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Congratulations Class of 2016

On January 16, 2016, the second 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.

“This EMSL program has prepared me to address global development challenges through a sustainable lens.”

-Alexandria Stinchfield
Proposal Manager, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, Arizona State University

Anotnia Castro Graham

“I have found that each person brings a unique skill set and that I am learning from each person. At the end of the day a unique mix is what makes selling the story of sustainability easier.”

-Antonia Castro Graham
Sustainability Manager, City of Huntington Beach, Irvine, California

Dawn Olsen

“The Executive Master of Sustainability program opened my eyes to the possibility that you can be a logical, profit-focused business person while being true to your passion for making the world a better place.”

-Dawn Olsen
Interim CFO, Phoenix Art Museum, Paradise Valley, Arizona

Deborah Mayfield

“The overall program has been amazing and I am recommending it to several folks. Thanks again for recommending the program and feel free to use me as a reference. I would only give positive feedback to anyone that was considering the program.”

-Deborah Mayfield
Alliance Lead for Middle East and North America, Accenture, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Dena Baldwin

“Deciding to get my Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership through the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives was one of the best decisions I have ever made. EMSL professors and cohorts have expanded my knowledge in business, communications, sustainability and leadership – and best of all, it has grown my network throughout the world. Thanks to this program, my company, Go Big! Enterprise, will forever look at clients through a sustainability lens and communicate through storytelling!”

-Dena Baldwin
Owner/Partner, Go Big! Enterprise, Mesa, Arizona

Denise Maldonado

“The Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program and its faculty has better equipped me with the skills to approach organizational challenges with a clearer perspective.”

-Denise Maldonado-Avitia
Community Outreach Specialist, Preventive Health Collaborative, Laveen, Arizona

Deven Patten

“I did not have an extensive sustainability experience before the program, but I am now confident that I can and will step into a role that will have significant impact for my employer! The network of experts and colleagues that I have added due to this program has been invaluable.”

-Deven Patten
Manager, Americas Distributor Support and Product Experience, NuSkin, Orem, Utah

Evelyn Brumfield

“During my work in the Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program, I was able to take my program further faster and respond to community demands. I created a coaching consultancy, and am better able to work with the businesses and government entities interested in sustainability. The faculty and staff are world class and the knowledge and experiences I gained in this program are life-changing.”

-Evelyn Brumfield
Director of Education, Keep Phoenix Beautiful, Phoenix, Arizona

Hideaki Azuma

“There are three aspects that I would like to recommend to future candidates. First, the program is based on pragmatic approach for business professionals. The program covers not only sustainability issues but also leadership and communication strategy for entrepreneurs. Through the program and one to one coaching session by excellent faculties, I could make my own business and marketing plan related with sustainability as supportive push. Second, quality of students is excellent. Cohort members were from different industries, expertise and from all over the world. Through every discussion with them, I could learn different ideas and approaches from different points of view. Finally, this hybrid program makes possible real learning experiences without quitting my job. I could feel strong bond with cohort members and faculties through the year.”

-Hideaki Azuma
CEO/Consultant/Coach, Systemic Change, Inc., Kashiwanoha, Japan

Jamie Cook

“I searched for the right master’s degree program for three years. I had a good foundation of sustainable development knowledge and wanted to be challenged. The EMSL program was a perfect fit for me. It strikes the correct balance between traditional academics, online learning and in person immersive sessions. The professors are leaders in their fields and bring their network of top notch sustainability professionals into our curriculum as guest speakers and gurus. EMSL has given me the knowledge, connections and confidence to take my career to new heights.”

-Jamie Cook
Director Renewable Energy Projects, Maui Electric, Kahului, Hawaii

Jennifer Johnson

“The Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership connected me to how urgently the world needs sustainability. It showed me examples of sustainability heroes – people and groups affecting real change – and gave me exactly the right information and tools to become one myself. Joining the program was one of the best decisions of my life.”

-Jennifer Roberts-Johnson
former Client Director, Thunderbird School of Global Management, Phoenix, Arizona

Jennifer Ruggiero

“Early in the program, I started to use things we learned in class with amazing results. My staff’s new-found excitement has shocked me. They literally stop me days after meetings as they see me in the halls to convey their motivation. By using techniques used in EMSL, my staff has been able to discover their own leadership potential.”

