Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.13
Liaison Trey McDonald
Submission Date March 24, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of San Diego
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete N/A Trey McDonald
Director of Sustainability and Energy Manager
Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
The Equinox Project Quality of Life Dashboard

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

The Equinox Project is a nonpartisan policy initiative that inspires, informs and engages both the public and decision-makers in crafting better solutions to regional challenges. Equinox focuses on the intersecting issues that together shape regional quality of life, including:

• Tracking key environmental and economic indicators through our Regional Quality of Life Dashboard.
• Communicating data and policy research to inform the public and influence decision-makers.
• Engaging young adults to participate in regional environmental and economic issues to ensure a growing generation of informed and civically engaged residents (Leaders 2020).

Originating in 2009 in the San Diego region, Equinox developed as a credible source for balanced public policy research and analysis. Although the San Diego region is still our main project area, Equinox is broadening its reach to other local governments and regions in California and beyond.

The first San Diego Regional Quality of Life Dashboard was released in 2010 to shine a spotlight on questions that truly mattered to San Diegans. Using environmental and economic indicators, the Dashboard quantifies trends throughout the region tracking a central theme: Is the quality of life improving?
Drawing on strong relationships with nonprofit organizations, government agencies and the business community, the Dashboard provides a balanced snapshot of the region’s well-being using credible data, clear metrics and ongoing benchmarks. The dashboard tracks regional progress on critical, interlinking quality-of-life issues and provides examples of where things are working and ideas for how we can improve.

The 2020 Dashboard aims to call attention to equity as a part of the story, as we can't fully discuss quality of life if we aren't thinking about our region's population holistically. Equity is both the fair and just distribution of societal benefits and burdens and the ability of underserved communities to influence decisions in a way that addresses their needs and concerns.

Another new focus for this year’s Dashboard is the research and projects being done by the Dashboard’s home, the University of San Diego (USD). As the standard bearer for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university, USD has identified six interconnected Pathways that will help USD achieve its 2024 Vision, including the Care for Our Common Home Pathway. This Pathway demonstrates care for all creation and has become more critical as USD strives to become a leader in sustainability in all its aspects (environmental, social justice, economic benefits). By its very nature this pathway is designed to provide opportunities for faculty, students, staff and administrators to address the world’s greatest challenges. The Dashboard leverages USD student and faculty research in measuring and benchmarking the region’s quality of life trends.


Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Public Engagement
Coordination & Planning

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):
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A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
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Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
USD Food Studies Initiative

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

Funded by an internal Strategic Initiatives Grant, the USD Food Studies Initiative (FSI) seeks to engage students, faculty and staff on urgent questions concerning food ethics and to spark an ethical and justice-oriented approach to food on campus. Through collaboration and outreach efforts, the FSI aims to increase socially-engaged food scholarship at USD, build a new minor, and align USD's food-related policies on campus with USD's emphasis on care for our common home and social justice.

Areas of special interest that have already been identified include utilizing food as a vehicle to analyze and respond to racism, especially anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism; colonialism; food sovereignty; climate change; violence to animals; and the ways in which all these issues often intersect in the question of food justice. The FSI’s overarching goal is to develop the USD campus into a model of how universities can employ food scholarship and food services to build community on and off campus and establish more engaged and ethical foodways.

At the core of FSI's initial work will be identifying faculty, staff and students interested in serving on an advisory board to guide later stages of the FSI. The interests of the USD community will shape the efforts of the FSI, and we welcome community members with diverse approaches to food and social justice.

Food-Related Courses at USD

A sampling of food-related courses offered Spring 2021:
• Anthropology 315: Modern Human Variation (Jennifer Parkinson)
• Biology 113: Plants and People (Marcelle M. Darby)
• Chemistry 102: Science of Food and Cooking (Ashley L. Corrigan Steffey)
• Chemistry 494: Biochemistry of Food and Cooking (Joseph J Provost)
• Education Recreation 148: Virtual Nutrition & Personal Wellness (Lisa L. Taylor)
• Engineering 110: The Design of Coffee (Shai S. Cohen, Giovanni G. Facco, and Samuel D. Fleischman)
• Engineering 315: Coffee: Engineering, the Global Industry and Social Justice (Truc T. Ngo)
• English 230: Food, Love, and Stories (Koonyong Kim)
• Italian 202: Four Semester Italian: Food, Diversity, Culture (Brittany K. Asaro)
• Philosophy 321: Social Ethics (Holly M. Hamilton-Bleakley)
• Political Science 346: Food and Politics (Andrew Tirrell)
• Theology & Religious Studies 313: Jewish Faith and Practice (Aaron S. Gross)
• Theology & Religious Studies 334: Christian Social Ethics (Christopher Carter)

A sampling of food-related courses offered Fall 2020:
• Biology 113: Plants and People (Marcelle M. Darby)
• Chemistry 102: Science of Food and Cooking (Ashley L. Corrigan Steffey)
• Environmental & Ocean Sciences 531: Human Impacts on the Coastal Environment (Steven P. Searcy)
• Honors 318: Conceptions of Nature (Christopher R. Carter)
• Law General 510: Animal Law (Laurence P. Claus)
• Philosophy 116: Morality and Justice (Matthew D. Wion)
• Philosophy 118: Philosophy Through Food (Nicholas A. Riggle)
• Philosophy 321: Social Ethics (Holly M. Hamilton-Bleakley)
• Political Science 494: Politics and Animals (Jonathan D. Wadley)
• Spanish 440: Food and Politics in Spain (Rebecca E. Ingram)
• Theology & Religious Studies 232: Religion and Animals (Aaron S. Gross)


Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Curriculum
Campus Engagement
Food & Dining

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):
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A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
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Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
Environmental Integration Lab

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

The University of San Diego is creating an Environmental Integration Lab to help meet our Strategic Initiative goal of enhancing student learning and success, using the values espoused in Laudato Si’ and adopted by USD in the Care for Our Common Home Strategic Pathway. Led by Dr. Nichole Wissman-Weber, Assistant Professor of Management, and Dr. Julia Cantzler, Associate Professor of Sociology, the EIL seeks to bring together faculty, staff and students in a concerted effort to connect campus-wide sustainability endeavors, with particular focus on climate change and environmental justice issues.

To address the urgent problems of climate change and environmental justice, we must develop future leaders with the capacity and tools to advance sustainability. This will require training students to tackle these issues through initiatives that develop competencies in sustainability, interdisciplinary and systems thinking, project management, and stakeholder engagement. To accomplish this, we must bring together faculty and staff to integrate sustainable processes and practices across campus and help students learn the skills to Care for Our Common Home.

USD has a variety of experts on environmental science, real estate sustainability, sustainable supply chain, carbon footprint measuring, green engineering product design and process development, environmental policy analysis, sustainable management, and climate justice that have never been formally brought together. The lab will harness our resources and talent to be integrated, leveraged, and made much more effective at addressing the issues of climate change and environmental justice, both on-campus and across the San Diego region.


Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Air & Climate
Coordination & Planning

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