Community College Symposium

Mucca che guarda con uno sfondo di una prateria verde e un cielo azzurroFrom Local to Global: Exploring Environmental Sustainability

November 9-10, 2016

Our Community College Symposium is held each November in Chapel Hill, NC. This day-a-half program explores significant global issues, offers best practices in global education, and provides educators an opportunity to incorporate global components into the curriculum. The 2016 symposium will focus on the environment and sustainability.



JOHN BRUNO ibruno-johns a marine ecologist and professor at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research is focused on marine biodiversity, coral reef ecology and conservation and the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems. John earned his Ph.D. from Brown University in ecology and evolutionary biology and was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University in disease ecology. He is currently working primarily in Belize, the Bahamas, Cuba and the Galapagos Islands.

hee-carolCAROL HEE teaches courses in sustainable enterprise and environmental strategy at the Kenan-Flagler Business School. Her research interests concern how companies can reduce costs, minimize risk and gain competitive advantage by implementing strategies guided by environmental and social concerns. Dr. Hee received an honorable mention in the Dr. Alfred N. and Lynn Manos Page Prize for Sustainability in Business Curricula for 2010. She joined Kenan-Flagler after working at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a science writer and systems analyst. She earned her Ph.D. from UNC’s Department of Marine Sciences. Dr. Hee received her master’s in business administration from Kenan-Flagler as well as a bachelor’s of science from the University of Scranton, where she minored in biochemistry and philosophy.

kohanowich-robinROBIN KOHANOWICH is the Coordinator and lead instructor for the Sustainable Agriculture Program at Central Carolina Community College. In this capacity, she has developed and taught the organic farmer education and training curriculum and worked directly with aspiring and beginning farmers for the past 16 years. She holds a B.S. in Fruit and Vegetable Horticulture from Clemson University, and a Masters of Extension Education from NC State University. She lives in a works in Chatham County, North Carolina.

mcmahan-andrewANDREW MCMAHAN is the Chair for the Department of Sustainability at Central Carolina Community College. Andrew has been with CCCC since 2006 serving as a curriculum developer and instructor prior to taking the position as Department Chair. From 2010-12 Andrew served as the Director for the North Carolina Community College System’s Energy Curriculum Improvement Project. He has served as a delegate on several National Science Foundation projects related to international renewable energy training and workforce development. His work with National Science Foundation has allowed him to collaborate with educators, industry, and policy makers in Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and across the US. Andrew is also the owner of a small hydroelectric power company currently in the process of relicensing a hydroelectric operation on the Haw River in Chatham County, NC. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a degree in Environmental Policy & Land Use Planning.

pillar-gregGREG PILLAR is an environmental science scholar who has spoken on more than 50 occasions on topics ranging from the fate of environmental contaminants to global food security. Dr. Pillar’s recent projects include the identification of pharmaceuticals in urban streams; soil development and nutrient cycling in organic farming systems; and quantification of bis-phenol A (BPA) in thermal paper (cash register receipts). Coined “Queens’ Master of Disaster,” by the Charlotte Observer, Dr. Pillar received national media attention for incorporating Hollywood science (and myths) found in natural disaster and science fiction films into his courses including his popular Honors seminar, Recipe for Disaster: Hollywood vs. Reality. Dr. Pillar is a frequent media expert, often featured in consumer advocacy stories that help bring issues to life for the general public.

seymour-rose-maryROSE MARY SEYMOUR has been the Executive Director for the Center for Sustainability at Central Piedmont Community College for five years. Prior to serving as Director, she was an Instructor in the Sustainability Technologies Program, and Project Manager for the Engineering Technology Super Green Curriculum Improvement Project. She has been an instructor, researcher and project manager for over 30 years. Dr. Seymour received both a B.S. and M.S. in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina State University, as well as a Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering from Colorado State University.


ROBERT WALKER is the president of the Population Institute, an international non-profit that educates policymakers and the public about population and seeks to promote universal access to family planning information, education and services. As president, he directs the organization’s advocacy and public education activities, including its work on issues related to health, economic development, sustainability and the environment. Walker was formerly the executive director of the Common Cause Education Fund, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to promote honest and accountable government. Previously, he worked for 14 years on Capitol Hill. Walker received his B.A. in economics from Rockford College and his J.D. from the University of Illinois School of Law. He attended the University of Sydney in Australia under a Rotary graduate fellowship.

