaign “Drive with Care/Walk Aware” with the goal to raise awareness amongst pedestrians and drivers of safety practices in and around crosswalks. Spring 2017 had a team of students implementing components of the project. This semester’s project consists of developing an enduring, feasible and impactful project that the client can replicate year after year.
Course: COMM 473
Faculty: Tara Wyckoff
Partner: State College Borough

Stand for State Messaging Strategies

COMM 473 students in previous semesters studied the safety issues along Atherton Street in State College, in particular focusing their research and work on pedestrian and bicycle safety. In fall 2016, students developed a Public Relations Campaign “Drive with Care/Walk Aware” with the goal to raise awareness amongst pedestrians and drivers of safety practices in and around crosswalks. Spring 2017 had a team of students implementing components of the project. This semester’s project consists of developing an enduring, feasible and impactful project that the client can replicate year after year.
Course: COMM 473
Faculty: Tara Wyckoff
Partner: State College Borough

Stand for State Messaging Strategies

COMM 473 students in previous semesters studied the safety issues along Atherton Street in State College, in particular focusing their research and work on pedestrian and bicycle safety. In fall 2016, students developed a Public Relations Campaign “Drive with Care/Walk Aware” with the goal to raise awareness amongst pedestrians and drivers of safety practices in and around crosswalks. Spring 2017 had a team of students implementing components of the project. This semester’s project consists of developing an enduring, feasible and impactful project that the client can replicate year after year.
Course: COMM 473
Faculty: Tara Wyckoff
Partner: State College Borough

ALEXA Technology Application: State College

The borough of State College would like to implement Alexa technology as a communication and information option for its residents. In this first approach of implementation, students in IST 440 will explore options for dissemination of information on parking availability in the borough.
Course: IST 440, Information Sciences and Technology Integration and Problem Solving
Faculty: Mike Hills
Partner: State College Borough

 

Fall & Spring 2018 Projects

Stormwater Runoff Analysis: Huntingdon

Students determine why the current stormwater management practices in Huntingdon Borough are not handling the current rainfall, and to offer a practical, long term, innovative stormwater management plan.
Course: BE 460/466
Faculty: Megan Marshall
Partner: Huntingdon Borough

Compost Feasibility and Site Design

Huntingdon Borough seeks a more effective and economical solution to its leaves and yard waste collection and biosolids produced by its waste water treatment plant. One idea is to combine these waste streams and install a composting facility on borough grounds to produce a marketable compost product. Students are to develop a compost recipe based on local conditions and availability and design a site for such an operation.
Course: BE 460/466
Faculty: Megan Marshall
Partner: Huntingdon Borough

Oil Seed Processing

The Eco Farm uses a significant amount of cooking oil in its operation and would like to develop a 5 acre parcel for sunflower oil crops which would provide the feedstock to an oil pressing operation. Students are to determine the most viable oilseed crop for the farm, to develop a processing method for the seeds, to produce enough cooking oil for the farm for a year, and to utilize wastes from the pressing process in a viable way on the farm.
Course: BE 460/466
Faculty: Megan Marshall, Jeffrey Catchmark
Partner: ECO Farm

Biodigester for a Small Farm Operation

The Eco Farm is interested in expanding biodigester inputs to include vegetable and food waste in its current and expanded plans for three biodigesters.  Students are to design the system and model input and output efficiencies.
Course: BE 460/466
Faculty: Megan Marshall, Jeffrey Catchmark
Partner: ECO Farm

Big Spring Water Bottling Feasibility: Bellefonte

Big Spring in the Borough of Bellefonte produces 15 million gallons of water per day. There is a 1 million gallon per day surplus of water which the Borough of Bellefonte would like to bottle to sell to the surrounding area. Students are to design and determine feasibility of such an enterprise.
Course: BE 460/466
Faculty: Megan Marshall, Jeffrey Catchmark
Partner: Bellefonte Borough

 

Fall 2017 Projects

Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventories: State College

The borough of State College conducted two greenhouse gas inventories which focused on transportation. These studies used different data sets, in part due the construction of a bypass, and therefore the impact of GHG reducing measures was inconclusive. In order to create good baseline information, the borough engaged a capstone student in EMS to reconcile previous studies with analysis of findings and recommendations for future action.

