SUST Alumni Recount Their Grad School Experiences for Earth Month 2021 @RooseveltU

As part of our Earth Month 2021 program of virtual sustainability events this past spring semester, five distinguished alumni of Roosevelt’s Sustainability Studies (SUST) program met via Zoom on Thursday, April 29th, to talk about their recent grad school experiences. Our panelists recounted their process of researching, selecting, and applying to a graduate program; what their time in graduate school has been like; and how their RU education prepared them for graduate study.

Alumni Panelists:

  • Yessenia Balcazar (BA ’18), MA ’21 at University of IL Chicago (Urban Planning)
  • Wilmarie Medina-Cortes (BA ’19), MA student at University of IL Chicago (Museum Studies)
  • Lindsey Sharp (BA ’16), MA student at Wayne State University (Anthropology)
  • Moses Viveros (BA ’17), MA and MBA (’20) graduate from Chatham University (Food Studies and Business Administration)
  • Charlton Zimmerman (BA ’19), MPA student at University of Delaware (Public Administration)

Moderator: Dr. Mike Bryson, Professor and Director of Sustainability Studies, Roosevelt University’s College of Arts & Sciences

Link to Youtube Video: https://youtu.be/z1fOIjj20dQ


Yessenia Balcazar (BA ’18, MA ’21)


Wilmarie Medina-Cortes (BA ’19)


Lindsey Sharp (BA ’16)


Moses Viveros (BA ’17, MA + MBA ’20)


Charlton Zimmerman (BA ’19)

Since its founding in 2010 as the Chicago area’s first sustainability-focused bachelor’s degree, the SUST program’s more than 100 alumni have pursued a wide variety of career and graduate education pathways, community and environmental service projects, and creative endeavors.

Posted in alumni, degrees, education, events, Roosevelt, students | 1 Comment

Everyone @RooseveltU Benefits from AASHE Membership

aashe10_logo

Roosevelt University reconfirmed its commitment this summer to bolstering its sustainability initiatives and building a healthy and just world by renewing its membership for 2021 in AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.) Membership benefits are free to every individual at RU so that the entire campus community can take advantage of membership, as well.

AASHE offers extensive online resources and discussion forums for professional development and sharing knowledge. AASHE is best known for hosting the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a comprehensive campus sustainability rating system that enables institutions to measure their progress and learn from others. STARS helps institutions select meaningful and appropriate pathways to sustainability while conserving valuable resources, combating global warming, and building healthier communities. The AASHE Bulletin is a weekly e-newsletter that provides current info and resources on sustainability in higher education (including job opportunities). The Resource Hub is a one-stop shop for all kinds of resources relating to just about any campus sustainability-related topic.

To sign up, go to http://www.aashe.org and click on “create an account” at the top right of the home page. Use your Roosevelt email address! Next, log in to receive a confirmation email from AASHE using the password they provide.

Roosevelt’s Wabash Building (background) and Auditorium Building (foreground); source: Roosevelt University

About AASHE

AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. To further its mission of empowering higher education to lead the sustainability transformation, AASHE provides resources, professional development, and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model sustainability in all areas, from governance and operations to education and research. AASHE defines sustainability in an inclusive way, encompassing human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods, and a better world for all generations. AASHE is a member-driven, independent 501(c)(3).

Posted in alumni, education, news, resources, Roosevelt, students | 1 Comment

Seasonal Positions Available on the Natural Areas Crew (Chicago Park District)

The Chicago Park District is now hiring seasonal positions on the Natural Areas Crew.  
The Natural Areas Crew is responsible for ecological restoration and community engagement support across the majority of the South and Southeast Side natural areas.

Duties include invasive species management; Nature Play construction and maintenance; native plant installations; prescribed burns; and community and volunteer stewardship support. Candidates must be able to perform manual labor and be comfortable working in all weather conditions. Candidates will be required to obtain a pesticide license and apply herbicides.

Interested applicants must apply online by Friday, May 28th.

Find the job posting at this link:
https://aa128.taleo.net/careersection/ex/jobdetail.ftl?job=2100006&tz=GMT-05%3A00&tzname=America%2FChicago

Or, go to the Chicago Park District homepage: at the top right on the website, click “Jobs,” then scroll and click on “Seasonal Jobs” to view listing under the title “NATURAL AREAS TECHNICIAN (SEASONAL) – 2100006.”

