Podcast: University Students, Faculty on a Mission to Protect Our Tomorrows

During Campus Sustainability Month, we showcase programs in which Jeffersonians work to mitigate looming climate change impacts … and more.

In previous episodes of the Nexus Podcast, experts from across the University showcased how Jefferson trains students to focus on sustainable practices in the classroom and beyond.

Those areas ranged from fashion design students creating new garments from repurposed Converse sneakers and vintage gloves and the impacts of climate change and climate-related disasters on health and healthcare delivery, to the creation of the multidisciplinary Institute from Smart and Healthy Cities.

Still, the topic is of such acute interest to students and faculty here at the University that—to commemorate October’s standing as Campus Sustainability Month—we will revisit the area and highlight additional means through which the focus turns to sustainability.

Sustainability in design
Students tour a passive house under construction in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia to learn about high-performance residential construction in an urban environment. (Courtesy of Rob Fryer)

In this episode of the Nexus Podcast, you will hear from those who established our College of Architecture and the Built Environment as one of the earliest programs to zero in on sustainable design as an area of focus.

“The program itself was envisioned by the country’s top sustainable designers and experienced sustainability professors in the architectural fields,” says the College’s Dean Barbara Klinkhammer. “It’s an award-winning, transdisciplinary and collaborative design program focused on market-driven solutions for students who want to become leaders in sustainable design and better serve our society today.”

You’ll also hear from folks at the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce who, upon fielding requests from students interested in learning more, are in the second year of offering an “Introduction to Life Cycle Assessment” elective, which applies sustainability on a more granular level.

“The student response to the course has been amazing,” says Kanbar’s Dean Dr. Ron Kander, who teaches the elective course in its second year. “This course meets for three hours one day a week on Wednesday evenings. You’d think that it would be difficult to sustain the energy in the room for three hours at night, and we never leave the room dragging.”

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