Lori White, SMU’s vice president for student affairs, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) – a national organization that provides sustainability resources for campus engagement, education and research, as well as campus operations. She will serve for a term to run through December 2014.
AASHE was founded in 2005 to help coordinate and strengthen campus sustainability efforts at regional and national levels, and to serve as the first North American professional association for those interested in advancing campus sustainability. The organization’s STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) program, for example, is a self-reporting framework that allows colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.
AASHE sponsors North America’s largest college sustainability conference every fall, and SMU’s Sustainability Committee traditionally funds attendance for student representatives. AASHE also produces professional development workshops and seminars for faculty and staff.
“What attracts me to AASHE is that they define sustainability in a much broader way than most people do,” White said. “They’re about leaving the world a better place for people tomorrow. Their approach to social justice is about opportunities for the next generation, and I’m committed to the education component of the AASHE program.”
White often has lunch in the dining hall at Umphrey Lee Center, she said, and recently sat with a group of students who identified themselves as environmental representatives (E-Reps) for the campus residence halls.
“They told me about how they had gone to the AASHE national conference in October, and they were excited about what they had seen and learned there,” White said. “Here at SMU we want to work with our students to help them become leaders in their community, in their country and in the world. Getting involved in sustainability will give them an avenue to develop those tools.”
Written by Kimberly Cobb