Thursday, October 20, 2016

Academic Highlight 002: Peace & Social Justice

Academic Highlight 002
Peace & Social Justice

How does Pacific University use our academics to change the world?
By having an entire set of classes dedicated to empowering students to create social justice and a more peaceful world.

Raise your hand if you've ever watched the news and wanted to do something about it all.
Yeah, our hand is up too.

So, we created an entire field of study dedicated just to "doing something about it all."
The Peace & Social Justice minor at Pacific University engages students in investigating issues of social justice, inequality and violence among individuals, groups, and the nations of the world.

With an interdisciplinary approach to creating peace and social justice in our world, students will be prepared with the diverse perspectives necessary to solve the diverse problems our world faces today. It's rare that a social issue has a clear cut solution; things tend to be nuanced. So we made our education in peace and social justice nuanced to match that.

We're creating well-prepared, informed and active citizens who have a broad understanding in varying social issues. Contact Admissions to learn how you can apply for free or schedule a visit with Pacific; a University that's empowering passionate students to make a difference in our world.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

"Growing Green"

Our world is changing, and so is our campus.

We are constantly building and developing in order to ensure that our campus excels for the modern college student.

But doesn't that mean that as our campus grows, so too does our carbon footprint?
Not at Pacific.
Why is building sustainably important? Buildings consume over half of all U.S. energy, and account for 35% of CO2 emissions. We heard these stats at Pacific, and immediately decided to make a commitment to "grow green".

With all of our expansion and updating, we are continually making sure that our buildings meet the sustainability standards put forth by the U.S. Green Building Council. With seven LEED-certified buildings, 41% of Pacific's floor area is certified as sustainable, and that number continues to grow. 

As if "growing green" wasn't enough, we are also working backwards, updating our older, non-LEED buildings to reduce energy consumption and bring those buildings to LEED energy standards and beyond.

From recycled concrete, steel, insulation, and drywall in Gilbert Hall, to installing bio-filters on the roof of Burlingham Hall in order to reduce the contamination of rainwater runoff, we care about how we impact the environment here at Pacific. And the best part is, we've been doing it since 2005, when we built our library to match LEED's standards. It's safe to say that we know what we're doing when it comes to sustainability.

Contact Admissions to learn how you can apply for free or schedule a visit with Pacific; a University that cares about sustainability, and is continually growing green.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Professor Highlight 003: Don Schweitzer

Professor Highlight 003
Don Schweitzer, PhD, LMSW, BSW 
How is Dr. Schweitzer changing the world?
Social Work.

He is a professor of Social Work on our Undergraduate campus who has been dedicated to providing students with opportunities to apply their coursework to real world challenges. He's passionate about analyzing social structures and helping students figure out how to use them for good.

How do you integrate making the world a better place into your coursework?
In the classroom, I provide assignments and readings that connect students to real world challenges where they have to develop real world solutions. Examples include:

  • A policy class designed around working with a local Anti-Poverty Workgroup to develop policy recommendations to improve issues such as affordable housing, access to affordable childcare, and food stamps. Students worked collaboratively with the Workgroup throughout the semester to develop legislative priorities for the Workgroup.
  • One of my favorite class discussions is on the power analysis. Although power is often used to harm vulnerable people, when power is understood it can be harnessed to improve the lives of the vulnerable. The power analysis helps us understand how to assess it and develop a plan of action to change it.
  • I incorporate texts such as Jonathan Kozol’s Amazing Grace. These type of texts provide us a window into a world, often in our own backyard, where people are hurting, struggling, and, often times, voiceless and disempowered.

How do you integrate making the world a better place into your other duties as a faculty member?
By working collaboratively with my colleagues. I think it is critical for us to work across professional lines. Listening to others’ ideas, learning from other disciplines, and finding common ground is something that not only makes the world a better a place, it makes me better at what I do.

How do you integrate making the world a better place into your personal life?
Getting involved in my community. Whether that’s volunteering as a board member for a local non-profit or volunteering my expertise to community members, helping them conduct community needs assessments. I have a set of skills to offer and I enjoy using them to make my community a better place.

Contact Admissions to learn how you can apply for free or schedule a visit with Pacific; a University that has professors who are passionate about change.