Catawba College Supports Global Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education


October 7, 2021

Category: Academics, Environmental Sciences, Events

Catawba College is proud to announce its involvement as host institution and sponsor of the Association for the Advancement of Higher Education (AASHE) Global Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education (GCSHE). This three-day event will offer live interactive sessions, inspiring speakers and engaging networking opportunities for innovative professionals and change agents on campus. This year, the conference will be held virtually with the opportunity for an even wider global audience to come together to advance sustainability in higher education.

With the theme “The future is…”, this year’s GCSHE will reflect on shared struggles and invite participants to re-engage in the urgent work of building a sustainable, equitable and resilient future.

“Our host institutions genuinely defend advances in sustainable development in higher education. We are grateful to work with these selected colleges and universities that directly contribute to the success of the conference and the sustainability movement as a whole, ”said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser.

Dr. Mercedes Quesada-Embid, associate professor of environmental policy and advocacy, initiated discussions around whether to become a host institution. She would like to see Catawba become an even more active member of AASHE as she believes Catawba has a lot of good institutional and academic work to present. Quesada-Embid will present a live session titled “Advocating for Justice: Classrooms, Colleagues and Community”. “This interactive session will be an in-depth and insightful discussion around the intersections of communication, inclusion and community across the diverse social landscapes of a college.” “The idea,” said Quesada-Embid, “is to create an interwoven blend of experiences and perspectives that foster strategies for pragmatic and paradigmatic change in educational institutions.”

She will also co-host a podcast style session with Dr. ChaMarra Saner, associate professor of chemistry. This session focuses on their roles as co-chair of the Catawba Equity, Diversity, Justice and Inclusion (EDJI) Working Group. The session is titled “An EDJI Conversation: Believing in Equity, Diversity, Justice and Inclusion at Catawba College”. This session highlights the progress the working group has made to date and provides insightful feedback on overall strategies and successes. We hope that the presentation can serve as a useful resource for others aiming to propose similar initiatives in their home institutions.

As the host institution, Catawba grants access to the three-day conference to all of its faculty, staff and students. The conference offers many diverse sessions spanning the spectrum of sustainability, from green accounting to health advice, a herbicide-free campus, service-learning athletes, efficient composting on campus, services on-site farm-to-fork catering; and carbon neutral operations, to name a few. Visit the home page of the Environment and Sustainable Development department to find out more.

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About Catawba College
Founded in 1851, Catawba College is a four-year private liberal arts college conveniently located in Salisbury, North Carolina. Ranked as one of the best regional colleges in the South, the College offers over 70 academic programs and three graduate programs providing students with the ability to combine and pass majors. Close faculty mentorship and the many experiential learning options create opportunities for Catawba College graduates to exceed their own expectations and find their calling. Additional information is available at

About the Association for the Promotion of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
AASHE empowers higher education administrators, faculty, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of innovation in sustainable development. AASHE empowers members to translate information into action by providing essential resources and professional development to a diverse and engaged community of sustainability leaders. We work with and for higher education to ensure that the future leaders of our world are motivated and equipped to meet the challenges of sustainable development. For more information, visit Follow AASHE on Facebook and Twitter.

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