Posted in cities, conservation, green jobs, parks and public land, restoration | 1 Comment

This Thursday 4/29: SUST Alumni Talk Grad School

As part of our Earth Month 2021 program of virtual sustainability events, join alumni of Roosevelt’s Sustainability Studies (SUST) program this Thursday, April 29th at 5pm on Zoom as they talk about their recent grad school experiences. Our panelists will recount their process of researching, selecting, and applying to a graduate program; what their time in graduate school has been like; and how their RU education prepared them for graduate study.

Alumni Panelists:

  • Yessenia Balcazar (BA ’18), MA student at University of IL Chicago (Urban Planning)
  • Wilmarie Medina-Cortes (BA ’19), MA student at University of IL Chicago (Museum Studies)
  • Lindsey Sharp (BA ’16), MA student at Wayne State University (Anthropology)
  • Moses Viveros (BA ’17), MA and MBA (’20) graduate from Chatham University (Food Studies and Business Administration)
  • Charlton Zimmerman (BA ’19), MPA student at University of Delaware (Public Administration)

Moderator: Dr. Mike Bryson, Professor and Director of Sustainability Studies, Roosevelt University’s College of Arts & Sciences

Zoom Login: https://roosevelt.zoom.us/j/93057186344


Yessenia Balcazar (BA ’18)


Wilmarie Medina-Cortes (BA ’19)


Lindsey Sharp (BA ’16)


Moses Viveros (BA ’17, MA + MBA ’20)


Charlton Zimmerman (BA ’19)

Since its founding in 2010 as the Chicago area’s first sustainability-focused bachelor’s degree, the SUST program’s more than 100 alumni have pursued a wide variety of career and graduate education pathways, community and environmental service projects, and creative endeavors.

Posted in alumni, degrees, education, events, Roosevelt, students | Comments Off on This Thursday 4/29: SUST Alumni Talk Grad School

Explore Urban Ecology this Summer @RooseveltU!

This coming Summer 2021, the Sustainability Studies program will offer an innovative and exciting fully-online course, SUST 361 Urban Ecology, taught by Prof. Graham Pickren.

SUST students conduct field experiments on water infiltration rates in Chicago parklands (summer 2018)

A unique experiential learning (EXL) seminar, SUST 361 introduces students to the research methods and practices of the growing field of Urban Ecology. In the environmental sciences, cities were once considered unsuitable for studies of “nature.” However, urban landscapes are now being recognized not only as important places for wildlife habitat, but also as laboratories where new relationships between people and ecosystems are emerging.

This course provides students with an overview of urban ecology followed by instruction in research methodologies like air quality monitoring, urban heat island monitoring, and stormwater management. While normally offered as an in-person experiential learning course, due to COVID-19 this course will be offered fully online in 2021. Students will independently collect and analyze data relevant to human and ecological well-being in Chicago and will visit significant ecological sites around the city on their own. Professor Pickren will provide guidance via Zoom and Blackboard. This will typically involve students meeting with the professor via Zoom in the morning and then practicing research methods in the field in the afternoon. The course culminates in a series of reports on topics of significance to the environmental community in Chicago.

  • Title/number: SUST 361 Urban Ecology (section 98)
  • Semester offered: Summer 2021, Session D (July 12 thru Aug 14)
  • Location: Online
  • Pre-req: ENG 102
  • Registration info for Visiting and Non-Degree Seeking students

SUST majors and minors may take this class to fulfill an upper-level SUST 3xx requirement, but 361 also is open to students at large (currently at RU, from the colleges and universities of the Resilience Studies Consortium, or other institutions) seeking an experiential learning course, needing a general education course, or desiring elective credit.

Course goals:

  • Demonstrate basic command of core urban ecology methods, concepts, and theory;
  • Design a practical multidisciplinary research project as a team;
  • Collect and analyze data to inform research questions;
  • Write a research report and deliver project findings to stakeholders in written and oral form; and
  • Make scientifically informed decisions about societal issues related to urban areas.

For questions and more details about this course, please contact Dr. Graham Pickren (gpickren@roosevelt.edu), assistant professor of Sustainability Studies. RU’s summer session registration information is available here.

Posted in biodiversity, cities, conservation, courses, ecology, education, faculty, parks and public land, Roosevelt, science, students | 2 Comments

Tomorrow 4/22: RU Alumni Talk Sustainability on Earth Day

This Earth Day, April 22nd, join alumni of Roosevelt’s Sustainability Studies (SUST) program as they talk about the sustainability work they do in their jobs, communities, and personal lives, as well as reflect on the meaning of Earth Day. Since its founding in 2010 as the Chicago area’s first sustainability-focused bachelor’s degree, the SUST program’s more than 100 alumni have pursued a wide variety of career pathways, community and environmental service projects, and creative endeavors.

