Sophomore Scholars in Residence (SSIR)

The SSIR program combines a traditional academic course with co-curricular learning activities throughout a student’s entire sophomore year. Each community consists of a one-unit course in the fall semester and a half-unit group project in the spring semester, with various co-curricular experiences that enhance learning. Throughout the year, students are working on both individual and group capstone projects that they present to the University community each spring.

SSIR students live together in co-ed residence halls surrounded by other SSIR communities, creating a unique academic community within the residence halls, so that students have opportunities to interact with students of differing communities, while having a shared experience. This experience supports the University’s larger strategic goals of an integrative and distinctive student experience.

Every community has strong engagement by a faculty member who teaches the class, travels with them, serves as mentor to their research, and guides the community throughout the year. Students also participate in workshops and have interactions with staff from Career Services, the Speech Center, librarians, and the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement that complement and enhance their experiences. Communities also connect with the strong network of Richmond alumni working in or around the topic of the community.

Sustainability Related SSIR Programs

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  • Building Brasilia: From Idea to Reality

    While many of us reside and live in places that somehow define us and make us feel in place and at home, it is not often that we take the time to ask why the place that we call home is the way it is, nor what effect it has on us as individual cultural entities. Imagine, then, living in a city whose design is premised on the creation of the best environment possible for a community to thrive.

    Learn more here.

  • Toxic Communities: Investigating Environmental Justice in the U.S.

    Having access to the natural resources necessary to sustain health and livelihood is an essential human right. Unfortunately, due to a variety of factors, certain populations have not been afforded this right. Several studies have demonstrated that communities of color and those from lower-socioeconomic backgrounds are disproportionately impacted by air and water pollution. In this course, students will investigate the social, political, and economic factors that contribute to this disparity. How is it that certain groups of people do not have access to basic resources, or are systematically burdened with pollution or environmental hazards to a greater extent than other groups?

    Learn more here.