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Congratulations Class of 2017

On January 16, 2017, the third class of the Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership graduated from Arizona State University. The 13-month program, offered by the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives and the School of Sustainability, equips current professionals to lead transformative and sustainable change in their organization.

Learn how this program has made a difference in the lives of our alumni – and could make a difference in yours. These testimonials from our graduates tell the story better than anyone else ever could.

Janice Almond

“The Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership is a truly distinctive program. It utilizes a systems thinking approach to examine sustainability challenges on a macro and micro level, while building your leadership and communication skill set. This shift in mindset has allowed me to create a vision for myself and the world I want to live in, while empowering me to become an agent of change. The entire EMSL experience transcends the scope of other programs by its unique design, which fosters professional growth and personal transformation.”

-Janice Almond
Business Development Manager, SmithNovak, Prague, Czech Republic

Natacha Brice

“I am a passionate development professional with more than twelve years of experience. I have mostly worked in Haiti, on issues such as financial inclusion, youth empowerment, and social Justice. But, you would not think so if you had met me prior to my enrollment in the Executive Master of Sustainable Leadership program. I lacked the confidence and the boldness it requires for my passion and expertise to shine through and take my career to the next level. Now, having gone through the Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program, my self-confidence and leadership skills have skyrocketed. But most importantly the program has turned me into a fierce development professional with endless career opportunities. The EMSL program has changed my life!”

-Natacha Brice
Livelihoods Emergency Response Technical Advisor, American Red Cross, Haiti

Anthony Chavez

“The Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program is the next step to where you want to be in life!  I came into EMSL wanting to make my Federal agency more green and save money. I came away leading change to examine our key business processes as enablers to strengthening the communities we serve. In turn, this will advance our goal of delivering customer service that meets the changing needs of our country.  “

-Anthony Chavez
Legislation/Congressional Affairs Specialist, Social Security Administration, Hanover, Maryland

Aishling Coyne

“The Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program gave me the career development opportunities I had been searching for, renewed purpose and the credibility to speak on sustainable business initiatives. The faculty has been encouraging, thoughtful, and would move mountains to ensure the success of their students. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to have participated in this innovative program and for all of those I met along the way.”

-Aishling Coyne
Environmental Compliance Coordinator, Banner Health, Phoenix, Arizona

René Edde

“Participating in the Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program through Arizona State University opened up a new set of doors for me. I was provided with new tools and a new outlook on how to approach Leadership, Strategy and Communication and how to put it all into a Global Context. However, the biggest asset to this program is it’s participants. Through this program I have developed a strong and cohesive group of new connections and colleagues that I will continue to view as the most valuable asset of this program. My cohort gave me more support than I could have imagined.”

-René Edde
Associate Store Team Leader, Whole Foods Market, Chigaco, Illinois

Faun Finley

“I had passion. I had commitment. I had solid communication skills. But I needed more to become a sustainability professional. The Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program provided critical form and direction. It taught me about leadership in ways I couldn’t have imagined. It enabled me to connect global to local dots. It pushed me to articulate my purpose clearly. It demanded I grow. As a result, I was elected Chair of the Community Sustainability Council. I founded The We Alchemy, whose mission it is to transform Greensboro into a sustainable city. I motivated the News & Record to host a series of sustainability events for the whole community. My expectations of the program –– and the quickness with which I could influence ––profoundly exceeded my expectations.”

-Faun Finley
Chair, Greensboro Community Sustainability Council, Greensboro, North Carolina; Founder,The We Alchemy, Greensboro, North Carolina

Joseph Fullerton

“I have been working on issues of sustainability and climate action for a number of years with some tactical success. However, I lacked a clear understanding about how to strategically and permanently affect change in my organization. I needed to accelerate my progress, broaden my network and deepen my expertise. This is why I enrolled in the Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership Program at ASU. Thanks to my cohort, the instructors and support staff, I got just what I required in order to make meaningful and lasting change in my organization and beyond.”

-Joseph Fullerton
Energy and Sustainability Manager, San Mateo County Community College District, San Mateo, California

Nichole Herche

“The Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program has changed me in ways that I could not have foreseen at the beginning of this journey, both on a personal and professional level. The classes have not only given me the tools to address various business challenges using a sustainability lens, but they have also instilled in me the confidence to become an effective agent for change. The strong interpersonal relationships I have forged in the past year with members of my cohort, as well as previous cohorts, are friendships that will last a lifetime and are an invaluable bonus of the program.”

