Indiana State University Newsroom

Community-wide contest at Indiana State urges students to embrace sustainability

October 6, 2014

The local community is about to get a lot more eco-friendly when Indiana State University hosts the Terre Haute Sustainability Championship 2014.

The event will involve collaboration between the Center for Supply Management Research at the Scott College of Business, the India Association of Terre Haute, and the Institute for Community Sustainability at Indiana State, and kicks off Oct .7 with a poster competition for students in kindergarten through college.

Indiana State, ranked as one of the most sustainable college campuses in the U.S., recently hosted the Mid-America Prosperity and Securities (MAPS) conference under the leadership of the Institute for Community Sustainability in an effort to involve the community and start dialogues about how to make Terre Haute a better and more sustainable place to live.

Dr. Shikha Bhattacharyya, a prominent speaker in that conference and President of the India Association of Terre Haute, has joined hands with the ISU centers to further nurture the idea of sustainability at the grass-root level with the expectation that meaningful and sustainable change can only prevail when the future generation is involved in the movement.

"This initiative slots perfectly into the initial commitment we made as a center to reach out to K-12 community because as leaders in the community, ISU has the responsibility to train the next generation, including in proper guidance promoting sustainability initiatives," said Kuntal Bhattacharyya, CSMR director and assistant professor of operations and supply chain management. "This is an opportunity for everybody in the community to think different, yet pursuing a common goal/vision."

Becca Muick, a senior management information systems major and supply chain management minor from Merriville, said the competition is a great way to get more people in an environmentally-friendly state of mind.

"The idea of sustainability was just starting to pick up when I was younger, as they started hitting us hard about the concept of reduce, reuse and recycle, and it clicked with me," she said. "I did have to convince my family to start recycling more, though, because they didn't grow up that way."

Students, who will be divided into grade level categories, will be posed a sustainability-related question that they will have to answer using a poster.

The posters must be turned into the Institute of Community Sustainability office by Nov. 7.

A panel of judges will determine the winners, who will be invited to give a 2-minute talk at a ceremony and reception from 2-4 p.m. Nov. 15 in the Federal Hall courtroom. Mayor Duke Bennett will distribute awards. The top three posters from each category will be displayed in Federal Hall during the ceremony.

"There is no other way of building awareness of sustainability than to let students think about it," said Bhattacharyya, who plans to ask students in his BUS 351 course create business plans that can help operationalize the university's mission as a sustainable campus. "I could give out projects to do with Google's efforts with sustainability, or UPS's efforts in reducing the carbon footprint, or Walmart's initiatives in managing the bottom line.

"They are great learning options, but they are passive learning. This kind of university-wide and community appeal makes students think better because, I think, students do better when they learn for themselves and the outcome of the learning directly applies to their own lives."

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or

Contact: Kuntal Bhattacharyya, director of the Center for Supply Management Research and assistant professor of operations and supply chain management,