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Campus and Community Sustainability Expo set for Dec. 7

Students and community share skills and knowledge through collaborative program
November 17, 2016

More than 140 Penn State students will showcase their projects dealing with local sustainability topics at the Campus and Community Sustainability Expo on Dec. 7, 2016 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the State College Municipal Building. These students partnered with local government and organizations this fall semester to research and propose sustainable solutions addressing needs of the surrounding area.

The Campus and Community Sustainability Expo will feature projects from the Sustainable Communities Collaborative and Sustainable Food Systems Program. Themes will include food systems, resiliency, health and safety, arts and culture, and more.

Participants will have the opportunity to explore each theme with the groups’ posters and interact with the students who contributed to the projects. In the days leading up to the expo, a panel of judges will select three exceptional posters based on factors such as content, organization and visual appeal. These posters will be announced at the expo event. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. 

One team of LER 460 students was tasked with helping the Borough develop a strategic framework for improving diversity among the civilian and police work forces. Students were also asked to develop training materials to help the Borough effectively communicate to employees the value and importance of developing a diverse workforce and an inclusive work environment.

“Each semester, the Expo showcases the efforts of local governments, non-profits and businesses who are committed to addressing sustainability challenges and opportunities in our community,” said Michelle Halsell, director of the Sustainable Communities Collaborative.

“The Expo also showcases the work of Penn State students who are collaborating with our community partners by applying their skills and knowledge to enhance sustainability,” said Halsell. “It’s a win for our community partners and a win for Penn State students.”

Community partners for the projects include the Borough of State College, the Borough of Bellefonte, Centre County Conservation Corps, Ferguson, Half Moon, and Walker Townships, Center for the Performing Arts and Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.

Speakers will include Dr. Denice Wardrop, director of the Sustainability Institute, Tom Fountaine, State College Borough manager, and student representatives from the Sustainable Communities Collaborative and the Student Farm.

The Sustainable Communities Collaborative is a program of Penn State’s Sustainability Institute. The program matches sustainability needs of community partners with the expertise of existing University courses. Collaborative teams of faculty, students and local leaders work together to define and carry out projects.   

The Sustainable Food Systems Program is an interdisciplinary initiative working to develop a food systems minor and a campus-based farm that will support engaged scholarship and innovation across a range of sustainability topics, including production, design, nutrition, marketing and community engagement. 

For more details about the event, contact Michele Halsell at or by phone at 814-867-4578. For more about sustainability efforts at Penn State, please visit

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