Associate Professor of Environmental Policy and Advocacy / Department of Environment and Sustainability | Catawba College
Dr. Mercedes Quesada-Embid is an interdisciplinary scholar with research and teaching interests spanning the social and natural sciences, as well as the humanities. Her interests gravitate toward and explore an array of eco-egalitarian concerns, in particular, the role of socio-ecological resilience as it relates to local and global sustainability efforts.
Key to this work is an understanding of communication strategies. The political sphere that revolves around legislative and social change requires strategic listening and communication skills, an organized vision for long-term impact, and an ability to support and mobilize concerned citizens in a transparent, effective, and relevant way. Dr. Quesada-Embid believes that communicating in a meaningful way about sustainability transcends the cultural and socio-political tendencies that have hindered its progress as a movement, and, in turn, will empower communities to bring forward the positive, solution-oriented change needed for the challenges of our time. She believes that inclusive policy and purposeful advocacy work can foster viable pathways toward social, economic and ecological justice.
Dr. Quesada-Embid has been teaching at the university level since 2004 in a variety of disciplines. She enjoys working closely with students in order to help them to cultivate their critical thinking capacities. Her approach to teaching is built upon pillars of respect, ethical engagement, genuine mentorship and creative, high-quality intellectual expectations. In her classroom, everyone is welcome, dialogue is encouraged, and collective learning abounds. Her most recent international work with students took her to the remote Himalayan region of Bhutan. There, she collaborated with Royal Thimphu College to help students witness and understand the rich policies the Bhutanese have put into place to conserve their natural and cultural heritage. Much of her research coalesces ideals of sustainability to those of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness development model.