Introducing our Sustainability Scholarship students – Salman Haleemi

Hi Everyone,

My name is Salman Haleemi. I am from Afghanistan, currently studying my master’s in Energy & Sustainable Development. I am the winner of the Sustainability scholarship, offered by De Montfort University. I will be working with the DMU Sustainability team on various projects to promote sustainability within and outside the university campus.

My interest in sustainability developed when I was working as a drilling operations officer in Afghanistan. Within our profession, we do various things which are hazardous to mother nature. So, my goal is to play a significant role in the Petroleum Industry to reduce the harmful emissions caused by the extraction and distillation of Petroleum. Working with the DMU sustainability team would help me to gain a wide understanding of sustainability. Together with the Sustainability team, we would work hard to implement the UN sustainable development goals in every sector across the country because, the future generation also deserves a better living!

Introducing our Sustainability Scholarship students – Duc Duy Nguyen

Hello everyone, my name is Duc Duy Nguyen, you can call me Duke for short. I am an international student from Vietnam but currently live in Leicester. It was the DMU sustainability program that encouraged me to travel to the UK and study pharmaceutical quality by design. I have always admired those who contribute their time and efforts for the community’s benefit. Without their unconditional care and kindness, I would never have the strength to overcome difficult time in my life and be here today. For this, I am grateful and proud to join DMU sustainability team to thank others for their helps and value my life more. In the future, I really hope that I can work in the pharmaceutical industry and contribute my knowledge and enthusiasm to raise other scientists’ awareness toward social responsibility and sustainability.

Thank you

Introducing our Sustainability Scholarship students – Fiyinfoluwa Makinde

Hello Everyone! My name is Fiyinfoluwa Taiwo Makinde. I am a black African, Nigerian to be precise. I feel honored to be one of the awardees of the DMU sustainability scholarship. I would be working with other members of the sustainability team to implement projects that would further ingrain sustainability in the heart of teaching, learning, and various activities within the university.


Currently, I am running my Postgraduate course – MSc. Advanced Biomedical Science, at the faculty of Health and Life Sciences, DMU. I am looking forward to a career in the NHS as a Biomedical Scientist and as a visiting lecturer of Biomedical Science.

I am passionate about sustainable development; it is a better way to live in this present universe. Things are evolving, and the world is deploying innovations in different sectors – education, food, security, health, environment, and so on to ensure that humanity and the earth are preserved. I want to contribute my quota to the ongoing global efforts to establish sustainable development in our world through the SDGs; beginning from where I am – DMU, with what I have (an opportunity to serve with the sustainability team). Finally, did you know that every time you reuse plastic bags for shopping and recycle you are contributing to a sustainable environment? You see, the little things count too. Everyone should be a part of the sustainability movement, and together we can. Yes, we can!

Fiyinfoluwa Makinde

Introducing our Sustainability Scholarship students – Ilo Celine Ozioma

Hi! My name is Celine Ilo and I come from Nigeria. I am delighted to be a part of DMU’s sustainability team. I look forward to making meaningful inputs as we walk in the path of fusing Sustainability into education at DMU. 

I am a graduate of Physics and Solar Energy, currently taking a Masters degree in Energy Engineering. I am very concerned about Renewable energy technologies as it is one significant approach to controlling the rate of global warming. My keenness in this scope of energy is birthed from the understanding of how human activities constantly influence climatic conditions. This I believe, is one of the key issues addressed by the SDGs.  

In the course of my studies here at DMU, through well sort out projects and activities, I will be taking action as a Sustainability advocate in raising awareness and educating the DMU community on the “whys” and “hows”  of curbing climate change.  

At the end of my studies. I hope to gain additional work experience in the field of energy management and consultancy. Where I will be maximising the analytical skills garnered from my degree and sustainability activism here at DMU.   

Best wishes

Celine Ilo

SOS-UK Student Sustainability Summit 2020

Student Sustainability Summit is an event run by SOS-UK (Students Organising for Sustainability UK) and NUS (National Union of Students). This year the summit was for the first time moved online and split into three days. Three days conference offered workshops, talks and panel discussions with some of the UK’s top environmental activists and campaigners, as well as the students and students’ unions leading the youth climate movement.

