Inaugural Zena Sustainability Institute Completed

altThis past August, the first Zena Sustainability Institute (ZSI) was held.  It's a special academic program jointly sponsored by Willamette University and TIUA and focusing on environmental issues and sustainability. The 12-day program offered hands-on organic farming experience and interdisciplinary academic coursework which examined the ecological, social, economic, and ethical implications of our food system.  Participants lived in a sustainabile community in the heart of the Willamette Valley at Zena Forest, a living learning laboratory.

Students learned about the challenges and benefits of establishing a sustainable farm and forestry system by actually working on the Zena Farm and learning about the Zena Forest. Meals included food actually grown on the farm. Students also learned about plant identification, local Farmer's Markets, food processing plant and local farms. These visits gave a full picture of the journey food takes from "field to fork."

The Director and lead professor was Professor Joe Bowersox (WU Center for Sustainable Communities). He taught the students about Sustainable Agriculture. Professor Jennifer Johns was a lead faculty member and gave the students lots of hands-on learning experience. Professor Russell Fauss was the Applied English Professor and helped with overall academic coordination. Erica Jensen and Audrey Hirschberger (both WU students) were Program Assistants and provided valuable coordination, supervision, and inspiration throughout. Emma Larkins (TIUA Campus Life Coordinator) also provided valuable leadership and support.

Twelve American Studies Program (ASP) students completed the ZSI.  To see some photos taken during the institute, click here.

For more information about Zena Farm and Zena Forest, click on these videos:


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Tokyo International University of America (TIUA) is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in education and employment.  TIUA does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, employment policies, scholarship programs, and other TIUA administered programs and activities.  For the purpose of admission, all students must be formally admitted by Tokyo International University (Kawagoe, Japan) prior to making application to the American Studies Program at Willamette/TIUA.