-Jennifer Ruggiero
Director of Apheresis Collections, Northern New England Region, American Red Cross

Jeremiah Powless

“Communication throughout the program with the instructors, students and staff made me feel like a colleague and not just a student. The instructors are nothing but supportive and value the individual experiences and backgrounds of each member of the cohort. I am truly thankful for the opportunity that ASU and the EMSL program has given me to learn from world renowned faculty and for giving me the opportunity to share my Native American culture with the world.”

-Jeremiah Powless
Rapid Response Specialist, State of New Mexico Workforce Solutions, Fruitland, New Mexico

John Martinson

“The Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership has heightened the intensity of what I do for sustainability from my personal actions, including interactions with my kids, through every business consideration. It is quite remarkable – the value of this program goes way beyond what I had thought it would be. It unlocked creativity and had me see my business through a sustainability lens, thus opening up opportunities I never would have seen without it. The value of the program is far more than the time and money I put into it and I am looking forward to putting my capstone initiative into play at China Mist.”

-John Martinson
Founder and Co-Chairman, China Mist Iced Tea Company, Inc., Paradise Valley, Arizona

Karen Cecil

“Sustainability leadership requires a unique skillset. The EMSL program understands exactly what business leaders need to be more successful in sustainability, and has provided me with information and tools that are immediately applicable to my organization. The cohort approach has broadened my sustainability perspective beyond our industry sector and has given me a fresh viewpoint to bring back to my organization. I have also gained a group of professionals and trusted friends to discuss approaches and provide insights throughout the rest of my career.”

-Karen Cecil
Director of Global Environmental Sustainability, Cummins, Inc., Columbus, Indiana

Kris Spector

“As a sustainability consultant with experience in both the public and private sector, I am always confronted with new problems that my clients are facing. The Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program not only showed me how to think differently when dealing with sustainability issues but exposed me on how to think globally when dealing with my clients. This is by far the greatest program at ASU and I am extremely proud to be a Sun Devil.”

Kristopher Spector
Founder, Spector Sustainability Consulting, Scottsdale, Arizona

Lisa Estrada

“The Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program is providing us exactly what was promised. They are educating and empowering us to apply leadership and communication skills while teaching us how to strategically navigate our organization to influence systemic change. You won’t have to wait to finish your degree to effect change. The instruction is based on the real world realities that exist in organizations today, allowing you to apply what you are learning now. EMSL has already given me the credibility that I need to garner support and buy-in from the individuals in my organization. They know that this kind of degree is more than an accomplishment, it’s an investment in me and society.”

-Lisa Estrada
Economic Efficiency and Sustainability Manager, City of Peoria, Phoenix, Arizona

Sarah Lyon

“Courses in EMSL have taught me how to connect and communicate with people more effectively by using the power of storytelling and social media. We learn how to make a difference to improve our organization, community and environment. The degree can be a position addition or an extra advantage in any job or career field. The length of the program being so short is also a big positive.”

-Sarah Lyon
Business Analyst for Clinical Services, United Health Group, Phoenix, Arizona

Tara Briscoe

“The Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership transformed me from someone with a passion for sustainability into a change agent equipped with a complete set of actionable tools to educate and empower business leaders to find sustainable solution strategies. Looking through this new sustainability lens, I’m excited at the world of possibilities and the promise it holds for our future.”

Tara Briscoe
Briscoe Consulting LLC Digital Marketing and Web Development, Tempe, Arizona

Tyler Sytsma

“I joined the military to make a difference in the world, and as I transitioned into my educational endeavors, EMSL stood out to me because it allowed for me to make a difference in the world as well, and as I was used to taking leadership roles in the military, EMSL has given me the tools to be a leader in positive change in my civilian life. Everything in these courses has been having a profound impact on what I do at work.”

-Tyler Sytsma
Sustainability Coordinator at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte

Warren Gorowitz

“Building on ASU’s success as the New American University, the dynamic EMSL program has brought together those who have a passion for sustainability both within our instructors and the cohort. What I’ve learned from this program will help lead our business towards the next level in sustainability. I will cherish the network and friendships I have made for many years to come. The faculty and staff are amazing and have been so inspiring and supportive of my ideas, my challenges and my passion for sustainability. This has been an experience which is so much more than I could have ever imagined.”

-Warren Gorowitz
Vice President of Sustainability, Ewing Irrigation Products, Phoenix, Arizona

Class of 2016 group photo

Congratulations to our 2016 graduates!

Connect with our graduates on LinkedIn