Course: EME 466: Energy and Sustainability Policy; Capstone Student Kelli Vollkomer
Faculty Coach: Brandi Robinson
Partner: State College Borough

Sustainable Behavior Messaging: State College

The borough of State College seeks to reduce its GHG emissions by 10% of 2007 levels by 2021, and would like to receive guidance on messaging that will change residents’ behavior, promoting overall energy conservation. The borough will utilize student findings in its print and social media.
Course: PSYCH 419
Faculty: Janet Swim
Partner: State College Borough

Spring Creek Watershed Atlas PR Campaign

The Spring Creek Watershed Association is working on improving its website with additional and interactive features through the Spring Creek Watershed Atlas Project. The community partner is looking to a communications class for guidance on  a PR campaign which would roll out and  inform the public about its new and improved online presence.
Course: COMM 471, Public Relations Media and Methods
Faculty: Tara Wyckoff
Partner: Spring Creek Watershed Association

Spring Creek Watershed Atlas Story Map

The Spring Creek Watershed Association is working on improving its website with additional and interactive features through the Spring Creek Watershed Atlas Project. The primary goal is to inform the public about the importance of the watershed and increased environmental pressures due to regional growth and development. Students in CED 309 will research locally applicable land-use patterns and trends and their impact, and will share findings in an online story map application.
Course: CED 309: Land Use Dynamics
Faculty: Kate Zipp
Partner: Spring Creek Watershed Association

Compost Marketing Plan: Centre Region Council of Governments

The Centre Region Council of Governments is launching a curb-site compost pick-up program in 2020, and plans to launch a public information and education campaign in the year prior. CRCoG seeks students to develop consistent messaging about the new program.
Course: COMM 473, Public Relations Campaigns
Faculty: Tara Wyckoff
Partner: Centre Region Council of Governments

Study Away Pittsburgh Marketing Campaign

Study Away Pittsburgh is a semester-long program offered by PSU intended to provide students an immersive experience in an urban setting while exposing students to collaborative sustainability related  projects and community organizations and local governments.
Course: COMM 471, Public Relations Media and Methods
Faculty: Tara Wyckoff
Partner: Sustainability Institute

Hazard Mitigation and Risk Assessment: State College

Students in IST 440 have worked with State College Borough on analyzing current and new threats to the borough and making recommendations to the recovery plan.  In previous semesters students identified risks as well as a format for assessment and mitigation of identified risks, including natural gas leaks, plane crash, major accidents, earthquake, prisoner escape, water main break and extended power outage.
Course: IST 440, Information Sciences and Technology Integration and Problem Solving
Faculty: Mike Hills
Partner: State College Borough

Real Time Hydrologic Monitoring

Students in ASM/ERM 309 deploy real-time hydrological equipment at 2 study sites in Centre County. The equipment includes a datalogger and 12 V batter, a solar panel and several sensors that will run from the datalogger in the enclosure box and into the stream. The sensors include a dissolved oxygen probe, a water level sensor, and a rain gauge. Collected data will be made available to the PaSEC website.
Course: ASM/ERM 309
Faculty: Heather Gall
Partner: Centre County Conservation District

Penn State Human Resources Customer Service Protocols

Students will help Penn State HR develop new customer service protocols which will improve the way in which they interact with the Penn State community. They will do this by benchmarking, defining, and recommending protocols from other universities and businesses.
Course: LER 460: Human Resource Ethics
Faculty: Tom Hogan
Partner: Penn State Human Resources

Restorative Health Benefits of Spending Time in Nature

The project focuses on raising awareness of the many restorative health benefits of spending time outside in campus green spaces and to utilize findings for advocacy for appreciation and conservation of outdoor green spaces.
Course: LER 460
Faculty: Tom Hogan
Partner: Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center

 

Retention of Young Professionals in Rural Communities

Rural, remote communities are experiencing significant outmigration and difficulties in hiring or retaining professionals. Students in LER 460 examine conditions in Huntingdon which may contribute and/or prevent these trends.
Course: LER 460
Faculty: Tom Hogan
Partner: Huntingdon County Business and Industry

PSU Undergraduate Internship Program

The PSU Office of Human Resources requested for LER 460 students to develop and design an outline for an exciting and educationally-focused program that provides the interns with a meaningful and well-balanced experience.

Course: LER 460
Faculty: Tom Hogan
Partner: Penn State Human Resources

 

Spring 2017 Projects

Bellefonte School Gardens Design

Bellefonte School District has established a two-acre site school gardens, community gardens, an orchard to foster teaching of sustainable agricultural and environmental resources. Students will give recommendations on how to manage the existing space and resources as well as best practices and design for a sustainable landscape.
Course: Plant 461: Emerging Issues in Plant Sciences
Faculty: Rob Berghage
Partner: Bellefonte Area School District

Family Community Gardens Study

Centre Moves wants to explore the possibility of creating community gardens where people live in multifamily residential complexes within the Centre Region. Students will research best practices, meet with area property owners, examine the sites, survey residents, estimate the cost for installing community gardens, and develop guidelines that the property owners could use to manage the gardens.
Course: Plant 461: Emerging Issues in Plant Sciences
Faculty: Rob Berghage
Partner: Bellefonte Area School District

Disaster Recovery & Resiliency Planning Pt. 2

IST students will continue working on a disaster resiliency plan for the State College Borough begun by students in the fall. Students will create a matrix of identified risks based on their probability and severity and then assess the preparedness of the community to respond.
Course: IST 440
Faculty: Mike Hills, Allison Murphy
Partner: State College Borough