STEPHEN WALSH is the Lyle V. Jones Distinguished Professor of Geography and leader of the UNC Galapagos Initiative. The Initiative, which is a joint partnership with the Galapagos Science Center in Ecuador, emphasizes integrative research and education in order to protect Earth’s most unique places. Researchers within the Initiative employ a varied interdisciplinary perspective that identifies the proper balance between the natural environment and the people who live in these places. Dr. Walsh has authored a number of articles and books on geography, the Galapagos and other ecological issues. He also launched a book series on the Galapagos Island and has served as both an editorial board member and co-editor for a number of publications. Dr. Walsh received his B.S. in physical and earth sciences from Fitchburg State College as well as both his M.S. and Ph.D. in resource and physical geography from Oregon State University.

wojciechowski-johnJOHN WOJCIECHOWSKI is a Licensed Architect and Program Director of the Sustainability Technologies Program at Cape Fear Community College. John holds a Master of Architecture degree from Tulane University and has over 20 years of experience in residential and commercial building design. At CFCC John teaches courses in energy management, building science, green building, renewable energy, sustainability and environmental science. John is a LEED Accredited Professional and a Certified Energy Auditor. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and is Past-President of the AIA Wilmington Section. Currently John serves on the Board of Directors of the Cape Fear Economic Development Council and the Branch Leadership Group of the USGBC North Carolina Cape Fear Branch.

Wednesday, November 9 Thursday, November 10
8:00 Registration and breakfast 8:00 Light breakfast
8:30 Welcome
Charlé LaMonica and Neil Bolick, World View
Carol Tresolini, Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives, UNC-Chapel Hill
8:30 Plenary IV — Population and Sustainability: Meeting the Needs of Today and Preserving the Ecological Resources of Tomorrow
Robert Walker, The Population Institute
8:45 Plenary I — Sustainability and Global Food Security: Paradox or Necessity
Greg Pillar, Department of Environmental Sciences and Chemistry, Queens University
9:45 Break
9:45 Break 10:00 Panel — Preparing a Workforce for Careers in Sustainability: The Role of NC Community Colleges
Moderated by Andrew McMahan, Department of Sustainability, Central Carolina Community College
Robin Kohanowich, Sustainable Agriculture Program, Central Carolina Community College
Rose Mary Seymour, Center for Sustainability, Central Piedmont Community College
John Wojciechowski, Sustainability Technologies, Cape Fear Community College
10:00 Plenary II — The Human Impact of Climate Change on the Oceans
John Bruno, Department of Biology, UNC-Chapel Hill
10:45 Break and Exhibits – light refreshments provided
11:00 Concurrent Sessions I 11:00 Plenary Session V — Business of the Environment: Is Business Compatible with Environmental Practices?
Carol Hee, Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC-Chapel Hill
12:15 Lunch  12:00 Next Steps and Adjournment
 1:15 Concurrent Sessions II
 2:30 Break
 2:45 Concurrent Sessions III
 4:00 Plenary III — Coupling Social, Terrestrial and Marine Sub-Systems in the Galapagos Islands Through Integrative Science Perspectives
Steve Walsh, Department of Geography, UNC-Chapel Hill
5:00 Reception
Concurrent Sessions I – 11:00 AM


