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Magnolias Curriculum Project2019-09-04T09:10:05-04:00

Since 2012, we have invited Wake Forest faculty to enhance teaching and engagement with sustainability issues by participating in the annual Magnolias Curriculum Project. No prior experience with sustainability-related issues in the classroom or in research is necessary, and faculty at all ranks and career stages are welcome. This innovative approach to curricular change, modeled on the nationally renowned Piedmont Project (Emory University), provides faculty with an intellectually stimulating and collegial experience to pool their expertise.

The workshop explores how we can meaningfully integrate sustainability—broadly defined—into our classrooms. Although we start by taking a close look at Wake Forest University and the larger Piedmont region, we invite participants to engage in local to global comparisons.

The Magnolia Project kicks off with a two-day workshop each May that offers opportunities to extend research and teaching horizons across disciplines and create new networks with fellow colleagues.  Following the workshop, faculty participants prepare discipline-specific course materials on their own over the summer. They reconvene in early August to discuss their insights and experiences. Participants receive a stipend of $500 upon completion of a new or revised syllabus.

Participants and Updated Syllabi

Name Department Course Year
Lisa Blee History  American Environmental Thought 2012
Sarah Mason Math  Counting on Sustainable Energy: Does it Add Up? 2012
Stavaroula Glezakos Philosophy  Metaphysics and Movies 2012
Jack Dostal Physics Power and the U.S. Electrical Grid 2013
Lisa Kiang Psychology  A Sociocultural Approach to Self & Identity Development 2013
John Oksanish Classical Languages  STEM – Societies in Greco-Roman Antiquity 2014
Ann Cunningham Education Globalization, Education, and Technology 2015
Sarah Fick Education Schools & Schooling: Understanding Our Varied Experiences 2016
Elizabeth Clendinning Music Paradise Created? Bali and the Touristic Imagination 2017
Name Department Course Year
Thomas Frank History  Studies in Historic Preservation 2012
Lucas Johnston Religion Environmental Issues 2012
Judith Madera English Environmental Literature 2012
Monique O’Connell History  Medieval World Civilizations 2012
T.H.M. Gellar-Goad Classics Greek and Roman Comedy 2013
Eric Stottlemyer Writing Environmental Sustainability in an Age of Mass Distraction 2013
Ron Von Burg Communications Humanity and Nature 2013
Erin Branch English  Academic Research and Writing 2014
David Finn Art Design Studio: Ethics and Aesthetics 2014
Christina Soriano Dance Dance Composition 2014
D. Stokes Piercy Communications Advanced Media Production 2014
Nicholas Albertson East Asian Languages Contemporary Japanese Culture: From Postwar to Postmodern 2015
Jimmy Butts Writing Ecologies and Technologies of Reading and Writing 2015
Ben Coates History The United States and the World, 1763-1914 2015
Justin Green Communications Advocacy and Debate 2015
Robert Hellyer History World Economic History: Globalization, Wealth and Poverty since 1500 2015
Julia Scarborough Classics Seminar in Classical Studies: Ancient Pastoral and it’s Reception 2015
Alessandra Von Burg Communications Practices of Citizenship 2015
Qiaona Yu East Asian Languages and Cultures Fourth-Year Chinese 2017
Rowie Kirby-Straker Communications Public Speaking 2017
A.Z. Obiedat Middle East and South Asia Studies The West Versus the Rest: Challenges of Modernity 2017
Meredith Farmer English Environmental Destruction an Introduction to the Environmental Humanities 2017
Ivan Weiss Journalism The Art of Audio 2018
Norm Fraley Sustainability Graduate Programs Natural Science of Sustainability 2019
Name Department Course Year
Angela King Chemistry Organic Chemistry II 2012
Megan Rudock Chemistry Everyday Chemistry 2017
Sheri Floge Biology Microbiology 2019
Name Department Course Year
Steven Folmar Anthropology Medical Anthropology 2012
Robert Whaples Economics Natural Resource Economics 2012
Donal Mulcahy Education Teaching Elementary Social Studies 2013
Amanda Gengler Sociology  Principles of Sociology 2014
Andrew Gurstelle Anthropology Introduction to Museum Studies 2016
Eranda Jayawickreme Psychology Positive Psychology 2016
Andrius Galisanka Politics and International Affairs Environmental Political Thought 2017
Jaira J. Harrington Politics and International Affairs Challenges to the Global Community 2017
Eric Jones Anthropology North American Archaeology 2017
Brian Calhoun Education Strategic Job Search 2017
EJ Masicampo Psychology Social Psychology 2018
Name Department Course Year
Jim Norris Math  Elementary Probability & Statistics 2013
Jason Parsley Math  Calculus II 2013
Name Department Course Year
William Davis Business  Ethics and Business Leadership 2014
Michelle Steward Business Principles of Marketing 2018
Name Department Course Year
Dan Fogel Sustainability Sustainable Organization Management 2014
Amanda Foster Library Studies Accessing Information in the 21st Century 2017
Amanda Lanier Reynolda Gardens Young Naturalists “The Wonder of Water” 2017
Rebeccah Byer Entrepreneurship Social Entrepreneurship 2018

Project participants agree to:

  1. Read some materials prior to the workshop.
  2. Participate in the full 2-day workshop.
  3. Commit time during the summer to prepare or revise a syllabus and submit it in August.
  4. Report back to the group in August.


Each cohort of the Magnolias Project has contributed to this list of books that they have found relevant in teaching sustainability-related courses.

Course Listing

The Wake Forest faculty offer many courses that stimulate and facilitate learning for sustainability. A snapshot of the course inventory is pictured below. Click here for the full inventory of courses.