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Sustainability News

Cultivating growth and experience: The Farm at South Mountain internship program

School of Sustainability News Alumni News Alumni and Student Spotlights

February 12, 2019

Matthew Waldman headshotOriginally studying to become a civil engineer, Matthew Waldman was so inspired by a sustainable neighborhoods urban development class that he changed his major to sustainability at Arizona State University.

As a School of Sustainability student, Waldman was able to participate in first-hand experiential learning opportunities that allowed him to serve the community while gaining real-world experience. He said his most meaningful opportunity was his internship at The Farm at South Mountain.

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Meet sustainability alumnus Nathan Gassmann

School of Sustainability News Alumni News Alumni and Student Spotlights

February 11, 2019

Nathan GassmannIt took 10 years for Nathan Gassmann to get his bachelor’s degree — the “scenic route,” as he called it. But finally getting that diploma in 2014 from the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University was the result of a lot of hard work, persistence, and balancing responsibilities as a parent, student and employee.

Gassmann recently landed a job as Subway’s manager of global sustainability, and he said he’s excited to enact change at a large scale. His advice for all Sun Devils is to challenge themselves.

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New FutureCities podcast explores heat and thermal comfort

School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

February 6, 2019

FutureCities podcast logoIn latest episode of FutureCities podcast, "Heat and Thermal Comfort," host Stephen Elser interviewed Yuliya Dzyuban, Arizona State University School of Sustainability PhD student and Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network fellow, about her research involving extreme heat and the ways that people perceive and cope with that heat.

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Meet sustainability junior Ally DiSera

School of Sustainability News Alumni and Student Spotlights

January 31, 2019

Ally DiSeraBy leaving Minnesota to attend Arizona State University, junior Ally DiSera gave herself the opportunity to achieve a well-rounded sustainability education from the School of Sustainability — something she couldn’t find closer to home. “Sustainability is a human issue,” she said, so finding a program that touched on the social pillar of sustainability as well as environmental and economic pillars was important to her.

DiSera is currently pursuing dual degrees: a BA in sustainability and a BS in global supply chain management. Read the Q&A below to see how DiSera is making the most out of her time at ASU and how she plans to apply sustainability to her future career.

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Sustainability professor starts term as president of commons community

School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

January 30, 2019

Marco JanssenThis month Marco Janssen, a professor in the School of Sustainability and director of the Center for Behavior, Institutions and the Environment, started his two-year term as president of the International Association for the Study of the Commons. Founded in 1989, the IASC is devoted to bringing together multi-disciplinary researchers, practitioners and policymakers for the purpose of improving governance and management, advancing understanding and creating sustainable solutions for the commons, common-pool resources or any other form of shared resource.

The founding president of the IASC, the late Elinor Ostrom, won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons. The study of the commons has extended beyond the traditional natural resources to applications in digital environments, health, urban space and space exploration.

In pursuit of happiness

School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

January 28, 2019

little girl wearing huge sunglasses and smilingASU Now asked several Arizona State University professors about how our relationships with each other, the world around us and ourselves can make us happy. One faculty member they interviewed was Scott Cloutier, assistant professor in the School of Sustainability.

At ASU, Cloutier leads the Sustainable Neighborhoods for Happiness project and has developed the “Sustainability Through Happiness Index,” a tool that allows planners to engage with neighborhood residents and collaborate to better understand and implement changes that will create happy places to live.

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Alumna lands job as sustainability manager

School of Sustainability News Alumni News Alumni and Student Spotlights

January 23, 2019

Debbie NamugayiCongratulations to Arizona State University School of Sustainability alumna Debbie Namugayi, who in early 2019 started work as Eastern Kentucky University’s new sustainability manager. Namugayi earned her master's degree in sustainability in 2014, and has a history of connecting sustainability with higher education through prior positions at Bucknell University and the University of Maryland.

On top of accomplishment, Namugayi recently acted as the master of ceremonies for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education 2018 conferences.

Photo courtesy of Amanda Cain, Eastern Kentucky University


Meet sustainability student Maryam Abdul Rashid

School of Sustainability News Alumni and Student Spotlights

January 18, 2019

Maryam Abdul RashidMaryam Abdul Rashid took a big risk enrolling in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. Coming from Malaysia, she said people back home questioned her prospects about what her future might be. But she took the leap anyway.

"I forever feel blessed to have been given the chance to travel 9,021 miles just to come to school here," Rashid said. "Coming here to ASU and the School of Sustainability was one of the best decisions I have ever made."

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Students provide sustainability solutions for NCAA triathlon

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News Sustainability In Action ASU Wrigley Institute News

January 16, 2019

Triathlon RunnerAt Arizona State University, successful results often come from collaborative action, especially when making events more eco-friendly. Thanks to ASU students and the work of two ASU sustainability leaders, Colin Tetreault and Lesley Michalegko, the NCAA Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships that took place at Tempe Town Lake on November 4, 2018, was a more sustainable endeavor.

