Monday, January 30, 2012

Summer Innsbruck program

Have you heard about the Summer Innsbruck program? Watch this video and I am sure you want to be a part of the 6-week study abroad program. For more information visit:

Stetson University: "We dare you"

Photojournalist based in Kenya to give presentation Feb. 6

Photo essayist Brendan Bannon will visit Stetson University on Monday, Feb. 6, to give a presentation about his photographs documenting the plight of people living in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Bannon’s presentation will be at 7 p.m. in the duPont-Ball Library, lower level, Room 25, accessed from the Nemec Courtyard on the north side of the library, 134 E. Minnesota Ave., DeLand. It is free and open to the public.
Bannon is a photojournalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. His interest in photography was sparked by his mother, an amateur photographer with a darkroom in the bathroom, and his father, who placed him at age 10 in front of drawers of antique photographs and asked him to select the interesting ones for an exhibition on the history of photography.
His interest in the medium was constant but his professional career began in 2000. During his 20s, Bannon took care of his mother who had multiple sclerosis, an experience he credits with influencing his approach to photography.
“I don’t shy away from difficult stories,” he said. “The experience of taking care of my mother showed me clearly that behind every moment of perceived suffering there is a profound victory over circumstances. I look at people’s lives as being full of meaningful relationships, striving against the odds and achieving small victories.”
Bannon previously worked on long-term projects in both Romania and Russia. He has been living in Africa since 2005. He has photographed in Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Tanzania, Congo and India.
His clients include Medecins Sans Frontieres, UNHCR, UNICEF and CARE International. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, The Daily Telegraph, the Independent, the Guardian, Monocle Magazine, the KWANI? journal, Maclean’s and others.
His visit to Stetson coincides with his participation Feb. 3 to 5 in the Gladdening Light Symposium 2012 in Winter Park. For more information about Bannon’s upcoming talk at Stetson, contact the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at (386) 822-7515.

StetsonU’s Kroumovitch, Rickman to perform Faculty Recital on Feb. 5

Violinist Routa Kroumovitch and pianist Michael Rickman, both critically acclaimed professors in the Stetson University School of Music, will give a Faculty Recital at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, in Lee Chapel of Elizabeth Hall, 421 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand.
The concert will include works by Mozart, Gabriel Fauré, Beethoven and the Concert Fantasy on Themes from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess by composer Igor Frolov.
Kroumovitch studied at the prestigious Latvian Music School. She toured and recorded on radio and television throughout the former USSR. She was a student of David Oistrach at the Moscow Conservatory and completed her formal studies at the Universidad de Chile. She was a first violinist of the Santiago Chamber Orchestra, concertmaster of the Chilean Philharmonic Orchestra, and concertmaster of the Chilean Symphony Orchestra. She received the Critic’s Award for the best solo performance in Santiago, Chile, and a Fulbright Award.
She continues to tour all over the world, and her master classes in Australia, China, Korea, Japan, Israel, and Europe are in high demand. She represents the United States as a judge in international violin competitions. She has been the concertmaster of numerous orchestras, and is currently the concertmaster of the Bach Festival Orchestra in Orlando. She is a regular guest at festivals such as Grand Teton, the Florida International Festival, Frutillar Music Festival in Chile, Schlern International Music Festival, Orfeo Music Festival, and The Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival.
Rickman was honored in 2010 when Steinway & Sons added him a new member of its prestigious roster of Steinway Artists. A highly sought-after performer and teacher, Rickman has served on the faculty at Stetson since 1983. He has performed in cultural centers around the world – Wagnersaal in Riga, Latvia; Alice Tully, Bruno Walter and Carnegie halls in New York; Frutillar International Music Festival, Chile; as well as Miami, Palm Beach, Philadelphia, Louisville, Kansas City, Sacramento, Toronto, London, Paris and Frankfurt.
Rickman has won the university’s Homer and Dolly Hand Award for Creative Activity and Research and the William Hugh McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching. He also was a visiting professor at Stetson’s sister institution, the Paedogogische Hochschule in Freiburg, Germany, and in summer 2007, joined the artist faculty of the prestigious Schlern/Orfeo International Music Festival in Italy as a performer and teacher. He earned his undergraduate degree and performer’s certificate from Mars Hill College and a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of North Texas.
Admission to the Faculty Recital is $10 general public; $8 senior citizens; and $5 area students. For more information: Concert Line (386) 822-8947; School of Music at (386) 822-8950;

Thursday, January 26, 2012

CO2 emissions drop 21 percent since 2009

Stetson University has reduced its carbon footprint by 21 percent since 2009 – thanks to strategic efforts to conserve energy, make the campus more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly, use more eco-friendly products for landscaping and utilize cleaner transportation.

