As world leaders gather in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 31 to November 12, a Northampton Community College (NCC) professor will be among them. Anita Erdős Forrester, associate professor of geography and the college’s Global Studies program coordinator, is part of the Drexel University delegation invited to participate in the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26.
The 200 countries in attendance at the conference are being asked for their plans to cut emissions by 2030. Forrester will have a front row seat to the talks and presentations, and she wants to make sure her students are included.
“I shared the conference schedule with students from all my classes and asked them to pick a couple of events they wanted me to go to,” Forrester says. “I will send back reports, videos, and any snippets I think they will find interesting. It will be like they are there with me, too.”
Forrester is completing her doctorate work on the impact of global studies education at community colleges at Drexel, and the university extended an invitation for her to join the group heading to COP26.
“It’s important to include those are who teaching the next generation,” Forrester says. “How can we look at our students in the eye, or at future generations and say that we had an opportunity to act but we chose not to because our profits matter more then they do?”
Forrester also views this as a rare opportunity to represent community college students. “Most college participants are from four-year institutions,” she shares.
As both a scientist and a social scientist, Forrester has a unique perspective from two different viewpoints as coordinator of the Global Studies program.
“How can we create people who understand the whole interconnectedness of the entire world if we are all segmented?” she asks.
NCC is one of only 54 community colleges in the nation to have a global studies program. Forrester credits Christine Pense, dean, School of Arts, Humanities and Social Science, Nathan Carpenter, director, Global Education and International Services, Samuel Chen, assistant professor of political science, and Maria Dietrich, assistant director of international education, for their passion and support.
“I love working with them. We love and live our field,” Forrester says.
For more information about NCC’s Global Studies program, visit northampton.edu/global-studies.
Read more about Forrester’s trip in The Morning Call.