Sustainable living student James Schleppenbach
James with MUM Global Student Council
James, with members of MUM’s Cultural Committee, being recognized at the Golden Flag Celebration, spring 2011
James Schleppenbach —
Sustainability and Leadership
A native of New Jersey, James Schleppenbach pursued Indic philosophy and leadership studies at Christopher Newport University in Virginia. He became interested in organic agriculture, and the combination of the Sustainable Living Program and Consciousness-BasedSM education attracted him to MUM.
James arrived in February 2011 and in June he became Sustainable Council president on the MUM Global Student Council. This position combined his interests in sustainability and leadership as he worked with students, faculty, and administrators towards creating a greener campus.
“Being part of the group of people studying sustainable living at MUM is inspiring because of the creativity and enthusiasm that moves them,” said James “It is invaluable to be surrounded by faculty, staff, and students, who all share this fundamental awareness and basic understanding of life's interconnectedness. What I see happening in the Sustainable Living Department at MUM gives me hope for the world.”
James is involved in the production of the annual EcoFair, which this year will be called EcoFairfield. His goal is to engage the town of Fairfield in the event and also give something to the community. He envisions a “day of service” during the EcoFair when MUM students, along with high school students, spend a day volunteering while practicing a skill. One of the plans is a large-scale tree planting sponsored by the city.
“From the moment James arrived at MUM, his mature leadership, good humor, and efficiency have been a delight,” said John Collins, associate chair of the Department of Sustainable Living.
James also helped create a new program in which sustainable living students can spend their Saturdays participating in a project outside of class, such as gardening or weatherizing a home, and get some hands-on experience relevant to their studies.