Loyola Marymount Professor Uses Graphic Design to Promote Social Justice

A professor at Loyola Marymount University is using art to promote social justice throughout her classes. Saeri Cho Dobson, associate professor of graphic design, teaches her students that graphic design is a medium that has the opportunity to persuade its viewers. When Cho came to LMU she was inspired by their Jesuit mission of promoting social justice so she began to partner with the Center for Service and Action which connected her with nonprofits in Los Angeles.

Cho centered her design entrepreneurship class on a final student project that incorporated social justice work. She explained how a group of her students “worked with the Lamp Community in downtown Los Angeles, which has art and music programs for homeless people. The students developed a project to design a portable, solar-paneled cell-phone charger for homeless people, who aren’t always welcome in cafes or restaurants as a place to charge their phone.” Cho hopes that her students learn they can foster community and a commitment to social justice through their designs.

To read more about Cho’s class, visit LMU news.

Catholic Colleges and Universities Recognized for their Green Initiatives

Catholic universities that have taken Pope Francis’s messages found in Laudato Si’ seriously have been recognized by the Sierra Club’s national magazine. Loyola Marymount University, the University of San Diego, and Loyola University Chicago have been recognized as members of the top 20 green colleges and universities in North America. According to a press release, the schools were rated as “have displayed a deep and thorough commitment to protecting the environment, addressing climate issues, and encouraging environmental responsibility.”

Loyola Marymount University made significant changes, as seen by their jump in rankings from the mid-60s to number six. They are also the first Catholic college or university on the list. The university now has 90,000 square feet of solar panels, an irrigation system that uses reclaimed water, and a university-led recycling plant. They also plan to “divert all food waste by 2018.”

University of San Diego also made significant improvements jumping from number 83 to number 10 in 2017. The University took Pope Francis’s mission to heart by listing “care for our common home” as part of their university mission. It also operates one of San Diego’s only electronic waste recycling centers, and has saved more than 10 million kilowatt hours and 30 million gallons of water annually since 2010.

Loyola University Chicago still remains ranked in the top 20 schools. This year Loyola students partnered with the Archdiocese of Chicago “to conduct energy audits on Catholic churches, cemeteries and hospitals as well as opened a student-run green café and a Compost Collection Network where students train local businesses to reduce waste.”

The scoring was based on 11 categories including energy, investments, good academics, planning, and water. The rankings showcase universities and colleges green initiatives and allow for indications of the campus’s sustainability efforts.

You can view the full article here.


Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent Secures Third Release of 2017

ICYMI: Loyola Law School of Loyola Marymount University Project for the Innocent helped release a wrongfully convicted prisoner, receiving national coverage. This is their third successful release of the year. Project for the Innocent client Jaime Ponce has reunited with his family in Mexico after serving 19 years in prison after being falsely accused of a shooting.

Loyola’s Project for the Innocent pursues claims of actual innocence on behalf of those wrongfully convicted of crimes. Students work under the supervision of professors and other attorneys. Since 2011, they have secured the release of five clients.

Learn more about the program and Ponce’s story here.

Catholic Colleges Featured on Sierra Club’s Cool School’s List

Ten Catholic colleges and universities were featured as 2016 Cool Schools in Sierra Magazine. This list measures colleges in their sustainability efforts in energy, investments, co-curricular, food, innovation, academics, planning, purchasing, transport, waste, and water. Colleges reported their programs and initiatives through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a program of The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

Schools included are Loyola University of Chicago (featured in the Top 20 Cool Schools), Aquinas College, Creighton University, Gonzaga University, Loyola Marymount University, Saint Louis University, Santa Clara University, Seattle University, St. John’s University, and Villanova University.

Congratulations to the colleges on their sustainability initiatives!

Catholic Colleges Make List of US Eco-friendly Schools

Wondering how your campus measures up in sustainability and energy conservation? Perhaps your school was one of the eleven Catholic colleges and universities featured in a recent Sierra Club ranking of the top ‘cool schools’!

