Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.36
Liaison Marianella Franklin
Submission Date Jan. 10, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
EN-11: Inter-Campus Collaboration

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Marianella Franklin
Director of Sustainability
The Office For Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution currently a member of a national or international higher education sustainability network?:
Yes

The name of the national or international sustainability network(s):
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB)
American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)
American Chemical Society (ACS)
AHEC
American Institute of Architects (AIA)
American Marketing Association (AMA)
American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE)
American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) ?
Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR)
Global Council of Science and the Environment (GCSE)
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP)
Society for Conservation Biology (SCB)
Society for Colleges and University Planning (SCUP)
National Association of Colleges and Universities Business Officers (NACUBO)
United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI)

Does the institution actively participate in a regional, state/provincial, or local higher education sustainability network?:
Yes

The name of the regional, state/provincial or local sustainability network(s):
Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability (TRACS)
Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education(AASHE)
Global Council for Science and the Environment(GCSE)
Broadway Green Alliance
Tree Campus Higher Education
Bee Campus USA
Association for Climate Change Officers
Technology Student Association (TSA)
Texas Association for Physical Plant Administrators (TAPPA)
National Center for Appropriate Technology (ATTRA Sustainability Agriculture)
LRGV Sustainability Network

Has the institution presented at a higher education sustainability conference during the previous year?:
Yes

A list or brief description of the conference(s) and presentation(s):
Since 2013, UTRGV has hosted an annual international sustainability conference in partnership with the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). An intensive two-day faculty development program entitled the International Center for Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ICSAC) Conference grew out of our university’s successful Project Sin Fronteras program's goal of bringing together faculty from all fields, allowing for an exchange of ideas nurturing an enriching collaborative atmosphere. This interdisciplinary exercise helps faculty to explore the shifts in pedagogy needed to incorporate sustainability concepts, problems, or solutions into new or existing courses. Drawn from experienced faculty and professionals on issues of sustainability, environment, and curriculum, these instructional materials, activities, and presentations will support the education for sustainable development in higher education. International faculty, and faculty from across the nation, are invited to join local, state, national, and global participants, providing international experiences while opening a range of collaborative and networking opportunities for all.

UTRGV participates and presents annually at the Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability (TRACS) Summit including the 2019, 2020 and 2021 event. UTRGV is scheduled to host the 2023 annual TRACS. This conference will be held at South Padre Island Convention Center, one of the largest destinations and most valued ecological regions of South Texas. We will focus on continued education for sustainability practices, along with the opportunity to engage and overcome emerging issues that are arising in today’s society.

UTRGV also participates and presents annually at:

-AASHE: The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

-LRGV-AIA (Building Communities Conference): American Institute of Architects of the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

-NCSE (Now GCSE): Global Council for Sciences and the Environment. A nongovernmental organization that advances the use of science to inform environmental decision-making engaging scientists, educators, policymakers, business leaders, and officials at all levels of government.

-Valley Environmental Summit: The Valley Environmental Coalition creates a successful, annual Environmental Summit that brings together border grassroots, local and state stakeholders to identify primary environmental issues.

Has the institution submitted a case study during the previous year to an external higher education sustainability resource center or awards program?:
Yes

A list or brief description of the sustainability resource center or awards program and submission(s):
AASHE
Global Council for Science and the Environment
Texas Regional Alliance for Sustainability
Tree Campus Higher Education
Bee Campus USA

Has the institution had employees or students serving on a board or committee of a sustainability network or conference during the previous three years?:
Yes

A list or brief description of the board or committee appointment(s):
Marianella Franklin, Director of Sustainability, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley serves on:

-The Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability Executive Committee. The committee is comprised of six elected members, who will focus on creating the TRACS governance structure and organizational bylaws as well as refining the mission and vision of TRACS.
https://texascampussustainability.com/executive-committee/

-The Valley Environmental Summit (comes up with solutions to the Valley’s environmental issues) as the Vice-president.

-UTRGV ENACTUS organization, which aims to provide lasting impact to the local community by achieving sustainable economic growth through building strong partnerships.

