For Immediate Release
Contact: Gail Towns - 732.987.2266 Tara Strickland - 732.987.2291 Bookmark and Share 

GCU Critical Concerns Week 2011: ‘Building Sustainable Communities’

Lakewood, N.J., Oct. 26, 2011—Sustainability isn’t limited to going green, and although that’s a great place to start, there’s much more that individuals, communities and companies can do.

That’s just one of the messages that attendees will hear during Georgian Court University’s Critical Concerns Week 2011, “Building Sustainable Communities,” Monday, Oct. 31 through Friday, Nov. 4, on the campus of GCU in Lakewood.

The weeklong slate of events covers many aspects of sustainability—from environmental planning and ecological priorities to matters of education, economic development, personal wellness, social issues, and responsible business practices.

This year’s event is based on the slate of critical concerns addressed by the Sisters of Mercy, GCU’s sponsoring organization. Each year since 2006, the McAuley Community Center at GCU has dedicated a week of scholarly study to special concerns, including women’s issues, the environment, immigration and identity, and nonviolence.

There are two interesting additions to the 2011 lineup. An online-only session, “Families and Caregivers of Individuals with Autism,” will be offered to the general public by Lisa Dille, Ed.D., a GCU assistant professor of education who directs Georgian Court’s Autism Institute for Training and Applied Research. And on Friday, Nov. 4, participants can attend a Volunteer/Service Fair, featuring non-profit organizations that are helping to build sustainable communities.

Beyond GCU, other participants this year include representatives from industry, government agencies, advocacy organizations, and the Sisters of Mercy.

Some of the guest speakers joining GCU to discuss sustainable communities are Kathleen Ellis, COO, New Jersey Natural Gas; Lydia Silva, superintendent of Lakewood Public Schools; Sen. Robert W. Singer (R-Ocean); Peg Sturmfels, Program Organizer, New Jersey Environmental Federation; and Diana Guerin, RSM, Justice Coordinator, Mid-Atlantic Community of Sisters of Mercy. Critical Concerns events include:

Monday, October 31

9:30 a.m., A&S 138
“Energy Sustainability” with Keith Goossen, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Delaware

4:00 p.m., Raymond Hall 101
“Promoting Social Justice Programs for Young Children,” with Meg Saunders, Executive Director, Lakewood Head Start

Tuesday, November 1

11:00 a.m., GCU Little Theatre
“Children's and Young Adult Literature on Sustainable Communities,” GCU Student Presentations

2:00 p.m., GCU Little Theatre
Keynote Panel Discussion: “Planning for a Sustainable Water Supply in Lakewood and Beyond.” A brief student presentation on water quality issues in Lake Carasaljo and the Metedeconk River will precede the panel discussion led by moderator Lisa Auermuller, Watershed Coordinator at Jacques Cousteau Reserve, Rutgers University, and panelists Sen. Robert W. Singer (R-Ocean); Justin Flancbaum, Executive Director, Lakewood Municipal Utilities Authority; Robert Nicolson, Supervisory Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey; Peg Sturmfels, Program Organizer, New Jersey Environmental Federation; and Richard Bizub, Director of Water Programs, Pinelands Preservation Alliance.

7:00 p.m., GCU Little Theatre
“Feminism and the Environment," presented by Mary-Paula Cancienne, RSM, Ph.D., GCU Assistant Professor of Religious Studies/Theology, and Cynthia Ninivaggi, Ph.D., GCU Associate Professor of Anthropology

7:00 p.m., Mercedes Hall 103
“Strategies for Teaching Elementary Schoolchildren about the UN Millennium Goals,” by Greer Burroughs, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Rutgers University Graduate School of Education

Wednesday, November 2

9:30 a.m., A&S 165
“Awaken the Dreamer” with Diana Guerin, RSM, Justice Coordinator, Mid-Atlantic Community of Sisters of Mercy

9:30 a.m., A&S 138
“Alternative Energy Sources,” presented by Anne Tabor-Morris, Ph.D., GCU Associate Professor of Physics

2:00 p.m. A&S 165
“Awaken the Dreamer” with Diana Guerin, RSM, Justice Coordinator, Mid-Atlantic Community of Sisters of Mercy

2:00 p.m., A&S 129
“Response and Recovery for Disasters,” presented by Robert J. Louden, GCU Professor and Director of Criminal Justice

2:00 p.m., GCU Little Theatre
Movies highlighting GCU dance student choreography projects

5:00 p.m., A&S 104
“Mitigation and Preparation for Disasters,” with Robert J. Louden, GCU Professor and Director of Criminal Justice

6:00 p.m., Farley Center 305
Keynote Panel Discussion: “Sustainable Business Practices, Security, and Currency,” with Joseph Caamano, Operations Supervisor, Exxon; Angela Koutsouris, Esq., Contracts & Procurement Counsel for Gaming Laboratories International; and Michael Brandimart, Department of Homeland Security, formerly of the U.S. Secret Service, and Angela Koutsouris, Esq., Contracts & Procurement Counsel for Gaming Laboratories International

Thursday, November 3

Special Guest: Lydia Sylvia, Superintendent of Lakewood Public School
Details TBA

9:30 a.m., A&S 213
“Sustainability in Interior Design,” with Story Garvie, Professional Interior Designer

11:00 a.m., A&S 117
“Coping with Natural Disasters,” presented by Cheryl Resnick-Cortes, D.S.W., GCU Professor of Social Work

2:00 p.m., GCU Little Theatre
Keynote Presentation: “Conserving Today, Preserving Tomorrow,” a discussion of how conservation and energy efficiency make good business sense and enhance our quality of life today and for future generations to come,” presented by Kathleen Ellis, COO, New Jersey Natural Gas

4:00 p.m., A&S 103
“Water Rights as Human Rights,” with Kasturi DasGupta, Ph.D., GCU Professor of Sociology

7:00 p.m., Wellness Center 305
“Sustainable Wellness,” Holistic Health Graduate Student Panel

Friday, November 4 (A&S Hallway)
10:00 a.m.–Noon
Volunteer/Service Fair

For more information about any of these events, or other activities associated with Critical Concerns Week, contact the Louise Wootton, Ph.D., professor of biology and GCU sustainability director, at or Tricia Passuth at Additional inquiries may be addressed to the GCU Office of Public Information at 732.987.2266.

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves nearly 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at One Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.

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