dcsimg Marian University Receives $216,000 Federal Grant to Fund Environmental Program

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Marian University to Sponsor a Workplace Bullying Prevention and Awareness Seminar

Chris Lytle

Marian’s Adult Programs (MAP) at Marian University recently announced a workplace bullying seminar to be held at the Marian University Theatre on August 12, 2015. This is a free event and open to the public. The topic—workplace bullying and prevention—is applicable to employees at any level including managers, supervisors, human resources personnel, and business owners. It is scheduled for 6-8 p.m., with registration beginning at 5:30 p.m.

This “Work Shouldn’t Hurt” seminar is the result of a collaborative effort between The Chris Lytle Foundation and the students and faculty of MAP’s current Meeting and Event Planning concentration. Classes within this concentration, as well as 31 other courses in MAP, are partnered with local businesses or non-profits to provide creative solutions for actual business challenges. MAP students have worked with organizations like Indy Parks, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Indy Eleven, and Broad Ripple Village Association...read more

Pilgrims - Susan Jennifer Ellen

Five days into our time in Assisi, the pilgrims from Marian University have all experienced in new ways what our Franciscan sponsorship values mean—for us as individuals and for the Marian community.

Prayer has been a constant for us. Daily Eucharist—whether in small chapels, large basilicas or our hotel--has become the centering experience of our journey. More than half of us are not Catholic, but this most significant of all Catholic rituals has embraced all and engaged us in the formation of a community of individuals renewed in our commitment to the mission of Marian University—to be a great Catholic university dedicated to excellent teaching and learning in the Franciscan and liberal arts tradition.

Marian University Receives $216,000 Federal Grant to Fund Environmental Program

by Mark Apple | Jun 18, 2013

Marian University’s Institute for Green and Sustainable Science (IGSS) has received a highly competitive grant from the federal government that will fund the well-regarded summer program for at least two more years, according to Carl Lecher, Ph.D. ’97, associate professor of chemistry and director of the institute. Marian University received the only such grant for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5, comprising Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

The IGSS Summer Program is held on the campus of Marian University, and is taught by faculty from the Marian University School of Mathematics and Sciences.  In addition to an innovative curricular component, participants can engage in research anchored in one of the four EPA environmental priorities.

Previous research topics have ranged from studying the effects of habitat fragmentation on song sparrow behavior, to chemical and biological investigations of endocrine disruptors, to examination of the hydrogen evolution properties of candidate hydrogen storage materials, to waste minimization in high school laboratories through the implementation of green chemistry techniques and procedures.

IGSS participants make contributions to the broader community both on and off campus.  This summer IGSS is partnering with the Hoosier Environmental Council and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.

“At no other point in history has an understanding of sustainability been so vital to humanity’s survival,” Dr. Lecher said. “Natural resources are being depleted at an alarming rate; yet, sustainability solutions are poorly served in politics, the media, and even some sectors of education. Many times, individuals feel overwhelmed by an excess of information (and sometimes disinformation), and sustainability and its related issues are often seen as too massive or challenging to conquer individually.”

The EPA awarded the $216,000 Environmental Education Grant to support the IGSS Summer Program’s goals.  Participants in the intensive, seven-week program develop scientific skills to understand diverse environmental sustainability issues, and utilize critical thinking and problem solving skills to make smarter and more informed decisions in their personal, professional, and civic lives and the desire to positively impact those around them.

IGSS was established in 2009 as a partnership between Lecher and IGSS co-director, Roderick Macrae, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry.  “Marian University was the first university in the state of Indiana, and one of very few institutions in the United States, to offer a comprehensive green organic chemistry laboratory curriculum,” said Lecher.  “This curriculum was developed in 2003 and has been offered ever since.”   IGSS serves as an umbrella organization embracing the interests of Marian University faculty in ecology, green chemistry, and energy science.

The first IGSS Summer Program was offered in 2009, and has grown to include college students from Marian University and regional institutions, as well as high school science teachers.  IGSS alumni have experienced great success in gaining coveted internships, being admitted to graduate schools, and receiving job placement upon graduation.  Among this year’s group of 14 participants are teachers from Cardinal Ritter, Pike, and Hamilton Southeastern High Schools.

Students from the University of Dayton and Wabash College will join eight students from Marian University’s School of Mathematics and Sciences in the program. Participants in the program pay no out of pocket expenses, earn a $400-per-week stipend, and receive five credit hours toward their degree or continuing education.

“While environmental consciousness is not a new concept,” said Lecher, “at the societal level the majority of people lack the scientific literacy to recognize and incorporate sustainability practices. Utilizing the science of sustainability as a model system for the teaching of sound science is a novel way to improve science literacy at every level of society. At the center of such education is an understanding of sustainable practices, from consumer activity, through building processes, to the energy economy. Effective environmental education will cultivate a scientifically literate citizenry that is well-prepared to tackle the problems of modern society.”

The EPA’s goal is that the IGSS Summer Program will serve as a model for the creation of similar programs across the nation.

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