To determine the rankings, the Sierra Club administered a survey to a wide range of higher education institutions in the U.S. The responding schools were then ranked according to a long list of criteria, including co-curricular activities, energy, investments, innovation, academics, and more:

Depending on their responses to the questionnaire, schools were then given a score in a 1000 point system and ranked accordingly. The eleven Catholic colleges ranked included:

  1. Santa Clara University (no. 50)
  2. University of San Diego (no. 69)
  3. Loyola Marymount University (no. 81)
  4. Aquinas College (no. 95)
  5. St. Louis University ( no. 100)
  6. St. John’s University (NY) (no. 102)
  7. Gonzaga University (no. 109)
  8. Villanova University  (no. 110)
  9. University of Dayton (no. 127)
  10. Creighton University (no. 138)
  11. Saint John’s University (MN) (no. 146)

Based on the criteria for the rankings, these eleven schools are officially ‘cool schools’! The Sierra Club reminds us that it is both important to celebrate success but remember that there is more work to be done:

“Our results  suggest that while many universities are making admirable progress, no school has yet attained complete sustainability. In 2015, the top-rated university scored 859.75 out of a possible 1,000 points, indicating much work completed but also room for improvement.”

Want to learn more?  A recent National Catholic Reporter article featured some such progress at the Catholic colleges and universities on the list.

What is your campus doing to promote sustainability and environmental justice? Let us know!

ACCU members rated in STARS annual review

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) just released their annual report through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, & Rating System (STARS). STARS is a self-reporting framework through which colleges and universities can showcase their sustainability initiatives. ACCU member colleges Santa Clara University, Loyola University Chicago, University of Dayton, and University of San Diego were featured in the 2014 annual report. Learn about the efforts of these institutions by reading the excerpts below, or browse the entire report for ideas on how to make your own campus more sustainable.

Santa Clara University – STARS Gold

Required of all Santa Clara University students, the Pathway experience provides interdisciplinary and integrative learning across the four years of a student’s college experience, culminating with a synthesizing essay about their Pathway theme and how it connects with a student’s major and other experiences. Students opting to participate in the Sustainable Pathway theme will learn about sustainability from multiple disciplinary perspectives.

Loyola University Chicago – STARS Gold

Loyola University Chicago’s student-run biodiesel program provides hands-on experience for making biodiesel while offering lab fellowships and project opportunities to students. The program is one of few student-managed biodiesel programs in the country, and has received the federal, state and local permits necessary to produce and sell biodiesel on the retail market. Student participation in the Biodiesel Program occurs through lab fellowships, project proposals, or a biodiesel lab course.

University of Dayton – STARS Silver

The Rivermobile at the University of Dayton provides education outreach about local rivers to the greater Dayton community. Developed by River Stewards, students lead the Rivers Institute along with faculty, staff and community partners. Through the use of five mobile classrooms, the RiverMobile travels across the Great Miami Watershed visiting K-12 schools, festivals and other special events. The RiverMobile is an experiential and interdisciplinary experience on topics related to Dayton’s river history, the local aquifer and municipal water cycle, life in and around local rivers, social and global responsibility, and river safety.

University of San Diego – STARS Gold

The University of San Diego has partnered with the City of San Diego and other government organizations, foundations, and utility offices to establish the San Diego Climate Collaborative. This initiative works to advance sustainable development in the region and implement solutions to sustainability challenges. Partners work to: 1. Address and prevent the harmful effects of climate change; 2. Promote a high quality of life for the San Diego region; and 3. Foster a green and growing economy.

Other ACCU members who reported to STARS:

College of Saint Benedict – STARS Silver

DePaul University – STARS reported

Loyola Marymount University – STARS Silver

Marquette University – STARS Silver

University of Notre Dame – STARS Silver

Saint Louis University – STARS Bronze

Read more!