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Alumni spotlights and updates

Alumni spotlights and updates

Alumni spotlights and updates

Success stories

Meet Our Alumni: Joe Fullerton

August 3, 2017

SOS Alumnus Joe Fullerton rafting in yellow canoeJoe Fullerton graduated from the School of Sustainability with an Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership in May 2017. Fullerton, already working as the Energy and Sustainability Manager at San Mateo County Community College District, decided the one year program was a perfect fit for a full-time sustainability professional like himself.

In his current position, Fullerton improves sustainability practices in his district, as well as shares ideas and processes with others. In addition to his formal job duties, Fullerton is working to build a network of sustainability professionals – specifically ASU School of Sustainability graduates – working in higher education, in order to bridge the gap between sustainability and higher ed.

Currently, Fullerton's focus is on a sustainable procurement endeavor with fellow ASU sustainability alumnus Briar Schoon, who leads sustainability efforts at Portland Community College (PCC) District. Fullerton explains how his district can utilize a model that PCC has already created to improve its own sustainable procurement efforts. This is the kind of collaboration that Fullerton hopes to foster and spread within his developing network of higher-ed sustainability professionals.

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Sustainability alumnus named to Greenbiz '30 Under 30'

June 5, 2017

Samson Szeto, communications program coordinator of ASU LightWorks, has been named to the 2017 GreenBiz "30 Under 30." The list honors young corporate sustainability professionals who strive to make an impact in their workplace and the world, and Szeto is doing just that.

Szeto, who graduated from ASU’s School of Sustainability in 2013, was nominated by his supervisor Travis Johnson, project and business development manager at LightWorks. He was recognized for his work on several renewable energy projects – including NEPTUNE – and his involvement with carbon capture technology.

The NEPTUNE project, a joint venture with the U.S. Navy and six other universities, trains veterans for careers in the energy sector. Szeto’s work with carbon capture technology involves creating strategic partnerships that unite corporations with ASU researchers working to halt climate change.

"Samson is passionate about driving innovation and sustainability into businesses and society," says Johnson. "I’m proud of him for being honored with the 30 Under 30 award, and I am sure he will continue changing the world."

Fishing for answers in Phoenix's urban lakes

May 23, 2017

A "No Fishing" sign in an urban lakeA recent study on fishing in Phoenix found that, of the anglers surveyed at six urban lakes, the majority reported eating recreationally-caught fishes even though they thought the water might be polluted.

Erin Pulford – a School of Sustainability graduate – is the lead author of the study, which was published in the Journal of Environmental Management. Based on Pulford's Master of Sustainability Solutions project with advisor Beth Polidoro, the study found varying levels of organic contaminants in surface water samples collected from the six urban lakes where anglers were surveyed.

The study bears particular significance to low-income and high-minority neighborhoods, where most of the city's recreational fisheries lakes and ponds are located. The results can be used to inform policies, improve water quality and support further research in order to reduce potential risks to public health.

Meet Our Alumni: Chris Chappell

March 31, 2017

Chris Chappell graduated from the School of Sustainability in 2012 with a Bachelor's of Science, focusing on Sustainable Ecosystems. Chappell is currently the Social Media Coordinator for the Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company in Gilbert, Arizona, where he acts as both a communications hub and resident photographer for the brewery.

Chappell educates the public, as well as his fellow brewery staff, about the story of every beer: from its locally-sourced ingredients, to its deliciously brewed end.

Where are you working now?

Arizona Wilderness is a very fast-paced brewery in the sense that we have five daily food specials, weekly beer tappings and weekly bottle/can releases. Most of these beers and food specials utilize local ingredients, either sourced from a local farmer or even ethically foraged by our brewers, or have some sort of interesting story behind them. It is my job to gather all of the information on these and convey it to the public, via social media, and to our amazing staff.

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Fostering sustainability and forging connections in Guatemala

November 1, 2016

Room of Guatemalan schoolchildren wearing uniformsGuatemala is consistently listed in the top 10 happiest countries in the world, despite the difficulties it faces with poverty and crime. To continue this trend and improve the lives of Guatemala's residents, different groups are working there – including School of Sustainability faculty, alumni and students, who have visited the country for the past two summers.

