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Georgia Southern University to Host First Student Sustainability Summit

eagle headGeorgia Southern University students are encouraged to ‘think global, act local” at the University’s first Student Sustainability Summit Oct. 23-25.

The summit, a partnership between Georgia Southern and the Pearson Foundation, is the first of its kind and will be a model for future summits across the country, according to Lissa Leege, director of the Office of Sustainability in the Allen E. Paulson College of Science and Technology. The Pearson Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Pearson PLC media company, chose Georgia Southern as the host because of the University’s reputation as a leader in environmental awareness.

‘Georgia Southern University has a strong environmental science program, and the entire campus community is making a commitment to reduce its environmental impact through sustainability,” Leege said. ‘The Pearson Foundation considered Georgia Southern a great choice to host the summit since its students and faculty members are so knowledgeable on sustainability issues.”

The entire summit is free of charge to students, but pre-registration is required. Space is limited, so interested students are encouraged to register soon. To register, go to www.pearsonfoundation.org/sustainability.

The three-day summit begins Thursday, Oct. 23, with a keynote address by filmmaker Eric Flagg at 7:30 p.m. at the Nessmith-Lane Continuing Education Building. Flagg will screen his award-winning film Gimme Green, a humorous look at America’s obsession with the residential lawn and the effects it has on our environment, our wallets and our outlook on life.

The summit continues on Friday, Oct. 24, with each student spending the day working on one of two action tracks. Students can ‘think global” and create an environmental film, or ‘act local” and participate in hands-on community projects.

Students who choose to ‘think global” will work with Eric Flagg and the Pearson Digital Arts Alliance to plan, shoot and edit a short film on the environmental topic of their choice. The students will leave the summit with their videos, to share with others to make change.

‘The students will have these films for the rest of their lives for educational purposes, so this could have a far-reaching impact,” Leege said. ‘It’s a very creative way to spread information far and wide about sustainability issues.”

The students who opt to ‘act local” will participate in an Ogeechee River cleanup on Friday and a Sustainability Fair in downtown Statesboro on Saturday morning. They will design a sustainability action plan to advise Statesboro City Hall, Copper Beach Apartments, the Town of Register and a local homeowner on creative solutions to reduce their ecological footprints. The students will team with Thatcher Young, an expert from the Department of Natural Resources, to identify ways these groups can become more energy, water and waste efficient.

The students will continue working on their projects on Saturday, Oct. 25. The summit concludes that night with a celebration at the Nessmith-Lane Building, where the students will show their films and unveil their action plans.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University, offers more than 120 degree programs serving more than 17,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. The University, one of Georgia’s largest, is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars and is recognized for its student-centered approach to education.? Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu.

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