Sustainability Initiative
Susan Jennings, the director of the Office of Campus and Community Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, believes that everyone needs a practical work set in order for sustainability to work.

Thanks to a stimulus funded grant, Jennings is starting to make this happen.

Recovery Act Impact: Sustainability Initiative

  • State Energy Sector Partnership grant: $150K

  • Developed by Office of Campus and Community Sustainability at UMass Dartmouth

  • Developed online program in sustainability studies

  • Will graduate 60 students

  • Success of the course led to Master's program at university

A $150K stimulus-funded State Energy Sector Partnership grant has enabled the Office of Campus and Community Sustainability to develop an online course in sustainability studies.

"We want to foster interaction, build a literacy and benefit communities," said Jennings.

For its students, the sustainability course is also providing them with 21 st century skills.

Ryan Collins
Carol Baroudi was laid off in 2009 and at 57 she said it was very difficult for her to find another job. "Thanks to the program, I'm able to do consulting work," she said. "I don't know what I'd do without the credentials I'm getting."

Al Olivera works as a municipal manager for the City of Fall River, which wants him to get educated in sustainability methods. "I'm using what I'm learning every day," he said. "We're building schools and everything we're talking about is sustainability."

Ryan Collins is working as an Americorps Vista student on Habitat for Humanity. For him the program is applicable to his weatherization work for Habitat. The course has led him to help the organization develop energy audits it can offer at reduced rates.

"We are learning things that could be put in people's hands," said Baroudi. "Sustainability is the way we are going to live."

Sustainability Initiative

According to Jennings, the course will graduate 60 students and she anticipates it will be self sustaining once the grant is completed. They have already received permission to develop a Master's program in sustainability and have recently applied for a federal grant to bring foreign students to the campus for a 5-week sustainability course.

"This grant has allowed us to move forward," she said. "We will be certifying sustainable development throughout the world."