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Students, community leaders to showcase partnerships at environmental sustainability forum

Students from St. Thomas and four Twin Cities area colleges and universities will come together with community leaders on Monday, Nov. 10, to showcase innovative campus-community partnerships in environmental sustainability and to discuss opportunities for future collaborations.

The Minnesota Campus Compact event – 6-8:15 p.m. in Coeur de Catherine at the College of St. Catherine – is free and open to the public and will involve students from St. Thomas, Augsburg, Concordia, Macalester and St. Catherine.

Will Steger

St. Thomas alumnus Will Steger ’66 and ’68 M.A., the polar explorer and climate change spokesperson, will open the forum with a presentation on his expedition earlier this year to northern Canada and the Arctic Circle.

Two students from each school then will give testimonial (case study) presentations on sustainability projects, after which there will be small group discussions on next steps that can be taken in environmental civic engagement.

Anthony Caruso and Kevin Hoffman will make the St. Thomas presentations.

Caruso, a mechanical engineering and management major, will describe the work done in the west African country of Mali by Dr. Camille George of the School of Engineering and students majoring in engineering, communications and French. Their projects involve the production of shea butter, a product used for moisturizer and cooking oil; evaporative coolers in which seed potatoes can be stored; and the use of filters for river water purification.

Hoffman, geography major, created a Geographic Information Systems database for the Minnesota Campaign for Conservation. This organization is a coalition of conservation groups working to pass a proposed state constitutional amendment to raise the sales tax by three-eighths of 1 percent to fund environmental protection, arts and cultural heritage programs. If the amendment is successful, Hoffman’s work will be used to target Minnesota land for purchase and preservation.

The Nov. 10 forum is one of several civic engagement forums co-sponsored this fall by Minnesota Campus Compact, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Secretary of State Office.

The purpose of the forum at St. Catherine is to:

  • Document the successes of campus-community collaborations in environmental sustainability
  • Highlight best practices from these meaningful partnerships through cross-campus dialogue
  • Identify new ways to collaborate to address environmental concerns in our community.

Minnesota Campus Compact and its 50 member colleges and universities are committed to developing leadership, citizenship and academic success for all Minnesotans. Minnesota Campus Compact is affiliated with Campus Compact, a national network of more than 1,100 campuses, 34 state organizations and a national office, all dedicated to the civic purposes of higher education.

For more information visit the Minnesota Campus Compact Webb site.