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International Sustainabiliy Education Forum in Beijing

Three members of the Ithaca College community were invited to present on Ithaca College; sustainability education program at the International Forum on Education for Sustainable Development, held from October 16-18th 2011, in Beijing, China. Dr. Susan Allen-Gil, professor and chair of the department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Dr. Susan Swensen, professor and chair of the department of Biology, and Marian Brown, special assistant to the provost for sustainability, represented Ithaca College and the United States at this prestigious international gathering of educators for sustainable development. This international forum - held every two years in the Asia-Pacific region - is part of the ongoing outreach and progress reporting process for the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), which is overseen by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).  The Ithaca College delegation was invited to present a series of three linked presentations on our innovative; Committed to Change” program of sustainability education. Dr. Swensen spoke about faculty development; Brown presented on applied learning opportunities; and Dr. Allen-Gil discussed our domestic and international partnerships, including those with EcoVillage at Ithaca, Living Routes, the Center for Ecological Living and Learning (CELL) as well as offering ideas for future development of  our program. The three IC talks were consecutively translated into Mandarin Chinese for the benefit of the forum attendees. The Ithaca College delegation was the only group representing the United States at this international forum, and one of only two delegations from North America. During their visit, the Ithaca team visited the Liu Yi Primary school in Beijing, a showcase for; low carbon & sustainability education in primary grades. This marked the first time this school had entertained any international visitors, so the Ithaca team received very special attention from the entire staff and study body, with the grade-schoolers offering recycling and creative reuse demonstrations, as well as musical, dance and athletic performances.

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