Dr. Hanna Roman, French and Francophone Studies

The Valley & Ridge course was an impactful and motivating professional development and educational opportunity. It gave me the tools and abilities to think about how to define sustainability in general ways as well as with respect to my specific research and teaching. It allowed me to consider the questions, debates, difficulties, and nuances surrounding this term. I also really appreciated the applications of these ideas in the place-based learning activities and visits to natural spaces as well as to the Dickinson College farm. In addition, I liked the interdisciplinary nature of the course, bringing together teachers from many different disciplines and allowing us to work together and learn new perspectives from each other. In just a few days, I learned a great deal about how to consider and apply sustainability to my courses and how to make my research relevant to students.

I also began to brainstorm ways to continue to use what I learned in future courses, taking advantage of the resources that Dickinson has to offer. Finally, the course has had a lasting impact on my everyday practices and values. Discovering just how knowledgeable and passionate Lindsey and Neil are about the region in which we live and work and the ecological, social, economic, and political networks that comprise it was truly inspirational to me. It has led me to reflect upon what it means to be part of and to contribute positively to a place, reconsidering the meaning of environment and our personal and professional roles within it.