Purcell, Wendy M

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  • Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Justice; School of Public Health; Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
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Professor Purcell’s work focuses on the role of higher education in transforming lives and the pursuit of social equity, the knowledge economy, and sustainable development. It explores sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as fuel for societal transformation and the adaptive change necessary to achieve a just transition and the creation of a world that leaves no one behind.

Recent Publications

Purcell, W.M. & Haddock-Fraser, J. (2023). The Bloomsbury Handbook of Sustainability in Higher Education – An Agenda for Transformational Change. Bloomsbury Press, U.K.

Purcell, W.M. (2023). People – The Next Sustainability Frontier. Merits.

Leal Filhou, W., Balasubramanian, M., Purcell, W. & Paz, S. (2022). HANDLING THE HEALTH IMPACTS OF EXTREME CLIMATE EVENTS. Environmental Sciences Europe.

Moreno-Serna, J., Sanchez-Chaparro, T., Purcell, W.M. & Mataix, C, (2022). DRIVING TRANSFORMATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY IN A UNIVERSITY THROUGH STRUCTURAL AND ACADEMIC INNOVATION: A CASE STUDY OF A PUBLIC UNIVERSITY IN SPAIN. Advances in Engineering Education 10(1) structural-and-academic-innovation-a-case-study-of-a-public-university-in-spain/;

Spengler, J.D. & Purcell W.M. (2022). Looking to the Future: Sustainability and Other Issues. Book chapter in 16 th Edition of Maxcy-Rosenau-Last Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Eds. Matthew L. Boulton, Robert B. Wallace. McGraw Hill.

Purcell, W.M. (2022). Keynote address Conference Net Zero Emission and Just Transition Towards Climate-Neutral Economies: The Role of Higher Education, ‘Higher Education, Sustainability & the SDGs: A call to action’; online, May 2022.

Purcell, W.M. (2022). Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching Expert Panel Discussant ‘Teaching Climate Change’. November 2022.

Moreno-Serna, J., Purcell, W.M., Sanchez-Chaparro, T., Sober´on, M., Lumbreras, J. & Mataix, C. (2021). Catalyzing Transformational Partnerships for the SDGs: Effectiveness and Impact of the Multi-Stakeholder Initiative El D´Ia Despu´Es. Partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (2021). Eds. Murphy, D.F. & Stott, L. ISBN 978-3-0365-0846-7 (Hbk); ISBN 978-3-0365- 0847- 4 (PDF).

Purcell, W.M., Feldman, B.S., Finn, M. & Spengler, J.D. (2021). Exploring a Culture of Health in the Auto Industry. Sustainability 2021, 13, 3924.

Purcell, W.M., Voss, A. & Burns, O. (2021). Covid-19 and Sustainable Tourism. Book chapter; accepted July 2020. In Leal Filho, W., (Ed) (2021) ‘COVID-19: Paving the Way for More Sustainable World’. Springer, Cham.

Purcell, W.M. & Lumbreras, J. (2021). Higher Education and the Covid-19 Pandemic: Navigating Disruption Using the Sustainable Development Goals. Discover Sustainability 2:6. DOI 021-00013-2;

Purcell, W.M. (2021). Using the SDGs to Reset Travel & Tourism After Covid-19: Adopting a Culture Of Health. Environmental Sciences Proceedings 15(1) DOI:10.3390/environsciproc2022015049.

Purcell, W.M. (2021). International Conference on Sustainable Development. Sustainable Development Solutions Network. ‘Universities as convening stakeholders in the endeavor towards climate neutrality’; online, September 2021.

Purcell, W.M. (2021). Accelerating Cities’ Net Zero Action. Contributing University Leader to Visioning Laboratory and Report. net-zero action;

Moreno-Serna, J., Purcell, W.M., Sanchez-Chaparro, T., Soberon, M., Lumbreras, J. & Mataix, C. (2020). Catalyzing Transformation Partnerships for the SDGs: Effectiveness and impact of the Multi-Stakeholder Initiative El Dia Despues. Sustainability, (17), 7189;

Purcell, W.M. (2020). Accelerating Education for the SDGs in Universities. Associate Editor for the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, NY, USA.

Purcell, W.M., Spengler, J.D. & Chahine, T. (2019). University Engagement Driving Delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals: Social
Enterprise. Paper accepted by ICSD, August 1 st , 2019 (Proceedings available 11/19). content/uploads/2019/11/wendy_purcell.pdf and https://ic-<br< a=""> /> 2019/?mc_cid=a0cc034c2e&amp;mc_eid=31f08dea57 Purcell, W.M., Hendriksen, H.A. &amp; Spengler, J. (2019). Universities as the Engine of Transformational Sustainability Toward Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals: ‘Living Labs’ for Sustainability. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education. </br<> 2019- 0103/full/html

Purcell, W.M. and Chahine, T. (2019). Leadership and Governance Frameworks Driving Transformational Change in an Entrepreneurial UK University. Leadership and Organizational Development Journal, 40(5) 612-623 2018-0280 0280/full/html

Purcell, W.M. (2019). Change Management and Metaphor in Global Higher Education. Chapter in Routledge Book ‘Critical Global Semiotics’.

Purcell, W.M. (2019). A Conceptual Framework of Leadership and Governance in Sustaining Entrepreneurial Universities Illustrated with Case Material from a Retrospective Review of a University’s Strategic Transformation: The Enterprise University. Chapter in Springer 978-981- 13-8129-4, Kliewe et al. (Eds): Developing Engaged and Entrepreneurial Universities.


  • Deputy Editor International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management
  • Editor-in-Chief Merits
  • Series Editor of Higher Education and the SDGs
  • Associate Editor Handbook of Sustainability Science in the Future: Policies, Technologies, and Education by 2050.
  • Founding Member Interdisciplinary Expert Centre Climate Change and Health, HAW Hamburg, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences


  • Harvard University, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Co-Instructor of course E-550 ‘Special Topics in Environmental Health: Sustainable Innovation Driven by the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Change Preparedness’. Fall 2021.
  • Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching Expert Panel Discussant ‘Teaching Climate Change’. November 2022.
  • Harvard University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Division of Continuing Education, Lead Instructor of course E118 ‘Sustainable Tourism’. Fall 2021, Fall 2022.
  • University of Cambridge (UK) and the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges, Lead Faculty and Chair of the Program ‘Sustainability Leadership Lab and Academy’. Since 2016, annually.
  • Rutgers University, Rutgers School of Public Health, developing a new course in ‘Sustainability: Planetary and Human Health’ for Spring 2024.
  • Rutgers University, Rutgers School of Public Health, developing new executive and professional master classes and workshops on sustainability and climate change.

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