Historic Farmhouse Retrofit

Architecture students will design a project that celebrates and tells the story of a Bellefonte farmhouse. The project will be a retrofit of the farmhouse that follows standards set by the Living Building Challenge. The requirements for this certification include net positive water and energy, incorporation of exterior views and natural lighting and ventilation, and full ADA accessibility.
Course: ARCH 442: Architectural Design Analysis
Faculty: Lisa Iulo
Partner: Bellefonte School District

Muncy Borough Retrofit Design

Students will explore resiliency design solutions for a site in Muncy Borough. This will include the partical renovation, retrofit, and adaptive reuse of two historic structures, and opera house, and a theatre.
Course: ARCH 442: Architectural Design Analysis
Faculty: Denson Groenendaal
Partner: Muncy Borough

Solar Energy for Historic Site Retrofit

As part of a major retrofit of his prominent historic registy property, owner Denson Groenendaal would like to harness solar energy from the buildings located on the site. Students will conduct a feasibility study for the installation of solar energy systems at the site, including recommendations for equipment to be used, site modifications (e.g., removal of trees); calculated gains from solar energy, and cost-benefit analysis.
Course: EGEE 437: Design of Solar Energy Conversion Systems
Faculty: Jeffrey Brownson
Partner: Denson Groenendaal

Solar Panel Feasibility Study for the Student Farm

Currently, the Student Farm at Penn State has five sheds located on the one-acre lot. There is no access to electricy on the site. The farm seeks to examine feasibility for installing solar panels on the shed roofs to generate enough energy to power a computer, and rechargeable tools.
Course: EGEE 437: Design of Solar Energy Conversion Systems
Faculty: Jeffrey Brownson
Partner: Student Farm at Penn State

Solar Power in Ferguson Township

Ferguson Township has been recognized as a Certified Gold Community by Sustainable Pennsylvania, and has identified several sites for solar generations installations. Students will provide an assessment of each site, including a cost-benefit analysis, pay-out, and projected performance.
Course: EGEE 437: Design of Solar Energy Conversion Systems
Faculty: Jeffrey Brownson
Partner: Ferguson Township

Human Health Assessment for Centred Outdoors Summer Challenge

Centred Outdoors is an 11-week program designed to get individuals and families to spend time outdoors in Centre County at 9 different sites. Students in RPTM 433W will assess the designated routes at each of the 9 sites for their health benefits in terms of steps walked, distance, calories burned, difficulty rating, accessibility, etc. Students will determine the content needed and propose the design for a video that will play on a continuous loop in the center.
Course: RPTM 433W: Program Evaluation and Research in Recreation Services
Faculty: Birgitta Baker
Partner: Clearwater Conservancy, Centred Outdoors (SCC)

Survey Design for Centred Outdoors Summer Challenge

HDNRE 590 students will contribute to the Centred Outdoors summer family challenge by working with RPTM students who are engaged in providing data for human health benefits at the nine sites, and to develop pre- and post-surveys for challenge participants. The survey should provide baseline data for future initiatives/measures as well as data reflecting the immediate success of the summer challenge.
Course: HDNRE 590: Human Dimensions in Natural Resources and the Environment Colloquium
Faculty: Al Graefe
Partner: Clearwater Conservancy, Centred Outdoors (SCC)

Graphic Design for Centred Outdoors Summer Challenge

Students will be tasked with creating a visual identity for a family outdoor challenge coming in the summer of 2017. The visual identity will include logos, fonts, colors, textures, photography, etc.
Course: GD 301: Experience Design Process + Methods
Faculty: Ryan Russell
Partner: Clearwater Conservancy, Centred Outdoors (SCC)

Public Relations Campaign for Centred Outdoors Summer Challenge

COMM 473 students will develop a PR campaign for Centred Outdoors. They will develop a media plan, media objectives, aproduction timetable, and budget. They will use traditional and online media channels and consider different audiences to reach in Centre County.
Course: COMM 473: Public Relations Campaigns
Faculty: Tara Wyckoff
Partner: Clearwater Conservancy, Centred Outdoors (SCC)

State College Borough Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Campaign 

COMM 471 students will continue building off past work by communications students by implementing a public relations campaign that was designed in Fall 2016 to raise awareness amongst pedestrians and drivers on safety practices around crosswalks.
Course: COMM 471: Public Relations Media and Methods
Faculty: Tara Wyckoff
Community Partner: State College Borough

State College Equal Opportunity Plan

Students will work to update State College's Equal Opportunity Plan, which was last updated in 2007. Students will incorporate several recent reports as well as current population and labor statistics into the updated plan which is required for state and federal funding. Students will determine the content needed and propose the design for a video that will play on a continuous loop in the center.
Course:LER 460: Human Resource Ethics
Faculty: Tom Hogan
Partner: State College Borough

