Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Dr. Monika Bilka Named Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellow

At CGCC, we pride ourselves on our award-winning faculty. We believe in our faculty pursuing their research interests and utilizing that research to educate our students. These distinguished faculty members add to the enriching experience at our college.

History professor Dr. Monika Bilka has been named a 2019 Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Community College Faculty Fellow for her case study Remaking a People, Restoring a Watershed: Klamath Tribal Empowerment through Natural Resource Governance. The inaugural class of fellows includes 26 faculty members.

According to the ACLS, “The Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowships recognize humanities and social science faculty who teach at two-year institutions and their vital contributions to scholarship, teaching and their communities.” The inaugural class of fellows includes 26 faculty members.

“We’re thrilled to announce the recipients of these awards,” said ACLS program officer Rachel Bernard, “each of whom exemplifies the kind of rich humanistic research, innovative pedagogy and deep community engagement that is flourishing within humanities programs at two-year colleges across the country. This program serves an unmet need by supporting teacher-scholars at community colleges through flexible stipends that fellows can use to fund their research, teaching and public programming.”

The fellows will each receive a $40,000 stipend to be used for any activities that advance their research projects. They will attend a convening hosted by ACLS in fall 2020 to share their research.

“We are honored to count Dr. Bilka among our outstanding faculty at Chandler-Gilbert,” said Dr. Greg Peterson, CGCC President. “Her research will not only have a profound impact in our classrooms, but on sustainability and resource management efforts across the country. I congratulate her on the well-deserved fellowship.”

In her abstract, Dr. Bilka writes, “In 1961, the federal termination policy transferred the Klamath Tribes' land in southern Oregon out of tribal ownership and ended all federal education and social programs guaranteed to the Klamaths through their treaty with the US government. Without dismissing the traumatic effects of the termination policy, Remaking a People, Restoring a Watershed analyzes how the Klamath Tribes asserted sovereignty to influence natural resource management on public and private lands. While this case study focuses on the Pacific Northwest, it speaks to environmental issues that Native American tribes and non-Indian communities face across the United States. This project will result in a book manuscript and lessons for history, Native American studies, and sustainability courses offered through Maricopa County Community College District.”

The fellows will each receive a $40,000 stipend to be used for any activities that advance their research projects. They will attend a convening hosted by ACLS in fall 2020 to share their research.

For more information on the Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellows, visit https://www.acls.org/Recent-Awardees/Mellon-ACLS-Community-College-Faculty.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

CGCC Wins 2019 AASHE Sustainability Award

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) announced Chandler-Gilbert Community College’s Food Waste Recycling Project as the recipient of the 2019 AASHE Sustainability Awards in the Associate/Two-year Institutions category for outstanding achievements in sustainability. 

This year, AASHE received 350+ entries that resulted in 11 winners in four categories. Winners will be recognized during the Opening Ceremony at the annual AASHE Conference & Expo in Spokane, Washington on Oct. 27. Entries were judged on overall impact, innovation, stakeholder involvement, clarity and other criteria specific to each category.

“We are honored to win the 2019 AASHE Sustainability Award. Our Food Waste Recycling Project not only exemplifies our commitment to sustainability, it also showcases our emphasis on collaboration across disciplines,” said CGCC President Dr. Greg Peterson. “An outstanding team of students, faculty and staff brought this project to fruition, and the entire Chandler-Gilbert community will benefit from their dedication to the Food Waste Recycling Project.”

The CGCC Food Waste Recycling Project is a grant-funded campus-wide ongoing collaborative project that offers deep, cross-disciplinary, experiential student learning via an innovative solution for CGCC’s food and green waste. With the support of campus facilities, this program has established a receptacle system that facilitates separation of food waste generated on campus. A collaborative group of biology and engineering students, with guidance from faculty, have designed a unique organic waste digester machine that will recycle food and green waste into a nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer, which will be used to maintain campus grounds.

Through collaborative biology, art, English, and communications projects, students have begun a marketing campaign that promotes a “sustainability mindset” by changing the behavior of how the campus community handles their waste through increasing awareness of what happens to our food after we dispose of it. CGCC students play an integral role throughout this project, which offers a unique opportunity to practice translational science, bringing innovative ideas to the public while fostering critical thinking and confidence in their innovative potential.

“The Food Waste Recycling Project highlights both the research and implementation strategies and methods at Chandler-Gilbert and addresses the global need for sustainable waste management,” said CGCC Dean of Instruction Gabriela Rosu. “Winning the 2019 AASHE Sustainability Award is a huge honor and will help raise awareness for this innovative solution to one of the world’s most significant challenges.”

“The 2019 award winners demonstrate an inspiring passion for solving some of the world’s most complex challenges. They are truly pioneering the campus sustainability movement,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. 

To learn more about AASHE’s Sustainability Awards programs, please visit http://www.aashe.org/get-involved/awards/.