CAPLA lecturer selected for ACSA cohort focused on climate action, communication

July 2, 2024
Lecturer Kenny Wong has been selected to join the 2024 cohort of the Academy for Public Scholarship on the Built Environment: Climate Action.
Kenny Wong

Kenny Wong, a lecturer of sustainable built environments in the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, has been selected to join the 2024 cohort of the Academy for Public Scholarship on the Built Environment: Climate Action. 

Organized by the Association of Collegiate School Schools of Architecture (ACSA) in partnership with The OpEd Project and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Center for Climate Journalism and Communication, Wong will join other architecture faculty whose research intersects with climate action and climate justice. 

Through this program, Wong and his cohort will work to raise awareness and foster increased discourse on these critical issues. Wong, who is also the coordinator of the Housing Equity Lab for the Drachman Institute and the co-director of the Arizona Research Center for Housing Equity and Sustainability (ARCHES), said he hopes to learn more about how to communicate more effectively and broadly about the value and impact of the various projects he is involved in at the Drachman Institute. 

“There are equity, climate and environmental justice components woven throughout the work we do, and this is an opportunity for me to think of new ways to communicate and get those stories into places where it can be impactful,” Wong said. 

Wong will be able to do just that as he participates in “Write to Change the World,” a series of virtual workshops by The OpEd Project designed to equip scholars with the skills to influence public discourse. These workshops bring together diverse identities, voices and ideas, fostering a rich environment for developing innovative ideas and meaningful communication. 

In addition to these workshops, Wong will participate in specialized climate training modules led by the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. These modules will focus on critical aspects of storytelling, media engagement, and climate-related terminology.

Following the workshop, cohort members are expected to submit an op-ed for publication in a local, regional, or national newspaper. They will help connect knowledge and expertise on the built environment to public awareness of key policy topics related to climate change. 

As a lecturer teaching the Introduction to Design Thinking studio, Wong also sees this opportunity as a way for him to engage with students in new ways – bridging research and the learning that takes place in the studio. 

“This opportunity is nudging me to explore how to leverage storytelling and narrative to convey new concepts and evidence in compelling, engaging ways for students,” he said. 


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