These visits yield a number of connections, like one between two alumni who were in Guatemala with different organizations and crossed paths unexpectedly. Another graduate from the School of Sustainability is currently working in Guatemala for Habitat for Humanity. A study abroad program also brought students to the country in the summer of 2015, and the faculty member who facilitated the trip – who has visited multiple times since – plans to go back again this December.

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Meet Our Alumni: Carolyn Phillips

September 16, 2016

Sustainability grad Carolyn wearing bright red top and holding dark red popsicleCarolyn Phillips, owner and chief alchemist of Alchemy Pops, is a 2011 Master of Arts graduate of the School of Sustainability. Her company is based in Texas, and focuses on creating new market opportunities for Texas farmers. She is one of many entrepreneurs who graduate with a degree from the School of Sustainability.

Why did you choose to enroll in the School of Sustainability at ASU? 

In my undergrad, while I was doing my BA in Entrepreneurial Management at Texas Christian University, I took a sustainability-themed graduate level class called “Chasing Carbon” – that got me charted on a path that interested me.

There’s always been a theme in my family and community of support about being a part of the solution. This can be interpreted in a lot of different ways – one being, "if you’re not helping, you’re hurting." Being someone who has an impact and is improving lives is the general theme guiding my trajectory.

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A glimpse into life after graduation

September 7, 2016

Student standing in food bank pantryFor its third consecutive year, the School of Sustainability offers its students a hands-on look into what their future might hold with a career in sustainability.

The Alumni Job Shadowing program, which began in 2014 and continues to grow, gives current students the opportunity to interact with and shadow a School of Sustainability alumnus for a day. The program provides students with insight into not only future career possibilities, but also into the world of professionalism, networking and higher education. Students receive one-on-one attention from their alumni sponsors and can see how their classes apply in the working world.

“This job shadow gave me great insight into how my sustainability degree can be used in a real-world job. This opportunity has rejuvenated my interest in getting a job where I can apply the knowledge I gained from my classes… I believe it has made me confident as a student that my degree is such an intricate part of how a business operates,” says Adrian Nunez, a School of Sustainability Bachelor of Science student.

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Meet Our Alumni: Manjyot Bhan

June 30, 2016

Manj wearing white collared topManjyot Bhan – a native of Mumbai, India – graduated from the School of Sustainability with a Master of Science in 2010. She also earned a PhD in Public Administration, with a focus on Environmental Policy, from American University in 2015.

Bhan is currently a Policy and Business Fellow at a think-tank called the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) – formerly the Pew Center on Global Climate Change – in Arlington, Virginia.

Why did you choose ASU's School of Sustainability?

During an environmental economics undergraduate class at St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai, I realized all our assumptions in textbook economics and of the marketplace were made based on private costs – without accounting for other costs such as environmental, social and health damages to society. My desire to pursue the field of sustainability came out of a classroom experience.

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Sustainability alumni connect in the District

June 25, 2016

Eight School of Sustainability pose with Dean Boone outside of a D.C. restaurantOn June 10, School of Sustainability alumni in the Washington, D.C. area connected and caught up over dinner at Ardeo+Bardeo.

The fantastic evening, hosted by the School of Sustainability Alumni Association, was attended by Dean Chris Boone and eight sustainability grads, including Manjyot Bhan, MS '10; Chris Harto, MS '09; Debbie Namugayi, MA '14; Becky Schwartz, BA '10; Mike Herod, EMSL '15; Brian McCollow, BA '13; Alex Rogers, MSUS '15; and Robert Horner, MS '10.

To receive invites to future events, click here to make sure your information is up-to-date and keep an eye on your email.

Meet Our Alumni: Lexie Krechel

June 25, 2016

Lexie standing on a desert hiking trailLexie Krechel graduated from the School of Sustainability in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Society and Sustainability track.

Krechel also earned a Minor in Social Work along with a Certificate in Public Administration and Management. She currently works as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Tempe Community Action Agency.

Tell us about your current job and how it is related to sustainability.

I found my current position at Tempe Community Action Agency by looking on nonprofit job boards. I knew that I wanted to stay in the nonprofit world, but just needed to find the right organization. I decided to pursue a position at TCAA because I wanted to be able to see the impact that my work was having on the community.

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