-The International Rotary Club of Mission, Texas.

-The Hidalgo County Prosperity Task Force which aims to develop a leadership curriculum focused on understanding the core reasons for Hidalgo County's pervasive poverty and the consequences thereof.

-The Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council for Solid Waste Management (LRGV-DC SWAM).

-The resiliency plan advisory committee of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council Metropolitan Planning Organization (LRGV-DC MPO).

Does the institution have an ongoing mentoring relationship with another institution through which it assists the institution with its sustainability reporting and/or the development of its sustainability program?:
Yes

A brief description of the mentoring relationship and activities:
Marianella Franklin, Director of Sustainability, The University of Texas Rio had the opportunity to mentor:

-PSJA CISD, Buell Central High School. She helped them integrate their education for sustainable development through project based learning by training their teachers, providing resources and facilitating mentorship by connecting them with subject matter experts faculty and deans.

-Mission CISD, Mission High School. Helped develop and integrate a new agroecology program supported by a Rotary Club international grant.

-Dallas College. Helped integrate the sustainable development goals by presenting a speaker event. Trained faculty to integrate SDGs into curriculum and research.

Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM). Helped integrate the sustainable development goals by presenting a speaker event. Trained faculty to integrate SDGs into curriculum and research.

Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL). Helped integrate the sustainable development goals by presenting a speaker event. Trained faculty to integrate SDGs into curriculum and research.

CATIE Costa Rica. Helped integrate the sustainable development goals by presenting a speaker event. Trained faculty to integrate SDGs into curriculum and research. Developed an interdisciplinary reciprocal partnership for a Study Abroad program with faculty and students from Business, Social Work, and Agroecology.

Has the institution had employees or students serving as peer reviewers of another institution’s sustainability data and/or STARS submission during the previous three years?:
No

A brief description of the peer review activities:
---

A brief description of other inter-campus collaborative efforts around sustainability during the previous year :
One Health Approach Collaboration- Texas A&M, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Students from three universities, UTRGV, Texas A&M University, and the University of Texas Medical branch at Galveston were part of a cooperative course that gave them field experience in outbreak investigation and taught them about the One Health initiative. The One Health concept is a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans, animals and the environment. Dr. Dennis Bente, a UTMB associate professor, commented that the location of the Rio Grande Valley is ideal to address some of the One Health questions, being so close to the border. Some unique health issues he refers to are for example, the fact that people go to Mexico for medical treatment, or that animals are sold on flea markets.

https://www.utrgv.edu/newsroom/2019/06/05-utrgv-partners-with-tamu-utb-for-course-in-outbreak-investigation.htm

COIL- The Collaborative Online International Learning Workshop (COIL) crosses borders virtually. COIL is a powerful pedagogical tool that has the potential to unite students in South Texas and Northern Mexico. COIL creates equitable, team-taught online learning environments where professors from two cultures work together to develop a shared syllabus, emphasizing experiential and collaborative student learning. These exchanges are embedded in existing courses with traditional face-to-face sessions taking place at both schools, while the collaborative student work takes place online. These collaborations typically last from 4-6 weeks.

https://www.utrgv.edu/ipp/about-us/coil-registration-form/index.htm

Global Partnerships- UTRGV collaborates regularly with other colleges and universities to build the sustainability community. Aside from the agreements with other universities within national boundaries, UTRGV has established MOU’s with foreign universities. Since these agreements ensure student and research exchange as well as program collaboration, they contribute to expanding UTRGV’s networks and opportunities for understanding and advancing sustainability at a global scale. UTRGV has established agreements with universities in Argentina, Chile, China, France, Ghana, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, and Thailand.

A recent MOU was signed with the Universidad Luterana Salvadoreña with the intention of creating inter collaborative courses in social work. The exchange of faculty will allow students from both universities to expand their cultural awareness and understanding.

https://www.utrgv.edu/newsroom/2021/09/16-utrgv-and-universidad-luterana-salvadorena-sign-mou-for-international-collaboration.htm

Website URL where information about the institution’s inter-campus collaborations is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
---

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.