Penn State Employee Welcome Video

Students will determine the content needed and design for a video that will play in a continuous loop to help create a welcoming environment at Penn State's newly designed employee onboarding center. Students will determine the content needed and propose the design for a video that will play on a continuous loop in the center.
Course: LER 460: Human Resource Ethics
Faculty: Tom Hogan
Partner: Penn State Human Resources

Penn State Human Resources Customer Service Protocols

Students will help Penn State HR develop new customer service protocols which will improve the way in which they interact with the Penn State community. They will do this by benchmarking, defining, and recommending protocols from other universities and businesses.
Course: LER 460: Human Resource Ethics
Faculty: Tom Hogan
Partner: Penn State Human Resources

Corl Street Elementary School Renovation

Students will participate in the community input process for the site design of the Corl Street School which will be renovated as a LEED Gold certified building. Students will help contribute to the design by helping to fulfill  and Innovation credit requirement for the certification through making the site into a teaching tool.
Course: EDTHP 297: Sustainability in American Education
Faculty: Peter Buckland
Partner: State College Area School District

Food Insecurity in Centre County

Students will assess the effectivenness of the Centre County YMCA's backpack program which distributes food to food insecure children in Centre County on weekends. Students will analyze key questions about the initiative, such as does it unintentionally lead to obesity? Does it encourage healthy eating choices? Does it leave children undernourished? Etc. 
Course: NUTR 456: Community Nutrition
Faculty: Alison Gernand
Partner: Mount Nittany Health, Centre Moves, Centre County YMCA

Sharing the SCC Story: Spring 2017

Capturing the story of the SCC and its affiliated projects and collaborators through photographic narratives.
Faculty: Steve Rubin
Course: PHOTO 402: Photographic Narratives
Community Partner: SCC

 

Fall 2016 Projects

Awareness Campaign for the Health Benefits of Green Spaces

Students will research the restorative health benefits of spending time outside in campus green spaces and design appropriate messages for a semester campaign to share their findings with the university community. 
Course: LER 460: Human Resource Ethics
Faculty: Tom Hogan
Partner: Shaver's Creek Environmental Center

Student Engagement in the Arts

Students will develop and deploy an assessment tool to determine the profile of a student who is or could be highly engaged with the arts. The desired outcome is to identify students who are primed to be engaged with CPA.
Course: LER 460: Human Resource Ethics
Faculty: Tom Hogan
Partner: Center for the Performing Arts

State College Borough Employee Engagement & Diversity

LER 460 students will create a framwork for the State College Borough to develop and maintain a program where the HR staff can recruit a broader diversity in their civilian and police workforce. 
Course: LER 460: Human Resource Ethics
Faculty: Tom Hogan
Partner: State College Borough

State College Borough Pedestrian and Vehicular Safety Awareness

COMM 473 students will continue working on a campaign to raise awareness and provide information to motorists and pedestrians of State College. The campaign will promote safety throughout the borough and enhance the borough’s reputation as a pedestrian-friendly and bike-friendly community. Course: COMM 473: Public Relations Campaigns
Faculty: Tara Wyckoff
Community Partner: State College Police Department

Municipal Park Programming & Resident Engagement

A team of CED 475 students will conduct a community needs assessment  for Halfmoon Township, focused on identifying residents’ interests in recreational  programming at their Autumn Meadow Park. The township will use the project findings as the basis for preparing a township recreational plan, and potentially for grants. Course: CED 475: Integrated Capstone Experience
Faculty: Tim Kelsey
Community Partner: Half Moon Township

Stormwater Design of Walker Township

The task of the BE 460 students is to document and quantify stormwater challenges at the Cree Manor housing development in Walker Township and to assess and design possible solutions such as: re-design the stormwater outlet structure for the development, investigate whether water could be diverted, and consider whether best management practices (e.g., rain garden, rain barrel) implemented by homeowners would be effective.
Course: BE 460: Design of Stormwater and Erosion Control Facilities
Faculty: Heather Gall and Megan Marshall
Partner: Walker Township

Site Design of Musser Lane Recycling Facility

Two teams of BE 460 students will work on projects for the Bellefonte Borough Composting Facility. One team will design a composting process that will result in a sellable product that can be purchased by residents. The second team will design the site layout of the composting facility by considering several factors and adhering to regulation required for permitting. Course: BE 460: Design of Stormwater and Erosion Control Facilities
Faculty: Megan Marshall
Partner: Bellefonte Borough

Stormwater Design of Park Hills Drainage Way

Two teams will continue the previous project to mitigate stormwater issues in Park Hills. Students will propose solutions to erosion and flooding problems that are both cost effective and meet the needs of the community.  Course: BE 460: Design of Stormwater and Erosion Control Facilities
Faculty:  Megan Marshall
Partner: Ferguson Township

