Engagement: Campus and Community

We all have an individual choice to make every day – are we going to participate in efforts to save our planet and communities? No matter your relationship to UTRGV, we hope you’ll join us in learning about sustainable development, putting ideas into action, and spreading the word about sustainable solutions to our changing world. 


 

Connect. Collaborate. Contribute. 

  • Students

    Connect: Join a student group or professional organization 

    There are several clubs and organizations at UTRGV that seek to develop a more sustainable atmosphere on campus and in our community.  Choose from a variety of environmental issues like endangered species, green energy, green engineering, or societal issues, like gender equality, social justice or zero poverty. 

    Joining a student organization is a great way to network with like-minded individuals! Joining a Sustainability Related student organization ensures that you and your new friends will be making an impact on the world.

    Not seeing anything that inspires you? Start your own organization:

    The process is simpler than you think, and UTRGV will help every step of the way to make sure you exercise your power of advocacy. 

    Contribute: Volunteer 

    Throughout the year our office hosts and co-hosts hundreds of events we’d love for you to contribute your time and skills.   We keep track of all of our events so check out our calendar page, or our Facebook page and drop us a message.  We’ll help you get connected with our latest event so you that you too can be a part of UTRGV’s move toward sustainable development.   For more information on our upcoming events check out our Facebook or event calendar.

     

    Collaborate: Work together with OFS

    Sometimes, all you need is a small spark to start a blazing fire.  Students have been responsible for sustainable development on campus, such as the installation of water-bottle filling stations, through actions like petitions. Come over to our office, speak to us about your interests and perhaps together we can discover how you fit into the University's plan for sustainable development.  Our primary goal is education and if all you need is to know more about what we do, our doors are always open.

  • Faculty

    Connect: Network

    Participate in UTRGV Sustainability Events
    Although faculty of every field are working towards sustainable development, some of the solutions to today’s problems will require cross-disciplinary teamwork. Meet faculty that you may not be engaging with – but should be! Your similar goals and interests could lead to collaborative research, grants, and great relationships. The Office for Sustainability hosts several trainings, workshops and symposiums in which you can network with faculty interested in sustainability.

    A few examples of these include Tree Care Workshops, Earthfest, and OFS’s pride and joy: Project Sin Fronteras/ ICSAC. Learn more about integrating sustainability into your syllabi through this interactive workshop!

    Visit our News and Events page to find more upcoming events.

    Join a Professional Organization 
    You can keep networking outside of UTRGV events by joining an organization in your community that promotes your interests. These organizations provide opportunities for expanding your knowledge, as well as networking and travel. Look at the Sustainable Organizations page for some great options.

     

    Contribute: Share your Knowledge 

    Be a Mentor
    Your knowledge and experience can be a valuable asset to a group of students.  Mentorships and sponsorships are some of the most successful educational opportunities.  The Office for Sustainability can help you find a group of students seeking to carry out a sustainability themed club or organizations.

     

    Speak in a sustainability training, workshop or symposium
    The Office for Sustainability is always on the lookout for speakers and presenters.  Please get in touch so we can plan ways for you to share your knowledge and experience. 

     

    Collaborate: Write a Grant
    This is a great time in the Rio Grande Valley- hundreds of organizations are promoting and supporting efforts for sustainable development. The office for Sustainability can guide you through sustainability related projects, research and grants.  We can also provide aid in the form of editing or advising in order to make sure your grant is successful. 

  • Staff

    Staff members have the opportunity to participate in professional development and training opportunities in sustainable development on and off campus.  By supporting our staff in this way, UTRGV helps equip its staff to implement sustainable practices and systems and to model sustainable behavior for students and the rest of the campus community.

    The Office for Sustainability offers several events and symposiums during the year that staff are invited to attend. These opportunities include Earth Fest, Campus Sustainability Day, Arbor Day, and other events both on and off campus in which we collaborate.  OFS also provides professional development opportunities for its staff and interns to attend local, regional, and national conferences and trainings in sustainability.  Examples of these include the Texas Regional Alliance in Sustainability, the annual AASHE conference, and local training events held by local cities, parks, consultants, and nature centers.  OFS also provides information and support about sustainable development to the Staff Senate, helping to educate individuals about what they can do at work, play, or home that will support the sustainable development of their communities.  

  • Community

    Education

    Our office is happy to answer any questions about sustainability, and provide educational materials on the topic.  We are an email or phone call away.  You may also contact us through our Facebook page, where we have more examples of our educational efforts. 


