Levenick Resident Scholars in Sustainability Leadership
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The Levenick Resident Scholars in Sustainability Leadership Program was funded by a generous endowment in early 2019 from U of I Alumnus Stuart Levenick and wife Nancy Levenick of Naples, Fla., to iSEE and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES). It was created to bring in experts from other universities, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations to share fresh perspectives and innovations with the Illinois community.
With backgrounds from a variety of disciplines, Resident Scholars will enhance and accelerate the broader impact of sustainability research and innovation. A Levenick Chair, appointed by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES), will lead the program, helping “close the circle” on sustainability efforts already established among the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, iSEE, and NRES.
“This campus will become a destination for worldwide sustainability experts — offering them creative opportunities and exposing faculty, students, and staff on our campus to real-time sustainability solutions from across the globe,” iSEE Baum Family Director Evan H. DeLucia said.
STUART L. and NANCY J. LEVENICK RESIDENT SCHOLAR IN SUSTAINABILITY LEADERSHIP
Founder and Director of Editing Nature Natalie Kofler is joining the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) in Fall 2019 as its first Stuart L. and Nancy J. Levenick Resident Scholar in Sustainability Leadership.
Kofler, a molecular biologist and bioethicist, has authored numerous scientific research articles, reviews, and commentary pieces, and chaired international seminars and summits.
Kofler is passionate about ensuring diverse voices and viewpoints steer science and technology.
“At Editing Nature, we think a lot about how to tap into collective wisdom to steer responsible technological development,” Kofler said. “I am so excited to learn from and collaborate with the faculty and students at U of I. Together, I think we can come up with some really innovative ways to integrate cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives and address some of our most pressing environmental challenges.”
Kofler’s work with Editing Nature advances and supports the responsible and ethical decisions guiding the development of genetic technologies released into the environment.
“We are excited to have Natalie on board as our first Resident Scholar,” iSEE Baum Family Director Evan H. DeLucia said. “She is known for engaging experts from different backgrounds worldwide to examine wicked sustainability and environmental issues — those that don’t have a simple answer and affect multiple stakeholders.
“Scientists, educators, and students on campus will have access this year to a unique thought leader who takes a very holistic approach to her work.”
During her time at iSEE, Kofler will also serve on the Editorial Board for Q Magazine, a publication of the Undergraduate Certificate in Environmental Writing (CEW) at Illinois. And she is teaching a graduate-level course in NRES in Fall 2019.
STUART L. and NANCY J. LEVENICK SUSTAINABILITY CHAIR
In December 2019, the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES) announced that Jeffrey Brawn would become the inaugural Stuart L. and Nancy J. Levenick Chair in Sustainability, the first endowed chair in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES). His start date: Jan. 1, 2020.
Part of Brawn’s activities will be to organize and manage the Levenick Resident Scholars in Sustainability Leadership Program at iSEE.
“We are extremely grateful to Stuart and Nancy Levenick for their recognition of NRES faculty and the University of Illinois as global leaders in the interdisciplinary science and practice of sustainability,” ACES Dean Kim Kidwell said in a news release. “Dr. Brawn has been an invaluable part of the ACES leadership team, generously extending his role as department head at my request. Over the past decade, he has shaped NRES into the vibrant department it is today, bringing together faculty with expertise in natural resource management and in the ever-critical human dimensions of the environment. I am grateful to Dr. Brawn for his service to the department and the college and I am delighted that he will be receiving this richly deserved honor.”
Founder and Director of Editing Nature Natalie Kofler is joining the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.
Levenick iSEE Teaching Sustainability Fellowships will support adding sustainability to existing courses ($1,000) or creating a new sustainability course ($2,000).
Levenick iSEE Fellows found that providing a look at dorm room energy bills doesn’t have much effect on students, who “may not be willing to sacrifice thermal comfort.”