Water Quality Monitoring of Halfmoon Creek and Buffalo Run

Students in ASM/ERM 309 will install water monitoring equipment at Halfmoon Creek and Buffalo Run to measure dissolved oxygen, water level, and rainfall. They will create technical maps of land uses in the watershed and create a comprehensive report of the water quality and land use findings. Course: ASM/ERM 309: Measuring and Monitoring of Hydrologic Systems
Faculty: Heather Gall
Community Partner: Ann Donovan, Centre County Conservation Corps

Disaster Recovery & Resiliency Planning

The State College Borough does not have one overarching risk assessment and response plan. The students' task is to identify relevant and potential risks and disasters and develop a risk analysis which future classes will be able to build off of in order to develop the Borough's recovery and resiliency planning. Course: IST 440: Information Sciences & Technology Integration & Problem Solving
Faculty: Michael Hills and John Hill
Partner: State College Borough

Images and Narratives

Sharing the SCC Story
Capturing the story of the SCC and its affiliated projects and collaborators through photographic narratives.Faculty: Steve Rubin
Course: PHOTO 402: Photographic Narratives | College of Arts & Architecture - School of Visual Arts
Community Partner: State College Borough

 

Spring 2016 Projects

Wind and Solar Power Battery Marketing at Music Festivals

Students will create a marketing plan for the Penn State Collegiate Wind Competition Team’s start-up spin off, PowerPlay. The business will provide portable batteries at music festivals that utilize wind and solar energy to recharge. The marketing plan will be understood and relatable to all age groups since music festivals offer a variety of attendees. 

Course: BA 442: Sustainable Behaviors of Consumers, Firms, and Societies
Faculty: Karen Winterich
Partner: Penn State Collegiate Wind Competition Team

Recycling Marketing Plan for Foxdale Village

This project will expand on a past SCC project in spring 2015 that evaluated Foxdale’s recycling program. Students will identify ways to motivate residents to recycle and how to increase interest in sustainability as a community and as individuals.  Course: BA 442: Sustainable Behaviors of Consumers, Firms, and Societies
Faculty: Karen Winterich
Partner: Foxdale Village 

Re-branding for Mobius Recycling Program

Students will determine the effectiveness of the Mobius brand at raising students’ awareness of the university’s waste management efforts. The study will focus on multiple audiences: students, faculty, staff, and the public. Course: BA 442: Sustainable Behaviors of Consumers, Firms, and Societies
Faculty: Karen Winterich
Partner: Penn State’s Sustainability Institute

Recycling Marketing Plan for State College Borough

The borough requires participation in a recycling program of all residents. It has found that management practices can have little effect on the actions of residents to recycle. Students will work with a landlord/property to develop a marketing plan to increase compliance with the policy.  Course: BA 442: Sustainable Behaviors of Consumers, Firms, and Societies
Faculty: Karen Winterich
Partner: Penn State’s Sustainability Institute

Penn State Dorm Recycling

Penn State seeks to increase the recycling rate in East Halls. Students will assist by identifying barriers to recycling through various research methods such as observations, interviews, and surveys.  Course: BA 442: Sustainable Behaviors of Consumers, Firms, and Societies
Faculty: Karen Winterich
Partner: State College Borough

Green Marketing Plan for the Nature Inn

Students will be divided into three groups to support the design of potential marketing approaches at the Nature Inn. Two groups will focus on website design and function, eco-tourism certifications, and benchmarking against comparable national and local hotels. The third group will devise a comprehensive marketing strategy for the Inn that includes flyers, press releases, etc. Course: BA 442: Sustainable Behaviors of Consumers, Firms, and Societies
Faculty: Karen Winterich
Partner: The Nature Inn

Compost Program Marketing for the State College Borough

Building on past research from an SCC project in spring 2015, students will create a marketing plan to increase the sale of borough compost to residents and businesses. The plan will include possible channels for sales and marketing materials.   Course: BA 442: Sustainable Behaviors of Consumers, Firms, and Societies
Faculty: Karen Winterich
Partner: State College Borough

Stormwater Design of Suburban Park and Park Hills

Three teams will create plans to mitigate stormwater issues in Suburban Park and Park Hills. Students will propose solutions to erosion and flooding problems that are both cost effective and meet the needs of the community.  Course: BE 467: Design of Stormwater and Erosion Control Facilities
Faculty: Heather Gall and Megan Marshall
Partner: Ferguson Township

Methane Digester Feasibility Study

Students will evaluate the feasibility of a methane digester in State College. They will consider whether the project is economically viable under the assumption that the collected methane gas would be sold to electric companies and the left over, nutrient rich fertilizer could be sold to the community.   Course: BE 467: Design of Stormwater and Erosion Control Facilities
Faculty: Heather Gall and Megan Marshall
Partner: State College Borough

Local Economic Resiliency Dashboard

Students will conduct background research on the design for a local economic resiliency dashboard. The dashboard would be used for communities to determine the economic strength. The project will focus on identifying the components of such a dashboard, potential audiences, and data sources for creating the tool. Course: CED 475: CED Integrated Capstone 
Faculty: Tim Kelsey
Partner: New Leaf Initiative

