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Posted on Monday, Aug. 1, 2011

Energy for the Poor is a Top Focus of 2011 Global Social Benefit Incubator Program

Katherine Lucey founded Solar Sister in Uganda a year ago, using the Avon model of distribution to empower women as entrepreneurs and to bring energy into poor rural homes in Africa that would otherwise be in the dark or be forced to use unsustainable and unhealthy energy sources such as kerosene for light.

Lucey is one of 19 socially minded entrepreneurs from around the world who will come to Santa Clara University, August 7–19, as part of the 8-month intensive Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI™) program that helps them sustain and scale their businesses to maximize impact on underserved communities.

Read the University Press Release.

SCU Offers New Master's Degree Program in Sustainable Energy 

The School of Engineering will launch a new master's degree in sustainable energy this fall to strengthen the training students receive in renewable energy and sciences. The SE master’s degree is by design an interdisciplinary program. Faculty from all facets of the engineering disciplines, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Business will participate. The result will be robust in coursework that focuses on societal responses to environmental problems, allowing graduate students to later pursue careers in energy management, smart grids, as well as energy generation and distribution. The program features a heavy reliance on project-based learning, case analyses, and industrial practices, so that course work is immediately applicable to responsibilities at work.

Read the University Press Release.

Years-of-service gifts promote sustainability

This year, gifts to staff celebrating years of service anniversaries were delivered in reusable "mission sustainable" shopping bags. The bags, made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, have the Mission Sustainable logo emblazoned on the side.

"We wanted to find a fun way to present the gifts," said Monica Manriquez, Associate in Administration and Finance. "Rather than using gift bags with tissue and ribbon, we chose reusable bags to support and encourage sustainable behaviors on campus and off. This is one of the many ways our community supports our sustainability initiative."

Jessica Gagnon of the Food and Agribusiness Institute celebrated her fifth anniversary at Santa Clara this year and reflected on the gift:

"One of the things I've always loved about SCU is the fact that the mission and values adopted by the University are more than just glossy, promotional mottos written on the website or printed in the bulletin. Those values are upheld and lived fully by the University community. I can witness the mission in action every day on campus and that makes me proud to be a part of it."

Bags have been spotted in action on campus and in nearby grocery stores, displaying some sustainable, Bronco pride. Roughly 200 "mission sustainable" shopping bags were distributed this summer, with more planned next year.

Canning basics workshop taught SCU employees basics of home preserving

Human Resources and the Office of Sustainability offered a canning workshop for faculty and staff in July. Topics included equipment, health and safety information, techniques, and ways to save money when preserving home grown fruits and vegetables. Attendees of the workshop received a jar of apricot preserves, made by presenter (and canning blogger) Paige Bayer.

If you have suggestions for future workshops, please let us know!

See a list of resources shared during the workshop, and other past workshops.

Tags: Commitments and Policies, Curriculum, Education and Research, Energy, Food, News