Please join Dr. Mike Bryson, Professor and Director of Sustainability Studies in Roosevelt’s College of Arts & Sciences, as he hosts two virtual roundtable conversations this Thursday 4/22 with SUST alumni. Learn about how sustainability plays a role in their current jobs, get inspired by their service and activism, and engage in thoughtful discussion about the state of the world in 2021 and its sustainable future.

Two roundtables are scheduled: the first at 1pm and the second at 6pm (both CST), each featuring different alumni. All members of the RU community are welcome to attend one or both!

REGISTER HERE for these Zoom events —

Moderator: Dr. Mike Bryson, Professor and Director of Sustainability Studies, Roosevelt University’s College of Arts & Sciences

Alumni Participants – 1 PM Session

  • Maria Cancilla (BPS ’18), Garden Educator
  • Karen Craig (BA ’15), Manager of Retail & Visitor Experience at Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance
  • Reece Krishnan (BA ’16), Energy Specialist at Franklin Energy Services
  • Tiffany Mucci-Heitman (BPS ’16), Licensed Massage Therapist and Freelance Writer
  • Emily Rhea (BA ’16), Project Manager and Energy Analyst at Eco Achievers

Alumni Participants – 6 PM Session

  • Zarakyah Ahmadiel (BPS ’13), Restorative Practices Coordinator for Blocks Together / Cameron Elementary School
  • Jessie Crow Mermel (BPS ’12), Marketing & Development Assistant at Severson Dells Nature Center; On-farm Educator at Angelic Organics Learning Center
  • Stephanie Eisner (BA ’13), Program Manager & Philanthropic Advisor at Caerus Foundation
  • Diana Ramirez (BA ’17), Roving Forest Corps Leader at Student Conservation Association (Americorps)
  • MeLissa Tate (BA ’18), Corporate Sustainability Specialist at Ferrara Candy Co.
Posted in alumni, ecology, education, events, faculty, green jobs, Roosevelt, students | 1 Comment

Today @3pm: Author & Naturalist Tom Fleischner on Nature, Love, & the “Healing Wilderness”

This spring 2021 semester, Prof. Mike Bryson’s SUST 101 Humans & Nature class is collaborating with two other schools in the Resilience Studies Consortium on a correspondence project called “The Healing Wilderness.” Students at RU, Western Colorado University, and Paul Smith’s College (NY) are paired up as pen pals and exchanging letters this semester reflecting on their place-based encounters with / observations of nature, pandemic life experiences, and course reading reflections.

Part of our project involves the sharing of guest speakers related to our theme of nature’s restorative powers in a time of stress, illness, and anxiety. Today 4/20, the RSC hosts a talk from 3-4:15pm CST by Dr. Tom Fleischner on nature and wellness and his book Nature, Love, Medicine (Torrey House, 2017).

Dr. Tom Fleischner of the Natural History Institute

Thomas L. Fleischner, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Natural History Institute and the editor of Nature, Love, Medicine: Essays On Wildness and Wellness. Check out his website and the special issue of Ecopsychology on Reciprocal Healing: Nature, Health, and Wild Vitality, that he co-edited.

Please join us today at 3pm CST at this Zoom link:

http://zoom.us/j/402326456​ (updated on 4/16/21)

This event is hosted by Prof. Laura Pritchard of WCU on behalf of the Resilience Studies Consortium. For more information, contact Prof. Mike Bryson (mbryson@roosevelt.edu).

Posted in courses, events, health, publications, science, students | Comments Off on Today @3pm: Author & Naturalist Tom Fleischner on Nature, Love, & the “Healing Wilderness”

Go Green During Earth Month 2021 @RooseveltU!

This April is #RUEarthMonth2021, and there are lots of ways to go green at Roosevelt as part of our university sustainability efforts, whether you’re on or off campus — from attending talks to hearing from SUST alumni to joining fellow students in RU Green’s activities.

All events are virtual and detailed information can be found in the various links below!

Mon 4/19 thru Mon 5/3 — Spring 2021 Student Research and Creative Scholarship Symposium: week-long event featuring a mix of live sessions, poster presentations and pre-recorded oral & performance studies presentations. Student presentations will be posted on the site during RSRS week. Register for sessions ahead of time (not required) to receive a link to add the event to your calendar.

Mon 4/19 thru Th 4/22 — RU Green Earth Week Activities for students, including an Environmental Success meeting (Mon), Day in Nature (Tue), Changes @RU (Wed), and Planting & Good Vibes (Th).

