Resilience Studies Consortium

RU WabashRoosevelt University is a founding member of the Resilience Studies Consortium (RSC), a nation-wide network of colleges and universities dedicated to advancing “place-based” educational opportunities for undergraduate students from a diversity of backgrounds and passions.

By sharing academic resources, allowing for transferability between partner institutions, and creating pathways to a better understanding of Community Resilience in the coming era, the RSC seeks to engage and empower students with rich environmental understanding.

Founding Member Institutions for 2016-17’s Pilot Year:

  • Black Hills State University (SD)
  • Evergreen State College – Tacoma (WA)
  • Kansas Wesleyan University (KS)
  • Principia College (IL)
  • Roosevelt University (IL)
  • Western State Colorado University (CO) — lead institution

RSC Core Values:

  • Place — Utilizing place-based educational opportunities to advance the learning opportunities available to all partners in the RSC.
  • Choice — Exploring opportunities in the RSC network to offer the broad range of choices found at a large university, without compromising the small, intimate setting of the liberal arts.
  • Diversity — Diversifying the environmental discourse through building collaborative learning networks for students from a broad range of regional, ethnic, social, generational, economic, and professional backgrounds.
  • Recruitment — Recruiting more students dedicated to community resilience from traditionally underrepresented communities.

Resilience, Sustainability, and Place-based Education:

This network provides students access to a wide range of environmental learning opportunities available on each campus, from courses and field experiences to influential speakers and relevant community applications. In this way, the consortium allows liberal arts institutions to offer the diverse and cutting edge options of a major university, without compromising on liberal arts principles as individual, intimate campuses. Partner campuses actively focus on cultivating critical thinkers, active citizens, social entrepreneurs and change agents, and future professionals seeking to build resilience—the capacity to thrive from disturbance—into local and global communities facing ecological, social, and economic challenges.

Each partner institution offers long-established learning laboratories, each rooted in a distinctive eco-region or cultural setting. Each member is dedicated to hands-on, transdisciplinary, and collaborative problem-solving for a healthier ecosphere. With campuses from diverse locations across the US, this consortium complements and complicates “place-based” education with multi-regional expertise, perspectives, community partners, experiential learning opportunities, and career-building internships.

RU students canoe south into downtown Chicago on the Chicago River, Fall 2012 (M. Bryson)

RU students canoe south into downtown Chicago on the Chicago River, Fall 2012 (M. Bryson)

Roosevelt’s Role:

As a founding RSC member institution, Roosevelt University is a highly diverse, social justice-focused university in a major urban center in the Great Lakes bioregion, and an up-and-coming leader in urban sustainability education. The RSC faculty steward at Roosevelt is Prof. Mike Bryson, founding director of the Sustainability Studies undergraduate program; and RU has many other highly relevant programs including biology, chemistry, environmental science, social justice studies, real estate, hospitality management, and more.

RU partners with many local institutions and community organizations – such as the Field Museum, Eden Place Nature Center, Friends of the Chicago River, the Chicago Lights Urban Farm, and the Institute of Cultural Affairs – which provide myriad service- and experiential-learning opportunities throughout the Chicago Region. As such, RU offers a unique place-based educational experience among the RSC institutions.