Sustainability Spotlight: “Think Green” at Meredith
As part of Meredith’s continuing environmental awareness efforts, Celebrating Student Achievement Day included a Sustainability Showcase, which featured the unveiling of Meredith’s sustainability logo.
The new “Think Green” logo features angel wings in a shape reminiscent of the well-recognized recycling symbol. The logo was designed by Senior Graphic Designer Mary Rose, of Meredith’s Department of Marketing.
The “Think Green” logo is to be used by Meredith faculty, staff and students to signify positive environmental change, such as creating an electronic publication rather than a paper-based one or turning off office computers each night.
The logo can be used in recognition of and as a reminder to continue positive environmental efforts.
Suggested ways to use the “Think Green” logo include the following:
1. You delivered something electronically when you’ve traditionally printed the item. Attach “Think Green” to the electronic delivery.
2. You’re actively turning off your computer and monitor every night and weekend. Mark your machine with “Think Green”.
3. You notice a co-worker making a change in his or her work habits. Note their change with a “Think Green” thank you.
4. You ask your organization’s members to bring their own cups to a meeting instead of providing disposables. Note the change with “Think Green” at your meeting.
5. You ask your students to submit work electronically. Place “Think Green” on your syllabus.
Click http://www.meredith.edu/sustainability/logo.htm for more information on the logo.
The Sustainability Showcase also featured demonstrations of ways to cut consumption of resources such as energy and water, along with poster presentations of sustainability-related student research.
All student research projects that included a sustainability focus were indicated in the program of events. Twenty projects had this distinction. Examples included “Problems in Suburbia: A call for small, sustainable homes,” “The content of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in organic and conventionally grown lettuce,” and “Green gadgets: investigating the current and future design of technological devices.”
For more information on Meredith’s sustainability efforts, visit www.meredith.edu/sustainability.
SACS COC Update:
Campus Feedback Helps Refine Quality Enhancement Plan
Meredith’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Committee has spent much of the past month gathering campus input on the proposed QEP learning goals and potential strategies for implementation.
“Educating and Equipping Women to Excel: Improving Critical Thinking,” is the topic of Meredith’s QEP, which is being developed as part of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC) reaffirmation of accreditation process.
Ann Gleason, co-chair of the QEP committee, said the team gathered feedback from the campus community via five focus groups with students, two discussion sessions with faculty and staff, and two open forums. These opportunities were dedicated to the topic selected, to the possibility of a first-year seminar dedicated to building a foundation for critical thinking, and to other ways to improve student learning outcomes in this important area.
While a significant amount of attention has focused on the development of some critical thinking experiences early in students’ academic careers, the intent of the QEP is to continue supporting these critical thinking skills through all four years at Meredith. Regardless of the discipline, these are skills that are important for every Meredith graduate to have and it is our hope that they will be infused into courses well beyond the freshman year.
Presidential Scholars and Student Government Association Executive Board members were among the students who participated in the sessions along with students who responded to an Enews announcement and a targeted student email.
At these sessions, campus community members were asked for feedback on the following questions.
• What are some strategies you would suggest for enhancing students’ critical thinking skills at Meredith?
• What would get you interested in infusing your current courses or programs to improve critical thinking skills, or in developing a first year seminar (or both)?
• If we were to develop a first year seminar, what features would be essential in this seminar that focus on building students’ critical thinking skills?
• What do faculty and staff need in order to improve critical thinking skills on campus?
“The committee appreciates the ideas we received from campus community members, including faculty, staff and students, who have attended QEP meetings and the forums,” Gleason said. “We really value the feedback and support we have received.”
Gleason said the QEP team welcomes additional feedback. Faculty and staff are invited to comment on the QEP blog: www.meredith.edu/sacs/qep/.
The QEP committee will hold a retreat on May 8 to solidify how the QEP program defines critical thinking. The committee goals are to clarify the definition and framework for critical thinking at Meredith, review the institutional data that supports this topic, review focus group feedback and refine strategies for achieving the goals of the QEP. The retreat will provide a direction for work to be completed by the committee over the summer and into the fall.
On May 12, 35 faculty members will participate in a workshop with National Paideia Institute Director Terry Roberts. The workshop topic is critical thinking tools and strategies for the classroom.
For more information, email QEP committee co-chairs Ann Gleason at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mark O’Dekirk, at email@example.com.