This is Tiffany Mucci, SUST senior and your 2015-16 Assistant Editor of the Sustainability Studies @ Roosevelt University and Schaumburg’s Sustainable Future blogs. I’m writing to you this January morning, as we embark on a new semester, to formally introduce myself and bring you up to speed on the recent growth within our blogs. Editing and contributing to these blogs has been an excellent extracurricular opportunity for me. Since transferring to RU in Spring ’14, I’ve predominantly chosen to take online classes, this being the more convenient option as a returning adult student based in the suburbs. I am truly delighted to be taking a more active role as an online student in the RU and SUST communities.
You may have already noticed the addition of the Writing Urban Nature page to SUST@RU. This online environmental humanities project, which Prof. Mike Bryson and I launched this past fall, is influenced by the creative writing found on the Center for Humans and Nature’s City Creatures Blog and other wellsprings of urban nature and sustainability writing. The essays featured in Writing Urban Nature were written by RU students in Prof. Bryson’s Summer ’15 inaugural section of SUST 390 Special Topics: Writing Urban Nature, and offer first-hand accounts of encounters with nature within everyday urban and suburban environments.
Over on our sister blog, SSF, the Environmental Justice section has more than doubled in size. The student essays showcased there profile environmental justice and waste issues of communities in the Chicago region, the Midwest, and beyond. Watch for more growth on these two pages, as we will continue adding to them throughout 2016!
Before coming to RU, I earned my Associate in Science degree at Joliet Junior College. During my time there, I was heavily involved with the student subcommittee of the JJC Sustainability Initiative, serving as co-chair in 2012-13. Some of our more memorable accomplishments from those years include designing and rolling out an online Sustainability Pledge for students, faculty, and staff; organizing and hosting annual week-long activities in celebration of Earth Day; and giving presentations at the SMHEC (South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium) Student Sustainability Summits of Fall 2012 and Spring 2013. It was also at JJC — on Earth Day, of all days — that I met Prof. Mike Bryson, and was introduced to the SUST program.
In my concluding semester at RU, I am interning at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, a 19,000-acre preserve in Chicagoland’s southwest reaches. Formerly the site of mass-produced army ammunitions, the land at Midewin is undergoing profound transformation towards a restored tallgrass prairie ecosystem. Just last October, a small herd of American bison was reintroduced to the property as part of their long-term efforts to bring balance and stability to the grassland. Stay tuned, as I will be blogging more on Midewin and my work experience there this spring.
It is a pleasure to “meet” all of you, and I look forward to sharing this academic year with you through the blog. See you there!
Tiffany Mucci is a senior Sustainability Studies major at Roosevelt University and graduate of Joliet Junior College, the first public community college in the US. This year she is Assistant Editor of the SUST@RU blog and co-editing its Writing Urban Nature page, as well as the Environmental Justice section of the SSF blog. She resides near Joliet IL with her husband, where she practices holistic health and dabbles in suburban homesteading.