The Robert F. Schumann Foundation has generously awarded the College of the Environment (COE) a 5-year, $2-million grant to focus on the areas of food security, environmental justice, and sustainability. The Schumann Institute of the COE will be adding new positions to enhance teaching, research, and community engagement; building a network of local community organizations that specialize in the areas of food security, environmental justice, and sustainability; providing opportunities for Wesleyan environmental studies students to work with these organizations to help their efforts; and creating a “pipeline” of professional training for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and professors of the practice so that they will have the skills and knowledge needed to contribute importantly when they leave Wesleyan. Enhanced courses; student immersion in community engagement projects; student internships; campus and community seminars, symposia, and workshops; scholarly output on environmental issues; and other related activities will all be supported with the grant.
Every year, the COE awards fellowships to fund summer research opportunities for Wesleyan students across all majors and class years. Sophie Scobell ‘22 is a biology and East Asian studies double major. Aashni Parikh ‘22 is an earth & environmental sciences and biology double major. Scobell and Parikh, along with Fatima Ejaz, ’22 and Helen Lei ’23, spent the summer in the Chernoff Lab, setting out to sequence what will be only the fifth fully sequenced fish genome.
Six students in Barry Chernoff’s ENVS197 (Introduction to Environmental Studies) course worked side-by-side with members of Wesleyan’s Physical Plant this semester, as part of a collaborative project with Forklift Danceworks, an organization that employs performance to activate communities through a collaborative creative process. The Austin-based organization was founded by choreographer Allison Orr, a former Menakka and Essel Bailey ’66 Distinguished Visiting Scholar here at the COE, who lead the project, with help from Forlift’s assistant choreographer Gretchen LaMotte ’18.
On October 26, 2018, foundation advisors David and Ford Schumann and foundation trustee Timothy Crowley joined COE Director Barry Chernoff, the Robert F. Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, and Antonio Machado-Allison, the Menakka and Essel Bailey ’66 Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the COE, on a tour of Wesleyan University’s student-run Long Lane Farm.