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Recycling Activity at Pierce

Following the annual Pierce Christmas Bazaar, Pierce students gathered at the school on a Saturday morning in order to help the cleaning services clean part of the school. This occasion represented the perfect opportunity for Pierce to officially join in the year-round ACG Waste Reduction and Recycling campaign with its first awareness-raising activity. A total of fifteen students took this task upon themselves while also receiving hands-on training on the importance of waste management and best recycling practices by Dr. Michael T. Valahas, Director of the Center of Excellence for Sustainability (CES). Participants in the overall effort were the Pierce Principal, the Vice President at the Office of Public Affairs, and Pierce faculty members.

In the days following the activity, the same students engaged in peer-to-peer education during the Pierce Club hours, by sharing their newfound knowledge on waste management and recycling with their fellow-classmates. The students showed the following video, accompanied by a presentation on best recycling practices and the importance of viewing everything as a valuable resource!

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Rania Assariotaki, ACG Sustainability Manager, talks to about the ACG Waste Reduction and Recycling Campaign

In a recent interview on the e-magazine, Rania Assariotaki, ACG Sustainability Manager at the Office of Public Affairs, talked about the ACG Waste Reduction and Recycling Campaign which was launched in October 27th 2017.

Ms. Assariotaki also discussed about the sustainability and social responsibility strategy and philosophy of the College by stressing the importance of focusing equally on all three sustainability pillars (society, environment, economy).

Read the full interview here.

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First ACG feature on the AASHE News Bulletin!

ACG as a member of AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) submitted two news pieces for the first time, with direct links to our website, to the AASHE Bulletin: one on our newly launched “[email protected]” website and the second one on the “Education Unites: from Camp to Campus” project. Both pieces were chosen to be featured on the Bulletin’s website and on their e-newsletter. This is the first feature our sustainability efforts have received with a global reach. The AASHE Bulletin is an international online platform where member institutions can regularly submit and communicate their news that relate to one or more sustainability issues/areas. The e-newsletter is sent out electronically on a weekly basis to all AASHE members, as well as, non-members that have signed-up for it worldwide.

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4th Underwater Beach Cleaning at Lagonisi

On Saturday, November 4, the 4th annual Underwater Beach Cleaning event took place in Lagonisi. The Office of Athletics – Outdoor Recreation area organized the event in cooperation with the municipality of Saronikos. Six volunteer divers, Deree students and staff, participated and worked on the removal of dozens of kilos of garbage from the bottom of the sea in the area of Lagonisi. The garbage removed was extremely diverse, including pieces of plastic, fishing gear, pieces of sunken vessels, and various other items, and highlighted the importance of underwater beach cleaning. All of the garbage that was retrieved was photographed, recorded, and properly disposed of. The municipality of Saronikos and its representatives expressed their gratitude by offering the divers snacks and beverages after the dive. All participants were awarded with certificates of appreciation signed by the mayor.

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Recycling Event

On Friday, October 27, students, faculty, and staff, gathered at the Deree Main Corridor to put their recycling skills to the test and up their expertise, in a fun atmosphere.

With the International Campus Sustainability Month in full swing – and our new recycling bins placed all around campus – a Waste Reduction and Recycling Campaign has been initiated, with the October 27th Recycling Event being the first in a series of activities and events that will run during the course of this academic year across Pierce, Deree, and Alba.

Seeing the excitement on the faces of members of the entire ACG Community who had come to participate and learn more about recycling, as well as the effort and time they took in order to properly recycle on the spot, was truly inspiring. Besides the interactive recycling exercise, the participants also seized the opportunity to take the ACG Sustainability Pledge and turn these simple actions and behaviors into a daily habit and lead a more environmentally, socially, and economically responsible life. Because ACG Cares!

The activity was organized by the Center of Excellence for Sustainability at the Office of Public Affairs, in collaboration with: the ACG Offices of Operations and Technical Services, the Adjunct Preceptor of Environmental Studies, Maria Vitoraki, the Environmental Studies Program, the Environmental Studies Society, and the Deree Student Government.

For those who could not attend the event, there is a comprehensive list of useful waste reduction and recycling guidelines on the Sustaina[email protected] website. And if you want to have some fun while also educating yourself, you can play the ACG Sustainability Game!

Stay tuned for the Waste Reduction and Recycling Campaign future events and similar sustainability initiatives. Get Involved!

