Skip to main content

NC State’s SDG Initiative: First Semester Recap

Beginning during the fall 2021 semester, NC State launched its campus programming initiative focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The purpose of the SDG campus programming initiative is to educate students at NC State as to what the SDGs are, why they are a blueprint for peace and prosperity in the world, and inspire them to take action in support of the goals on their campuses and in their local community. This initiative was launched as part of NC State Global’s new strategic framework, Global Learning for All, which strives to build a more equitable and sustainable world.

SDG Co-Curricular Programming

The SDG initiative, scheduled to last through the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years, features a wide array of programs each semester focused around a cluster of SDGs. During the fall 2021 semester, programming focused around the Quality of Life cluster, comprising goals 1 (no poverty), goal 2 (zero hunger), goal 3 (good health and well-being) and goal 6 (clean water and sanitation). 

SDG@3 Workshops

This fall, NC State Global hosted four “SDG@3” workshops, each highlighting a different global goal. During the workshops, a faculty representative, a student organization, and a community practitioner discussed various ways in which faculty, staff and students can make a difference, not only around the world but right here on campus. 

Dr. Sid Thakur, director of the Global Health program, states that “You don’t have to get on a plane to do global health work, you can do global health outreach right here in North Carolina.” 

Over the course of the semester, a total of 148 participants attended SDG@3 workshops.

Dr. Julie Casani, director of Student Health Services and adjunct associate professor, Biological Sciences, highlights “It is easy to think that you have to have a medical degree or medical education to make an impact but when you look at the SDGs and those target indicators, it is really about applying science, technology, and the humanities to help and ultimately grow sustainably.”

Connecting Students with the UN 

Robert Skinner, Chief of Partnerships and Global Engagement at the United Nations, visited our campus twice (once virtually and once in person) to talk to students about the importance of SDGs as well as careers and opportunities working at the United Nations. Both events were well attended and provided attendees with an inside perspective on the SDGs. 

Making an Impact

In spring 2021, NC State University and its contributions to global sustainability were highlighted in several categories of the 2021 Times Higher Education Impact Ranking which evaluates the research, stewardship, outreach and teaching contributions of universities toward the SDGs. 

Looking to Next Semester

The SDG initiative will return during the spring 2022 semester, this time focusing on environmental responsibility. This cluster will include goal 7 (affordable and clean energy), goal 13 (climate action), goal 14 (life below water) and goal 15 (life on land). 

“We were blown away by the student interest we saw during the Fall semester, and are excited to continue these programs into the spring semester, focusing on the all-important issue of creating a more sustainable world for future generations,” said David Hawley, Assistant Director for Student and Community Engagement.