The Hixon Center Turns Two!

Today marks two years since the Hixon Center was launched at Harvey Mudd College on September 25, 2015.

The Hixon Center recently celebrated the two-year mark at its Open House and Research Symposium on Thursday, September 21, 2017. The event featured presentations from a number of student and faculty researchers supported by the Rasmussen Summer Research Fund, as well the Hixon Center’s summer research fellows. The event also served as the launch for the second year of the Energize Colleges program at Harvey Mudd and Claremont McKenna Colleges, as well as an opportunity for the Center to recognize its supporters and “Sustainability Champions.”

The center was established with support from Adelaide and Dylan Hixon with a mission to promote sustainability at Harvey Mudd College through science-based inquiry in research and pedagogy, active participation in local community actions, and meaningful engagement at the global level. It enveloped the Center for Environmental Studies and serves as the primary administrator of its programs – particularly the Emphasis in Environmental Analysis and the Rasmussen Summer Research Fund.

Professor Matthew Spencer presenting his research.

Professor Matthew Spencer presents summer research at the Hixon Center’s Open House and Research Center.

Two years out, the Center has launched multiple courses (topics include Life Cycle Assessment, Environmental and Spatial Statistics, and in Art, Chemistry and Sustainability), hosted and supported a multitude of research projects, launched a technical report series, and published several peer-reviewed research papers. Among the regular events that the Hixon Center has organized and hosted are theĀ Biennial Conference for Sustainable Design and Solutions, the “Black, Gold and Green” Speaker Series, the Green Office and Shareware programs, the “What Would You Do?” workshop series, and most recently its “Eco-Engage” Sustainability Dialogue Series. The Hixon Center has also provided a number of professional development opportunities to students through the Energize Colleges program and its collaborative summer internship program with the Ecologic Institute in Berlin, Germany.

The Center is deeply involved with the campus’ Sustainability Committee and has pushed forward a number of campus-wide projects alongside Facilities & Maintenance and Dining Services, including the implementation of campus-wide composting and waste diversion services. The Hixon Center also maintains an active presence in the local and greater regional community, engaged in active partnerships with Community Home Energy Retrofit Project (CHERP), Sustainable Claremont, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, and more. The Center is also well represented at regional and national conferences, including the AASHE National Conference (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education).

Looking forward, the Center has set its sights on helping the campus achieve a STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System) certification from AASHE and ultimately co-produce a Climate Action Plan for Harvey Mudd College.

Tanja Srebotnjak and Richard Haskell

Hixon Center director Tanja Srebotnjak (left) recognizes Professor Emeritus Richard Haskell (right) as one of HMC’s “Sustainability Champions” at the Hixon Center’s Open House and Research Symposium

Professor Tanja Srebotnjak, Director of the Center and Hixon Associate Professor of Sustainable Environmental Design, offered this statement on the Center’s progress over the past two years:

Since the launch of the Hixon Center for Sustainable Environmental Design two years ago, we have worked with many students and just about every department and office at Harvey Mudd College. Their motivation and curiosity to learn more about sustainability and make measurable progress as a college and community inspires our work every day.

To keep up with the Hixon Center’s work, be sure to follow the Center on Facebook and Twitter, to subscribe to the Hixon Center’s e-newsletter, and to visit the Center’s website. The Center can be reached directly via e-mail at hixoncenter@hmc.edu, or by phone at 909.607.7623.