Kelly Cartwright |

Title:  Exploring the Human Dimension of Conservation Gardening

Abstract:  Conservation gardening incorporates environmentally friendly techniques into the care of urban landscapes. Prior research has demonstrated an ecological benefit of this approach to residential land management. The current research was undertaken to better understand the individuals who partake in conservation gardening. Participants in this study demonstrated a high degree of connection to nature, high levels of participation in outdoor recreation, and shared several demographic characteristics. This presentation will include a summary of the experimental design employed in this study, an overview of the analysis conducted, and a discussion of the main findings from the project. 



Kierstyn Hunter |

Title:  Gendering Organizational Learning

Abstract: Gendered organizational cultures affect organizational learning, the collective efforts to develop an organization’s culture and purpose. This feminist research asked fifteen senior administrators at a small liberal arts college to share their experiences of the gendered nuances within long-term planning and change. Analysis reveals themes of individual vs. systemic discrimination, “old hat worries”, and a phase between oppression and equality. While extending the feminist and organizational studies literature on gendered organizational cultures, this study also develops a foundation upon which to explore the explicit and implicit ways culture surfaces in collective, institutionally focused work.


Tameria Warren |  

Title:  Seeing Green through Black Lenses: Understanding African American Perceptions about Nature and the Environment

Abstract: The environmental field covers numerous subject matters and has addressed various issues (from resource conservation to industrial pollution), but major concerns have been the minimal inclusion and adequate participation from marginalized and underrepresented communities. This research looks at the historical and current connections between the environment and African American culture, social and political factors that impact the connections, and how those elements influence perceptions about the environment and nature. A study was conducted between two distinct populations in Michigan and South Carolina in order to assess the connections and determine how perceptions and subsequent behaviors are formed.


Kent Wessinger |  kentjwessinger@gmail.comWEBSITE 

Title:  The Relationship Between Creative Practice and Socioeconomic Crisis

Abstract: After experiencing the reality of life in the Caribbean for nearly two decades, I am grieved by the level of suffering throughout the region, yet remain hopeful that a future of sustainable growth is within the realm of possibility. I am a first hand participant in and observer of the longstanding within the realm of possibility. I am a first hand participant in and observer of the longstanding socioeconomic crisis that has forced the African culture in the Caribbean to repetitively ask the same question: “Why is all this hardship happening to us?” In order to participate in the solution, this project comprehensively explores the relationship between creative practice and the socioeconomic crisis in the Caribbean. Understanding the relationship and its outcomes could produce the source of long-term hardship and identify a path of sustainable growth for the African culture in the Caribbean. Accomplishing this objective requires an analysis of four distinct perspectives: my observations as a participant in the culture, the historical progression of the region, recognized research that speaks directly to socioeconomic crisis and creative practice, and the voice of the culture. Reaching for clarity and rationale in answering the primary research question of this project––What is the relationship between creative practice and socioeconomic crisis in the Caribbean?––the highest priority of understanding and respect has been given to the voice of the Africans in the Caribbean. Therefore, the Africans on St. John, United States Virgin Islands serve as the narrative to reflect the reality of life in a contemporary context for the culture. The outcomes and methods of analysis developed in this project should be a useful tool for other cultures seeking to alleviate socioeconomic crisis and implement a sustainable pathway of growth. 

Keywords: Caribbean, creative practice, creativity, socioeconomic crisis, development,decolonization, dependency, living systems, oppression, cultural conditioning, chaos, Africans, West Indians.