Bonner Center at TCNJ Project
Funding from the Dodge Foundation has provided resources to establish a new Bonner “Sustainability Team” as a pilot project that has resulted in more robust connections between MLUC (now Sustainability Institute), TCNJ Bonner Scholars, and Sustainable Jersey municipalities with the possibility for future expansion. TCNJ’s new Bonner Sustainability Team has built the leadership capacity of Bonner Fellows and TCNJ freshmen students engaged in Community Engaged Learning (CEL) by linking them to “Sustainable Jersey” sites/communities, giving them first-hand knowledge of sustainable development issues. It has also benefited “host” Sustainable Jersey communities by bringing student energy and resources to implement projects/programs related to Sustainable Jersey actions.
During the pilot project, Bonner Scholars have received a background orientation around the concept of sustainability and an overview of the Sustainable Jersey program which has prepared them to engage in sustainability projects that municipalities have identified. Municipalities and projects were selected through an application process which was overseen by MLUC staff. These Bonner Scholars then led teams of freshmen on CEL days in host municipalities, and also engaged with host municipalities on a more extensive basis as part of their own community engagement.
The Bonner Center oversaw the Sustainability Team, coordinating with Sustainable Jersey municipal sites selected for assistance, coordinating work plan development and deploying Bonners and freshman CEL students in communities.
MLUC’s Executive Director collaborated with Bonner staff to recruit and engage faculty to teach courses in spring 2012 that brought additional resources to Sustainable Jersey municipal sites.