PR Plan for Online Farmers’ Market

Students will create a plan to increase awareness and support of the Friends and Farmers Cooperative. The plan will target University faculty and staff, students, and the general community and determine the best channels to reach these audiences. It will utilize storytelling as a major marketing strategy and define how the campaign can be measured for impact. Course: COMM 473: Public Relations Campaigns
Faculty: Tara Wyckoff
Partner: Friends and Farmers

PR Plan for Sustainable Food Systems Program

Students will create a PR campaign that determines how to engage various audiences in the Sustainable Food Systems Program. It will include what specific messaging to use dependent on audience and how to communicate these messages in an effective way.  Course: COMM 473: Public Relations Campaigns
Faculty: Tara Wyckoff
Partner: Penn State’s Sustainability Institute, Sustainable Food Systems

GHG Inventory of Penn State Commuters

Students will develop a method to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions of Penn State student and staff commuters. The project will utilize Penn State specific data such as CATA miles and population changes at University Park. The method will be replicable to Commonwealth Campuses. Course: EGEE 495: Energy and Sustainability Policy Internship
Faculty: Brandi Robinson
Partner: Penn State’s Office of the Physical Plant

Residential Stormwater Management

Students will hold a residential stormwater management workshop with Ferguson Township. The workshop will educate homeowners about problems associated with stormwater runoff, tools they can use to reduce runoff, and encourage them to adopt best management practices.  Course: ERM 497A: The Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Faculty: Matt Royer
Partner: Ferguson Township

CNG Vehicle Wrap

Students will design a vehicle wrap for two new compressed natural gas vehicles to be used on campus. The wrap will include elements that communicate the environmental friendliness of the vehicles as an educational component.  Course: GD 304: Practical Communications 
Faculty: Ryan Russell
Partner: Penn State’s Transportation Department

Student Sustainability Attitudes, Values, and Behaviors

Students will design, conduct, and analyze a survey that will aid in understanding undergraduates students’ knowledge, concern, and behaviors related to the environment. The survey will be distributed to roughly 10,000 students and provide correlations between various demographic information and environmental awareness, perceptions, and actions. Course: HDNRE Colloquium 
Faculty: Alan Graefe and Jim Finley
Partner: Penn State’s Sustainability Institute

Role of the Arts in Workforce Skill Development

Students will collect research on how the arts contribute to healthy, productive workplaces and how the arts have been incorporated. With this information, the project will develop strategies and models for businesses to include the arts in their workforce skill development. Course: LER 460: Human Resource Ethics
Faculty: Tom Hogan
Partner: Penn State’s Performing Arts Council

Employee Engagement for Sustainability

Students will benchmark MiniTab against other businesses in regards to employee engagement. Specifically, the project will focus on sustainability and corporate recycling. The resulting product will be a set of recommendations that will help MiniTab improve employee engagement and competitiveness.  Course: LER 460: Human Resource Ethics
Faculty: Tom Hogan
Partner: MiniTab

Sustainability Employee Training

This project will continue the fall 2015 project to produce a module for new and existing employee training. The module will encourage and support the corporate culture of the borough as a sustainable community.
Course: LER 460: Human Resource Ethics

Faculty: Tom Hogan
Partner: State College Borough

Green Power Marketing Part II

A past SCC project in spring 2014 determined residents’ interest in purchasing green power. The project will add to this past research by testing the effectiveness of different messages that will determine how signing up would be improved. Possibly options could be educating residents about the relevance of choosing an energy provider and providing assistance to sign up. Course: PSYCH 297: Senior Seminar in Psychology
Faculty: Janet Swim
Partner: State College Borough

Energy Planning in the State College Borough

The borough seeks to understand the local perception of a community-based energy generation system. Students will help by identifying stakeholders, relevant issues, and potential opportunities, planning and facilitating discussions, and summarizing their findings in a final report.  Course: SKILS 972: Mediation of Environmental and Public Conflict
Faculty: Lara Fowler
Partner: State College Borough

 

Fall 2015 Projects

Impacts of Development on Stream Health and Trout Fishing

Students in CED 309 will create maps and other tools to help educate local leaders and the general public about the impacts of development and land use on Spring Creek Watershed and its role as an economic asset to the community.
Course: CED 309: Land Use Dynamics
Faculty: Kate Zipp
Community Partner: Judi Sittler, Spring Creek Watershed

Economic Loss Due to the Emerald Ash Borer

Students in CED 309 will estimate the loss of ash trees to the emerald ash borer, explore strategies to maximize the value of removed trees, and analyze the impact of tree loss on property values and the perceptions of public investment in tree planting.

Course: CED 309: Land Use Dynamics
Faculty: Kate Zipp
Community Partner: Alan Sam, State College Borough

Residents’ Attitudes Toward the Spring Creek Watershed

CED 475 students will design, conduct, and analyze a survey to determine residents’ awareness of Spring Creek Watershed, their knowledge and use of stream-friendly behaviors, and their attitudes toward policy options which would help maintain a healthy watershed.

