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Sustainability News

September 3, 2019

Dawson Morford - ASU sustainability student - wearing navy blue suit smiles in front of plant wallA simple question propelled Dawson Morford into the field of sustainability.

“When picking a major I had a close friend say, ‘Don’t you like all that renewable energy stuff?’ He was right — I always liked learning about all of the cool ways that society was creating energy," Morford said. "This then brought me to the arena of sustainability and I have not looked back since."

Morford is a senior at Arizona State University pursuing a Bachelor of Science in sustainability with a focus in energy, materials and technology. He is also minoring in special events management. In the following Q&A, get acquainted with Morford and his time at ASU.

Question: Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

Answer: Born in Darien, Illinois, I am the middle child with an older brother and little sister. My mother lives in Illinois with my sister and my father lives in Denver, Colorado. I was a competitive diver and gymnast in high school. Life started out a little rocky being born 28 weeks early and weighing 3.2 pounds. I must have been eager to come into this world. Other than that I have lived a good life with the love and support from friends and family. They are the reason I am who I am today and the ones I want to make proud the most.

Q: Why did you choose ASU/the School of Sustainability? 

A: I grew up visiting Arizona as a child with my grandparents who own a condo in Scottsdale. When I searched “sustainability major” ASU was one of the first schools to pop up. I soon learned that it was the first School of Sustainability in the country. It only felt natural that I attend ASU and be a part of the story.

Q: What’s been your favorite class so far and why?

A: I have two classes that have made a real impact on me thus far. The first class was International Development with Neda Mohaved. She is an amazing facilitator and opened my eyes to so many aspects of sustainability that I didn't know existed. The other class that I enjoyed was SOS 324 with Nathan Parker. It was a lecture-heavy technical class on all types of energy related topics. I felt like I learned so much in that class and will be able to take that knowledge outside of the classroom.

Q: Can you tell us about your time in the Honor Society for Sustainability?

A: My time with the Honor Society for Sustainability has been nothing short of amazing. I have made some lasting friendships with people like Maryam Abdul Rashid and Danielle Vermeer. They welcomed me to the group and gave me the freedom to plan events while giving insightful tips and tricks. I am honored to now be president of the Honor Society and am lucky to have Emma Goethe and Andie Wilkerson by my side helping create a group that positively benefits the professional portfolios of SOS students.

Q: How do you like being an SOS Ambassador?

A: Being a SOS Ambassador is one of my favorite things I am a part of at ASU. Everyone in the group embodies the spirit of the School of Sustainability. Kevan Hayden is a great advisor to all of us and we are able to share our stories to incoming students who are interested in sustainability.

Q: How do you envision applying sustainability to your future career?

A: With a major in sustainability and minor in special events management, I can see it applying to my career by planning large-scale events that are centered on their minimal impact to surrounding environments while remaining an enjoyable experience for those in attendance.

Q: What does sustainability mean to you?

A: This is a very common question we sustainability majors are asked. My definition has evolved throughout my time at ASU. It started as preserving the livelihood of future generations through actions taken today. It is always going to be a working definition for me. Today my definition is simply the idea that sustainability is being mindful of the impacts of one’s actions. That could be anything from buying soap at the store to choosing what car to buy. These are two vastly different purchases, but both have impacts on the world around them. As long as we are constantly thinking about all the scenarios that come into play with our actions, I believe we can get closer to leading a more sustainable future.