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Project Center, 205
Phone: +1-508-831-5393
Fax: +1-508-831-5485

Scott Jiusto

My teaching, research, and community engagement is integrated through my participation in WPI’s Global Projects Program, where I help students prepare for and conduct projects in places such as London, Venice, Puerto Rico, Denmark, Washington and Worcester. Through the WPI Cape Town Project Centre, especially, I see my work as an exercise in “Shared Action Learning” (SAL), which I describe to students and others is “a way to think about and engage in partnerships for sustainable community development. SAL emphasizes Sharing among partners of ideas, knowledge, resources, inspiration and compassion; Action that supports the creative impulses and growth of communities and partners; and Learning drawn from research, action, and critical, reflexive practice.”

I love exploring with students and local partners the potential for shared action learning projects to effect personal, institutional, and community transformation. In Cape Town, we work on themes such as informal settlement upgrading, water and sanitation provision, early childhood development and sustainable livelihoods in some of South Africa’s most challenging, but lively communities. All of our work is highly collaborative and each project takes on a life of its own.

Projects always involve analyzing with local partners existing circumstances and potential responses, strategizing a way forward, adjusting as experience forecloses some possibilities and opens up others, and reporting on the entire process and insights gained through the CTPC website and other venues. We also always try to prototype something that advances the project – some concrete action, whether a program element or construction project, that is an expression of collective creativity, will, and learning by doing. The goal is to promote deeply meaningful experiences for all involved while creating living examples of how residents and external partners can gradually build healthier, safer, fulfilling communities and a more just and sustainable world.

Research Interests

  • Sustainable Community Development
  • Project-Based/Experiential Learning
  • Informal Settlement Upgrading in Africa
  • Energy Policy


  • BS, Empire State College, State University of New York, 1992
  • MA, Albany, State University of New York, 1998
  • PhD, Clark University Graduate School of Geography, 2004

Featured Publications

  • Jiusto, S., McCauley, S., & Stephens, J. C. (2013). Integrating shared action learning into higher education for sustainability. Journal of Sustainability Education. Vol  3. www.jsedimensions.org/wordpress/content/integrating-shared-action-learning-into-higher-education-for-sustainability_2013_06/
  • Elmes, M. B., Jiusto, S., Whiteman, G., Hersh, R., & Guthey, G. T. (2012). Teaching social entrepreneurship and innovation from the perspective of place and place-making. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 11(4), 533–554. http://dx.doi.org/10.5465/amle.2011.0029
  • Jiusto, S. (2010). “Spatial indeterminacy and the construction of environmental knowledge,” The Geographical Journal. Vol. 176, No. 3 (Sept. 2010), pages 214–226. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/123319529/PDFSTART.
  • Jiusto, S. and R. Hersh (2009). “Proper homes, toilets, water and jobs – a new approach to meeting the modest hopes of shackdwellers in Cape Town, South Africa,” Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Sustainable Planning and Development. Editors C. A. Brebbia, M. Neophytou, E. Beriatos, I. Ioannou and G. Kungolos. Vol 2: 743-757. Southampton, UK, WIT Press.
  • Jiusto, S. and D. DiBiasio (2006). “Experiential learning environments: Do they prepare our students to be self-directed, life-long learners?” Journal of Engineering Education, July 2006, pages 195-204.

View a Complete List (.pdf, 161kb)

Labs and Centers

Professional Highlights

  • Created the WPI Cape Town Project Centre
  • Academy of Management Learning and Education 2013 Outstanding Article of the Year Award
  • Romeo L. Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education
  • International Mondialogo Engineering Award
  • Cape Town World Design Capital 2014 project designation for WaSH-UP Centre
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