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Smeal College of Business

Sustainable Communities Collaborative celebrates kick off of spring projects

Dr. Tom Hogan and a student at the SCC kick-off celebration.

The State College Borough and the Sustainable Communities Collaborative had a kick-off celebration at the municipal building, Wednesday, January 22. Speakers at the event included Tom Fountaine, borough manager; Denice Wardrop, director of Penn State’s Sustainability Institute; and vice president and provost, Nick Jones. 

Sustainable Communities partnerships are formed through agreements developed between the top local government official and the Sustainability Institute to link community-based sustainability projects with existing courses across the university.  Projects are identified and developed based on the partnering community’s sustainability priorities. Collaboration teams bring together community representatives, faculty and students to define and carry-out projects.

“This is a true town gown partnership which works to elevate and expand the opportunities for faculty, staff and students to be involved in the community and connects residents to the work being done on campus,” Fountaine said.

“This is a true town gown partnership which works to elevate and expand the opportunities for faculty, staff and students to be involved in the community and connects residents to the work being done on campus,” Fountaine said.

Provost Nick Jones with State College borough manager, Tom Fountaine. Image: Bill ZimmermanThe spring 2014 courses include two ongoing projects from the fall 2013 semester - Management of Human Capital (Talent Acquisition) and Sustainable Asset Management (Closed Loop Inventory & Surplus Goods). New projects include: Biking and Tourism in the Region, Evaluation of Borough's Residential Composting Program, Green Power Community, Live and Work Sustainability of Downtown - Young Professionals, and Homestead Investors Program-Sustaining Quality Neighborhoods.

“The engaged scholarship created through this partnership, benefits students by immersing them in real-world problems, which bolster their portfolios and strengthen resumes after graduation as they begin their careers.” -- Tom Fountaine

“This program is a really great symbol of what Penn State is all about and needs to be even more all about as we move forward,” Provost Nick Jones.

“This program is a really great symbol of what Penn State is all about and needs to be even more all about as we move forward,” Provost Nick Jones.

Students, faculty and staff were also on hand to discuss what it was like to be involved in these immersive experiences and to showcase posters that highlighted last semester’s partnership. “It was awesome to break through the walls of the classroom, use what we learned in a real world setting and apply it to the community we live in,” said junior, Matt Body. 

Read more about the spring projects and the SCC online

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