    Events

    Throughout the year UTRGV hosts many events that provide educational platforms for speakers and educators who share the vision of sustainability. Check out our Facebook for updates on current events. Below are a sample of some past events and speakers:

    Journalist Soledad O’Brien walked the red carpet at UTRGV before taking to the stage for her ‘I am Latino in America’ tour panel discussion. Her appearance was in conjunction with HESTEC 2015, the UTRGV Distinguished Speakers Series and INGENUITY. She had the opportunity to open the dialogue and amplify the Latino voice on critical community issues including education, access to health care, and creating opportunities through education.

    The UTRGV Student Speaker series invited Laverne Cox, the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show, to share her empowering message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically all over the country. 

    Mr. Faraon Torres, a Latino award winning electronic and electrical engineer visited UTRGV to talk about the challenges and opportunities for early career engineers (STEM professionals). He discussed his journey to be an engineer at The Boeing Company, the products he has worked on, anecdotes of lessons learned, and how the landscape of opportunities in STEM is changing

    UTRGV celebrated the advancement of sustainable development through academics at the first annual Project Sin Fronteras Honors Banquet. Five individual professors were recognized for exceeding basic requirements in their efforts to institutionalize sustainable development through academics and research.

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley hosted an event to recognize World Aids Day. Here students had the opportunity to learn about AIDS and HIV through activities, games, and brochures. Free confidential HIV tests were also offered to students. 

    UTRGV held a free event called the #Subculture Urban Art Experience in collaboration with Brownsville Artists and Musicians, Activating Vacancy Arts Incubator and The Kraken Lounge. The event took place as a historic downtown revitalization effort to bring people together from different creative walks of life that showcased their work, and created an interactive environment while promoting art and culture. 

    U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH-11), who represents the Cleveland-Akron area of Ohio and attended last year at the invitation of U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15), sent a delegation from her district to HESTEC 2016 to learn more about the weeklong event.

    During the kickoff of HESTEC’s Student Leadership Day at the UTRGV, local high school student heard the story of Luis Alcantara immigrating to the United States from Uruguay and rose to become a vice president at Toyota Motor North America. Another highlight of Student Leadership Day was an appearance by the engineer founder of Limbitless Solutions, who spoke about creating “3D hope” — the idea that technological innovation can serve as a force for good in the world.

    UTRGV Distinguished Alumni: Heriberto Reynoso’s thriving business called Reybotics produces robots and other robotic equipment in the RGV. He shared his experience with high school students during a breakout session at HESTEC Student Leadership Day. His experiences later garnered him prestigious internships, including one at NASA, scholarships and, ultimately, the opportunity to start his own business.

    UTRGV opened HESTEC 2016 with a prestigious White House recognition of its 15 years of success in encouraging more students, particularly Hispanics and women, to take an interest in and pursue higher education and careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.

     


    Collaborate with us!

    Our office has a great history of event planning and developing programs to achieve our vision.  We are willing to work with other organizations to achieve this throughout the Rio Grande Valley.  Check out our Sustainable Event Guide and email us with questions! We can connect you to other organizations or consult in opportunities open for nonprofits.  Contact us to know how we can cooperate for a better future!

  • Inter-Campus Collaboration

    Working with other universities allows students and faculty to share knowledge for mutual benefit. UTRGV creates these connections through MOU's with other universities around the world. 

     Aside from the agreements highlighted below, UTRGV’s other existing agreements may be found here: http://www.utrgv.edu/oge/global-partnerships/existing-agreements/index.htm

    See examples below:

    UTRGV has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Rajabhat Maha Sarakham University (RMU), a nonprofit university in the Muang District in northeastern Thailand. This MOU serves to create a means for cooperative efforts between UTRGV and RMU for academic interchange of faculty, students, and academic and research information between the two institutions.

    UTRGV and the Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas signed a new Memorandum of Understanding that will provide renewed collaborative opportunities to students, faculty and staff at both border institutions. The MOU provides for cooperative efforts to promote academic interchange of faculty and students, joint research projects, exchange of academic publications, reports and other information, and collaborative professional development, among other activities as approved by both institutions.

    One of three scrolls celebrating the ongoing relationship between UTRGV and Hengyang Normal University (HYNU) in China established opportunities for faculty from then UT Pan American and HYNU, to study and conduct research on each other’s campuses. The agreement carried over to UTRGV in fall 2015.