Tetreault is an instructor in the School of Sustainability and Michalegko is a program manager for University Sustainability Practices. Through mutual effort and the support of students, they made the NCAA triathlon a place where functionality met sustainability. They found ways to reduce waste, save money, and increase the fan and competitor experience while simultaneously driving revenue.

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How one School of Sustainability PhD student became a Ford Fellow

School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

January 16, 2019

PhD student, Sarra Tekola, gives a presentationSarra Tekola, a PhD student in the School of Sustainability who is a first-generation college student, is a recent awardee of the distinguished Ford Foundation Fellowship. The Ford Foundation awards research-funding fellowships to both predoctoral and postdoctoral researchers.

Tekola took advantage of ASU’s support of Ford Fellowship applicants via the Graduate College's Distinguished Graduate Fellowships Initiative, developed in partnership with the Office of National Scholarship Advisement at Barrett. She attended information sessions and writing workshops, in addition to other rigorous pursuits in the process of strategically writing, reviewing and revising — and then redoing the whole process over again and again, until her Ford application was perfect.

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Sustainability PhD candidate wins grant for applied research

School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News Alumni and Student Spotlights

January 11, 2019

Man stands on road surrounded by treesSaurabh Biswas, an Arizona State University School of Sustainability PhD candidate, knows that energy, poverty and sustainability are intricately intertwined. He has been investigating these dynamics for years and developing strategies to help marginalized communities undergo sustainable transformations using decentralized energy technology and cooperative structures.

Biswas is part of a team at the Center for Energy and Society’s Grassroots Energy Innovation Lab that recently won a seed grant from the Global Consortium for Sustainability Outcomes. The team, led by senior sustainability scientist Clark Miller, will use the funding for their project “Off-Grid Renewable Energy to Create Social Value and Community Development.”

Learn more about Biswas and this important project in the Q&A below.

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Meet sustainability student Hailey Campbell

School of Sustainability News Alumni and Student Spotlights

January 9, 2019

Hailey CampbellHailey Campbell has lofty goals and the work ethic to achieve them. She knows what it means to have multiple irons in the fire and doesn’t shy away from getting involved with the sustainability community.

Campbell, currently a junior in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University, aims to make the world a better place by providing sustainability education and fostering collaboration between people making decisions that impact the future.

Keep reading to learn about the many adventures Campbell has pursued at ASU and beyond.

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

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Learning sustainability on the ground in Nepal and China

Board Letter School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

December 18, 2018

Students sit in a circle with monks under colorful flagsAs Arizona State University senior sustainability scientists Nalini Chhetri and Netra Chhetri know, some educational experiences are more effective outside the classroom. That’s why the wife-and-husband pair — who are both professors at ASU — have directed a study abroad program in Nepal for four, going on five, years.

Though directing the program isn’t easy, Nalini Chhetri — who is also the assistant director of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society — said she keeps doing it because she wants to “provide students with immersive and hands-on experience that has authenticity and credibility. Doing so allows students to have a deeper awareness and respect for local knowledge that supplements their classroom learning and that is invaluable in preparing them to make a positive difference in this complex world.”

While past programs have taken place only in Nepal, this June’s three-week program, called “Innovation in Green Growth in China and Nepal,” will also take students to China. Students will spend time in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital; the farming community of Pokhara, Nepal; and Guangzhou and Shishou, cities in China.

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Meet Sustainability junior Danielle Vermeer

School of Sustainability News Alumni and Student Spotlights

December 16, 2018

Danielle VermeerArizona State University student Danielle Vermeer has her optimistic and humanitarian outlook set on helping others. From making a difference in Phoenix to holding the title of a Peace Corps Campus Ambassador, Vermeer is serious about following through with her goals locally and globally.

"I can thank the School of Sustainability for lifelong friendships and for instilling a confidence in me that I can and will change the world," Vermeer said.

Currently, she is pursuing dual degrees in urban planning and sustainability, with a focus on economics and a minor in Spanish literacy and cultural studies. In her Q&A below, Vermeer explains the many opportunities to get involved in sustainability that she's taken advantage of, and what sustainability means to her.

Question: Why did you choose the School of Sustainability?

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Meet sustainability junior Tammy Nguyen

School of Sustainability News Alumni and Student Spotlights

December 14, 2018

Tammy NguyenTammy Nguyen is one powerhouse of a student. Although her initial decision for her degree was to attend the University of Arizona, Nguyen decided to join Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability just in time before her freshman year began. She started out not knowing much about the School of Sustainability, let alone sustainability itself, but Nguyen is now an active student in her field working toward four titles: Bachelor of Arts in sustainability in the “society and sustainability” track, a minor in Spanish language, a minor in women and gender studies, and a certificate in food systems sustainability.

