AASCU Partners With Glacier National Park to Increase Sustainability on Campuses

A National Park Foundation Grant Will Support This Work

Contact:
Travis Abercrombie
(202) 478-4654


WASHINGTON, March 27, 2024 – More than a dozen members of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) have been selected to participate in the association’s Stewardship of Public Lands program, an initiative of AASCU’s American Democracy Project. The Stewardship of Public Lands program aims to foster innovative regional collaborations, responsible stewardship practices, and experiential learning by bringing a variety of higher education practitioners to Glacier National Park.

Twenty-two participants, representing 14 institutions from 12 states, will apply strategies to spark thoughtful discourse and an appreciation of our national parks within curricular and cocurricular opportunities for university students of all backgrounds. The design of the program is to build a diverse community of university faculty, staff, and leaders who can promote access to national parks as grounds for studying sustainability, learning from Indigenous and community members, and building civic skills.

“The Stewardship of Public Lands program enables our cohort to explore multiple perspectives on how to appreciate and understand our natural resources, build bridges that foster collaboration, and share their work and commitment with our AASCU campuses,” said Terry Brown, AASCU’s vice president of Academic Innovation and Transformation.

Members of this year’s cohort are:

  • Scott W. Bonham, Western Kentucky University
  • Paul Cook, Indiana University Kokomo
  • Tiffany Deater, State University of New York at Oswego
  • Kyle Fredrick, Pennsylvania Western University
  • Lesley Graybeal, University of Central Arkansas
  • Jarrod Hagadorn, State University of New York at Oswego
  • Hannah Hanshaw, University of Central Arkansas
  • Ian Kaleo’okalani Pilago, University of Hawai’i at Hilo
  • Steven Koether, Sam Houston State University (TX)
  • Katrina Lacher, University of Central Oklahoma
  • Julie Lester, Middle Georgia State University
  • Matthew S. Makley, Metropolitan State University of Denver (CO)
  • Cayle Moreo, Indiana State University
  • Alana Ortiz, University of Hawai’i at Hilo
  • Sarah Praskievicz, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Nathan A. Schaumleffel, Indiana State University
  • Nona Shipman, Metropolitan State University of Denver (CO)
  • Jennifer Stotter, University of Hawai’i at Hilo
  • Scott Turner, University of Montevallo (AL)
  • Jeffrey Wozniak, Sam Houston State University (TX)
  • Kim Yates, Northern Kentucky University
  • Katherine Young, University of Hawai’i at Hilo

To support this work, the National Park Foundation’s ParkVentures program recently announced a $20,000 grant to AASCU to “promote access, eliminate barriers, and offer positive, memorable experiences to engage individuals and communities that have historically been excluded from national parks and outdoor recreation.” AASCU is a champion for the accessibility of higher education, and the Stewardship of Public Lands program demonstrates that learning happens beyond university spaces and that partnering with national parks is an innovative and productive path to engage learners.

Since 2004, more than 170 participants from over 80 AASCU member institutions have benefited from the Stewardship of Public Lands program held at Yellowstone National Park. This year marks the first time AASCU and its cohort will visit Glacier National Park.

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The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of 350 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These institutions are Delivering America’s Promise.