A new study by Stetson students and Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Science J. Anthony Abbott shows Stetson’s annual carbon footprint weighs 13,193 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Results of the carbon audit study will be presented at a free public forum, “Assessing and Approaching Sustainability at Stetson University,” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, at the Rinker Environmental Learning Center, 231 E. Michigan Ave., DeLand.

Stetson students led by Abbott have now conducted three carbon audits for the university (done every other year). The latest findings, for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011, shows Stetson’s CO2 emissions have declined 29 percent since the first carbon audit, for fiscal 2007, and 21 percent since the second carbon audit, for fiscal 2009.

“We’re very excited to see how well energy efficiency initiatives have paid off in terms of carbon reduction and total amount of energy used,” Abbott said.

“It reinforces that all of us can do something about this, in terms of the miles we drive and the kind of car we drive, and how we use electricity,” said Al Allen, associate vice president for Facilities Management at Stetson.

A greenhouse gas inventory is required by the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, a pledge Stetson made in 2007. As a signatory, Stetson is committed to working toward carbon neutrality.

Beginning this year, Stetson also plans to participate in the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Nearly 230 institutions of higher education have registered for the program designed to encourage sustainability in all aspects of higher education.

The university used The Campus Carbon Calculator – the tool favored by most U.S. universities and colleges – for its carbon audit study. In an academic course taught by Abbott, the students studied such items as fuel consumption, energy purchases, amount of natural gas burned on campus and fertilizer use. They surveyed the campus community about driving habits and commuter patterns.

For fiscal 2011, the team discovered the largest single source of emissions is electricity, followed by commuter travel, then natural gas combustion, then business travel. Compared to the 2009 audit, emissions from electrical production have decreased 23 percent. Campus fleet fuel, solid waste and fertilizer emissions also declined significantly, while natural gas usage increased slightly.

Students, faculty and staff have worked together over the past six years to assess sustainability at Stetson and to begin developing a climate action plan for the future. Initiatives implemented thus far include installation of efficient lighting, electronic ballasts and window film; temperature setbacks; solar for heating the swimming pool and some outdoor lighting; installation of LED lighting in parking areas; and elimination of hot water for laundry in most residence halls. An electric car was purchased to replace an SUV used by university Public Safety, and the university converted to diesel-powered utility carts. The university is migrating from synthetic products to organic for fertilization and weed-control.

Last August, all students were provided with a brochure on how each of them could make a difference in terms of conserving energy.

“Turn off lights, turn off fans, change temperatures, install better lighting, use cold water for laundry. It’s awareness and confidence that makes a difference,” Allen said. “People want to know what to do. Take advantage of technologies and increase awareness.”

While the overall campus community learned the basics, the students conducting the study gained the most knowledge – and invaluable real-world experience.

“This allows students to see how they can engage in climate-change mitigation in the workplace in an applied way,” Abbott said. “They learn how to track it in their daily life. They learn how to do climate-change mitigation, as opposed to just reading about it.”

Stetson University Events Watch

I hope you all had a great break! Stetson Events Watch is back for you! Find out what is going on on and around campus. Have fun watching this short video!

Stetson Cove apartments purchased for student housing

Stetson University has purchased the Stetson Cove apartments at 315 W. Pennsylvania Ave. and plans to open the complex as student housing in August 2012 after making extensive renovations.

“Our existing apartment-style student housing on campus is currently our most popular option, and we believe Stetson Cove will be another attractive housing option for juniors, seniors and married and partnered students,” said Robert Huth, vice president for business and chief financial officer. “Undergraduate student enrollment increased this year, and we expect enrollment to continue increasing over the next few years. This facility positions us well for that growth.”

The purchase from BSST Investments LLC for $1.25 million was finalized earlier this month. The previous owners are working with current residents to ensure a smooth transition to other housing over the next few months.

By June 1, Stetson will begin $1.1 million in renovations to the 44 one- and two-bedroom apartments. Renovations will be made to kitchens, bathrooms and air conditioning systems, in addition to improvements to a courtyard/recreation area. Local contractors will be hired for the project – providing a needed boost to the local economy.

Stetson Cove apartments will be ready for Stetson students by August, in time for the start of fall semester 2012 classes. The apartment complex will be pet-friendly. Housing and Residential Life staff will live on the premises, and students will be required to sign agreements to abide by the university’s Housing and Residential Life policies. Security will be provided by Stetson’s Public Safety Department.
Stetson will soon begin accepting reservations for student housing for next fall, and the Housing and Residential Life staff has already begun fielding inquiries from interested students, said Ben Falter, director of Housing and Residential Life. The cost to live in Stetson Cove will be comparable to Stetson’s existing on-campus apartment housing.

“The large bedroom size and its off-campus feel, with on-campus amenities and security, make Stetson Cove an excellent choice for students seeking a more independent adult living environment,” said Falter.