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Hanley Sustainability Institute

HSI seeks feedback on sustainability definition, vision and mission statements

By Mark Gokavi

The Hanley Sustainability Institute strategic planning committee has divided its core group into teams to discuss specific themes plus the Institute is seeking campus feedback for its expanded definition of sustainability and its vision and mission statements.

Working with Cincinnati-based social innovation firm Design Impact (DI) since 2019, HSI embarked on a process to create a strategic vision for HSI that will outline the role the institute will play in the University community and beyond.

The process already has included campus-wide listening sessions, focus groups and 1-on-1 interviews with stakeholders on and off campus. In January, a core team with some different members picked up where the 2019-20 team left off.

The 2020-21 core team is comprised of: HSI Executive Director Ben McCall; assistant professor of law and history Faisal Chaudhry; associate professor of engineering Andrew Chiasson; HSI communications coordinator Mark Gokavi; associate professor of geology Umesh Haritashya; HSI graduate assistant Meg Maloney; and associate dean and professor Margaret Pinnell of the School of Engineering.

Four core group members are leading teams based on themes that emerged from the 2019-2020 work.

Haritashya leads the Leaning into Research team, which aims to refine ideas and ways HSI could prioritize and invest in research that drives action. That group consists of faculty members Anya Galli-Robertson (sociology), Bill Meek (business administration), Zach Piso (philosophy), and David Dunn (UDRI power and energy division).

Chaudhry leads the Building Relationships with Community team, which is addressing potential ways HSI can create authentic, reciprocal relationships with community partners. That group includes: Kelly Bohrer, director of community relations for the school of engineering; Claire Sullivan, biology student and HSI student leader; and community member Lamees Mubaslat, architect and sustainability director for Montgomery County.

Pinnell leads the Developing Leaders for a Just Future team, which is addressing how HSI can advance its mission to prepare students to leave campus confident in tools to shape a more just and sustainable future. That group includes: Kim Trick, lecturer in chemistry and associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences; Karen Lovett, director of experiential learning; and Kiara DiLoreto, civil engineering student and HSI student leader.

Chiasson leads the Evolving the Institution team, which will address ways HSI can create a more sustainable future by developing institutional consistency and positive change across policies and practices to advance sustainability. That group consists of: Matthew Worsham, energy efficiency and renewable energy manager; Sara Harrison, procurement and payable services executive director; and Claire Lonneman, engineering student and student ambassador.

Below are the first-draft definitions of sustainability and the vision and mission statements for which HSI seeks feedback. Please consider filling out this short Google form questionnaire about this language.

Sustainability: Sustainability entails an enduring shared responsibility to care for our common home by preserving the vitality of Earth’s fragile ecosystems while advancing social justice, both now and for every generation.

Vision statement: Cultivating a just transition to a sustainable future that protects and preserves humanity and the planet.

Mission statement: HSI's mission is to be a dynamic learning community that advances sustainability by educating and mentoring transformational leaders, building caring relationships with local and global communities, prioritizing transdisciplinary research that leads to action, and promoting sustainable practices at UD.

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