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Faculty and students - attached are more funding opportunities and a really cool event to help Puerto Rico Involving Jose Andres.  There are also opportunities for students. These events are soon so make sure to spread the word!

Dear Sustainability Faculty,

Welcome back to the spring semester! We hope you had a restful winter season. We have a few reminders and announcements to kick off this new year. As always, if you have a sustainability related event to share, please email us and we will add it to the events page of the Sustainability Collaborative website.

Duke Energy Renewables Innovation Fund

The DER Innovation Fund supports GW research related to enery - either directly or indirectly through issues such as water, climate, food, cities, or policies.  Faculty are encourages to think broadly. The maximum award amount is $85,000 and the deadline for proposals is January 19, 2018.

Evening with Chef Jose Andres

We would also like to invite you to join us on Wednesday, January 17, 7:00-8:30 in SEH-B1220 for an evening with Chef Jose Andres.  We will be discussing his work in Puerto Rico over the past months as part of the recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria.  This lecture is part of the course SUST 3003, the Sustainable Plate, and has a limited number of extra seats, first come first serve.

Creating the Paris Path on Climate Change

Please also save the date for our featured event on January 31 at the Goethe Institut, which will be an opportunity to look back on the last Global Climate meetings in Bonn, Germany last fall, and the future of the Paris Climate Agreements.  Details to come! Check www.sustainabilitycollaborative.gwu.edu for more details in the next week.

SDG Innovation Lab

In 2017, six GW staff and students attended a week long innovation lab in Denmark dedicated to finding innovative solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals.  This program, called UNLEASH, will be headed to Singapore this June for the second innovation lab dedicated to the SDGs.  Applicants must be under 35 years old, and have an insight into a pressing problem of sustainability.  All expenses are paid for by UNLEASH.  Applications for 2018 open on January 15.  Learn more, and share with your students, by visiting https://unleash.org

I hope you have a wonderful spring semester and look forward to seeing you soon.

Kathleen A. Merrigan

Executive Director of Sustainability

kmerrigan@gwu.edu

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Calling faculty - If you would like to lead a session on the intersection of service-learning and cultural intelligence, review the call for proposals below!

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Due 5pm on Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement invites faculty, students, and staff to submit proposals for workshops, panels, poster sessions, and interactive presentations related to the theme, Embracing Diversity and Inclusion at GW. The ODECE welcomes creative proposals that reflect best practices in creating a diverse and inclusive campus environment. Topics related to diversity and inclusion may involve, but are not limited to: race, class, gender, sexuality or orientation, religion, age, (dis)ability, or intersectionality.

All members of the George Washington University community are invited to submit proposals that engage with questions like, but not limited to, the following:

  • How can our campus better prevent sexual assault and support survivors?
  • What kinds of cultural inclusion can we enact on campus to better demonstrate our understanding of diversity as including people with disabilities, religious diversity, racial diversity, gender diversity, ethnic and country of origin diversity and language diversity?
  • How can we move our understanding of disability beyond legal compliance, and create syllabi, assignments, classroom spaces, and social spaces that are accessible to all?
  • What interfaith work is making strides to connect members of our campus community across their religious beliefs?
  • What role does economic diversity play on campus?
  • How can we help students to understand the implicit biases they may hold toward faculty and staff?
  • What kinds of language can faculty and staff use to better connect with and welcome all students?
  • How can we better understand the role that sexuality and sexual orientation plays in our daily lives?
  • How can we be in solidarity with each other without appropriating others' experiences?
  • How do our lived experiences reflect the intersectional nature of our identities? How can we examine our own attitudes toward bullying and bias?

Panels and presentations will be presented on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.

To submit a proposal, please provide: 

1.      Title  

2.      Abstract and description of presentation or poster  

3.      Biographical information on presenter(s)  

4.      Audio-visual/Room needs 

5.      Accessibility needs  

Proposals should be submitted electronically via this Google form to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement no later than 5pm on Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Notifications will be sent by Friday, February 23, 2018

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The Nashman Center partners with DC Public Schools through the Americorps VISTA program for meaningful and impactful service, welcoming the third-largest cohort this year. It was great to learn about the work of our VISTAs and Public School Liaisons at the Service-Learning Symposium.

Learn more through the VISTA quarterly at the link below for the latest news and updates from the GW/DCPS Americorps VISTA partnership:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0QvxnvvuvNDZGd3TWlfRlB6NkY4MnlfbWFhNENjR0pMMmM4/view

Faculty are invited to submit proposals for the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement! This year's theme is Just Research: Inclusivity and Intersectionality. For more information, see the photo below.

