This October, four outstanding Graphic Design students accompanied me on a field study to Minneapolis (Minnesota) to participate in the “AASHE 2015 Conference and Expo: Transforming Sustainability Education.”

ASSHE is dedicated to creating a diverse community that is engaged in sharing ideas and promising practices that demonstrate the value and competitive edge created by sustainability initiatives. Drawing approximately 2,100 participants, the conference is currently the largest stage in North America for sharing effective models, policies, research, collaborations and transformative actions which advance sustainability in higher education.

The conference was an opportunity for VCUQ to gain recognition for undergraduate and faculty research prioritizing the intersection between design, sustainability, and international collaboration. This unique opportunity also enabled two semester-abroad graphic design students from the VCU (Richmond campus) to re-engage with two VCUQ (Doha campus) students at the Expo/Conference to further their sustainability research.

These four talented students include:
VCUQ students: Nabiila Lubay and Abdul Rahman Anwar
VCU students: Brandon Geib and Boqin Peng

Along with the exhibition at the Convention Center, the AASHE Student Summit brought together hundreds of students from around the world to share ideas, ask questions, challenge each other, and work with sustainability champions. After the four-day conference, students walked away empowered with new tools and tactics for leading sustainability initiatives in Qatar.

During the trip, our group also ventured into the city of Minneapolis to visit the Walker Art Center (showcasing the Hippie Modernism collections), the University of Minnesota (UM), and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). A big thank you to Professor Steven Mcarthy (UM) and Design Chair, Erik Brandt (MCAD) for the wonderful hospitality at their respective universities.