First day of the summit was dedicated to curriculum reform and climate emergency. We heard about new campaign called Carbon Targets which has a goal to publish and compare university and college’s carbon reduction plans, and support student campaigners to call for their institutions to commit to being net zero by 2030. Education for Sustainable Development session explained how universities and colleges should approach embedding sustainability into education and help their students leave their institution equipped with skills and knowledge needed to contribute to more just and sustainable society.

Second day was focused on Race and Climate justice. Firstly, we heard from Magid Magid, who is inspiring activist and former politician. He spoke about his own experiences in climate movement and connection between race and climate justice. Another important session I attended was Decolonising and Decarbonising the Curriculum. Education is one of the essential things in our lives and therefore it is very important for universities and colleges to present both formal and informal curriculums that are aligned with sustainability and climate justice.

Lastly, on a third day I have attended sessions about food justice. We explored how we can approach just and sustainable food system and right to food because even though everyone has right to food there are still people who cannot access affordable and nutritious food. I learned many tips how I can help by making and buying food or even growing food in a student accommodation.

Three days of Student Sustainability Summit were packed with new ideas and inspiring people. Each day of the conference taught me something new or widened my existing knowledge. I am glad I could attend this event that gave me motivation to contribute to sustainable society even more.

Online Carbon Literacy Training

Carbon Literacy training is a free project opened to all students and staff from De Montfort University. This training will provide you with a better understanding of climate change and carbon footprint. You will acquire knowledge and skills required to reduce carbon footprint of yourself and others.

Last year I attended Carbon Literacy Training as a first-year student, and I can only recommend it. It was a one-day workshop which combined self-study, mini lectures, discussions, quizzes and games. The whole training was divided into five modules where each of them was focused either on general knowledge of climate change and carbon footprints or more practical areas such as taking action or influence of your university or community.

During academic year 2019/2020, Carbon Literacy Training was delivered at De Montfort University in form of face to face half day workshop. This year Carbon Literacy training is moving online but don’t worry, the structure of the course will have minimum changes and you will get as good experience from online training as you would get from face-to-face training. Online Carbon Literacy training will be in form of webinars, self-study and interactive activities. Besides learning the basic science of climate change, you can expect activities like calculating your own carbon footprint or exploring the role of the university in delivering a zero-carbon world.

The main goal of Carbon Literacy training is to create a carbon literate community and equip participants with awareness of climate change and the climate impacts of mankind’s everyday actions. You will be leaving the training not only with improved knowledge but also with relevant skills to communicate messages to your network of colleagues or family.

We will be introducing online Carbon Literacy training this academic year and we are looking forward to seeing commitment and pledges from participants who wants to make a change.

Sustainability Communications Frontrunner: Tereza Katrnakova

About me

Hello everyone! My name is Tereza Katrnakova. I am Sustainability Communications Frontrunner for this year, and I will be working with DMU Sustainability team on various projects focused on embedding sustainability into teaching and learning.

I am doing Frontrunner Internship alongside my studies at DMU. I am currently in second year of LLB Law degree and I am interested in commercial and international law. What I like the most about these areas of practice is that international organisations and global businesses have power to make significant changes by international agreements or implementing sustainability into their actions and working towards reducing their carbon footprint.

As a student I am part of Go Eco Society. Society is trying to get students involved in sustainable events and increase awareness about global sustainability issues and SDGs.

During my internship I will be working with sustainability team on couple of projects to help university achieve best possible results in implementing UN SDGs into teaching and adapting to the impacts of climate change.

Sustainability Advocate: Antonia Hayward

About me

Hi all! I am Antonia Hayward. I am your Sustainability Advocate which is a part of the sustainability team in the Estates & Facilities Directorate. I will be working on a number of projects and events to aid in embedding sustainability into the university. I am going to continue working on and improving previous projects while also developing my own initiatives.

This role is part of my placement year with the university. I have been studying Textiles Design and specialize in weaving. My course has sustainability linked into my modules so it has become something I consider while designing/working. It has really shown me how having sustainability embedded into my course really helped impact my choices. I would like to help add this into as many other students’ educations as possible, so they can make informed decisions.

