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115: Meghann Jarchow - Defining Sustainable Education

Season 1, Ep. 115

Meghann Jarchow, Ph.D., chair of Sustainability and Environment, spoke with Credit Hour about recent changes in the sustainability program as well as how we can make the world a better place. 


The sustainability undergraduate program started in 2012, and six years later, students can now receive a Master’s and doctorate degree in sustainability. This makes the University of South Dakota one of the few institutions in the country to offer an undergraduate and graduate education in sustainability.


“I think sustainability is the ultimate liberal art in that it is more of a way of thinking about the world or a different lens or worldview of understanding how we might think of topics,” Jarchow said.


Jarchow describes sustainability as a proactive way of thought to improve the environment, improve social well-being and to have financial systems that could continue over time. The end goal is to find solutions that make change. 


“Sustainability is more than recycling,” Jarchow said. “It is trying to create a better world and actually taking steps to make it happen.”


There are several easy steps a person can take to make the world a more desirable place, Jarchow said, such as using a reusable water bottle or grocery bag. Additionally, with the free bike share program the sustainability department helped develop, Jarchow hopes it becomes normal for more people to bike around town all year around.

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VOICES AMPLIFIED | The Nexus of Law & Criminal Justice Reform

Season 4, Ep. 3
The University of South Dakota’s podcast Credit Hour welcomed USD School of Law dean Neil Fulton to discuss the legal dimensions of systemic racism, social justice and criminal justice reform as part of its series “Voices Amplified.” “To address these problems, we have to understand, identify and engage with our differences, and then seek out points of commonality. That requires having difficult conversations in a patient way,” said Fulton. “None of us are really built to do that without working at it. Higher education can help us be prepared to do that.” Fulton discussed the legal aspects of criminal justice reform efforts like removing qualified immunity and defunding the police as well as the ways higher education can address issues like systemic racism. “I think particularly here in South Dakota it’s so important because coming to a college campus may be the first time where a lot of students have a sustained encounter with someone who isn’t like them, that doesn’t look like them, who isn’t of the same race or who doesn’t have the same socioeconomic background,” said Fulton. “This can be one of the first places where we have the sustained opportunity to have those conversations and build up both the skills and inclinations to attack these problems.” Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and www.usd.edu/podcast.