March 7, 2017

Professors Win Best Practice in Higher Education Award

Professor of Geology Marlene McCauley and Associate Professor of Political Science Kyle Dell were awarded a Best Practice in higher education award for a recent paper on the practicum courses in Guilford College’s new sustainable food systems program.

Their paper, presented with Kathleen Liang, W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Community-Based Food Systems at N.C. A&T’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Science, was recognized at the 2017 Small Business Institute’s annual conference in San Diego, California on February 18. The paper, titled “Building a Collaborative Effort of Training and Education in Sustainable Food Systems for the 21st Century through Urban Agriculture Programs” focused on the ways in which the practicum courses in Guilford’s new sustainable food systems major reflect several high-impact practices that promote student engagement and learning.

The award, given each year to one paper, recognizes colleges and universities that develop “new entrepreneurial curriculum, new or innovative classroom delivery and superior outcomes from existing programs.”

“The sustainable food systems major represents a next generation program for a liberal arts college that seeks to integrate classroom learning and learning that allows students to get their hands dirty at the farm or with a mobile market in a local refugee community,” said Kyle Dell, co-chair of the Department of Environmental and Sustainability Studies. “Receiving a recognition like this award from the Small Business Institute reinforces the value of such an innovative approach embraced by students, staff and faculty in the design of our new program.”

“Having the opportunity to work with a scholar and teacher of Dr. Liang’s caliber is a great honor. We see many opportunities for collaboration between Guilford and NCA&T that will benefit students from both institutions,” Marlene McCauley added. McCauley, who teaches in geology and environmental and sustainability studies, was one of the developers of the SFS major, and reached out to Dr. Liang after she was appointed to the position at NCA&T. “Dr. Liang is also excited about the possibilities of working together”.

The Guilford College farm, a laboratory space for the sustainable food systems program, was recently recognized as one of the top 30 college farms in the country. Guilford’s new sustainable food system major was publicly announced during author Michael Pollan’s Bryan Series talk, where he described the new program as a “path-breaking move” by a college to educate students in this field.

Learn more about Guilford’s new major at