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Faculty should take note of this new organization, Community Engagement Consulting, which hopes to bridge the gap between business minds and service organizations. See below for more details.

A group of students within George Washington University School of Business have recently launched a program called Community Engagement Consulting.  Junior Dylan Tally, sophomore Courtney Pellegrino and freshman Colin Medwick have been assisting local nonprofit Life Pieces to Masterpieces with general daily operations and development strategies.

CEC is designed to bridge the gap between business minds and service organizations. Tally, the founder, has found in previous consulting experience that there is often a disconnect between students who are business-oriented and those who are passionate about service.  He sought out students who not only have essential business skills, but are interested in social causes and nonprofit organizations.

This semester's pilot at Life Pieces to Masterpieces has been successful, and CEC is looking to expand to assist other nonprofits in the area. They are currently in the process of recruiting other students within the business school to serve as consultants.

At last Thursday's "Bagels for Best Practices" the three current students in CEC discussed some of the challenges they faced in their experience with local nonprofit leaders. It was found that many faced similar problems and were interested to hear about the resources CEC could provide. Evroy Marett, a representative from U.S. Dream Academy, spoke highly of the idea of CEC, saying "We often think of business and community engagement as very different, but there's a lot of overlap, and I'm glad you bring that mindset to the School of Business."

Calling faculty - If you would like to lead a session on the intersection of service-learning and cultural intelligence, review the call for proposals below!

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Due 5pm on Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

The Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement  invites faculty, students, and staff to submit proposals for workshops, panels, poster sessions, and interactive presentations related to the theme, Embracing Diversity and Inclusion at GW. The ODECE welcomes creative proposals that reflect best practices in creating a diverse and inclusive campus environment. Topics related to diversity and inclusion may involve, but are not limited to: race, class, gender, sexuality or orientation, religion, age, (dis)ability, or intersectionality.

All members of the George Washington University community are invited to submit proposals that engage with questions like, but not limited to, the following:

  • How can our campus better prevent sexual assault and support survivors?
  • What kinds of cultural inclusion can we enact on campus to better demonstrate our understanding of diversity as including people with disabilities, religious diversity, racial diversity, gender diversity, ethnic and country of origin diversity and language diversity?
  • How can we move our understanding of disability beyond legal compliance, and create syllabi, assignments, classroom spaces, and social spaces that are accessible to all?
  • What interfaith work is making strides to connect members of our campus community across their religious beliefs?
  • What role does economic diversity play on campus?
  • How can we help students to understand the implicit biases they may hold toward faculty and staff?
  • What kinds of language can faculty and staff use to better connect with and welcome all students?
  • How can we better understand the role that sexuality and sexual orientation plays in our daily lives?
  • How can we be in solidarity with each other without appropriating others' experiences?
  • How do our lived experiences reflect the intersectional nature of our identities? How can we examine our own attitudes toward bullying and bias?

Panels and presentations will be presented on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.

To submit a proposal, please provide:

1.      Title

2.      Abstract and description of presentation or poster

3.      Biographical information on presenter(s)

4.      Audio-visual/Room needs

5.      Accessibility needs

Proposals should be submitted electronically via this Google form to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement no later than 5pm on Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

Notifications will be sent by Friday, February 23, 2018.

If you have any questions during the application process, please email the Diversity Summit Committee at gwudiversitysummit@gwu.edu or call (202) 994-7434.

The deadline for the prestigious Knapp Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Service-Learning is this Friday, January 12, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. Apply be e-mailing the application (which can be found here) to gwserves@gwu.edu.

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Check out our detailed interviews with last year's fellows, Chloe King and Gayatri Malhotra. Chloe is working with the World Wildlife Fund to reduce food waste in D.C. schools and Gayatri is working with Teach for India and Girl Rising on a gender sensitization curriculum in New Delhi.

The award will recognize one or more innovative proposals each year and will provide support for their implementation. Up to $10,000 will be awarded each academic year.

Undergraduate and graduate students with one more semester may apply independently or with a group of students to design and create solutions that will make a significant difference in the lives of others.

Awardees must work with the support and guidance of a faculty member on their research and action projects.

Students who apply should demonstrate knowledge and innovative thinking about the issue or problem to be addressed.  Selection is at the discretion of the Provost, who reviews recommendations made by a committee of faculty and representatives from the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service.

Once chosen, fellows work throughout the project with a faculty advisor who guides research on the issue, implementation of the proposal, ongoing reports and assessments, and a final work of scholarship.