-Nichole Herche
Change Agent, BE THE TEA, LLC, Phoenix, Arizona

Julie Hopwood

“For me, the Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program presented the perfect opportunity at the perfect time. The combination of intensive progressive online sessions, combined with a weekly exposure to industry experts, initial and final in-person workshops, and an incredible mid-year international immersive learning experience in both the public and private sectors, created an unparalleled personal and professional development opportunity. Yet, it was the intentional recruitment of an exceptionally diverse, talented and like-minded cohort, coupled with an outstanding and authentic core faculty and a knowledgeable and thoughtful administration that truly defined the excellence of EMSL, a network of sustainability colleagues and friends that continue to inspire me.”

-Julie Hopwood
Associate Vice President for Business and Auxiliary Services, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana

Marlynd Hunt

“The Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program changed not only my global outlook on people, profit, and planet, but how I see the intersection of how each system supports the other. From my standpoint, you couldn’t ask for a more life changing experience.”

-Marlynd Hunt
Commissioner, Arizona Commission on African American Affairs, Gilbert, Arizona

Sharon Kinsella

“I was looking for a life-changing experience, and I found it right here with the Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program at ASU. The faculty’s investment in each of us as individuals is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and the friendship and support of our cohort family will remain with us for years to come. I recommend EMSL to anyone seeking an expansion of his or her horizons and an infusion of something completely new!”

-Sharon Kinsella
Director of Volunteer Engagement, Arizona Humane Society, Phoenix, Arizona

Chris Kyriakopoulos

“I wanted more than just a graduate degree and through the Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program, I found empowerment, story, leadership, creativity through critical thinking, friendship and hope. Through the EMSL program, I have built and launched a productive Sustainability Program in my business. The positive aspects of the program have built new leaders in the business, brought a positive image in the community and helped increase employee morale all while reducing our carbon footprint.”

-Chris Kyriakopoulos
Credit and Customer Financial Services Manager, GlobalTranz, Scottsdale, Arizona

Ignacio Leon

“The Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program has been so rich and enlightening for me. The word ‘transformative’ is the best word I can think of, but it really is not enough do describe the experience. The cohorts and faculty are world class and second to none. EMSL will forever be a part of my story.”

-Ignacio Leon
Vice President, Tempe Home Equity Site Leader, Wells Fargo, Phoenix, Arizona 

Nicholas Maragliano

“This Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program has prepared and challenged me to become a better person and change agent. It has specifically expanded my perspective on how to apply sustainability to any organization and how to never run out of ideas. I am honored to be in the EMSL family!”

-Nicholas Maragliano
Field Team Operations Lead Mechanic, Lockheed Martin, Glendale, Arizona

Nicholas, Poetsch

“Looking through the world with a sustainable lens requires an almost “entrepreneur-like” mindset. You’ll come to find that the Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program nurtures this mindset through all the unique opportunities and challenges which aren’t inherently part of more traditional business degrees. I can confidently say I’ve become a much stronger leader in my professional career and more fulfilled in my personal life from what was learned as part of EMSL.”

-Nicholas Poetsch
Business Systems Analyst, Microchip Technology, Chandler, Arizona

Ruben Ramirez

“My Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership experience was trans-formative and Fun! Within the first couple of weeks and throughout the entire program I was provided with tools that I could immediately apply to my personal and professional life. Before the program, I was an assistant store manager going through the motions, now I am a Regional Recruiter helping others take the next step in their careers. You will definitely be provided with what you need and not what you want! By examining who you are and how you communicate with your audience.”

-Ruben Ramirez
Assistant Store Operations Director, Kroger, Mesa, Arizona

Travis Yellowhair

“The Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership Program helped me to apply a sustainability lens to help me create smart business solutions for my organization. This program provides all the tools to become an effective change agent in any organization.”

-Travis Yellowhair
Senior Consultant, L4SG – Level Four Solutions Group, Maricopa, Arizona

Class of 2017 group photo

Congratulations to our 2017 graduates!

Connect with our graduates on LinkedIn