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Get Involved and Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Because ACG Cares!

Did you know that in Greece we only recycle 17% of our overall municipal waste when the average in the EU is 32%? (European Environment Agency, Nov.2016)

With the “International Campus Sustainability Month” in full swing and our new recycling bins placed in several spots around our campus, the ACG – Center of Excellence for Sustainability at the Office of Public Affairs is initiating a Waste Reduction and Recycling Campaign, in an effort to raise awareness and to guide you towards successful waste reduction and recycling daily practices!

The campaign kick-off will take place on Friday October 27th with an interactive, fun exercise at the Deree Main Corridor, from 13:00-16:00. Our awareness efforts will run throughout this academic year and will be followed by select initiatives across all campuses (Pierce, Deree, Alba). Start by testing your knowledge through a quick digital sustainability game on our website, find useful tips and guidelines and/or follow us on social media.

The Waste Reduction and Recycling campaign will be implemented in collaboration with the ACG Offices of Operations and Technical Services, Adjunct Preceptor of Environmental Studies, Maria Vitoraki, the Environmental Studies Program, the Environmental Studies Society, the Deree Student Government, and the Pierce Student Governments.

So, join us and help increase the overall percentage of recycled material! Together we can have a significant impact on and off campus!

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“Education Unites: From Camp to Campus” scholarship program for young refugees starts at Deree

On Monday, October 9, dozens of new students gathered at the Downtown Campus Auditorium to attend the Fall semester orientation of 2017-18. The occasion was a special one, as these young people were refugees, recipients of the Education Unites: From Camp to Campus” scholarships.

The Education Unites: From Camp to Campus” program is a joint initiative by The U.S. Embassy in Athens, in collaboration with Deree – The American College of Greece, Anatolia College – The American College of Thessaloniki, and Perrotis College – American Farm School of Thessaloniki. The goal of the program is to give opportunities to displaced students to continue their education; provide them with knowledge, skills, and academic credits they can use either in Greece or in any other European country they move to in the future; help them get out of the camps and become integrated in local colleges; and offer young refugees hope for the future.

The program will offer two courses per student for the 2017-18 Fall and Spring semesters in the three U.S.-affiliated colleges in Athens and Thessaloniki, and the courses will include preparatory English classes, academic classes in diverse fields based on the educational background of participants, as well as vocational training.

In an emotional atmosphere, Dean of Enrollment and International Students, Lucy Kanatsoulis was the first to welcome the students before introducing Eleni Alexaki, Senior Cultural Affairs Specialist at The U.S. Embassy in Athens, who expressed her excitement to see the start of the program. Dean Kanatsoulis then gave the floor to Vice President of Enrollment and Administration, Dimitris Andreou. Upon introducing the organizational heart and soul of this project, Cathleen Mcdonnel, VP Andreou described the “Education Unites” initiative as “a dream come true” and took the opportunity to speak of ACG’s refugee origins and its ability to thrive at times of adversity. Expressing his sincere hope that this program will bring “a happy note” to the students’ lives, he also urged them to enjoy Deree’s facilities and stay here for as long as they wish.

In her equally heart-warming speech, Matilda Chatzipanagiotou, Dean of Students, welcomed the newcomers and expressed her honor that The American College of Greece will be serving them, reminding them of an essential ACG precept: that it is a community where each person’s identity, race, and religion are safeguarded and respected.

Dr. Susan Stetson-Tiligadas, Director of Language and Culture Programs at Deree, introduced the students to the English language preparation program while English professors Maria Sfakianaki and Artemis Michael elaborated on the details of the program’s courses.

The students were also acquainted with the IT technology resources available at ACG and the full range of Deree’s academic policies and support services, before enjoying a lunch break where they had the chance to discuss daily life at Deree with their Orientation Leaders!

Wishing these talented young individuals the best of success with their studies and their future careers!

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In search of solutions for a world that changes: Deree at this year’s Athens Democracy Forum

For five days, from September 13 to 17, 2017, leading policy makers, business leaders, scholars and other experts, gathered at this year’s Athens Democracy Forum to discuss – as the event’s main theme suggested – “solutions for a changing world”. The event was hosted at the Zappeion Exhibition Hall, Costa Navarino, and the Hotel Grande Bretagne, and organized by The International New York Times (NYT), under the auspices of the United Nations Democracy Fund, and the city of Athens.