For more information, email Dr. Wendy Wagner at wagnerw@gwu.edu or Rachel Talbert at rachellt@gwu.edu.

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The Nashman Center partners with DC Public Schools through the Americorps VISTA program for meaningful and impactful service, welcoming the third-largest cohort this year. It was great to learn about the work of our VISTAs and Public School Liaisons at the Service-Learning Symposium.

Learn more through the VISTA quarterly at the link below for the latest news and updates from the GW/DCPS Americorps VISTA partnership:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0QvxnvvuvNDZGd3TWlfRlB6NkY4MnlfbWFhNENjR0pMMmM4/view

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We encourage faculty from GW to attend the 2018 Campus Compact National and learn more about community-engaged scholarship: Registration is now open!

Check out the conference schedule here: https://conference.compact.org/conference-program/#full-schedule

Register for the conference here: https://events.bizzabo.com/cc2018

Gayatri Malhotra is a Knapp Fellow working with organizations such as Teach for India and Girl Rising on a gender sensitization curriculum in New Delhi. She is studying for her Master in Public Health at the Milken Institute of Public Health and previously studied Biology at Lawrence University, WI. Aleena Khan, a service-learning scholar here at the Nashman Center, spoke to Gayatri about her Gender Equality project and her experience as a Knapp Fellow.

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Aleena: Can you briefly describe your project?

Gayatri: There is a lot of gender-based discrimination that happens in schools, especially in India. If you think about it, kids in India are in school a lot; we are a society in India that really prioritizes schoolwork, getting high marks, doing well in school, and are very career-oriented. There’s no emphasis on extra-curriculars, creativity, art, or sports, so students are spending a lot of time in school. This is where some of these entrenched behaviors occur. Since the teachers, parents, and communities have deep-rooted biases, students learn from them, where they continue to enact those behaviors.

For that reason, I wanted to focus on adolescent-aged students, basically fifth to ninth graders, and to assess gender norms, beliefs and attitudes. To date, there has not been much work done in this area in India.

To that extent, I am working with Girl Rising (GR) and utilizing their gender sensitization curriculum to conduct a feasibility study in Teach for India (TFI) urban-slum schools - specifically government-run schools - in New Delhi. We are evaluating five schools and one after-school community center to see how efficacious the gender-sensitization curriculum would be. Ideally, we would like to implement the GR gender sensitization curriculum nationwide.

The gender-sensitization curriculum specifically uses constructs from the positive youth development scales in addition to looking at gender norms, beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions of middle school students in these government schools in Delhi. In addition, the curriculum addresses topics such as child labor, child marriage, poverty, gender-based violence, and menstruation. Teachers have been trained through a train-the-training workshop and thus are able to provide the program. The teachers have also been provided a teacher’s guide to help implement the program.

In April, I plan to go back to conduct the post-assessment and see if there have been any changes in the students and the teachers.

I chose to work with TFI because while conversations around child marriage, labor and trafficking are difficult to have, young teachers from TIF are already having these discussions in their classroom but don’t have a formal structure or a way to fully address them in a way students can really learn and take action in the community. Girl Rising had already created the gender-sensitization curriculum and by partnering with TFI, we are able to implement the program in these very low socioeconomic government schools and reach a larger community in need. We are hoping to use this data to work with the Indian government and other government schools country-wide.

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A: So when you collect that data, you’re planning on taking it to the Indian government?

G: We’re hoping to really scale it up by working with TFI. Right now, we are in the pilot phase and only in a few schools in Delhi. We want to work with TFI to expand the gender sensitization curriculum in all their partnered schools in six major cities. country-wide. We want to take it to the Indian Board of School Education and ask them, “What are the possibilities of this being a part of your required curriculum?”

A: How did you select the schools?

G: I wanted to evaluate schools from low socioeconomic communities -- I wanted them to be urban-slum areas that have deep-rooted gender biases in the community. We also selected schools depending on the interest of the TFI Fellows and their willingness to implement this 24-week gender sensitization curriculum in their schools. We tried to select second-year TFI Fellows who had more experience working at schools in these communities.

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A: Did you look at the demographics for each school? Or was the selection based mostly on socioeconomic status?

G: It was mostly low socioeconomic status. We did look at some of the demographics-- we have some all-girl schools-- to see the difference between co-ed and all-girl schools and all-boy schools. We did not look at private schools in India since our focus was on government/ public schools.

