AASHE designates UTRGV International Center for Sustainability Across Curriculum (ICSAC)

EDINBURG, TEXAS – DEC. 16, 2016 – The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and the UTRGV Office of the Provost has announced that the university have been awarded the designation of Center for Sustainability Across Curriculum.

Thirteen “Centers for Sustainability Across the Curriculum” were chosen from more than 40 applicants nationwide. These institutions will partner with AASHE to offer workshops and other professional development opportunities on sustainability in the curriculum beginning in 2017. 

The centers were selected through a competitive application process held earlier this year.

“Sustainable development at UTRGV is transforming the way we influence all parts of our institution – from student success, community engagement, research, educational opportunities, and health and medical education,” said Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, UTRGV provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs.

“This national partnership with AASHE will continue our university’s commitment to innovation and emphasize the high impact our initiatives have on our campus and in our region. Through programs such as the Center for Sustainability Across Curriculum, we will equip our faculty and students to become recognized leaders in global sustainability,” he said.

The following Centers will be participating in the program at the following organizations:

  • Center for Sustainability at Ramapo College of New Jersey, Mahwah, New Jersey.
  • Central College, Pella, Iowa.
  • Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  • David E. Shi Center for Sustainability at Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina.
  • Center for Sustainability Education at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
  • Fleming College, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.
  • University of Kansas and Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas.
  • Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, Illinois.
  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, Illinois.
  • The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, Texas.
  • The Washington Center for Sustainability Education at Seattle University and Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington.
  • University of South Carolina – Columbia, Columbia, South Carolina.
  • University of California, Oakland, California.

The goal of the Centers for Sustainability Across the Curriculum program, which is in its first year, is to accelerate the infusion of sustainability content into curriculum by increasing the availability and accessibility of faculty development opportunities related to sustainability. The professional development offerings from these Centers will be available to faculty from other institutions in the region. Centers will be scheduling workshops throughout 2017. These workshops will be advertised on AASHE’s website.

“I am confident that this pilot program will help faculty from a wide range of disciplines include sustainability content in their courses. As a result of this program, more students will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to help solve sustainability challenges,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser.

Over the past decade, AASHE’s Sustainability Across the Curriculum Train the Trainer Workshops have trained more than 500 faculty leaders at institutions around the country to catalyze curriculum change on their campuses. Based on the pioneering success of the Ponderosa Project at Northern Arizona University and the Piedmont Project at Emory University, this model has now been implemented successfully at dozens of institutions around the country. The Centers program is intended to leverage this network of skilled trainers to dramatically increase the availability and diversity of sustainability-oriented training for faculty. Based on the experiences of this pilot year, AASHE may seek recruit additional centers in fall 2017.

Developed in 2014, UTRGV’s successful Project Sin Fronteras – Project without Borders (PSF) is a transformational platform that infuses sustainability concepts and practices into the UTRGV curriculum and systems. Since its inception, 55 faculty from eight colleges have provided more than 300 sustainability courses influencing more than 5,100 UTRGV students. The Office for Sustainability has managed this initiative.


AASHE empowers higher education administrators, faculty, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. AASHE enables members to translate information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a diverse, engaged community of sustainability leaders. The group works with and for higher education, to ensure that the world’s future leaders are motivated and equipped to solve sustainability challenges. For more information, visit www.aashe.org. Follow AASHE on Facebook and Twitter.


UTRGV is moving forward toward a sustainable campus and community. It has been awarded the AASHE STARS Silver rating, the Arbor Day Foundation Tree Campus USA designation, and was recognized by the Sierra Club Cool Schools and The Princeton Review’s Green Schools. UTRGV provides a high quality, innovative and affordable education to the students of South Texas, Texas, the United States and the world. The University will transform Texas and the nation through student success, research, healthcare, and commercialization of university discoveries.


Marianella Franklin
Chief Sustainability Officer
UTRGV Office for Sustainability

Andrea Huggins
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
(888) 347-9997



UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications / 956-665-2742