RCE Greater Atlanta - Higher Education Learning Community (HELC) Action Group

RCE Greater Atlanta
is a Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development acknowledged by the United Nations University, is a regional sustainability network that supports implementation of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals at the regional level through education and training. Brings together universities and colleges with nonprofit, community, government, and business partners. 

Higher Education Learning Community (HELC) is an RCE Greater Atlanta action group that aims to facilitate faculty and research-active student engagement with the SDGs in a collective learning environment. Participants include faculty and research-active students from Emory University, Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and the University of Georgia.

HELC aims to create a dynamic network of research and teaching faculty, practitioners, youth, and community partners in Greater Atlanta who work together to offer research seminars, symposia, curricular resources, teaching workshops, and a variety of publications to advance the SDGs in education, research, and service across campuses in the region as well as among the US (North American) higher education community as a whole.

HELC ProjectsAGSC-Symposium_RCE-Track-2

1) Sustainable Development Research Seminar Series
Lead: Bruce Stiftel, bruce.stiftel@gatech.edu; Michael Black, seawater@gsu.edu
See below for upcoming and past seminars.

2) Building Effective ESD in Higher Education through Multi-Institutional and Community Collaboration
Lead: Rebecca Watts Hull, rwattshull@gatech.edu

Read about the "Think Globally,Teach Locally" Workshop, Feb 19, 2020 here.
Read about the "Going Global: A Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Curriculum Design Workshop", Feb 23, and
access related resources here.
Read about the Faculty Learning Community Teaching with the SDGs here.

Looking for help incorporating ESD into your teaching? Explore these resources developed through this RCE project and by member institutions:

Going Global Workshop Materials 
ESD Faculty Learning Community Resources 
UNESCO and Other Resources on SDG Integration in Higher Education
SLS Teaching Toolkit: U.N. SDGs
Community Science Collaboratory (official press release forthcoming): This project is a collaborative effort to design a sustainable model for long-term community science initiatives in Metropolitan Atlanta and link globally to build partnerships with like initiatives through the Global RCE Network—Regional Centers of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development. This initiative brings together six colleges/universities that are part of the RCE Greater Atlanta, six community-based organizations in Georgia, and two Global RCE Partners— the highly successful citizen science collaborations of the KwaZulu-Natal and Saskatchewan RCEs--to co-design ways to collaborate more effectively. This one-year project will result in a detailed plan and a major funding proposal to support a sustainable infrastructure for global collaborative science—the Community Science Collaboratory for the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

RCE-Award3) AGSC Symposium/RCE & RCE Youth Track 
Lead: Sebnem Ozkan, sebnem.ozkan@gatech.edu; Mona Ray, Mona.Ray@morehouse.edu

This annual Symposium will takes place in April and features a day-long track or panels presented by RCE HELC, including a youth panel. For further information please visit the Symposium Webpage.

In February 2020, United Nations University recognized this HELC project by an Award for Innovative Projects on Education for Sustainable Development, Honorable Mention for SDG 4 Quality Education. Read the press release. 

4) Annual EQUINOX: UN SDGs SymposiumEquinox-logo
Lead: Pegah Zamani, pzamani@kennesaw.edu; Binbin Jiang, bjiang@kennesaw.edu

Equinox Website


Sustainable Development Research Seminar Series

* The open access research seminar videos are also available at Prof. Bruce Stiftel's Youtube channel. They are in a Playlist called RCE Greater Atlanta: and accessible from the Channel landing page.

Fall 2021
All talks will take place Fridays at 12 PM ET online at: https://bit.ly/3Ac3ULf

Fall 2021 Seminar Series

Chen Oct 15

Friday, October 29 | 12-1:15 PM ET
rescheduled from Oct 15
"Taboo to Civic Actions: Engaging Taiwanese Youth in Environmental Controversial Issues Discussions"
Yun-Wen Chen, Assistant Professor of Curriculum & Instruction, Texas State University


RCE-HELC_Seminar_FA21_WHITWORTH_Nov12.pngFriday, November 12 | 12-1:15 PM ET
"Rhizomatic Resistance: Environmental and Trans-Species Ethics in Feminist and LGBTQ Activism and Art"
Lauran Whitworth, Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Agnes Scott College


Friday, December 3 | 12-1:15 PM ET
“Confronting Rising Seas: Implications for the long-term resilience and sustainability of the Georgia coast”
Clark Alexander, Director and Professor, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography,University of Georgia


Spring 2021

Spring 2021


Friday, January 22 | 12:00 Noon - 1:15 pm
Migration following Hurricane Michael: Evidence from the Consumer Credit Panel
Elora Raymond, Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning, Georgia Tech
Seminar recording


Friday, February 26 | 12:00 Noon - 1:15 pm
Alexander von Humboldt’s Proto-Ecological Thinking
Caroline Schaumann, Professor of German Studies, Emory University
To request access to the seminar recording, please contact Dr. Schaumann at cshaum@emory.edu.


Friday, March 19 | 12:00 Noon - 1:15 pm
Sustainable Construction Neighborhood: The way forward
Ali Keyvanfar, Assistant Professor of Construction Management, Kennesaw State University
Seminar recording
*Presented in conjunction with the 4th Annual EQUINOX Week at KSU: UN SDGs (March 15-19, 2021)

Fall 2020



Friday, November 20 | 12:00 Noon - 1:15 pm
The Politics of GM Crops and Agrochemical Exposure in Argentina
Pablo Lapegna, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology & Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute, University of Georgia
Seminar recording


Friday, October 23 | 12:00 Noon - 1:15 pm
Taking Science to the Streets: Community Science and Participatory Approaches to Improve Environment, Health, and Quality of Life in Urban Areas
Na'Taki Osborne Jelks, Assistant Professor, Environmental and Health Sciences, Spelman College
Seminar recording


Friday, September 25 | 12:00 Noon - 1:15 pm
A Social-Ecological-Technological Systems (SETS) approach to advancing urban systems science
David M. Iwaniec, Assistant Professor, Urban Studies Institute, Georgia State University

Spring 2020


Friday, January 31 | 12:00 Noon - 1:30 pm
Theories for Sustainable Futures
Lance Gunderson, Professor and Chair, Environmental Sciences, Emory University
Atwood Center, Rm 360, 1515 Dickey Drive, Emory University


RCE HELC Co-Leads:
Sebnem Ozkan (Atlanta Global Studies Center, Georgia Tech), sebnem.ozkan@gatech.edu
Michael Black (Neuroscience Institute and Urban Studies Institute, GSU), seawater@gsu.edu
Jairo Garcia (School of City & Regional Planning, Georgia Tech), jairo.garcia@design.gatech.edu

Spring 2021 HELC Monthly Meeting Calendar
12-1 pm on Jan 13, Feb 10, Mar 10, Apr 14, May 12, June 9 
Contact sebnem.ozkan@gatech.edu for the meeting URL

HELC participants include faculty and research-active students from Emory University, Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and the University of Georgia. 
gt   spelman   emory   ksu   uga   morehousegsu