Connecting Climate Change, Air Pollution and Human Health Globally
William Vizuete, Associate Professor, Environmental Sciences and Engineering Department, UNC-Chapel Hill
Atmospheric aerosols play an important role in the Earth’s climate system and are linked to a variety of health effects, including premature death. Despite aerosol’s importance, there still exists large gaps in our understanding of how they interact with the atmosphere and with our bodies. Come hear about how UNC-Chapel Hill’s chemists, engineers and geneticists are working together to improve our understanding of this elusive and deadly element of our atmosphere.
The Vital Role of Science Literacy in Developing a Sustainable World
Greg Pillar, Chair, Environmental Science and Chemistry Department, Queens University
The projected increase in human population (over nine billion by 2050) will necessitate a 50-75 percent increase in food production or access. In the last decade, efforts to recruit and prepare highly-skilled individuals for careers in agriculture, renewable energy and environmental management have fallen short. If we are to address significant and looming global issues such as food security, a sustained and systemic effort is needed to not only prepare future scientists and agronomics but to create scientific literate consumers, educators, advocates and policymakers. This session will discuss resources and strategies to address the scientific literacy divide in order to address global issues in environmental stewardship, sustainability and food production.
Creating Global Modules for Your Course: Lessons from NC Global Distinction
Steve Turner, Chair, Social Studies Department, Guilford Technical Community College
Sarah Wilde, Director, Success Through Academic Reporting, Central Piedmont Community College
This session will help participants create a global module or student learning activities for their course. Through best practices and a case study, facilitators will point participants toward resources as well as provide an opportunity to start their own design process.
Concurrent Sessions II – 1:15 PM
The Problem with Water: Global Concerns and Local Contexts
Amy Cooke, Director, Undergraduate Education, Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology, UNC-Chapel Hill
Water supply is a critical component of energy production, good health and sanitation. Yet, globally, access to clean water is not assured – even within developed nations like the U.S. – and is a major component of environmental justice campaigns. Following the UN Declaration of Human Rights, more countries are adopting the position that access to clean water is a human right. Given the critical nature of water to human economic activity, what constraints do people have to negotiate globally to maintain sufficient stocks of this crucial resource? This session will examine these issues and address how our choices impact water supply and quality both here and abroad.
Climate Adaption and Resilient Communities
Dana Haine, K-12 Science Education Manager, Institute for the Environment, UNC-Chapel Hill
Sierra Woodruff, Ph.D. Candidate, Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology, UNC-Chapel Hill
During this interactive session we will explore the public health impacts of climate change, distinguish between climate mitigation and adaptation strategies and introduce the features of an effective climate adaptation plan. Resources for student investigation and development of local climate adaptation strategies and plans will be featured.
Global Education Leaders Program Book Discussion
Charlé LaMonica, Director, World View
A World Class Education: Learning from International Models of Excellence and Innovation by Vivien Stewart. This concurrent session is offered for participants in World View’s Global Education Leaders Program Class of 2016/2017.
Introducing Students to Environmental Justice
Scott Morrison, Assistant Professor, School of Education, Elon University
The focus of this session is environmental justice, a worldwide movement that has roots in eastern North Carolina. Participants will learn about the history and philosophy of environmental justice and consider how it can be used as a framework for teaching interdisciplinary skills.
Concurrent Sessions III – 2:45 PM
Energy and Sustainability: Building Low-Carbon Cities
Nikhil Kaza, Associate Professor and Associate Chair, City and Regional Planning Department, UNC-Chapel Hill
This presentation explores the reciprocal connections between energy, land use, environment and transportation. Since cities are the locus of energy consumption, we will discuss various aspects of built environment characteristics on energy consumption and production. We will touch upon some of the policies and programs cities can implement for conserving energy and transitioning to alternative sources.
Sustainability: A Business Imperative that Makes a Difference
Louis Ferretti, Project Executive, Product Environmental Compliance and Supply Chain, Social Responsibility, IBM
The establishment and execution of a credible sustainability program is an imperative for doing business in the 21st century. Learn why this is not just a “not to have” program, but see what real benefits can be delivered to clients, shareholders, investors, employees, and other interested parties.
How to Integrate Environmental and Other Global Issues into Your Teaching
Zac Schnell, Instructor, Environmental Science Department, Pamlico Community College
A World Class Education: Learning from International Models of Excellence and Innovation by Vivien Stewart. This concurrent session is offered for participants in World View’s Global Education Leaders Program Class of 2016/2017.

Fifteen (15) Professional Development Contact Hours credit will be awarded to participants who have successfully completed the symposium.  This includes completing the reading assignment and the accompanying study guide, attending all sessions, and turning in the study guide.  If you do not need the professional development contact hours, you are not required to turn in the study guide.

The reading for the study guide is the NASA website “Climate Change: How Do We Know?”  It is an outstanding teaching tool with multiple layers of multimedia resources regarding all aspects of global climate change.  The format allows the reader to follow their interest through layers of links. It will be an effective resource for you and your students.