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Sustainability News

Meet sustainability student Maryam Abdul Rashid

School of Sustainability News Alumni and Student Spotlights

January 18, 2019

Maryam 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

At 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

Female PhD student speaks into microphone during 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

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

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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Sustainability graduate aims to change transportation sector

School of Sustainability News Alumni and Student Spotlights UREx Blog

November 28, 2018

Man wearing blazer standing and smiling in front of wall of foliageIf it weren’t for the computer simulation game SimCity, Sean McElroy might never have discovered his passion for sustainable cities. As a high school student, McElroy designed a modern city using the game for a required personal project for the International Baccalaureate program.

“A lot of the research that I did was on future cities, which often brought up sustainability,” McElroy said. “I thought that the topic of sustainable cities and development sounded really interesting, and once I heard about it being a major it was an easy decision for me to choose it.”

This December, McElroy is graduating from Arizona State University with a bachelor in sustainability from the School of Sustainability and a minor in urban planning from the School of Geographical Science and Urban Planning. During his time at ASU, McElroy has taken on leadership positions with the School of Sustainability Academy and the Honor Society for Sustainability. He also completed an internship with the Street Transportation Department at the City of Phoenix, and was a research aide working with ASU’s Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network.

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Meet sustainability junior Susie Puga

School of Sustainability News Alumni and Student Spotlights

November 21, 2018

Girl with brown hair smelling large white flowersSusana “Susie” Puga is a first-generation college student from the farming community of Yuma, Arizona. She had a hard time explaining to her family and friends how studying sustainability would set her up for future success, but there’s no doubt they can be anything but proud of her now.

Puga is in her junior year of pursuing her bachelor’s in sustainability with an economics track from the Arizona State University School of Sustainability. She’s also working on a minor in psychology and a certificate in cross-sector leadership. Besides sustainability, Puga is also passionate about dance, poetry, creative writing, meditative practices and cooking with friends.

Read Puga’s Q&A below to see how she is connecting sustainability with all of her interests and what she plans to do in the future.

Question: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study sustainability?

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Meet sustainability alumna René Edde

School of Sustainability News Alumni News Alumni and Student Spotlights

November 14, 2018

René Edde stands near outdoor stairwayRené Edde, senior business development manager of coffee for Fair Trade USA, initially thought that the Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership might just be a good resume builder. But it turned out to be a transformational experience.

“I grew into my shoes as a leader,” Edde said. “I learned to embrace my authentic self both in my career and in my personal life. I began to believe that I had the power to make a difference with every decision that I make.”

In the following Q&A, Edde explains what she learned from the EMSL, how she balanced classwork with her career, and how the EMSL has given her the knowledge and confidence to pursue her dreams.

What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study sustainability?

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Virtual conference provides sustainable alternative

School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

November 13, 2018

Marco JanssenDue to the international scope of sustainability science, sustainability scientists travel a lot — especially by plane — to conduct research and to meet with colleagues. An important component of academia is to attend conferences to present research findings and learning about new developments. Are there different ways to provide this knowledge exchange that is more inclusive and with a smaller carbon footprint?

In an attempt to explore alternatives, School of Sustainability Professor Marco Janssen is chairing the first virtual conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) from November 12 to 30. The IASC is the leading professional organization dedicated to the study of governance of the commons.

Instead of traveling to a conference, participants can login to the IASC website, watch the videos and chat with the presenters. In this first virtual conference of the IASC, 40 videos are available for participants to engage with.

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Meet sustainability student Elyse Kats

School of Sustainability News Alumni and Student Spotlights

November 7, 2018

Woman with brown hair smiling in front of brightly colored wallElyse Kats left the Midwest for the Arizona desert and hasn’t looked back.

Kats, an Arizona State University School of Sustainability undergraduate student, is from Kansas but is happy she decided to move out of her comfort zone. And it’s good she did: Kats said she’s loving her college experiences, not only in her classes but also as a Doris Duke Conservation Scholar, a founding member of Green Greeks and a research aide for the Decision Center for a Desert City. On top of her bachelor’s degree, Kats is pursuing a minor in parks and recreation management and a certificate in socio-legal studies.

“I hope that I can one day have a career that I can make a difference in my community with, and I know ASU is giving me the tools to do so,” Kats said.

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Meet sustainability alumnus Tyler Sytsma

School of Sustainability News Alumni News Alumni and Student Spotlights

November 6, 2018

Tyler SytsmaTyler Sytsma has not one but two degrees from Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability — a bachelor’s degree and an Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership. He graduated with his EMSL in January 2016 and quickly landed a job as a sustainability coordinator for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Sytsma answered a few questions for us about his journey in sustainability and his experience with the EMSL. Read his Q&A below.

What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study sustainability?

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Salute to Service: Dynamic military couple part of ASU community

School of Sustainability News Alumni and Student Spotlights

November 5, 2018

Uniformed US Army couple wearing leis and smiling in front of US flagIf they weren’t so humble, active-duty Army Capts. Natalie and Ed Mallue could serve as the face of a major beer label’s advertising campaign and be dubbed “The Most Interesting Couple in the World.”

They graduated from the grueling U.S. Military Academy. They conquered Ranger school, the Army’s toughest feat of human physical and mental endurance. They returned recently from South Africa where they served as military advisers for a major on-location Hollywood movie production. And they made headlines when former President Barack Obama called them to apologize for disrupting their wedding in Hawaii.

The Mallues are a dynamic duo who have been “stationed” at Arizona State University since the summer of 2017, with Natalie pursuing a master’s degree with ASU’s School of Sustainability and Ed serving as an assistant professor of military science with Army ROTC. They represent the vast diversity and talent found within the ASU community and stand as a physical reminder of why the university organizes Salute to Service each year to recognize those who have served.

Read more about the Mallues in ASU Now.

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