SJC to Host Sustainability and Alternative Energy Forum

September 11, 2013

On Friday, October 4, Saint Joseph's College will host its first annual Sustainability and Alternative Energy Forum.

SJC, with its unique combination of agricultural assets - more than 7,600 acres of farmland - and alternative energy generation - more than 30 wind turbines are situated on that farmland - is an ideal venue for the forum, which will discuss the economic, social, political, and ethical facets of the sustainability and alternative energy movement on campus. Not coincidentally, the forum will be held on the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of the environment.

SJC Associate Professor of Education Dr. Lana Zimmer has been at the forefront of the campus sustainability movement. She helped develop and actively assists with the implementation of the College's Sustainability Action Plan and spearheaded the development of a minor in Sustainability Studies offered by the College.

"Issues of sustainability will define the quality of the human experience in the 21st century," said Dr. Zimmer. "Therefore, we aim to equip our students with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand and address the challenges, whether it is examining the impact of our daily life choices, the implementation of innovative technologies, or through targeted policymaking. The Sustainability and Alternative Energy Forum will provide the opportunity for our students to engage with panelists who are deeply involved in all of these areas."

The forum, which will kick off Homecoming weekend, will feature two panel discussions consisting of business leaders, scholars, alumni, students, and friends of the College. Students will have the opportunity to engage with the panelists in the latter half of each panel and from 11:00 to 11:30. They can also meet the panelists in the Halleck Student Center Cafeteria from 11:30 to 12:30.

Following the panel discussions is the SJC Farm and Wind Energy Bus Tour in White County. Tours of the SJC hoophouse, orchard, and habitat restoration area are also included on the schedule.

Panel One: An Ethical and Effective Approach to Climate Change: A Moral Imperative, will address why citizens, including college students, should care about climate change and sustainability and how ethical energy and climate change solutions can be compatible with effective and economical energy policies.

Panel Two: Reducing the Carbon Footprint of a Coal-Dependent State, will address how individual entities and companies are contributing toward reducing carbon emissions and how Indiana's energy future is evolving with the increased use of electric and hybrid vehicle, natural gas, wind, solar, biomass, and clean coal technology.

The forum is open to all who would like to attend. To register for the forum, visit

Saint Joseph's College, named a "character-building college" by the Templeton Foundation and a "best Midwestern college" by the Princeton Review, is a four-year, Catholic college offering 27 majors, 4 group majors, 35 minors, and 9 pre-professional programs, complemented by the nationally acclaimed Core Program. Founded and sponsored by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, SJC is located in Rensselaer, Indiana, approximately 90 minutes from both Chicago and Indianapolis, on a park-like campus of 180 acres and has an enrollment of 1,100 students.

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