Tues 4/20 — Nature, Love, & the Healing Wilderness: a talk by author and naturalist Tom Fleischner, sponsored by Prof. Mike Bryson’s SUST 101 Humans & Nature class and the Resilience Studies Consortium (3-4:15pm).

Th 4/22 Earth Day — RU Alumni Talk Sustainability: two panel sessions, each featuring five SUST alumni talking about the sustainability work they do in their jobs, communities, and personal lives, as well as reflecting on the meaning of Earth Day (1pm and 6pm).

Th 4/29 — SUST Alumni Talk Grad School: join recent SUST alumni as they recount their process of researching, selecting, and applying to a graduate program; what their time in graduate school has been like; and how their RU education prepared them for graduate study (5-6pm).

Throughout April — Earth Day Service Opportunities & Events throughout Chicago, sponsored by the Chicago Conservation Corps (C3) and other organizations. Check out the many events listed here by C3 as well as these by the Cook County Forest Preserves. Help clean up parklands, restore natural areas, and meet conservation-minded and nature loving sustainability nerds from across the city. Fun and rewarding in a deeply spiritual and dirt-under-your-nails kind of way!

SUST alumni on the WB Rooftop Garden during Service Day 2017. L to R: Moses Viveros (BA ’17), Diana Ramirez (BA ’17), Beeka Quesnell (BA ’15), & Maria Cancilla (BPS ’18) (photo: M. Bryson)

Posted in activities, alumni, ecology, education, events, recycling, Roosevelt, service, students, waste | Comments Off on Go Green During Earth Month 2021 @RooseveltU!

SUST Alumni Talk Grad School on 4/29

As part of our Earth Month 2021 program of virtual sustainability events, join alumni of Roosevelt’s Sustainability Studies (SUST) program on Thursday, April 29th at 5pm on Zoom as they talk about their recent grad school experiences. Our panelists will recount their process of researching, selecting, and applying to a graduate program; what their time in graduate school has been like; and how their RU education prepared them for graduate study.

Alumni Panelists:

  • Yessenia Balcazar (BA ’18), MA student at University of IL Chicago (Urban Planning)
  • Wilmarie Medina-Cortes (BA ’19), MA student at University of IL Chicago (Museum Studies)
  • Lindsey Sharp (BA ’16), MA student at Wayne State University (Anthropology)
  • Moses Viveros (BA ’17), MA and MBA (’20) graduate from Chatham University (Food Studies and Business Administration)
  • Charlton Zimmerman (BA ’19), MPA student at University of Delaware (Public Administration)

Moderator: Dr. Mike Bryson, Professor and Director of Sustainability Studies, Roosevelt University’s College of Arts & Sciences

Zoom Login: https://roosevelt.zoom.us/j/93057186344

Since its founding in 2010 as the Chicago area’s first sustainability-focused bachelor’s degree, the SUST program’s more than 100 alumni have pursued a wide variety of career and graduate education pathways, community and environmental service projects, and creative endeavors.

Posted in alumni, degrees, education, events, Roosevelt, students | 2 Comments

Nature, Love, & the “Healing Wilderness”: A Talk by Author Tom Fleischner on Tues 4/20

This spring 2021 semester, Prof. Mike Bryson’s SUST 101 Humans & Nature class is collaborating with two other schools in the Resilience Studies Consortium on a correspondence project called “The Healing Wilderness.” Students at RU, Western Colorado University, and Paul Smith’s College (NY) are paired up as pen pals and exchanging letters this semester reflecting on their place-based encounters with / observations of nature, pandemic life experiences, and course reading reflections.

Part of our project involves the sharing of guest speakers related to our theme of nature’s restorative powers in a time of stress, illness, and anxiety. Next Tues 4/20, the RSC will host a talk from 3-4:15pm CST by Dr. Tom Fleischner on nature and wellness and his book Nature, Love, Medicine (Torrey House, 2017).

Dr. Tom Fleischner of the Natural History Institute

Thomas L. Fleischner, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Natural History Institute and the editor of Nature, Love, Medicine: Essays On Wildness and Wellness. Check out his website and the special issue of Ecopsychology on Reciprocal Healing: Nature, Health, and Wild Vitality, that he co-edited.

Please join us next Tues 4/20 at 3pm CST at this Zoom link:

http://zoom.us/j/402326456​ (updated on 4/16/21)

This event is hosted by Prof. Laura Pritchard of WCU on behalf of the Resilience Studies Consortium. For more information, contact Prof. Mike Bryson (mbryson@roosevelt.edu).

Posted in courses, events, health, publications, science, students | 2 Comments