Clemson’s 7th Annual Focus on Creative Inquiry Poster Forum held on Tuesday, April 10 saw Dr. Beth Kunkel and her CI team, “Clemson’s Green Culture”, win the award for best poster. The CI team is made up of students from various academic backgrounds, all who live and learn together in a small community on campus (Calhoun Courts) that focuses on sustainability.
Called the “LIEF (Leading and Innovating for our Environment and Future) Living Learning Community, the group uses research, interviews, investigative journalism, to discover the current attitude on Clemson’s campus about environmental awareness. Their goals are to determine Clemson’s current sustainable practices, to effectively disseminate information about sustainability, to identify where Clemson needs improvement and to lead and promote new projects for a sustainable future at Clemson. A main challenge the team faces is combating the myths and stereotypes convincing people sustainable living is difficult or unimportant. While debunking misinformation, they work to educate the Clemson community about ways to reduce one’s carbon footprint and to implement environmentally conscious methods into everyday life. As technology and social media now grip society, it has become more important to disseminate information through the Internet, social media sites, and videos. Overall, the group hopes that their work creates a widespread culture among Clemson students, faculty, staff, and residents, changing sustainability from a concept or buzzword into an action.”
Kelsey Bailey, one of the student leaders on the team, loves being part of the sustainable community. It’s “great, it is easy to recycle, we have our own edible garden, and compost bin too. We have just started this year, so it will take some work to get housing on board with all the ideas we have. In time, we hope to make the community a sustainable living example for the rest of campus.” When asked about the group’s decision to use social networking to promote sustainability, she said, “we hoped it would be attention grabbing, and we could easily reference our sources. Thus far we have had the biggest response from Facebook, as a group we can update and post to it the quickest and easiest. Facebook lets us post photos, videos, articles, contests (like the one we have going on now), and events and possibly have them reach hundreds or even more within moments.” The team’s Facebook page can be seen here.
To check out the LIEF poster, click here
The CI team includes:
Mentors: Dr. Beth Kunkle, Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Science, Jennifer Goree, Student Affairs, Dr. David Ladner, Environmental Engineering and Earth Science
Students: Kelsey Bailey, Erin Grubbs, Victor Liao, Alexis Marianiello, Jesse McGee, Devon Cornelius, Tianlun Yang, Erin Horgan