I wasn’t able to attend the first NYC Loft workshop, so I’m guessing a bit here about what I need to write. I have never encountered the concept of “Sustainable Community”, so what I write here reflects my take on what this might mean. Like many of you, my concept of community includes multiple components.
When I started working in the Department of Psychology at Appstate, in 2003, my community included mostly people in my department. I teach Child Development, Human Development, Research Methods, Conservation Psychology, and History of Psychology. My research focuses on the development of eating behavior and I’m interested in the behavioral aspects of sustainable food systems. We are a large department and I’m thankful that my colleagues are willing to work hard to develop a sense of community with our undergraduate, graduate students, and alumni. We have four graduate programs that tend to divide faculty along those lines. Despite this, I think most of our faculty identify first with the entire department and secondly according to their speciality area. One thing we do that I think supports this inclusive mindset to have an annual retreat and a strategic planning committee that helps us meet the goals we create for ourselves and work together effectively.