A Holistic View of Sustainability and Community Engagement in a Masters Program Culminating Experience

By Connie Ulasewicz and Gus Vouchilas.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This case study was motivated by masters candidates who chose to pursue an integrative, hands-on learning model for their graduate level culminating experiences. As advisors to their work that integrated community engaged scholarship and sustainability, we were inspired and motivated to create a model culminating experience for other masters degree candidates with a holistic view of sustainability, in which environmental, cultural and economic issues are rooted within the experience. Our aim is to create an innovative approach to address the culminating experiences for graduate students where they have the opportunity to engage in some of the most challenging issues of social, environmental and cultural sustainability within the community. One of the core principles of The Association of American Colleges and Universities is to educate students for personal and social responsibility. There is no greater responsibility at this moment in time than for a more practiced based learning model where the university and community together engage in practice to meet the needs of our citizens. Allowing students to think and reason with regard to ethical and moral issues of sustainability and develop skills where they can effect positive change is at the root of our model.

Keywords: Masters Culminating Experience, Community Engaged Scholarship, Social Responsibility, Ethical and Moral Roots of Sustainability

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.333-346. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.057MB).

Dr. Connie Ulasewicz

Associate Professor, Apparel Design and Merchandising, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, USA

As an Associate Professor at San Francisco State University in Apparel Design & Merchandising I engage with students on topics integrating with responsible fashion practices within, visual merchandising & promotion,social entrepreneurship, product development and the social psychology of clothing. My research interests include extending the life cycle of sewn products and I am the coauthor of the recently published book Sustainable Fashion Why Now: A Conversation about Issues, Practices and Possibilities. With over 25 years of garment industry experience managing production, merchandising, and sales, my industry connections are a great source for community engaged scholarship for our students. I am a founding member of ESRAB, Educators for Social Responsibility in Apparel Businesses, and PeoplewearSF a bay area, non-profit sewn product industry association and I am on the board of Global Action Through Fashion.

Dr. Gus Vouchilas

Assistant Professor, Interior Design, San Francisco State Univeristy, San Francisco, California, USA

As an Assistant Professor in the College of Health and Human Services, department of Consumer & Family Studies/Dietetics I engage with my students in areas of Interior Design. My emphasis is in the areas of universal design and the integration of technology into house design. My current research focus is on perceptions and practices of sustainability in design and also perceptions of leadership as they relate to office design. As a longtime and active member in the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), my students are connected with solving real time issues and problems with our basic human need of housing.

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