It’s not an easy project, especially with our research team coming in the middle of class and conducting about 50 surveys at a time with the students on tablets. Each data collection session required 30 minutes of instructions and then about an hour to complete the survey.

Implementing this program is a big commitment for the TFI fellows; they have to be committed to teaching this curriculum for six months, come to workshop trainings, and follow-up with me and my in-country team member by filling out our fidelity form each month that lets us know how they’re progressing through the curriculum. We had to make such that the government schools were ok with the GR curriculum; we had to get approval from the principals, so there were a lot of loops we had to go through in order to select these schools.

A: What made you apply for the Knapp Fellowship? What inspired you to create this project?

G: When I came across the Knapp Fellowship, it seemed to be a good fit, as it is a service-learning opportunity that is research-oriented and allows for a sustainable project. That’s really what I wanted to do. I am passionate about this topic - inspiring children to realize their potential and achieve their dreams no matter the barriers in India. I also understand the difficulties of being a girl in a patriarchal society that oppresses women in many ways. I was personally a middle school student in India and understand the pressure, the stress, and the weight of needing to do well in school. It was all about school. Some of the gender discrimination that I went through as a middle school student allowed me to relate to the middle school students I was working with.

I saw the Knapp Fellowship as an opportunity to do something extremely important in an international setting. The Knapp Fellowship also supported innovative ideas, which encouraged my decision to conduct all our research with the students on tablets. This is a new method of research that engages students in a fun way so that they’re excited to complete the survey.

A: Although your project isn’t finished yet, how has your project personally impacted you thus far?

G: It’s been absolutely amazing. I’ve been learning so much about myself and the communities I’ve worked with in Delhi. Just talking to the students has been so impactful. When conducting fieldwork with the students, I got the chance to look into their lives and understand their everyday struggles. It really made me question, “Why is my life like this and theirs is like that?” which is really a tough question to answer. What did they do, as innocent kids, to deserve that kind of lifestyle?

Many of these kids wake up at around 4-5 a.m. to cook breakfast for their families and prepare meals for their parents, make sure their brothers or sisters are ready for school, and then walk an hour or two to go to school. In the evening, they come back and again cook, clean, work, run errands, and do all these things to help their parents. The struggle is so real for these kids and it’s just not fair. It’s supposed to be the few years in their life to learn, play outside, laugh, have fun, play sports, and just be a kid. The amount of responsibilities they have at such a young age is upsetting, but truly inspiring.

A: Do you think you can describe the international ramifications of your project?

G: The data we collect from this evaluation will be informative for future programs and interventions on gender-sensitization curriculums. I am hoping to publish my findings so that other individuals in the field can learn from it.

One of the smartest investment opportunities for a country that can increase their national economic growth is by simply investing in a girls’ education. By educating a girl in the family, the cycle of poverty can be broken in just one generation.

Through this program, I hope to change attitudes and perceptions among adolescents which will drive change for a new generation of adults. Educating girls can break cycles of poverty in just one generation,

A: How has the Knapp fellowship aided your project? What have you used the Knapp Fellowship for?

G: Everything! I use the Fellowship to fund my travel and for funding even basic things that you usually don’t think about, like printing costs, Wi-Fi (to sync the tablets), and workshop supplies. Now that data collection is over, I’m on the data-analysis side of the project, which has other costs such as translation. The Knapp Fellowship paid for nearly every aspect of my project.

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A: What piece of advice would you give to someone who is unsure about applying for the Knapp Fellowship?

G: If you feel like you have a solid project in mind and that you’re passionate about it, then I would say go for it. The worst thing that they could do is say no. The grant writing experience is so invaluable. If you want to be able to fund your projects in the future, you need to know how to write specifically in a way where you can provide a story. I was trying to think about how I could convince the Knapp Fellowship judges to invest in my project, so that they can see the profound impact it will make for women and children in Delhi and eventually throughout India. If you can see that vision, then stick to it. Even if you don’t get it, it’s a learning experience; the Knapp Fellowship is not the first grant that I applied for, but you get better as a writer on how to pitch your project.

For more information on the partnership between GW and Girl Rising, check out this article in GW Today (which Gayatri was featured in).

The Knapp Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Service-Learning makes it possible for exceptional GW students to combine scholarship with action and change the world. Prizes of up to $10,000 will be given out to student-led service projects. Check out or profile of Knapp Fellow Chloe King here.

Don't miss your chance to apply! The 2018 application is live now and is due by January 12, 2018. For questions about the Knapp Fellowship or for mentorship with your idea contact Wendy Wagner at wagnerw@gwu.edu.

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