Environmental justice and the safety of water as nearby as northern Indiana and as distant as Africa will be the focus of a series of presentations by faculty researchers at Hope College on Tuesday, March 28, at 3:30 p.m. in the Schaap Auditorium of the Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
The presenters are among the faculty affiliated with the college’s Global Water Research Institute (GWRI), which supports research at Hope concerned with water locally, regionally and globally. The event is sponsored by the GWRI and the college’s Office of Sustainability, and is scheduled in commemoration of United Nations World Water Day, which is in March.
The topics and speakers are:
“Environmental Injustice in Northwestern Indiana,” by Dr. Kenneth Brown, professor of chemistry;
“The impact of large-scale, household-based interventions on public health: Hope College, Aquora and Bucket Ministries work with Sawyer Water Filters in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya,” by Dr. Virginia Parish Beard, associate professor of political science, and student researcher Makayla Wilson, a junior who is double-majoring in global health and political science with a concentration in policy and ethics; and
“Distribution of household water filters to factory workers in southeast Asia: Vera Bradley positively impacts workers,” by Dr. Brent Krueger, who is professor of chemistry and Schaap Research Fellow, and is also co-director of the GWRI.
The college’s Global Water Research Institute is a multi- and inter-disciplinary initiative that engages faculty from several academic departments, including biology, chemistry, geological and environmental science, mathematics, political science and religion. It was established through a leadership gift from Sawyer Products and the Sawyer Foundation.
The institute debuted on World Water Day in 2022, but the GWRI builds on experience honed at Hope across decades. Faculty from multiple departments — working collaboratively with Hope students — have been conducting research on water quality and related issues since the latter 1990s, not only locally (examples including the Macatawa Watershed, and microplastics in Lake Michigan), but abroad in multiple nations.
The college’s Office of Sustainability coordinates and supports efforts on campus and in the community to encourage, engage, educate and drive sustainable culture in water and air quality, energy efficiency, land use and environmental innovation. It seeks to prepare the college’s students to be Christian stewards and responsible global citizens while helping shape Hope into a model of sustainability.
United Nations World Water Day is observed on March 22. The college has scheduled the presentations for the following week, March 28, because Hope will be on its spring break on March 17-26.
Audience members who need assistance to enjoy any event at Hope fully are encouraged to contact the college’s Events and Conferences Office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 616-395-7222 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Updates related to events are posted when available in the individual listings at hope.edu/calendar
The Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center is located at 115 E. 12th St., at the center of the Hope campus between College and Columbia avenues along the former 12th Street. Schaap Auditorium is near the southwest corner of the building’s lower level.