GPC Names New Sustainable Living & Environmental Studies Director

Contact: Rebecca Rakoczy
Phone: 678-891-2691
Fax: 678-891-2966
Author: Rebecca Rakoczy

Georgia Perimeter College has hired Dr. Joanne Chu as its Director of Sustainable Living and Environmental Studies. The position was recently created to help focus the college’s efforts to develop an interdisciplinary approach to its sustainability efforts.

As part of her role at the college, Chu also will oversee activities for the college’s new Southeastern Center for Sustainable Living & Environmental Studies, which is under the umbrella of Georgia Perimeter College’s Atlanta Center for Civic Engagement & Service Learning.
Chu has a doctorate in behavioral neuroscience from the University of Texas, and is a former biology professor at Spelman College.

Active in developing sustainability programs and curriculum in higher education, Chu most recently was the scholar-in- residence in environmental and sustainability studies at Agnes Scott College, where she was co-director of that college’s The Azalea Project, a multi-disciplinary faculty development workshop that focused on local, regional and global sustainability issues. She helped develop mandatory sustainability modules in 14 different courses.
She will work with all GPC faculty to help them get the appropriate resources to incorporate sustainable practices into their curricula, and be link for the integration of sustainable principles and practices between academics, campus operations and students. She also hopes to create a similar program like The Azalea Project for the college.

“My role will be to identify faculty needs in sustainability and be the bridge between those needs and those of the community,” she says. Often associated with just the sciences, Chu wants to connect with faculty across all disciplines.
“Sustainability involves a larger set of issues, and is integrated with environmental issues of ethics, social justice and the economy,” she says.
Chu is the current advisor to the Sustainable Technologies Academy at DeKalb Technical College, where she helped evaluate and enhance project-based courses in vocational education in environmental building controls and energy efficiency. Georgia Perimeter is also a partner in that effort.
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Georgia Perimeter College, the third largest institution of the University System of Georgia, serves 26,000 students through four campuses and several sites in metro Atlanta. For additional information, visit