2020 INSPIRE Student Research & Engagement Showcase

Presentation Type

Open Access Oral Presentation

Keywords

Social justice and education; Environmental justice--Study and teaching (Higher);

Abstract

The Recycling and Reuse Technology Transfer Center at the University of Northern Iowa funds an environmental equity internship program designed to challenge students to revision sustainability from an equity perspective and leave an impact on the interns and community. Interns are challenged to understand the systems analysis of issues using formal systems thinking approaches (Meadows, 2008), inculcating practices that allows them to tackle challenging equity and social justice implications, High vs. Low context communication and leadership styles (Vellnagel, 2013; Hall 1976), and understand environmental health disparities that exist using approaches such as understanding the naturome/nurturome, exposome and multiple expo-zones (Hall & Zeman, 2019; Wild, Scalbert, & Herceg, 2013). These theories provide the theoretical framework and we utilize an approach we’re calling trans-formative, trans-theoretical equality education, to provide experiential and trans-formative education in environmental equity and sustainability. This article discusses this model, foundational theories and sciences, and provides examples in action through the Panther Initiative for Environmental Equity and Resilience program, PIEER. Through the findings of an impact evaluation survey of PIEER interns (N=30, n=22/21; response rate ~ 0.73/72), a long-term participant impact is indicated. To shift toward an equitably sustainable society, this has to be accomplished by providing trans-formative theory and trans-formative experiences to students, who will shape the future.

Start Date

17-4-2020 12:00 PM

End Date

17-4-2020 4:00 PM

Faculty Advisor

Catherine Zeman

Department

Department of Health, Recreation, and Community Services

Student Type

Graduate Student

File Format

application/pdf

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Apr 17th, 12:00 PM Apr 17th, 4:00 PM

Using Self-reflection and Community Engagement Opportunities to Combat Social Justice Issues

The Recycling and Reuse Technology Transfer Center at the University of Northern Iowa funds an environmental equity internship program designed to challenge students to revision sustainability from an equity perspective and leave an impact on the interns and community. Interns are challenged to understand the systems analysis of issues using formal systems thinking approaches (Meadows, 2008), inculcating practices that allows them to tackle challenging equity and social justice implications, High vs. Low context communication and leadership styles (Vellnagel, 2013; Hall 1976), and understand environmental health disparities that exist using approaches such as understanding the naturome/nurturome, exposome and multiple expo-zones (Hall & Zeman, 2019; Wild, Scalbert, & Herceg, 2013). These theories provide the theoretical framework and we utilize an approach we’re calling trans-formative, trans-theoretical equality education, to provide experiential and trans-formative education in environmental equity and sustainability. This article discusses this model, foundational theories and sciences, and provides examples in action through the Panther Initiative for Environmental Equity and Resilience program, PIEER. Through the findings of an impact evaluation survey of PIEER interns (N=30, n=22/21; response rate ~ 0.73/72), a long-term participant impact is indicated. To shift toward an equitably sustainable society, this has to be accomplished by providing trans-formative theory and trans-formative experiences to students, who will shape the future.