The projects and goals I will be working on for the next year will be improving our rankings in different league table for the SDGs, increasing the awareness of the sustainability work the university does and prepare for audits so we can see how well we are meeting are targets.

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SDGs TeachIn Week – Final Results

 

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As many of you might remember, last month at De Montfort University (DMU), the SDGs TeachIn Week took place among the various faculties. The SDGs TeachIn is an initiative run by the Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS) that encourages academics at all levels of education to embed the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within their classes, labs, workshops, and seminars. The project was created to implement the links between the SDGs and academia with the hope that the future leaders of tomorrow will apply these teachings to make a positive change to society.

This week we have received the final results on how DMU has been doing in terms of students and staff engagement compared to other universities, and we could not be prouder. Over twenty universities across the UK participated in the programme and DMU has placed itself first for the number of students reached, which resulted in 30% of the total amount of students at the university. Furthermore, the very high number of academics who decided to pledge to the SDGs TeachIn Week has helped us achieve the second place for staff involvement.

We are thrilled to be able to share that the brilliant work done by the team and by every lecturer who committed to this project has paid off. Our students have certainly gained a lot from the sessions and we hope that they will put into place the skills and knowledge earned during the week.

If you are curious to find out more about the SDGs TeachIn, click on the link for our previous article, or follow our social media channels to see our posts on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

My time as Sustainability Communications Frontrunner

This is my last week of work as my internship contract period is coming to the end. It is still unbelievable for me that the person who I am today is obviously different from the one in October last year. I have started working as a person who have a keen interest in environmental issues and sustainable development. During the first few weeks, Karl, our Sustainability Manager, and the team, gave Carolina and I a warm welcome and we both knew that we were so excited to be part of our growing team.

SpringWelcomeEvent

My main responsibility involves researching existing channels and implement new social media channels to increase and improve online presence of sustainableDMU. I found that most of the existing social network channels are not fully utilised. Weekly social posts plan and other initiatives have been proposed to Karl and he has never said ‘NO’. Instead, he has always contributed in converting these ideas into a reality. Several posters and artwork are created to promote what DMU have done so far with the sustainability. New video and article are published through social media usage along these eventful months. Constructive feedback from the team has substantially enhanced the quality of these assets. I have liaised with Estate and Facilities members, other Frontrunners, and ESDG people to ensure a consistent and targeted messages on sustainability and environmental issues to support campaigns and awareness events.

As a gradually increasing engagement rate from DMU students and staff has been achieved, we, as a team, had a chance to consult with Interim Vice-Chancellor about strategic plan to raise their awareness further towards environmental behaviour changing. Moreover, we have worked alongside with academic team to embed Education for sustainable development within their courses during the SDG teach-in week. With a collaborative effort, DMU has reached the top for the rankings in students reached and second for the number of academic pledged. We also got the highest survey responses for NUS Sustainability Skills 2019. I could not be happier for these results!

One of the most favourite part I love in this job is to getting to learn new things every day from writing articles, interviewing staff, gaining new knowledge in Fairtrade products, and running stalls in #1000 Voices project. From time to time, Carolina and Ross have tremendously helped me getting these things done smoothly and fantastically. Talking to people in different departments or someone who I have never imagine this kind of job would lead me to is unexpectedly joy for me. For example, Daniel, who are our Trinity Herb Garden caretaker, his perspective and work motivation really fuel my ever growing passion in sustainability. These people around me ignites my soul and in out of the blue, I have become a more thoughtful person in every action I take in daily life. This is truly fulfilling my goal in working here being able to talk and influence people around me towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

Not just a steep learning curve in environmental issues and employability skills I have gained from the real-world work environment, warm connections and valuable friendship with the sustainableDMU team are unforgettable things in my life. I hope that one day when DMU is mentioned, it will remind people of one of the leading sustainable university in the UK. All the great efforts have created an impact for the students, staff, and the public, and eventually, this could help us contribute to a more sustainable community. Finally, best of luck to the new intern! You will never regret joining this position.