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Sustainability Major Proposed

Published: March 07, 2016

CHENEY, Washington - Three Eastern Washington University faculty members have been awarded more than $35,000 from the EWU Foundation to establish a new sustainability major at the university.

The funding comes from the Foundation's Start Something Big (SSB) Grant program, which is designed to inspire development and research while giving EWU students more opportunities to engage in research.

Professors Robin O'Quinn, PhD, Laurie Morley, PhD, and Camille McNeely, PhD, received $35,629.64 for their application Curriculum Development for a New Sustainability Major. The funding will allow them to focus on the development of a new comprehensive, interdisciplinary, undergraduate degree program in sustainability at Eastern.

"The project will establish EWU as a regional leader in sustainability," said Michael Westfall, executive director of the EWU Foundation and vice president for University Advancement. "It will also support the goals of President Cullinan, which focus on student success, innovation and opportunity, and community engagement."

O'Quinn and McNeely are associate professors in the Department of Biology; Morley is the program director of the Health and Fitness Program at EWU. The team hopes the university will be able to offer a degree program in sustainability by fall 2017. The program will provide students with problem-solving skills that will prepare them for careers in the green economy, including work with consulting firms, nonprofits, local, regional and federal government, tribes and businesses or as entrepreneurs.

This is the largest grant ever awarded through the SSB Grant Program, which seeks innovative proposals from EWU Faculty and staff each quarter (although there are no funds available for spring quarter 2016). Learn more about the program and other grant recipients here.

For questions, please contact Lenore Stark at or 509.359.7099.


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