Scott A. Chadwick, PhD, provost and chief academic officer at Xavier University, announces that Dr. Kathleen Smythe will serve as the university’s first Senior Administrative Fellow for Sustainability and Environmental Imagination, effective immediately. She will work with Xavier faculty, staff, students and community partners to develop and implement new degree programs and affiliated initiatives, promote research, teaching, and learning around sustainability; and assist with grant acquisition and fundraising.
“Her passion for sustainability issues and systemic solutions coupled with her research and teaching experiences at the intersection of globalization, economic development, and sustainability position her well for this project,” Chadwick says.
Smythe is a professor of history and began at Xavier in 1997. She has been co-director of Ethics/Religion and Society and co-chair of Xavier’s sustainability committee. She is an African historian specializing in East Africa, particularly Tanzania, during the colonial period. Her research and teaching interests include Christianity, family history, development, globalization, and early African historical traditions. She earned her BA from The College of Wooster and her MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
She is developing two new courses around sustainability, both historically and practically. Her article, “The Dangers of Teaching about Globalization” appeared in the online journal Globalization and an editorial, “Faculty Air Travel and Climate Change” appeared in Sustainability: The Journal of Record.
In 2008, Xavier president Michael J. Graham, S.J., signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, a promise to strive to become climate neutral, joining more than 650 universities. Xavier created the Sustainability Committee, which represents a cross-section of the campus community, to develop a comprehensive plan for achieving climate neutrality and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. Campus feedback sessions were held gathering input from all constituents. A Climate Action Plan was submitted to ACUPCC in 2010. The next generation of information and ideas is due this month.
Smythe lives with her husband and children in Madeira.