Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.59
Liaison Susan Dorward
Submission Date Aug. 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

Raritan Valley Community College
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete N/A Susan Dorward
Sustainability and Energy Coordinator
Facilities and Grounds
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Center for Environmental Studies

A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:

The Center for Environmental Studies was established in 2018 and hired its first full-time staff in 2020.

The RVCC Center for Environmental Studies engages approximately 100 students each year in real-world learning experiences, both inside and outside the classroom. These experiences empower students to transform their academic knowledge into real-world research and problem solving skills that prepare them to pursue successful careers in environmental science, sustainability, ecology, natural resources management, and related fields.

Members of the Center, including faculty, staff, interns, and students, work together with the college and community organizations to address environmental concerns through research, monitoring, stewardship, restoration, public outreach, and educational programs. These activities benefit the community by raising public awareness and understanding about environmental issues and by helping community members implement evidence-based practices to address those issues while working towards a more sustainable future.

Our Mission
The RVCC Center for Environmental Studies engages students and campus and community members in research, education, and stewardship activities that inspire effective and sustainable environmental practices in our home counties, across New Jersey, and beyond.

Focus Areas: Teaching, Research, and Service

Students: The Center for Environmental Studies provides educational opportunities and professional training for current students and alumni pursuing degrees in Biology, Environmental Science/Studies, and related STEM programs through student-centered curricula, paid internships, independent research projects, service learning opportunities, and study abroad experiences.

Research: The Center for Environmental Studies provides technical assistance to the college, community organizations, and local municipalities in addressing environmental concerns through environmental research, monitoring, stewardship, restoration, and other management practices.
Community: The Center for Environmental Studies provides public outreach and educational programs for the community to increase public awareness and understanding about environmental issues.


Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Curriculum
Research
Campus Engagement
Public Engagement
Grounds
Water

Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
AC-3 Undergraduate Program

A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
New greenhouse

A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:

RVCC's new greenhouse opened in 2021. Students are organically growing native plants and produce and experimenting with a hydroponics system. They have sold plants to the campus community and grown plants for planting on campus.


Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Grounds

Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
AC-8 Campus as a Living Laboratory

A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
DEI Workshop Series

A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

In 2021, RVCC hired its first Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Dr. Windy Paz-Amor. In summer 2022, Dr. Paz-Amor ran a series of 7 DEI workshops (offered twice each) for all employees:
I. Developing Community Standards for Safer more Inclusive Dialogue
II. Everyone Has Cultural Identity; Learning about my own Social/Cultural Lens: Building our Own Identity Development through Story
III. Implicit Bias: Understanding Our Unconscious Attitudes and Stereotypes
IV. Communication Across Cultures: Building Mindfulness when working with Diverse Populations: “What if I say the Wrong Thing”/ (C)LARA Method of Communication
V. Microaggressions and Racial Fatigue: The R.A.V.E.N and RAIN Framework
VI. Leadership for Best Practices: An Introduction to Intersectionality & Applying an Intersectional Lens to Our Work
VII. A Supervisory Series through a DEI Lens: Part I & Part II


Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Coordination & Planning
Diversity & Affordability

Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
PA-5 Diversity and Equity Coordination, PA-2 Sustainability Planning

A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.