Vanderbilt University to host one-day workshop Nov. 12 about ‘Service Learning for Sustainability’

The Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching and the Tennessee Higher Education Sustainability Association will co-host a one-day workshop on integrating service learning and sustainability education.

The workshop will illustrate how this engagement and synergy can be fostered, building stronger bonds between the campus and the city. Special attention will be given to the pedagogy of service learning – from course design and grading to managing project goals and outcomes – in order to ensure that both students and community partners find value in the enterprise. 

The workshop will be held on Friday, Nov. 12, from 8:30 to 4 p.m., in the Wyatt Center on the Peabody Campus at Vanderbilt.  Reservations are required, and there is a $15 fee to attend (to be paid online or with a check at the registration table the day of the event. To register, visit

“Civic engagement is at the heart of both service learning and sustainability, and community-based teaching has the potential to expand our conceptions of environment and environmentalism in important directions,” said Jack Barkenbus, associate director, Climate Change Research Network/Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment, and president of THESA. “Community-based teaching around sustainability issues can assist educators, maximize learning and help students meet important environmental challenges.”

Speakers will include Nashville Mayor Karl Dean; Douglas Perkins, associate professor of human and organizational development at Vanderbilt; Laurel Creech, chief service officer, Nashville Metropolitan Government; Christopher Bowles, director, Office of Environment and Sustainability, Nashville Metropolitan Government; Deena Sue Fuller, executive director, Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement, Tennessee State University; and David Padgett, associate professor of geography at Tennessee State University. 

Nashville has been selected as just one of 10 cities across the country to receive a Cities of Service grant, which can provide exciting opportunities for Nashville-area faculty and students, as well as ideas for replication outside the Nashville area.   In addition to speakers, the workshop will offer interactive break-out sessions for participants to share resources and experiences, brainstorm new projects, establish connections and explore future collaboration.

For more information about the workshop please contact Jack Barkenbus at For more information about the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching, visit