Professor helps Malaysian university integrate sustainability initiatives through Fulbright


A group of people in front of some crop fields with mountains in the background.
Professor Nancy Landrum spent six weeks in Malaysia, integrating UN SDGs into the curriculum of Quest International University Perak.

In summer 2019, Professor Nancy Landrum spent six weeks helping shape a Malaysian university’s approach to sustainability.

Through the Fulbright Specialist program, Landrum was paired with Quest International University Perak (QIUP) in Malaysia. The Fulbright Specialist program places distinguished U.S. faculty and professionals from various industries in short-term collaborative projects at eligible institutions in more than 140 countries worldwide.

Her project: to help QIUP integrate the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its curriculum and operations.

Below, Landrum discusses her Fulbright experience.

What was your motivation to apply for the Fulbright and why Malaysia?

It has been a lifelong career goal to participate in a Fulbright program. I only wish I would have done it sooner. For the program, you match your skillset and expertise with a university that needs help on those issues. QIUP wanted help integrating sustainability measures into their university and particularly their curriculum. That is my area of expertise, so it was the perfect fit. I had never been to Malaysia before, and it was a great cultural and professional experience.

What was the focus of your work there?

The focus was on integrating all 17 of the UN’s SDGs into the university’s operations and most importantly their curriculum. They had already begun some initiatives, so we took a survey of what they were doing and where they needed growth, and then helped to build out the curriculum to teach students about sustainability initiatives as they come in. One specific area I worked on was creating the first semester introductory course that all first year students take that will teach them about sustainable growth and how to contribute towards sustainability.

Why is sustainable growth so important?

We are in an environmental crisis right now, and we need to educate our future leaders to take on these challenges. I’m very hopeful that the next generation—that is, college students—will find ways to meet the needs of our times and rise to the occasion. They make me hopeful for the future; they just need the tools to do it.

Here at Loyola, we provide those tools. Quinlan and the Institute for Environmental Sustainability have a joint minor in Sustainability Management, and courses such as circular economy, biomimicry, and ecological economics, that students can take to learn more about how to have an impact in their careers. Sustainability and business interact every day.       

How will your work from this summer translate back to Quinlan?

My time in Malaysia gave me rich experiences and stories that will inform my teaching and research here at Quinlan. Both the examples I can share and the partnerships I created while there will be an asset in my research going forward. And sustainability is my passion. In many ways, this experience has allowed me to continue on the path I have already been working on for many years.

Quinlan Fulbrights

Landrum joins the growing list of Quinlan’s Fulbright grantees.

  • Professor Arup Varma served as a Fulbright Scholar in India in 2018 to study the performance management of expatriates. Read more →
  • Professor Maciek Nowak served as a Fulbright Scholar for six months in Poland in 2017 working to improve the country’s supply chain. Read more →
  • Professor Cliff Shultz served as a Fulbright Scholar in Croatia in 1997 and has had multiple Fulbright assignments in Vietnam since 2001.
  • Professor Dow Scott served as a Fulbright Specialist at Poland’s AGH University of Science and Technology in Summer 2016 Read more →

Learn more