February 14, 2012
Dallas (SMU) – Lori White, SMU’s vice president for student affairs, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) – a national organization that provides sustainability resources for campus engagement, education and research, as well as campus operations.
White will serve for a term to run through December 2014.
AASHE was founded in 2005 to help coordinate and strengthen campus sustainability efforts at regional and national levels, and to serve as the first North American professional association for those interested in advancing campus sustainability. The organization’s STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) program, for example, is a self-reporting framework that allows colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.
AASHE sponsors North America’s largest college sustainability conference every fall, and SMU’s Sustainability Committee traditionally funds attendance for student representatives from the Hilltop. AASHE also produces professional development workshops and seminars for faculty and staff.
“What attracts me to AASHE is that they define sustainability in a much broader way than most people do,” White said. “They’re about leaving the world a better place for people tomorrow. Their approach to social justice is about opportunities for the next generation, and I’m committed to the education component of the AASHE program.”
White often has lunch in the dining hall at Umphrey Lee Center, she said, and recently sat with a group of students who identified themselves as environmental representatives (E-Reps) for the campus residence halls.
“They told me about how they had gone to the AASHE national conference in October, and they were excited about what they had seen and learned there,” White said. “Here at SMU we want to work with our students to help them become leaders in their community, in their country and in the world. Getting involved in sustainability will give them an avenue to develop those tools.”
Born and raised in San Francisco, White has spent more than 30 years working in higher education at various universities including the University of Southern California, University of California at Irvine, San Diego State University, Georgetown and Stanford Universities before joining SMU. Additionally, her work in higher education has included serving as a committee consultant to the California State Assembly Committee on Higher Education and as a special assistant to the University of California, Office of the President. White also has worked in the K-12 policy arena as a special assistant to the San Francisco superintendent of schools and as a research assistant to the Pew Forum on Education Reform.
White received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and English from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Ph.D. in education policy from Stanford University. White is co-editor of "Higher Education and School Reform" and has a chapter focused on black college student experiences in a book titled, "African American Culture and Heritage in Higher Education Research and Practice." Two of her most recent publications include an essay, ‘“I Have Been in the Storm So Long“ and I Am Still Here!’ in the Journal of College and Character, and a chapter on “Case Studies in Middle Management Supervision” in a New Directions for Student Services publication titled Supporting and Supervising Mid-Level Professionals.
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