Xavier rolls out new MA in Urban Sustainability

Xavier University has developed a new Master of Arts in Urban Sustainability and Resilience, an innovative new degree aimed at addressing the complex issues surrounding urban sustainability. The program is the first graduate-level program in a suite of sustainability degrees that Xavier has introduced recently.
“The impetus for this degree is certainly a response to the market and the growing field of sustainability,” says Liz Blume, director of the Community Building Institute at Xavier. “There are more and more positions in corporate, government and institutional settings for people working on improving sustainability outcomes for their companies and communities. 
“The degree also arose out of the research of several faculty here at Xavier; John Fairfield, Kathleen Smyth, Nancy Bertaux, Becky Luce. These faculty members have been writing and working on sustainability issues and interacting with students who are expressing interest in careers that will make a difference.”
Xavier’s program looks to fold multiple disciplines into the program to address sustainability in a unique way.
“Our program is designed to integrate business practices, environmental sciences, public policy and planning considerations,” Blume says. “The goal of the program is to take students who come from one or more of these types of backgrounds and expose them to a wide set of content knowledge, skills and theory that will make them leaders in corporate, government and technical/professional settings able to solve complex sustainability issues.”
To that end, the program aims to engage with the City of Cincinnati directly and use it as a case study. Students are required to find an internship as part of the course so that they are learning about regional issues not only as observers and researchers, but also as participants.
The first class for the new MA will begin in Fall 2014; applications are being accepted now. To learn more about this opportunity contact Liz Blume at blume@xavier.edu.

By Mike Sarason

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