Five UNC Asheville students who received the prestigious McCullough Fellowship spent the summer and fall of 2017 exploring many facets of sustainability, from urban gardening to managing stormwater and revitalizing areas of downtown Asheville.

Digging Deep

The sites include public green spaces and art installations in downtown Asheville, but the designers are still in school. Five UNC Asheville students who received the prestigious McCullough Fellowship spent the summer and fall of 2017 exploring many facets of sustainability, from urban gardening to managing stormwater and revitalizing areas of downtown Asheville. The McCullough Fellowship funded the students’ research, connecting them with faculty members and community partners and allowing them to engage in long-term, meaningful projects with real impact.

“This is a shining example of the relevancy of the liberal arts to what we do every day,” said Interim Chancellor Joe Urgo at the annual McCullough Fellows luncheon celebrating the fellows’ work. Urgo recognized community partners RiverLink, City of Asheville, American Chestnut Foundation, Villagers, Asheville Design Center, Asheville Greenworks, and UNC Asheville staff and faculty advisors.

“The students really get a lot of opportunity to share with the community and demonstrate their leadership and the incredible command they have of the subject area they’ve invested so much time in,” said Sonia Marcus, director of sustainability at UNC Asheville. The students were also able to work together and share with each other the projects they had been working on.

“This is sustainability teaching and learning the way it should really be done,” Marcus said.

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Originally published January, 2018.

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