Where else can you hold a goat in New York?!
Each year, Concordia’ Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability (LCDS) participates in the Annual Concordia-Siena Globalization Conference with New York’s Siena College. The Loyola and Siena Colleges take turns hosting the exchange event.
This year, 11 Loyola undergraduate and two Loyola professors headed down to Loudenville (right outside Albany), New York from November 10 – 11 (right after the U.S. election!) for the 13th annual conference.
Here are some of their impressions.
Raymond Paquin (Principal, LCDS)
The LCDS-Siena College Conference is a collaboration which brings together motivated undergraduates from LCDS's minors and Siena College's minor in international studies to present and share their research on international and sustainability/diversity issues. The theme this year was finding Solutions: Inequality Gaps, Biodiversity, Sustainability & Democracies.
We explored some key differences between the cultures of the two countries, which took on additional meaning given the recent US presidential election. In particular, we held a screening and discussion of 'Stay Woke', a documentary on the Black Lives Matter Movement in the US, and toured a newly established museum on the Underground Railroad - a movement, which provided refuge and support for slaves seeking to escape to Canada.
What particularly struck me was how the students came to better understand the many ways in which Canadians and Americans are both incredibly similar and demonstrably different.
Arun Dayanadan (Honours Biology)
Participating in the 13th Annual Siena-Concordia Globalization Conference was a unique experience that I would highly recommend to students who are interested in applying their global sustainability and community empowerment goals in an interdisciplinary environment. Learning about the projects undertaken by like-minded students from a wide variety of backgrounds, as well as connecting with students and faculty members who are passionate about creating positive change in a rapidly changing global economy were just a few of the highlights from the conference.
Increasing awareness of grassroots projects and improving cross-curricular communication are the keys to moving toward a sustainable future, and the Globalization conference fit well within those objectives.
Rebecca Tittler (Coordinator, LCDS)
I was very proud of our students, who shone in the work they presented, whether it was work on corporate social responsibility, integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, or Earthships.
Perhaps my personal impressions were intensified by the recent election results in the U.S. We were treated with great hospitality and generosity by the faculty, staff, and students of Siena College, who welcomed us into their homes and openly shared their hopes and fears for the future of a globalized world.
One memorable experience was a trip through some of the poorer parts of the inner city to the Radix Ecological Sustainability Centre.
At the Radix Centre, co-founder Scott Kellogg gave us a tour of their solar-heated greenhouse, complete with rainwater recycling, an aquaculture system, a mushroom farm, and a compost system that also provides heat for the greenhouse on the coldest days of winter. The Centre also provides educational programs and fresh produce to some of the poorest residents in the area. For me, this community project represented hope in a sea of trouble.
All in all, it was a trip full of vivid impressions, not soon to be forgotten, one that I was happy to share with our students.
Matthew Leddy (Honours Human Environment, Minor in Sustainability Studies)
I was thrilled to have gone. The experience of presenting research for the first time publicly was exciting, but the best part was seeing how other universities and their students go about their lives and studies. Being exposed to people who share your interests but are living a different experience is a healthy thing for development and perspective.
The trip to Radix was marvellous, I was very happy to see a living example of what we all too often see only in internet posts or in books. Where else can you hold a goat in New York?!
The Concordia-Siena conference, now in its 12th year, will next be held in 2017 at Concordia, with the theme Effecting Change in a Globalized World.
Strategic Direction: Teach for tomorrow
Faculty of Arts and Science
Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability