SIUE sociology professor says world must embrace sustainability
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) will soon bid farewell to Connie Frey Spurlock, whose sustainability fellowship officially concludes Aug. 15, but the sociology and criminal justice professor has plans to continue forging her unique multi-disciplinary work.
“I’ve had the pleasure of seeing quite a few students participate in both regional and national sustainability conferences,” Frey Spurlock said. “I have also been able to work with students across disciplines, which pushes me to be more interdisciplinary in my own work.”
Frey Spurlock, a self-professed feminist and critical sociologist, expressed her hope that the population at large comes to embrace sustainability, not just in word, but also in deed, adapting lifestyles to a higher level of recycling.
“I wish that every member of the SIUE community understood what sustainability means,” she said. “I don’t just mean the definition, but rather they know what it means in their work, their personal lives and their local communities.”
The scholar said society must prepare students for a world that is changing increasingly faster and that a true “paradigm shift” is necessary. Second-year graduate student Megan Arnett, working with Frey Spurlock since 2013, echoed those concerns, additionally commenting that her mentor’s tenure itself is symbolically significant.
“'Dr. Frey Spurlock’s fellowship has been imperative in this time of budget crisis to keep sustainability a part of the conversation at SIUE,” Arnett said. “She has used her sustainability fellowship as a bridge to help others incorporate sustainability into their lives in whatever way that might be,” Arnett said.