The Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Fund Authority to Match $1M Gift from Aramark

FREDERICK, Maryland—Hood College is launching a new Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability Studies, and the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Fund Authority has granted $1 million to fund an endowed chair in the new program.

The Aramark/Maryland Endowed Chair in Sustainability Studies will be responsible for program development, student recruitment, and developing ties to the local and regional community. This faculty member will also initiate research and educational collaborations with appropriate companies, governmental agencies and other academic institutions in the areas of watershed sustainability, biofuel development and sustainable food systems.

“We are excited to use this award to establish the Aramark/Maryland Endowed Chair in Sustainability Studies,” said Hood President Andrea E. Chapdelaine. “A new faculty member in this position will allow us to fully launch our new sustainability studies major and expand and strengthen our community partnerships to help build a healthier and more sustainable Maryland.”

A degree in sustainability studies will prepare students for personal and professional achievement in STEM-related fields and for productive participation in society. This is the only undergraduate program in sustainability studies in Maryland, and it will emphasize three interrelated areas that form a framework for studying the complexities of sustainable societies: water, energy and food. This program will be supported by the College’s experiential anchors, including the Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies (water), biofuels research (energy) and the Frederick Food Security Network (food).

“The purpose of this program will be to develop an understanding within our students of the challenge to provide basic human needs for a growing population without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same,” said Drew Ferrier, Ph.D., sustainability studies program director. “We will educate students about current environmental issues and allow them to think critically to solve complex problems. They will learn how to make significant contributions toward sustainability through civic engagement.”

The program curriculum, growing community partnerships and co-curricular high-impact practices will prepare students to take their place within the corporate world, governmental agencies or the nonprofit sector where they can move the human enterprise toward greater sustainability that benefits their organization, community, state or nation.

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