Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 51.70
Liaison Jim Vecchione
Submission Date July 5, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Bryant University
EN-9: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 3.00 Gaytha Langlois
Chair, Science & Technology Department
Science & Technology Department
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Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “supportive”?:

A brief description of the institution’s supportive sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:

Bryant University has shown a long history of connection with surrounding communities to address sustainable practices. For example, in collaboration with the State of Rhode Island, Bryant partnered with BRITE Energy Solutions to establish the BRITE Team, which included approximately 30 members from the local community, representing the manufacturing and business community, Higher Education and K-12 schools in Rhode Island, and Bryant faculty, all of whom shared an interest in reducing energy costs and making buildings more efficient. The BRITE team interviewed partners and explored energy efficiency best practices from around the world to produce a set of practical recommendations that could be adopted in Rhode Island to achieve the energy efficiency goals set by the state. The results of this partnership, which ended in 2013, continue to influence energy efficiency throughout the state of Rhode Island. An illustration of such efforts is seen in the Foster-Glocester Regional School District’s improvements in energy efficiency, and the District’s intent to become energy self-sufficient.


Bryant University regularly places student interns with Rhode Island NGOs such as Save the Bay, Apeiron Institute, Audubon Society of Rhode Island (ASRI), the Nature Conservancy, and Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, and with governmental agencies within the state (e.g., Department of Environmental Management – RIDEM where students serve as interns or work on summer projects). For example, in 2014 Conor Makepeace worked with ASRI on an extended project of many months helping to oversee a statewide program on litter control on Rhode Island beaches, and Brook Tomasetti worked collaboratively with campus facility staff, Sodexho Food Service, an NGO, the Environment Council of Rhode Island, and a local farmer to assess food waste disposal alternatives (see link below):


Brooke Tomasetti (Science & Technology Department, Dr. Gaytha Langlois)

Black, Gold, and Green: Food Waste Management at Bryant University

Other recent examples could include the following efforts (Alaina Umbach and Amy Terracciano), some of which are cross-disciplinary efforts:


Alaina Umbach (History & Social Sciences Department, Legal Studies Program, Dr. Andrea Boggio

The Human Face of Permanent Climate-Induced Displacement


Amy Terracciano (Management Department, Dr. John Visich)

Supplier Selection Criteria for Sustainable Supply Chains

Another recent example (2016) of cross-disciplinary Honors capstones that address sustainability issues are shown by Emmanuel Balandi, "Water Scarcity: The Only Key for Chad to Ensure Food Security and Sustainable Development," William Graves, English, and John Visich, Management - See more at: http://www.bryant.edu/news/news-articles/2016/05/10/senior-honors-students-showcase-capstone-projects/#sthash.CrOnQLfK.dpuf

These efforts often have lasting impacts that go beyond the actual project. For example, a past student, Brendan Sweeny, who pursued a project with RIDEM while an undergraduate at Bryant, went on to obtain a Master’s degree in sustainability and presently heads up a fisheries program in the mid-Atlantic region. Sweeny, who started off as a sustainability specialist and is now director of operations at a major seafood company, is working to address the fisheries sustainability issue by ensuring that the birth rate of the crabs matches the harvest rates; he is part of the team effort that makes Handy International a leader in sustainability practices.


Another student, Katilyn Goldsmith, worked with The Nature Conservancy while at Bryant, and went on to complete an Honors project focused on policies for preserving woodlands in Rhode Island, and later a Master’s degree in Environmental Management with a focus in coastal and marine ecology and policy from Portland State University. Kaitlyn also served as an EDF Climate Corps program, completing a study showing how green initiatives saved money for a county housing authority, and maintaining an ongoing blog focused on sustainability. She served in the Governor’s Natural Resource Office in Oregon, and is now the Project Coordinator for MARCO (Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean, where she will play a key role in advancing MARCO’s climate change adaptation priority focus (Climate Change Action Team/CCAT) and will help manage the current resiliency projects funding by the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC). Clearly Bryant’s long-term commitment to sustainability training is exhibited in both these examples.


Kaitlyn Goldsmith, Management major, Environmental Science minor – Dr. Gaytha Langlois

Effectiveness of Agency and Non-Government Organizational Efforts in Rhode Island Environmental Conservation



Lastly, Kyle Nyskohus, an Actuarial Math major at Bryant, completed an Honors Capstone project focused on integrating risk assessments and coastal valuation with existing and future coastal resiliency policy.


Kyle Nyskohus, Actuarial Math major, Environmental Science minor – Dr. Gaytha Langlois

Enhancing Coastal Resilience: Perspectives on Valuing RI Coastal Lands

These are only a few examples of this type of faculty/student research addressing local, regional, and global sustainability issues, and these studies have regularly involved commitments with and for state and local government agencies (recycling, energy efficiency, land use policy, etc.).

Faculty members and staff from Bryant have served (past and present) on Town Councils, Conservation Commissions, Planning Boards, Zoning Boards, School Committees, and in the State Legislature; many of these appointments (or elections) have fostered the development of sustainable practices, protection of open space, pollution avoidance, drainage management, or applications of renewable energy, and have involved the towns of South Kingstown, Warwick, Foster, and East Greenwich, to name a few. In addition, faculty members have also served on the Executive Boards of ASRI, Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, and the Wood-Pawcatuck River Watershed Commission.




Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “collaborative”?:

A brief description of the institution's collaborative sustainability partnership(s):

An ongoing collaborative partnership exists between Professors Gaytha Langlois and John Stachelhaus from Bryant University with Eugenia Marks, Audubon Society of Rhode Island (ASRI), and undergraduate and graduate students to use GIS facilities at Bryant, to track and map cesspools affecting the water quality in local watersheds and streams in northern Rhode Island. Students who have participated in some aspects of this partnership include graduate student Nicole Cournoyer, and undergraduate students, Steven Polak and Katelynn Howard in recent years. The GIS maps that are completed then become accessible through the RIGIS program, and help local towns to address important zoning problems. Bryant faculty and students contribute time and expertise and provide mapping facilities, while ASRI contributes its reputation for careful and fair policy initiatives for protecting the State’s waterways.

Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “transformative”?:

A brief description of the institution's transformative sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:

A brief description of the institution’s sustainability partnerships with distant (i.e. non-local) communities:

The website URL where information about sustainability partnerships is available:

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