Rutgers University has debuted a new minor in creative expression and the environment in the Fall 2023 semester. The interdisciplinary minor helps students learn about the environment and sustainability, as well as react to these issues through the arts and humanities lens.
This minor is open to students from the Mason Gross School of the Arts, the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and the School of Arts and Sciences, according to the program’s website.
Mary Nucci, an associate teaching professor in the Department of Human Ecology, said she designed the minor with two other faculty members: Rebecca Cypess, an associate dean for Academic Affairs and an associate professor in the Department of Music, and Jorge Marcone, an associate dean in the Division of Humanities and a professor in the Departments of Spanish and Portuguese and Comparative Literature.
They secured the university’s authorization for the minor in the summer of 2023.
“A major point to why this minor is so valuable is that students will have a basic grounding in environmental science, humanities and arts,” Nucci said. “And, given the range of possible electives, students will be able to follow their own interests to build out their education in environmental concerns.”
The minor will require the following three-credit classes, Introduction to Environmental Science, Introduction to Environmental Arts and Our World: Social Justice and the Environment, according to the minor’s website.
After the required courses, students can choose electives from various disciplines, such as agriculture and natural resources, meteorology, supply chain management, American studies, theater arts and more, the website said.
Nucci said that the arts have traditionally incorporated sustainable practices, particularly when finding alternative materials due to financial constraints. She mentioned that many students currently enroll in courses for the minor, as these classes were already available.
She also said that Mason Gross has emphasized the relationship between the arts and the environment in recently-added course curricula.
“As to expectations, we are hoping that students from across the schools will recognize the value of this minor for their careers and lives,” Nucci said.
This article first appeared in The Daily Targum.