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      Competitive Grant Secured

      College of Arts & Sciences Receives Teagle Foundation Grant

      Grant planning work group

      Faculty who gathered recently to begin work on the pathway design included, from left, Associate Professors Brett Alvaré, Beatriz Urraca, Jim Vike and Professor Steve Madigosky.

      The College of Arts & Sciences has received a $25,000 grant from the Teagle Foundation to pilot the development of a curricular pathway focused on the themes of sustainability and civic engagement. The three-year grant was awarded as part of a very competitive process and was made possible through Widener’s affiliation with Project Pericles.

      The pilot project is intended to introduce and integrate more coherent curricular options within Widener’s existing general education distribution system. The proposed sustainability and civic engagement pathway will feature:

      • An interdisciplinary first year seminar on the theme of sustainability.
      • Identification and development of a combination of general education gateway, pathway and linked syllabus courses in which sustainability has been integrated across the disciplines.
      • An upper-division values seminar section that brings students from multiple majors together to address a specific sustainability issue.

      Each course within the pathway will feature a civic engagement element and strong emphasis on high-impact practices. A component of some pathway courses will take place in the Costa Rica hub and focus on Widener’s partnership with sustainable agriculture and communities in the coffee region.

      Key funded features of the pilot program include faculty development grants, sustainability workshops, and support for a faculty learning community centered on sustainability and civic engagement. Additional resources will be directed toward the development of an online platform for sharing sustainability-related resources and ideas, while also chronicling pathway activities and providing more graphical imagery of the pathway connections.

      An initial team of faculty has already begun work on pathway design and advancing the faculty development grant application process. Project team members include Associate Professor Brett Alvaré (Anthropology), Professor Bruce Grant (Biology), Professor Steve Madigosky (Biology/Environmental Science), Associate Professor Beatriz Urraca (Spanish), and Associate Professor Jim Vike (Political Science).

      Individuals with questions or wishing to join the sustainability and civic engagement pathway faculty learning network should contact Jim Vike at 610-499-1120 or


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