DURHAM — University of New Hampshire students interested in contributing to solutions for the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges will soon be able to participate in a more meaningful way.
UNH’s Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise is working with the college’s Sustainability Institute to create a program for students interested in climate change and other sustainability issues. The hope is to have students engage in tangible, high-impact, community-engaged projects on campus and beyond.
Deborah Merrill-Sands is the dean of the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics. She said UNH students want programs that allow them to use their business skills to pursue careers that have a positive impact on society.
“They are demanding a new type of education, one that is more experimental and aligns with their career motivations,” Merrill-Sands said in a statement.
The Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise was formed as a joint initiative of the Paul College and the Carsey School of Public Policy.
According to its website, the Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise is an interdisciplinary center that encourages students, faculty, staff and community members to “harness the tools of business, public policy, activism, community and civic engagement and philanthropy to contribute to a more socially, environmentally and economically sustainable world.”
The Sustainability Institute at UNH is the oldest endowed higher education sustainability program in the country. Its mission is to “be a catalyst, convener and champion of sustainability ideas and actions across and beyond the University of New Hampshire.”
Sustainability initiatives at UNH started in the 1970s. In 1998, the Office of Sustainability Programs was created through a gift from an alumnus, according to its website.
UNH President James Dean said the new partnership is a great example of how the college helps prepare graduates to become engaged and ethical global citizens.
“This partnership will create many new and accessible pathways for students to engage in sustainability,” Dean said in a statement.
The partnership will bring Fiona Wilson, executive director of Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise, into the Sustainability Institute as a deputy chief sustainability officer and director, according to a news release issued by UNH officials on Thursday.