Grand Challenges

Economic (in)Justice In America event series graphic

Structural and Institutional Injustice: The Case of Pleasant Hill
Tuesday, February 4, 2020 / 6:00 - 7:30 pm / Science & Engineering Building 110

In this first installment of the four-part Economic (in)Justice in America series, panelists will explore the inequity behind urban interstate development and the story of Macon’s Pleasant Hill community in their fight for restoration and revitalization. Panelists include Tedra Huston, Executive Director of Macon-Bibb Community Enhancement Authority; Peter Givens, President of Pleasant Hill Neighborhood Improvement Association; and Dr. Doug Thompson, Professor and Director of Spencer B. King, Jr. Center for South Studies at Mercer University. 


Financial Empowerment: Student Loan Debt and Credit Management Workshop
Thursday, February 20, 2020 / 6:00 - 7:30 pm / Science and Engineering Building 110

The second event in the Economic (in)Justice in America series is a free workshop for Mercer students led by Operation HOPE of Macon-Bibb County. The workshop will address strategies for managing student loan debt and establishing good credit. Seating is limited, so registration is required. Mercer students can register online at


Grand Challenges are broad conceptual issues that span disciplines, colleges,  and units, and are intended to help focus thought and analysis around central themes. The Grand Challenges help Mercer students think about significant questions such as the following:

What makes us good? What is our obligation to the common good? How can we examine what we know? What is the value of research? Why do the student learning outcomes in the pyramid matter? What is my niche in helping humanity?


Three Grand Challenge topics were chosen for the Mercer QEP, and the following rotation schedule will be implemented.

Social Responsibility

Academic year 2015-2016 and 2018-2019

Economic Well-being

Academic year 2016-2017 and 2019-2020

Personal Well-being

Academic year 2017-2018 and 2020-2021 (optional)

Why Grand Challenges?

This concept is prevalent in national engineering education and has been adopted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative and by the White House in its 21st Century Grand Challenges, an element in the President's Strategy for American Innovation. According to the National Academy of Engineering, "Grand Challenges are a call to action and serve as a focal point for society's attention to opportunities and challenges affecting our quality of life." Mercer uses Grand Challenges as a thematic focus that unifies Research that Reaches Out across colleges and schools, providing connecting points for curricular and co-curricular activities.