Course: CED 475: Integrated Capstone Experience
Faculty: Tim Kelsey
Community Partner: Judi Sittler, Spring Creek Watershed

Water Quality Monitoring of Halfmoon Creek and Buffalo Run

Students in ASM/ERM 309 will install water monitoring equipment at Halfmoon Creek and Buffalo Run to measure dissolved oxygen, water level, and rainfall. They will create technical maps of land uses in the watershed and create a comprehensive report of the water quality and land use findings.

Course: ASM/ERM 309: Measuring and Monitoring of Hydrologic Systems
Faculty: Heather Gall
Community Partner: Ann Donovan, Centre County Conservation Corps

State College Borough Pedestrian and Vehicular Safety Awareness

COMM 473 students will create a campaign to raise awareness and provide information to motorists and pedestrians of State College. The campaign will promote safety throughout the borough and enhance the borough’s reputation as a pedestrian-friendly and bike-friendly community.

Course: COMM 473: Public Relations Campaigns
Faculty: Tara Wyckoff
Community Partner: Chief King and Captain Wilson, State College Police Department

Operational Traffic Performance on the Atherton Street Corridor 

Students in CE 423 will focus on the operational performance of the Atherton Street corridor from Park Avenue to Beaver Avenue. Teams will collect data at signalized intersections, such as signal timing, and create recommendations to improve vehicle travel throughout the corridor. The students will specifically discuss how their data and recommendations might influence the safety performance of the Park Avenue and Atherton Street intersection. 

Course: CE 423: Traffic Operations
Faculty: Vikash Gayah
Community Partner: Amy Kerner and Captain Wilson, State College Borough

Traffic Safety at Park Avenue and Atherton Street Intersection

Students in CE 528 will evaluate the safety Atherton Street by identifying signalized intersections with potential for safety improvement by applying the AASHTO Highway Safety Manual safety management process. Specifically, safety problems at the Park Avenue and Atherton Street intersection will be diagnosed by applying this framework and reviewing video data.

Course: CE 528: Transportation Safety Analysis
Faculty: Eric Donnell
Community Partner: Amy Kerner and Captain Wilson, State College Borough

Bike Path Location Evaluation

The State College Borough plans to build a bike connector path along Easterly and Westerly Parkway between the State College Area High School and Easterly Parkway Elementary. A group of students in CED 309 will analyze the best options for construction of the bike path, taking into account intersecting streets and curb cuts for driveways, as these impact both safety for pedestrians and cyclists as well as project costs.

Course: CED 309: Land Use Dynamics
Faculty: Kate Zipp
Community Partner: Alan Sam, State College Borough

Expansion of the Discovery Space Children’s Museum

Students in ARCH 431 will create a design for the Allen Street Civic District. Specifically, students will focus on redesigning the former Verizon Building on Allen Street to accommodate an expansion of the Discovery Space Children’s Museum and to provide a cultural and community hub for the State College Borough.

Course: ARCH 431: 4th Year Studio
Faculty: Lisa Iulo and Eric Sunderland
Community Partner: Edward LeClear, Discovery Space Children’s Museum

Human Resources Sustainability Training Modules

Students in LER 460 will create training modules for existing or onboarding new employees. Relevant information will include the definition of a sustainable community, past and present sustainability initiatives of the State College Borough, and details to incorporate these initiatives into employees’ work.

Course: LER 460: Human Resource Ethics
Faculty: Tom Hogan
Community Partner: Cynthia Hanscom, State College Borough

Renewable Energy Policy Benchmarking

Students in CED 475 will determine feasible renewable energy sources for the borough to explore, research current borough rules and regulations, and make recommendations for what the borough should do to encourage greater use of renewable energy sources.

Course: CED 475: Integrated Capstone Experience
Faculty: Tim Kelsey
Community Partner: Mark Whitfield, State College Borough

Cost-Benefit Analysis of LED Street Lights

Students in PHIL 118H will use existing data about street lights in the borough to estimate current energy use and current GHG emissions attributable to street lights, calculate the cost of switching to LED lights, estimate energy and GHG emission reductions from switching to LED lights, identify potential rebate/funding sources to help defray the cost of switching to LEDs, estimate cost savings and payback.

Course: PHIL 118H: Environmental Philosophy
Faculty: Mark Sentesy
Community Partner: Alan Sam, State College Borough

Images and Narratives

Sharing the SCC Story
Capturing the story of the SCC and its affiliated projects and collaborators through photographic narratives.

