Campus and Community Sustainability Expo set for Dec. 7

Students and community share skills and knowledge through collaborative program

Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — More than 140 Penn State students will showcase their projects dealing with local sustainability topics at the Campus and Community Sustainability Expo from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at the State College Municipal Building. The students partnered with local government and community organizations during the fall semester to research and propose sustainable solutions addressing needs of the surrounding area.

The Campus and Community Sustainability Expo will feature projects from the Sustainable Communities Collaborative and Sustainable Food Systems Program. Themes will include food systems, resiliency, health and safety, arts and culture, and more.

Participants will have the opportunity to explore each theme with the groups’ posters and interact with the students who contributed to the projects. In the days leading up to the expo, a panel of judges will select three exceptional posters based on factors such as content, organization and visual appeal. These posters will be announced at the expo event. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. 

One team of students in LER 460 Human Resources Ethics was tasked with helping State College Borough to develop a strategic framework for improving diversity among the civilian and police work forces. Students were also asked to develop training materials to help the borough effectively communicate to employees the value and importance of developing a diverse workforce and an inclusive work environment.

“Each semester, the expo showcases the efforts of local governments, nonprofits and businesses who are committed to addressing sustainability challenges and opportunities in our community,” said Michelle Halsell, director of the Sustainable Communities Collaborative.

“The expo also showcases the work of Penn State students who are collaborating with our community partners by applying their skills and knowledge to enhance sustainability,” said Halsell. “It’s a win for our community partners and a win for Penn State students.”

Community partners for the projects include State College Borough; Bellefonte Borough; Centre County Conservation Corps; Ferguson, Half Moon and Walker townships; the Center for the Performing Arts; and Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.

Speakers will include Denice Wardrop, director of the Sustainability Institute; Tom Fountaine, State College Borough manager; and student representatives from the Sustainable Communities Collaborative and the Student Farm.

The Sustainable Communities Collaborative is a program of Penn State’s Sustainability Institute. The program matches sustainability needs of community partners with the expertise of existing University courses. Collaborative teams of faculty, students and local leaders work together to define and carry out projects.   

The Sustainable Food Systems Program is an interdisciplinary initiative working to develop a food systems minor and a campus-based farm that will support engaged scholarship and innovation across a range of sustainability topics, including production, design, nutrition, marketing and community engagement. 

For more details about the event, contact Halsell at or 814-867-4578. For information about sustainability efforts at Penn State, visit

Professor Heather Gall, right, who teaches Agricultural Systems Management and Measurement & Monitoring of Hydrologic Systems at Penn State, works in the field with her students setting up monitoring devices at Buffalo Run. Credit: Ilona BallreichAll Rights Reserved.

Last Updated September 20, 2019