Innovation in Environmental Education

This Week’s Big Issue

Last semester the SPEA Bloomington faculty approved a new dual degree program between the MSES (in SPEA) and the MBA (in Kelley). The goal was to create a structured educational program that would prepare graduate students for careers in business where a technical background in the environment is necessary. This marked the first formal effort in SPEA’s history to partner with Kelley on a dual (or joint) educational program.

Unfortunately, the proposal has been put on hold for the time being. While there is support for this proposal within Kelley, a number of business school faculty are concerned that this effort comes at the wrong time. The business school is under great pressure to maintain their national ranking for their MBA, and there is some concern that these types of dual degrees may not work to achieve this goal.

On a more positive note, the dual MSES-Physics degree and dual MSES-Chemistry degree have received final approval on campus and are now in the implementation stage. Active recruitment for these programs will start this fall, but we are able to admit any interested students immediately.

We will continue to work on ways to innovate our environmental educational programs, building off of the recent growth in demand for the dual MPA-MSES, and plan to revisit the MSES-MGA proposal with our colleagues in the business school in the future.

What’s Happening in SPEA Bloomington?

I want to give you an update on our efforts to renovate some of our public spaces in the SPEA building. The library, new classrooms, and café/eating space are complete. We are planning an opening event celebration with our partners (library and business school) for February 7 from 3 to 4:30 in the new information commons. We hope to see you there.

The renovation work in the interior sections of the SPEA building (atrium and other public spaces) is almost done. We are still working to complete some of the window repair work on the side stairs. This work is being done to eliminate many of the water leaks that have plagued the building for decades. As soon as this is done, the painters will finish these areas and soft seating will be moved into these nooks so students can continue to use this space for educational purposes.

Faculty and student response to the two new classrooms has been very positive. Instructors are getting acclimated to the technologies built into the rooms. Also, the flexibility of the rooms to be adapted for a variety of different classroom activities gives instructors a number of unique opportunities to experiment with different educational techniques. If you want to explore these classrooms for future purposes, then please stop in during Fridays when they are mostly free to experiment.

If you have not walked around these renovated spaces, please take a few minutes to explore these upgrades to the building.

We are getting very close to the finish line!

SPEA’s Big Number

This week’s big number for SPEA Bloomington is the percentage of undergraduate SPEA majors in Fall 2010 that are on the Dean’s list: 31%

To qualify for the Dean’s list a student must earn a 3.5 semester GPA with a minimum of 12 credit hours.

Shout-Out to SPEA Bloomington

Please join me in congratulating our most recent recipients of the SPEA Academic Admission Awards in our undergraduate programs: Ms. Danielle J. Vetter, Ms. Kathryn (Kami) M. Spicklemire, and Mr. Daniel (Dan) Bader. These awards are designed to recognize IU Bloomington undergraduate students entering SPEA having already distinguished themselves academically and having enrolled in at least five credit hours of SPEA course work. Each has a 4.0 cumulative GPA. Recipients of this award are honored with a $2,000 scholarship.

Ms. Danielle J. Vetter is a Public and Nonprofit Management-Nonprofit major, BS in Public Affairs. This is her second semester at IU Bloomington. She attended Schaumburg High School in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Ms. Kathryn (Kami) M. Spicklemire is a Public and Nonprofit Management-Nonprofit major, BS in Public Affairs. This is her second semester at IU Bloomington. She is a transfer student from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. She attended Warren Central High School in Indianapolis.

Mr. Daniel (Dan) Bader is a Legal Studies major, BS in Public Affairs. This is his second semester at IU Bloomington. He is a transfer student from Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont and Ivy Tech in Bloomington, Indiana. He attended West Morris Mendham High School in Mendham, New Jersey.

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