Oswego embarks on new project

Oswego State will take on the Grand Challenges Project next fall, which attempts to make a substantial impact on the water crisis around the world.

The project, which was announced in late October, seeks to take an inter-disciplinary approach to solve this issue “in a 21st century way,” according to President Deborah Stanley.

Stanley said the school is attempting to work toward the issue of Fresh Water for All by encouraging faculty and staff to add fresh water assignments into their existing syllabuses or to engage in collaborative efforts with students to make a difference.

“The Grand Challenges Project will give Oswego students, faculty and staff from all disciplines a unique opportunity to tackle the impact that fresh water for all has across every aspect of our global community,” Stanley said.

According to Stanley, the Grand Challenges Oversight Committee, led by professor Leigh Wilson, will be helping to develop a line of communication between disciplines of the college, which is a major goal of the project.

Stanley said she wants to use the project as an opportunity for students to learn how they can make an impact on their world within their fields of study, in addition to their extracurricular activities.

“Given this effort is a foundational impact of the college’s strategic plan, we are primed and positioned to promote learning and knowledge in and out of the classroom to advance the common good and lay the foundation for a better world,” Stanley said.

The Grand Challenges Oversight Committee will continue to keep the campus community informed about programming, events, information and announcements related to the project until it officially begins in the fall of 2018.

Stanley said she is excited to get started and believes students will be interested to take part as well.

“I look forward to working with our campus community on this effort,” Stanley said. “Our SA president tells me that students are excited about the initiative and the potential outcomes. There is a general optimism on campus, and many are glad that such an important global topic was selected.”

Dalton Bisson, president of Oswego State’s Student Association, said he is excited for students to get involved and is optimistic that they will get a lot out of it.

“We’re tackling a big issue, but I think a realistic issue that we can, as a campus, face,” Bisson said. “I think that when working together, we can tackle this at an inter-disciplinary approach.”

Bisson’s role as SA president puts him in a position to be able to advertise the project to students and spread the word about events and information regarding them.

“We’ll have some kind of part in getting it out there and getting students involved,” Bisson said. “And then, anything else really that we can do to promote it because it’s a great cause.”

SA is also somewhat involved in the planning of the project, as a seat on the Grand Challenges Oversight Committee is occupied by an appointed SA senator.

The Grand Challenges Project will officially start next fall, and students, faculty and Stanley say they are excited to see what the school can offer to such a big cause and how it can unite students and make the Oswego community closer.

“The project has the virtue of engaging pedagogical best practices,” Stanley said. “But also bringing disparate groups together where we can all feel the positive effects of being a strong, vibrant and united community.”

Photo by: Greg Tavani | The Oswegonian

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