This month, Wells College and RIT finalized a Memorandum of Understanding creating a program for Wells College graduates to transition to an MS program in Sustainable Systems at the RIT Golisano Institute for Sustainability.
“This MOU will permit qualified Wells College students to build on their undergraduate education and matriculate into a top ranked MS program at RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability that addresses some of the key sustainability challenges confronting us today. The Sustainability faculty at RIT are delighted about this partnership and they look forward to future pedagogical and research collaborations with Wells College students and faculty.” said Amitrajeet A. Batabyal, Distinguished Professor, Arthur J. Gosnell Professor of Economics, and interim head of the RIT Department of Sustainability.
“Students will have an opportunity to build upon the foundations they gain at Wells College, further developing their competencies at RIT to prepare themselves for careers in renewable energy, urban design, food systems, and more” said Jen Myers, Visiting Assistant Professor and Chair of the Sustainability Program at Wells College. “Both of our programs offer a holistic approach to addressing local and global sustainability issues, grounded in building students’ skills to navigate complex environmental, economic, and social systems.”
The partnership is a collaboration between Wells’ sustainability, business, and environmental science departments, and Batabyal and Professor of Sustainability Callie Babbitt at RIT. Erinn Ryen, Associate Professor of Business and chair of the Business Department at Wells, is particularly happy to see future Wells students complete their graduate studies at GIS, as she graduated from GIS with her PhD in Sustainability in 2014 with guidance from Batabyal and Babbitt. “The partnership with GIS at the Rochester Institute of Technology empowers our Wells science, sustainability, and social science students with an exciting new graduate school pathway and skills to address existing and future global challenges.” added Ryen. Together with Marian Brown, the Director of the Center for Sustainability and the Environment at Wells, Ryen and Myers were some of the key collaborators at Wells.
The new program will provide a direct route to graduate school for Wells students completing undergraduate degrees in sustainability and environmental science, as well as other relevant programs in the social sciences. As long as undergraduates in these majors maintain a minimum GPA and take the required courses, they will be admitted to the RIT Sustainable Systems master’s program. Students who pursue this degree will have the ability to become well-rounded scholars in the field, understanding sustainability from multiple disciplinary perspectives.
“Wells — like all of higher education — is strengthened by our partnerships with others. Our students will benefit immensely from this new agreement with RIT,” concluded Susan Henking, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.