By McKenna Luzynski, News Editor
Angela Halfacre’s transition from director of the Shi Center for Sustainability to special advisor to the president for community engagement is a monumental one, demonstrating Furman’s continued commitment to becoming part of a wider community. It also marked the end of an era for the Shi Center.
The Shi Center will be directed by someone other than Halfacre for the first time. Halfacre has no fears, however. She fully believes in the abilities of new Shi Center director, Weston Dripps, Ph.D.
“Dr. Wes Dripps will be a fabulous next director of the Shi Center for Sustainability. He has tremendous and wonderful ideas about how to take us to the next level…My hope is that he will be in this role for a really, really long time,” Halfacre said.
Dripps came to Furman in 2005 with a passion for sustainability and environmental efforts, and he found that Furman truly mirrored these passions. Over the years he has taught courses in water resources, earth science, environmental science and sustainability science. Outside of his courses, he has also been involved with sustainability efforts in other ways.
“For about six years or so, I was the faculty advisor for the Environmental Action Group, I helped found and continue to teach with the ECOS Engaged Living program… And I’m the current advisor for the Greenbelt Community,” Dripps said. “I’m an active member of the Sustainability Planning Council, and I’m one of the contributors to the university’s Sustainability Strategic Plan.”
Dripps will take this background of working with both students and sustainability to a whole new level as the new Shi Center director.
“My overall goal is to articulate the mission, vision and strategic plan of the center,” Dripps said. “Personally I think my interest is in infusing sustainability across the curriculum and across the institution.”
Dripps also will continue to promote the goal of becoming a carbon neutral campus by 2026.
“That won’t be my sole charge, but I’ll help to move that along with the Sustainability Planning Council,” Dripps said.
Dripps maintains that at the heart of all of his efforts are the students.
“I think my strength has always been in student engagement, so I’m probably most excited to continue working with students in this new way… I’m really focused on fusing sustainability and the student experience,” Dripps said.
Dripps hopes to involve students from all majors and all backgrounds in the sustainability efforts of the Shi Center. He is honored and thrilled to become the director for the Shi Center, and he is looking forward to hitting the ground running when he officially takes over as director this coming May.