Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 69.25
Liaison Laura Bain
Submission Date Jan. 26, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Furman University
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Yancey Fouche
Associate Director
Shi Center for Sustainability
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Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution:

Furman offers May Experience programs, many of which include sustainability-focused topics. May Experience is an optional three-week term following the spring semester that allows students to explore topics, frequently outside their majors, in courses that will not be offered during the academic year.
Our students can enroll in a single two-credit course, typically without prerequisites. Study away programs are also available, and class size is usually limited to 15 students. The cost of May Experience courses is included with tuition.

MAY X Slow Food Italy
Slow Food Italy proposes to engage students in an extended, in-depth discussion about ways to promote and maintain healthy, environmentally responsible food production, procurement and preparation in modern society. Readings will motivate discussion on current problems posed by industrial food production; solutions will be considered through the examples offered by traditional foodways as observed and experienced on an organic farm in Italy, where students will be in residence. Activities may include working in the farm’s gardens, watching fresh cheese being made, hunting for truffles and other wild foods, visiting an organic winery, and preparing handmade pasta and other foods. Short stays in Rome at the beginning and end of the program will give insights into Italians’ attitudes about eating and provide the experience of shopping for fresh foods in urban markets.
The course will introduce students to Slow Food, an international grass roots movement and cultural philosophy that was born out of a non-profit organization founded in Italy in 1986. After a crash course on the economic, social, culinary and ecological underpinnings of the Slow Food mission, and an exploration of how the organization has evolved in the US context, the group will travel to Rome and then on to the town of Sora, in the Lazio region of Italy. Here students will be in residence on an organic farm for two weeks to learn about the ideals espoused by the Slow Food movement both through readings and discussion and by experiencing traditional farming and gastronomy firsthand. By closely observing traditional Italian foodways, they will learn about alternatives to industrial food production while debating the relative merits of American and Italian approaches to eating. Students will reflect on the experience through a final paper and an oral presentation to be delivered at the end of the stay.

MAY X Farm
"After many years in which agricultural interest groups crafted agricultural policy with few contenders, grass-roots citizens are advocating for changes in US agriculture policy on environmental, animal welfare, and public health fronts. The new actors in agricultural policy advocate for sustainable agriculture and argue for policies that favor local, organic foods. Added to the mix are questions about farm subsidies, ethanol, and crop insurance. This debate between sustainable and commodity agriculture has put the American farm at the center of a growing political controversy. Farm brings students to Iowa, the leading corn, soy, egg, and hog producer in the nation. The state also is home to a strong network of sustainable agriculture groups. During Farm, students will speak to farmers employing a wide variety of agricultural practices. If you are concerned about the future of food, there are few places better to learn about it than in Iowa.
Students in Farm will have the opportunity to plant corn and/or soybeans, learn about precision agriculture, work on an organic farm, shop at a Farmer’s Market, and visit farms and facilities that specialize in production animal agriculture.. All of these activities and experiences are to provide the students with insights into the impact of agriculture practices and to better understand how the current food system operates, its strengths and flaws. By understanding the variety of agricultural practices employed in Iowa, students can better evaluate for themselves the claims being made in support of or against organic food, local food, animal welfare standards, nutrient management strategies, no-till farming, and crop "

The website URL where information about the immersive program(s) is available:

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