For the final assignment in her Ethics and Environment course last spring, Sara B. Pritchard, associate professor of science and technology studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, decided that unusual times called for an unusual approach.
So she gave her remote-learning students the option of either an essay or a more artistic project. Themes to be addressed included Cornell’s location on Haudenosaunee lands (traditional lands of the Cayuga Nation), COVID-19 and climate justice.
The result: Select student work was published Nov. 16 in Minding Nature, a journal produced by the Center for Humans and Nature. The collection (under the Features heading) is “Climate Change, Coronavirus and Environmental Justice.”
“The decision came naturally,” said Pritchard, who had the help of her teaching assistants, doctoral candidates Rebecca Harrison and Amanda Domingues. “It seemed like a lot to ask students to go through all the normal hoops when we aren’t living in normal times. I felt that this creative project option would speak to some students – that it would allow them to be inspired and maybe even get more out of the course.”
The opportunity to pursue this outlet appealed to students like Renee Lee ’21, a food science major (minoring in nutrition and health) in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
“A lot of times in college, I find myself dreading the process of writing papers,” she said, “so I jumped at the chance to express my ideas in an alternative method.”
– Amaris Janel Henderson