Given the anticipated needs of a burgeoning world population and the reality of global warming, green education has captured the interest of students, and faculty members across the University are creating programs to fuel the interest in sustainability.

“This is the century of the environment,” said Patricia Hogan, associate professor in the Physics Department and director of the Environmental Engineering program. “The time to debate is over; it’s time to act.”

Sustainability initiatives have attracted a wide range of students, from art and design majors to those studying the sciences.

Among the projects and programs that are preparing students for the environmental sustainability challenge:

  • An Environmental Engineering Program in the Physics Department that is incorporating principles of sustainable design into all levels of engineering coursework. Hogan is developing a green engineering course for seniors that will be piloted in 2008.
  • The incorporation of green chemistry into the Organic Chemistry Laboratory curriculum.
  • A Sustainable Design for Interiors course at the New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University that teaches the principles, theory, and practice of sustainable design in structures and spaces.
  • A core science course on sustainable design offered by the Environmental Engineering Program for non-science majors, “The Built World: How Humans Engineer Environments.”
  • The appointment of a special projects coordinator for Campus Sustainability to coordinate the campus recycling program and staff an energy-efficiency initiative.
  • Outreach to elementary and middle school students involving hands-on projects, using funding obtained by the Environmental Engineering Program. These projects involve multi-disciplinary teams of Suffolk engineering, science, and design students.

“Students trained in sustainability at Suffolk University will be vital to our future, no matter what career path they choose,” said Denyce Wicht, assistant professor of chemistry, whose research interests involve creating novel green chemistry experiments that can be used for green organic chemistry laboratory courses.

Wicht, Hogan, and Karen Clarke, co-program director of the Interior Design Department, who teaches Sustainable Design for Interiors at the New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University, have brought their commitment to sustainability to a wider audience through presentations and professional affiliations.