Become a Sustainability Faculty Fellow

Are you interested in integrating sustainability into one of your classes or programs?  Or developing a new sustainability course? Have you wanted to learn more about how to bring sustainability into your field of expertise and your classroom?  We invite you to enhance your teaching and programs by becoming a Sustainability Faculty Fellow.

Click here to access the online application

The Sustainability Faculty Learning Community, a project of the Sustainability Committee, is now accepting applications for SUNY New Paltz's sixth cohort of academic and professional faculty to join the existing multidisciplinary faculty network.  Incoming Sustainability Faculty Fellows engage in a year-long exploration of the different dimensions of sustainability and the scholarship and practice of teaching, collaboration, and community building.  This program is funded by the Office of the Provost, the Office of Campus Sustainability, the Sustainability Committee, and the Faculty Development Center.

New in 2021, Fellows who have participated in prior cohorts can apply to return to advance a major sustainability project while fully participating in the program.  Scroll down for more details.

What do we mean by sustainability? 

Our approach to sustainability includes social, economic, and environmental dimensions.  During the fall gatherings of Sustainability Faculty Fellows, we introduce multiple definitions and frameworks for sustainability including:

We also introduce Fellows to Project Drawdown's Climate Solutions.

Other themes that we explore include change agency, systems thinking, and regional partnerships to develop applied, experiential learning opportunities.

Program Goals

Founded in the fall of 2016, the Sustainability Faculty Learning Community strives to foster a community of academic and professional faculty across ranks and disciplines committed to infusing sustainability into their teaching, research, and programs.  

Program Expectations

Over the course of one academic year, academic faculty are expected to modify at least one syllabus or program to include sustainability content or develop a new sustainability course.  Professional faculty are expected to infuse sustainability content into an existing or new program.  After a series of professional development opportunities for sustainability, Fellows are expected to submit revised/updated course and/or program information to the co-coordinators of the Sustainability Faculty Learning Community by the end of the spring 2022 semester.  2021-22 Fellows will present their innovations to their cohort and the next cohort in September of 2022.

Program Elements

The cornerstone of the fellowship will be a 2-day retreat from January 18 to 19, 2022 when Fellows will participate in an immersive training program led by their colleagues.  During the retreat, Fellows will have the opportunity to learn sustainability principles and techniques for bringing those fundamentals to their own disciplines, classes, and programs as well as build community.  Attendance at this 2-day retreat is required.  If you cannot attend the January Institute, please wait until next year to apply to the program.

Fellows will also meet for a minimum of three meetings in the fall semester and two meetings in the spring semester and be expected, by the end of the yearlong fellowship, to submit plans for integrating sustainability into a current or future course (including a new or revised syllabus) or program in May of 2021. A stipend of $250 will be granted to each Fellow upon completion of the program.

In addition, the Sustainability Faculty Learning Community, in partnership with the Faculty Development Center, will organize sustainability programs and workshops open to all fellows and the extended campus community.

Program Modality

At this time, the 2021-22 Fellows program will be offered through a mix of virtual and in-person events and workshops, including indoor and outdoor gatherings.

For Returning Fellows

Sustainability Faculty Fellows from prior cohorts as well as individuals with substantive sustainability knowledge and expertise who have not participated in this program before are invited to re-apply/apply and propose a major sustainability project such as:

  • A major sustainability grant application
  • Re-designing an academic program/curriculum
  • Developing program-level sustainability learning outcomes
  • Integrating sustainability into departmental communications to prospective students
  • Preparing to teach a section of Introduction to Sustainability, which is being offered for the first time at SUNY New Paltz this fall
  • Developing a new sustainability-focused course 
  • Initiate inter-disciplinary, sustainability-focused collaborative research, teaching, or programming

Expectations of the Sixth Cohort of Sustainability Faculty Fellows

To summarize, participants in the Sustainability Faculty Fellows program are expected to:

  • Attend the final presentations of last year's cohort on Wednesday, September 29 at 8 AM
  • Attend three gatherings in the fall
  • Attend the 2-day January Institute on January 18 - 19, 2022
  • Read/watch material introduced before gatherings and the January Institute
  • Attend two gatherings in the spring
  • Submit a revised or new syllabus or program in May of 2022
  • Present plans for integrating sustainability into a current or future course or program in September of 2022

Please note that many former Sustainability Faculty Fellows have integrated sustainability into a course that they were offering in the spring.  This is not a requirement, but it has worked well for many.

Current Schedule of Events for Fall 2021

Main Program Workshops (Required for 2021-22 Fellows)

  • Wednesday, September 29 at 8 am - Final presentations of the 2020-21 cohort of Sustainability Faculty Fellows
  • Three main gatherings - TBD in October & November, typically at 8 am on a weekday
  • January Institute - January 18 & 19
  • Spring 2022 programming to be developed

Discussion-Based Gatherings to Explore Sustainability Frameworks and Themes

(Optional ~ All Fellows Invited)

  • Tuesday, October 19 at 3:30 - Exploring Just Sustainabilities - An in-person discussion of Julian Agyeman's Just Sustainabilities framework facilitated by Katie Hunt of the Communication Department and Co-Coordinator of the Sustainability Faculty Learning Community (all Fellows invited).  A number of Julian Agyeman's e-books are available in the Sojourner Truth Library.  
  • Thursday, October 18 at 3:30 - Sand Talk: Exploring Indigenous Thinking in Relation to Sustainability Together - In this talking circle, we will explore some concepts from Tyson Yunkaporta's Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking can Save the World.  He is an aboriginal Apalech scholar based in Queensland, Australia.  He works as a Senior Lecturer in Indigenous Knowledge at Deakin University in Melbourne.  Hard copies of Sand Talk have been ordered and will be available to borrow from the Sojourner Truth Library.  This conversation will be facilitiated by Andrea Frank of the Art Department (Photography) and Co-Coordinator of the Sustainability Faculty Learning Community

More discussion-based events to be developed!

Community Building Events

(Optional ~ All Fellows Invited)

  • Thursday, September 30 at 5 pm - Social gathering at a home near campus.  Rain date October 7 at 5pm.
  • Thursday, October 21 at 5 pm - Social gathering & potluck dinner around a backyard fire at a home near campus.  Rain date October 28 at 5pm.

More community building events to be developed!

How to Apply

Applications for the program will be accepted until Thursday, September 16, 2021. 

Click here to access the online application.


This program is brought to you by...

The Co-Coordinators of the Sustainability Faculty Learning Community:

Kate Bellody, Library

Jessica Crowell, Digital Media & Journalism

Andrea Frank, Art

Katie Hunt, Communication

Lisa Mitten, Office of Campus Sustainability

Andrea Varga, Theater Arts & Honors

Sarah Wyman, English & the Faculty Development Center