As she explains in her Q&A below, her sustainability journey hasn’t always been easy but she’s learned a lot along the way. Without a doubt, Nguyen is going to continue making strides in sustainability wherever she ends up due to her self-motivation and perseverance.

Read on to see how Nguyen began her path towards empowering youth to change the world.

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Fischer appointed to board of sustainable consumption organization

School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

December 11, 2018

Daniel FischerAssistant Professor Daniel Fischer from Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability has been appointed as a board member to SCORAI, the Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative. Fischer is a trained primary and secondary school teacher with a master’s degree in educational management and school development and a doctoral degree in sustainability science. In his research and teaching, he casts an educational perspective on the question of how sustainable consumption can be promoted through communication and learning.

SCORAI is a key player and community of researchers and practitioners in the field of sustainable consumption, with more than 1.000 affiliates worldwide. SCORAI provides a forum for scholars and practitioners striving to understand the drivers of the consumerist economy in affluent technological societies; to formulate and analyze options for post-consumerist lifestyles, social institutions, and economic systems; and to provide the knowledge for emergent grassroots innovations, social movements, and public policies.

Meet sustainability senior Sawyer Treese

School of Sustainability News Alumni and Student Spotlights

December 10, 2018

Sawyer Treese with a childSchool of Sustainability senior Sawyer Treese is a proud Sun Devil. Since both of his parents are Arizona State University alumni and he’s lived in Arizona his whole life, it’s no surprise that Treese chose to pursue a degree from ASU. From studying abroad in South Africa to working with Tempe City Council, Treese has been gaining immeasurable life experience throughout his time here.

As he’s reaching the end of his Bachelor of Science in sustainability along with a minor in urban planning, Treese is excited to finish his work here in order to expand outward where help is needed most.

In the Q&A below, Treese talks about what sustainability means to him and how he intends to apply sustainability knowledge in his career.

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Are co-ops the business model of the future in Arizona?

School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

December 6, 2018

Workshop event on co-ops aims to take a step toward an inclusive, sustainable statewide economy.

Nigel ForrestIf the word “co-op” makes you think of a group of hippies sitting around unable to agree on anything, then Nigel Forrest suggests you think again. Cooperatives, according to Forrest, are viable, dynamic and thriving businesses that look after the interests of people, communities and the environment, while building strong, inclusive and sustainable local economies.

“Cooperative businesses offer a chance for good stable jobs, meaningful work, community empowerment and strong local economies, particularly in areas where this is needed most: in rural areas and in poor urban areas,” says Forrest, a postdoctoral research associate at Arizona State University.

Forrest manages the Sustainable Local Food Economies and Enterprises Lab with Arnim Wiek, an associate professor in ASU’s School of Sustainability. Wiek has teaches a graduate level class that covers cooperatives, employee-owned businesses and benefit corporations.

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Meet Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership alumna Julie Hopwood

School of Sustainability News Alumni News Alumni and Student Spotlights

November 29, 2018

Julie HopwoodYou might think that a mostly-online graduate program would be impersonal. But, as Arizona State University alumna Julie Hopwood tells it, that’s far from the case with the Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership from the School of Sustainability. As she described in her Q&A below, Hopwood was impressed with the emphasis on both personal and professional development throughout the one-year program. Plus, she became quite close with her cohort and still talks to them regularly.

“Whether we were seeking professional clarification, direction and impact in our current positions, immediate career advancement, transition to a new industry and/or the elusive dream of combining our personal and professional passions, I truly believe that my fellow cohort members and I graduated from the EMSL program feeling that our mission was, and can always be, accomplished,” Hopwood said.

In her Q&A, Hopwood — who is currently the associate vice president for business and auxiliary services at Ball State University, Indiana — discussed how she learned and grew as a sustainability leader through the EMSL.

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Sustainability Change Agents present strategies to Mayo Clinic

Board Letter School of Sustainability News Alumni and Student Spotlights

November 28, 2018

student Change Agents speakingOn November 27, Arizona State University School of Sustainability Change Agents led by instructor Colin Tetreault presented recommendations and strategies to the Mayo Clinic corporate sustainability committee. Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit academic medical center with which ASU is partnered.

According to Tetreault, the student Change Agents were tasked with three projects: to reimagine sustainability for Mayo Clinic from a brand and engagement perspective, to create a sustainability-based toolkit for Mayo Clinic talent recruiters, and to create a campaign for Mayo Clinic to engage the community through sustainability.

The presentations were well-received by the committee, Tetreault said, as they helped to frame Mayo Clinic’s sustainability and human resource issues in a new and inspiring light.

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