True to its tradition of supporting initiatives for a better world, Deree – The American College of Greece joined with the Global Liberal Arts Alliance (GLAA) as Education Partners for the International NYT Athens Democracy Forum. The Global Liberal Arts Alliance, is an organization of 29 American-style liberal arts institutions – including Deree – representing 17 nations, with the goal of supporting excellence in liberal arts education on a transnational basis.

A group of 23 students representing 20 colleges of the GLAA in 11 countries, including two Deree students, attended the forum and actively engaged in a variety of events. The students were supervised by Deree Faculty, Dr. Antonis Klidas, and the Coordinator of the GLAA, Dr. Simon Gray.

On Friday, September 15, four students participated in the Interactive Roundtable Discussion: Bridging the Generational Gap panel moderated by Katrin Bennhold, The New York Times Staff Correspondent. The “old generation” team was represented by Irina Bokova, General Director, UNESCO, Kerry Kennedy, President, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, and Brian Smith, President, Europe, Middle East and Africa Group of The Coca-Cola Company. The “old” and “new” generations explored the reasons why young people in Western societies are growing disinterested in the democratic process, from voting to civic engagement, and tried to come up with possible solutions and strategies for leaders and policy makers alike.

On the same day, the students sat at the Sponsored UN Global Goals Interactive Lunch Round Tables panel, sponsored by the Marianna V. Vardinoyannis Foundation, and programmed by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, and the newDemocracy Foundation. The students were asked to record the conversation and frame important comments to be used in a summary report intended for the Athens Democracy Forum website.

Congratulations to all students for participating and tackling some of the critical topics the world is facing in these challenging times!

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Fall 2016 Community Service Day

On Thursday, November 17, students, faculty, staff, and alumni of The American College of Greece responded to a call of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and offered their services in support of the Refugee Reception Center MELLON, in Moschato.

In the context of the Fall ACG Community Service Day, 45 members of the ACG community lent a helping hand: some helped to paint a total of 14 rooms in the shelter, and others engaged in fun activities with mothers and children hosted at the center.

We are honored to have received a note of appreciation by the IOM for our overall engagement and contribution as a community. True to our College’s values and traditions, those who visited MELLON experienced the true spirit of Thanksgiving, through a gesture of solidarity with people who are far away from home. Their smiles were the greatest reward!

The activity was organized by the Center of Excellence for Sustainability at the Office of Public Affairs, in collaboration with: Deree Student Affairs, Deree Student Government, International Honors Program, and the NGO NOSTOS.


“This experience, that brought students, faculty, staff, and alumni together, was a celebration of the spirit of communal belonging that makes ACG so unique; but it was also, and most importantly, an expression of our sense of connection to the rest of the world.”

Dr. Helena Maragou
Dean ad Interim, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Director, International Honors Program

“ACG cares! In our interaction with children and staff at the refugee reception center MELLON, we found ourselves at the receiving end of love, generosity, and hospitality. Sharing this experience with fellow ACG family members is what we are most grateful for.”

Dr. Matilda Chatzipanagiotou
Dean of Students

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Deree & Greek National Homeless Soccer Teams Kick Out Poverty

On a warm autumn afternoon, the Deree Men’s soccer team played with the internationally acclaimed Greek National Homeless Soccer Team, sponsored by Shedia, the Greek street paper.

The event was organized by the Center of Excellence for Sustainability (CES) at the Office of Public Affairs, and the Office of Athletics, in collaboration with the Ethelon volunteer platform and Shedia.

The match took place on Thursday, September 29 on the Deree soccer field, with students, faculty, staff, friends, and family cheering the teams on with every goal. The ACG community reinforced its support of Shedia by buying the magazine’s latest issue as the teams played on.

Vice President of Public Affairs, Claudia Carydis, greeted the teams and the crowd of students, faculty, staff, and ACG President David G. Horner, and added “We are proud to organize and host events that promote social contribution and awareness of people as part of the ACG CARES program. We are also proud of the members of the College community who regularly participate in volunteer activities and contribute in various ways by supporting a large number of NGOs, the local authorities, and other third parties.”

In line with ACG’s mission to “contribute to the advancement of Greece and the global community through teaching, scholarship, outreach, and service,” and to further offer its students the opportunity to engage with their wider community, this friendly match is the hopeful start of a new collaboration. Another game is already being planned, this time with the Deree Women’s Soccer team and the Shedia Women’s team.

Stay tuned!