Faculty: Steve Rubin
Course: PHOTO 402: Photographic Narratives | College of Arts & Architecture - School of Visual Arts
Community Partner: State College Borough


Contact:

Ilona Ballreich
ixb20@psu.edu, (814) 599-6000

 

Projects at our Campuses

Penn State Abington

  • A student internship to characterize and develop plans for environmental justice and waste diversion sites.
  • Go Green Rewards Card: Expand the number of local businesses that currently accept these reward cards for gifts or discounts.
  • Buy Local Campaign: Work with Abington Township Economic Development Committee to endorse a Buy Local Campaign focused on the economic and social benefits of buying local.

Penn State Altoona

  • Re-imagining Public Libraries as Learning Communities: Use narrative and survey methods to capture the individual histories and roles within the community of the eight Blair County libraries to inform their [libraries’] strategic planning.
  • Canal Jam II: A celebration of Altoona’s canal heritage through music, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 23, that will emphasize environmental sustainability.
  • Rural Impact County Challenge (RICC): A literature review and research of RICC, a joint National Association of Counties-Robert Wood Johnson Foundation effort to combat rural child poverty, specifically “youth disengagement” in Blair County.
  • Mobile Story Maps: Enhance and expand historical story maps to complement the Blair County WalkWorks program in Williamsburg, Hollidaysburg Canal Basin Park, and Hollidaysburg.
  • Lower Trail Mobile App Project: Create an enhanced trail experience by enabling access 

Penn State Beaver

  • Campus Garden: The Campus Green Team and students with Pathways to Success will construct five 4 ft. by 8 ft. raised bed gardens, twenty straw bales, and six barrels containing various vegetables and herbs so that the produce can be donated to the Salvation Army to help supply their food banks with locally grown food.
  • Community Tables with the Homeless: Students will solicit quality meals from local restaurants and will sit, eat, and enjoy conversation with homeless clients of the Salvation Army.
  • Food Rescue Initiative: Create a mobile app to be used to connect restaurants wanting to donate excess food with the Salvation Army’s food bank. 
  • Digitized Food Map: Develop a map showing local key food-related items to help connect county residents with local growers.
  • Food Bank Kiosk: Design and construct an outside food kiosk accessible by food donators and recipients through a Penn State card swipe system to increase food donations.

Penn State Behrend

  • Community Garden: Address local food insecurity by developing a community garden and community-based food systems.
  • Waste Not program: Strengthen the Penn State Behrend’s Waste Not program, a program in which food is donated from the campus dining hall to the Erie City Mission.
  • Outreach: Create collapsible cold frames to give away to community groups to help promote growing personal food gardens, as well as outreach regarding issues such as nutrition, diabetes, and walking.

Penn State Brandywine

  • Pumpkin Days Maze: Construction of a sustainability-themed children’s maze using recycled papers for Tyler Arboretum Pumpkin Days Maze to educate visitors about recycling.
  • Hunger awareness event at Penn State Brandywine/Media Food Bank: A multi-semester project where student-built food structures will be donated to increase awareness about hunger and food insecurity.
  • Augmented reality game: Digitize Ridley Creek State Park’s existing Tree Identification Quiz to develop an augmented reality gaming project that can be used via a mobile app.

Penn State University Park


Contact:

Ilona Ballreich
ixb20@psu.edu, (814) 599-6000

Faculty

Lauren Abbott

Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Management

 

Lee Ahern

Advertising and Public Relations

 

Nathaniel Belcher

Architecture

 

Birgitta Baker

Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Management

 

Rob Berghage

Department of Plant Science

 

Mallika Bose

Landscape Architecture

 

Peter Buckland

Education

 

Robert Brooks

Geography

 

Jeffrey Brownson

Energy and Mineral Engineering

 

Ed Coulson

Economics

 

Eric Donnell

Civil and Environmental Engineering

 

Stuart Echols

Landscape Architecture

 

Jim Finley

Ecosystem Science and Management

 

Erik Foley

Smeal College of Business

 

Lara Fowler

Penn State Law

 

Lori Frances

Biobehavioral Health

 

Heather Gall

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

 

Vikash Gayah

Civil and Environmental Engineering

 

Alison Gernand

Nutritional Sciences

 

Alan Graefe

Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management

 

Denson Groenendaal

Architecture

 

Michael Hills

College of Information, Science, & Technology

 

Tom Hogan

Human Resource Management

 

Lisa Iulo

Architecture

 

Heather Karsten

Plant Science

 

Timothy Kelsey

Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education

 

Megan Marshall

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

 

Martin McGann

Plant Science

 

Brandi Robinson

Energy and Mineral Engineering

 

Matt Royer

Agriculture and Environment Center

 

Steven Rubin

School of Visual Arts

 

Ryan Russell

Graphic Design

 

Mark Sentesy

Philosophy

 

John Spychalski

Supply Chain and Information Systems

 

Eric Sutherland

Architecture

 

Janet Swim

Psychology

 

Ross Weinreb

Architecture

 

Karen Winterich

Marketing

 

Tara Wyckoff

Advertising and Public Relations

 

Brent Yarnal

Geography

 

Kate Zipp

Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education