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Higher Education Learning Community


ANNOUNCEMENT: In November 2021, two HELC projects received RCE Awards from the United Nations University, having now a total of three award-winning HELC projects.

RCE Awards celebrate projects and programs on Education for Sustainable Development within the Global RCE Network, honoring RCEs who have made outstanding contributions to address local sustainable development challenges in their regions. The Award recognizes projects and programs that bridge local and global perspectives on sustainable development, those that engage with transformative learning and research, and initiatives that contribute to community engagement, research & development and capacity development of stakeholders and partners. Read More.


Higher Education Learning Community (HELC) is an RCE Greater Atlanta action group that aims to facilitate faculty and research-active student engagement with the SDGs in a collective learning environment. Participants include faculty and research-active students from Emory University, Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and the University of Georgia.

HELC aims to create a dynamic network of research and teaching faculty, practitioners, youth, and community partners in Greater Atlanta who work together to offer research seminars, symposia, curricular resources, teaching workshops, and a variety of publications to advance the SDGs in education, research, and service across campuses in the region as well as among the US (North American) higher education community as a whole. We welcome participation by students in our efforts, particularly the Speaker Series, Data Blitz, Equinox Symposium, and Atlanta Global Studies Center RCE and Youth Track. We love having youth tracks within the symposia, if students want to present on their work and maybe also help organize the track.

Speaker Series

See below for upcoming and past seminars.

Contact Us!


  • Bruce Stiftel (Georgia Tech), [email protected]
  • Michael Black (Georgia State), [email protected]
  • Research Roundabout (Data Blitz)

    All presenters get 5 minutes and one slide to present an aspect of their work in a data blitz.



  • Michael Black (GSU), [email protected]
  • Atlanta Global Studies Center Symposium, RCE and Youth Track

    This annual Symposium will takes place in April and features a day-long track or panels presented by RCE HELC, including a youth panel.

    In February 2020, United Nations University recognized this HELC project by an Award for Innovative Projects on Education for Sustainable Development, Honorable Mention for SDG 4 Quality Education.

    Contact Us!

    For further information please visit the Symposium Webpage.

    Read the press release.


  • Diana Wrenn, [email protected]
  • Stuart Minson, [email protected]
  • Annual EQUINOX: UN SDGs Symposium

    In November 2021, United Nations University recognized this HELC project by an Award for "Acknowledged Flagship Project" on Education for Sustainable Development, SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals; Thematic Category: Curriculum Development.

    Contact Us!

    Equinox Website


  • Pegah Zamani, [email protected]
  • Building Effective ESD in Higher Education through Multi-Institutional and Community Collaboration

    Read about the "Think Globally,Teach Locally" Workshop, Feb 19, 2020 here.

    Looking for help incorporating ESD into your teaching? Explore these resources developed through this RCE project and by member institutions (see back).

    Learn More!

    Member Institutions:

    Going Global Workshop Materials
    ESD Faculty Learning Community Resources
    UNESCO and Other Resources on SDG Integration in Higher Education
    SLS Teaching Toolkit: U.N. SDGs

    Read about the "Going Global: A Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Curriculum Design Workshop", Feb 23, and access related resources here.
    Read about the Faculty Learning Community Teaching with the SDGs here.​


  • Rebecca Watts Hull, [email protected]
  • Community Science Collaboratory

    (official press release forthcoming)
    This project is a collaborative effort to design a sustainable model for long-term community science initiatives in Metropolitan Atlanta and link globally to build partnerships with like initiatives through the Global RCE Network—Regional Centers of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development. This initiative brings together six colleges/universities that are part of the RCE Greater Atlanta, six community-based organizations in Georgia, and two Global RCE Partners— the highly successful citizen science collaborations of the KwaZulu-Natal and Saskatchewan RCEs--to co-design ways to collaborate more effectively. This one-year project will result in a detailed plan and a major funding proposal to support a sustainable infrastructure for global collaborative science—the Community Science Collaboratory for the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    Learn More!

    In November 2021, United Nations University recognized this three-pronged project supported through RCE HELC as well as the AGREC initiative housed within AGSC by an Award for "Acknowledged Flagship Project" on Education for Sustainable Development, SDG 4: Quality Education; Thematic Category: Curriculum Development. Read the news release here.

