This year's Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue, entitled Climate Change: Building a Better Future Through Conversation will take place on Monday, November 2, 2015 in the Cohen Center Ballroom. The Center invites students, University faculty, stakeholders, community members, and campus leaders for conversation in the Ballroom before the main event at 5:30pm. The main event will begin at 6:00 pm and end approximately at 8:00 pm.
The Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue is an annual event sponsored by the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education. The signature series focuses on education for a sustainable future, including fostering student’s roles as stewards of their natural, cultural, and political environments. The Dialogue is intended to spark student action and stimulate environmental discourse among FGCU and Southwest Florida communities. Faculty members are encouraged to invite students to attend as the event is organized by students, for students. The event is, as always, open to the general public, including conservation organizations, citizen advocates, and the scientific community.
This year’s Dialogue will be focused on the sense of urgency that climate change presents us. The dialogue will be a World Café-style participatory dialogue, designed to facilitate open and critical discussion and collaboration. The World Café process gives all participants the opportunity to be directly involved in the Dialogue and is an effective method for bringing people together around important issues. This method is a departure from the traditional lecture-style panel dialogues that the Center has hosted in the past. This year’s Dialogue will present students with the opportunity to join various important conversations facilitated by knowledgeable students, professors, alumni, and community partners. The purpose of setting up the Dialogue as a World Café is to draw on the collective knowledge and wisdom in the room and to encourage collaboration and action amongst participants.
The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education would like to welcome back all faculty, staff, and students from what we hope was a relaxing and enjoyable summer. With the beginning of the new semester, the Center is back in full swing and Center staff members are ready to begin the new academic year. This year the Center would like to welcome new student assistants Sarah Davenport and Uzair Iqbal and new community volunteer Bob Soter to the team. We would also like to welcome back Judy Rosenberg, Kevin Bedson, and Onye’ Ogene. Also, a special welcome back to Center Director Peter Blaze Corcoran!
New student assistant, Uzair Iqbal, is an Environmental Studies Major with a Minor in Interdisciplinary Studies. He was born in Pakistan and moved to San Antonio, Texas 10 years ago. Three years ago, he transferred to Fort Myers to study at FGCU. After quickly getting involved in several student organizations he gained the experience to become the Director of Sustainability for Student Government. As a Student Assistant at the Center for Environmental Sustainability and Education he will be organizing and promoting the Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue. He will also be providing technical and marketing support for the Center. Uzair hopes to one day lessen the environmental problems for Pakistan by increasing sustainability awareness.
New Student Assistant Sarah Davenport is a sophomore at Florida Gulf Coast University majoring in Anthropology. She is also a Service Learning coordinator at the FGCU Food Forest and is passionate about permaculture as a sustainable form of living. Sarah’s roles at the Center include website maintenance and organizing the Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue. While working at the Center, Sarah hopes to engage students in sustainability issues and encourage students to pursue sustainable lifestyles.
Returning student assistant Onye’ Ogene is a senior at Florida Gulf Coast University, currently majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in Environmental Education and Climate Change. Being raised in Miami, Florida has led to Onye’s extreme passion for the world’s oceans. She is highly interested in Marine Ecology and aspires to pursue a master’s degree in Marine Conservation and Policy. Onye has been working at the Center since the beginning of the 2015 spring semester, her role at the Center includes assisting with the SAGE (Student Associates for a Greener Environment) project, working on the website, and working on other Center projects. While working at the Center, Onye’ hopes to further the environmental education outreach at the university by raising awareness of the environmental changes the world is facing.
Center Staff Manager, Kevin Bedson, is a May 2015 graduate of FGCU and a South Florida Native. He has his bachelor's degree in Communication Ecology with a minor in Philosophy. Kevin has been working for the Center since August 2013. Kevin's role at the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education is to manage staff and press releases, which includes working with local newspapers. While working at the Center Kevin hopes to expand principles of sustainable living to students and the community.
We will be looking to our student assistants to help us duplicate the success of previous years. Last year, we were able to hold a number of successful events including our two signature events, The Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue and Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture.
The Center is already working hard in preparation for this year’s events. This year the Center will be hosting the Terry Tempest William Student Dialogue (TTWSD) on November 2, 2015 in the Cohen Center Ballroom. This year’s TTWSD will focus on climate change and how students can get involved in climate action. There will be representatives from organizations on campus and in the community facilitating discussions in small groups. This event seeks to raise awareness and promote action on the issue. The Center has also started working on Student Associates for a Greener Environment (SAGE), which is a signature grant program of the Center that provides support to student sustainability projects under the direction of a faculty or staff mentor. Updates for SAGE can be found on the SAGE page, on the Center’s website. The Center will also be hosting the annual Rachael Carson Distinguished Lecture Weekend. The Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture is named in her honor to keep her legacy alive among rising generations. Carson’s contribution to human understanding of our environment is unparalleled. Rachel Carson’s contributions, most relevant to the mission of the Center, are public policy based on sound science and ethics, active participation of an ecologically literate citizenry, and appreciation of the natural world through the literary arts and environmental education.
The Center is excited to continue sharing its vision for a more sustainable and peaceful future for Earth through scholarship, education, and action, since its birth in 2004. In 11 years of excellence, the Center’s commitment to the FGCU and southwest Florida community has allowed the Center to share its vision with thousands of students, community members, and businesses on both local and international scales.
For more information please contact our Student Assistants at 239-590-7025 or the Executive Secretary at 239-590-7492
Note from Brandon Hollingshead, Interim Director 2014-2015
Many thanks to the supporters, students, faculty, and staff that made Academic Year 2014-2015 a year of successful activity at the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education. This is a brief summary of our accomplishments this year on campus at Florida Gulf Coast University and in the wider world.
Thank you again to our supporters and stakeholders at Florida Gulf Coast University, in the Western Everglades and Barrier Islands of Southwest Florida, and in the wider community of scholars. We look forward to Peter Blaze Corcoran's return to FGCU and the re-opening the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education in August 2015 at the start of Academic Year 2015-2016.