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Hanley Sustainability Institute

Reeb, Piso named HSI’s first faculty affiliates

By Mark Gokavi

The University of Dayton’s Hanley Sustainability Institute has announced its first two faculty affiliates, a designation indicating a significant level of engagement and commitment to HSI’s mission.

Zachary Piso, an assistant professor in philosophy, and Roger Reeb, a professor of psychology and former Roesch Chair in the Social Sciences, were both recently named affiliates. Both already are HSI sustainability scholars.

“These are just the first two faculty affiliates, and we are eager to expand their ranks,” said Ben McCall, HSI’s executive director. “The affiliate designation is a way of recognizing the valuable contributions of these faculty members while also formalizing their work with HSI (including the sustainability program) to ensure an appropriate balance with their activities in their home departments.”

Piso, whose appointment is for three academic years, will continue teaching the sustainability research classes SEE 401 and 402. Piso also will continue to serve on the Sustainability Program Advisory Committee.

“We just want to make sure that we can project the course offerings for students out into the future with some certainty to make sure that the curriculum is available for them to complete in a timely and predictable way,” Piso said. “The sustainability of the sustainability program needs some regularity in how these courses are offered.”

According to his sustainability scholars biography, Piso investigates the ethics of interdisciplinary environmental research, proposing better practices of stakeholder engagement that ensure more just and democratic science, policy, and management. His work focuses particularly on social-ecological systems and the values at stake in social scientific explanations of environmental change and resilience.

Reeb, whose appointment is for one year, will serve as chair of HSI’s first promotion and tenure committee, which is developing scholarship criteria and providing mentorship for assistant professor of sustainability Felix Fernando.

“We’re already really involved with the work coming up with criteria for scholarship to evaluate the tenure track faculty members’ work,” Reeb said. “It’s exciting work and it’s a privilege to get that appointment.”

According to his sustainability scholars biography, Reeb’s interests revolve around nutritional benefits of the farm for shelter residents, therapeutic benefits and vocational opportunities for shelter residents who volunteer on the farm, and civic-related development of service-learning students who assist with the project. His research project helped establish and sustain an urban farm at a homeless shelter in a food desert.

“Faculty members represent the core intellectual foundation of the University,” according to the HSI faculty involvement policy. “They are uniquely positioned to serve as leaders in the effort to advance the understanding of our contemporary grand challenges in sustainability, and to develop effective responses to these challenges.”

For more sustainability news and information, visit HSI’s news blog, the Hanley Sustainability Institute website and the sustainability program website.

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