    Contact Us!

    (This project is part of Building Effective ESD in Higher Education through Multi-Institutional and Community Collaboration)

  • Rebecca Watts Hull, [email protected]
  • Sustainable Development Research Seminar Series

    *The open access research seminar videos are also available at Prof. Bruce Stiftel's Youtube channel. They are in a Playlist called RCE Greater Atlanta: and accessible from the Channel landing page.

    Fall 2021


    Friday, October 29 | 12-1:15 PM ET
    "Taboo to Civic Actions: Engaging Taiwanese Youth in Environmental Controversial Issues Discussions"
    Yun-Wen Chen, Assistant Professor of Curriculum & Instruction, Texas State University
    Watch recording
    Passcode: 7?VzrSn4

    Friday, November 12 | 12-1:15 PM ET
    "Rhizomatic Resistance: Environmental and Trans-Species Ethics in Feminist and LGBTQ Activism and Art"
    Lauran Whitworth, Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Agnes Scott College
    Watch recording
    Passcode: 7V27=hC^

    Friday, December 3 | 12-1:15 PM ET
    “Sea Level Change in the Southeastern United States: Past, Present and Future”
    Clark Alexander, Director and Professor, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, University of Georgia
    Watch recording
    Passcode: *P+2QU..

    Spring 2021

    RCE HELC Research Seminar Flyer_RAYMOND_Jan-2021_0
    RCE HELC Research Seminar Flyer_SCHAUMANN_Feb-2021_0
    RCE HELC Research Seminar Flyer_KEYVANFAR_Mar-2021_0

    Friday, January 22 | 12:00 Noon - 1:15 pm
    Migration following Hurricane Michael: Evidence from the Consumer Credit Panel
    Elora Raymond, Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning, Georgia Tech
    Seminar recording

    Friday, February 26 | 12:00 Noon - 1:15 pm
    Alexander von Humboldt’s Proto-Ecological Thinking
    Caroline Schaumann, Professor of German Studies, Emory University
    To request access to the seminar recording, please contact Dr. Schaumann at [email protected].

    Friday, March 19 | 12:00 Noon - 1:15 pm
    Sustainable Construction Neighborhood: The way forward
    Ali Keyvanfar, Assistant Professor of Construction Management, Kennesaw State University
    Seminar recording
    *Presented in conjunction with the 4th Annual EQUINOX Week at KSU: UN SDGs (March 15-19, 2021)

    Fall 2020

    RCE HELC Research Seminar Flyer_LAPEGNA_Nov-2020
    RCE HELC Research Seminar Flyer_OSBOURNE JELKS_Oct-2020_0
    RCE HELC Research Seminar Flyer_IWAINEC_Sep-2020_0

    Friday, November 20 | 12:00 Noon - 1:15 pm
    The Politics of GM Crops and Agrochemical Exposure in Argentina
    Pablo Lapegna, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology & Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute, University of Georgia
    Seminar recording

    Friday, October 23 | 12:00 Noon - 1:15 pm
    Taking Science to the Streets: Community Science and Participatory Approaches to Improve Environment, Health, and Quality of Life in Urban Areas
    Na'Taki Osborne Jelks, Assistant Professor, Environmental and Health Sciences, Spelman College
    Seminar recording

    Friday, September 25 | 12:00 Noon - 1:15 pm
    A Social-Ecological-Technological Systems (SETS) approach to advancing urban systems science
    David M. Iwaniec, Assistant Professor, Urban Studies Institute, Georgia State University

    Spring 2020

    RCE HELC Research Seminar Flyer_Jan2020_0 (1)

    Friday, January 31 | 12:00 Noon - 1:30 pm
    Theories for Sustainable Futures
    Lance Gunderson, Professor and Chair, Environmental Sciences, Emory University
    Atwood Center, Rm 360, 1515 Dickey Drive, Emory University

    Contact Us

    RCE HELC Co-Leads:
    Michael Black (Neuroscience Institute and Urban Studies Institute, GSU), [email protected] (He / Him)
    Jairo Garcia (School of City & Regional Planning, Georgia Tech), [email protected]