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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
March 30, 2017
Canadian Excellence

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Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Laurier to offer first-year, interdisciplinary course on sustainability

Mar 12/13| For Immediate Release


Manuel Riemer, Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
519-884-0710 ext. 2982 or


Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3070 or

WATERLOO – Wilfrid Laurier University has approved a first-year, interdisciplinary course on sustainability, which will be open to all undergraduate students and be taught by multiple professors in different faculties.

While Laurier offers other courses that tackle sustainability issues, this new course, which will have both theoretical and practical components, is distinctive for not being grounded in any one particular discipline. The course is a collaborative effort between faculties that aims to give students a truly integrated education in the field. The complex nature of sustainability makes it ideally suited to advancing interdisciplinary studies at Laurier.

“Solutions to many of society’s most pressing challenges are going to come from interdisciplinary approaches to learning and scholarship,” said Deborah MacLatchy, Laurier’s vice-president: academic and provost. “Laurier’s new course on sustainability brings together the experiences and knowledge of students and faculty, from across various faculties, to address one such critical issue."

The idea for the course came from Assistant Professor of Psychology Manuel Riemer, who approached Laurier’s Sustainability Coordinator Claire Bennett. Together with Associate Professor of Global Studies Alex Latta and Assistant Professor of Business & Economics Joel Marcus, they built the course syllabus. A lead instructor will launch the course by providing students with an orientation and general framework to help them comprehend the many dimensions of sustainability. After this introductory portion of the course, a series of guest lectures will cover different spheres of sustainability, such as political, ecological, environmental, psychological, economic, geographical and socio-cultural.

“The course looks at an extremely important and existing issue in the world from many angles,” said Bennett. “Overall, we’re focusing on how sustainability plays a part in students’ daily lives and their working lives. This is their world they’re building.”

The course was approved by Laurier’s Senate on Feb. 15, 2013 and will be offered during the Winter 2014 semester.


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