GSU professor accepted into environmental leadership program

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Alanna Navin

Dr. Lissa Leege, biology professor and director for the Center for Sustainability, was accepted into the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership.

The IGEL program is a combination of in-the-field experiences that are enhanced by seminars, which include the use of case-based, realistic simulations and presentations by leading experts in target subjects for each session, according to the IGEL website.

“I am very excited to be able to participate in that and bring that back to Georgia Southern and apply it to our Center of Sustainability,” Leege said.

The sessions will be held at five different locations, which range from universities to farmlands, Leege said.

“It’s a year-long program that focuses on environmental leadership in Georgia. I am going to be working with big deal environmental leaders from all around the state, and it’s an incredible honor to have been accepted into this program,” Leege said.

“IGEL doesn’t teach people to look for singular solutions but to look at environmental issues through multiple lenses to seek solutions that have the most benefits,” Steve Hein, director of the Center for Wildlife Education and 2003 graduate of the IGEL program, said.

Working with IGEL and going to these sessions will provide great opportunities for networking and opening up possible internships and grants, Leege said.

“IGEL brings together various groups to include environmental organizations, developers, regulators and corporate entities all having a different perspective but in the end, seeking a common goal,” Hein said.

“With this opportunity for environmental leadership experience for me, I think I can bring so much more to the leadership for the Center for Sustainability,” Leege said.

“I think that this experience will expand an already brilliant mind and perhaps tax her creative problem-solving skills,” Hein said.

The program is rigorous and intensive. Some of the sessions take place in the middle of a school semester.

“Everyone that I spoke to said that this was an experience that literally changed their life,” Leege said.

To ensure that participants are fully engaged and committed to the program, 100 percent attendance is required. Participants must dedicate time to reading materials in preparation for each session, according to the website.

Leege said, “As a student you get so many opportunities to learn things. As a faculty member, we love the opportunity to get to be in the classroom to learn from somebody else instead being the one who is doing the teaching. For me this an incredible professional development opportunity.”

Cydney Long contributed to this report.