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Alumni spotlights and updates

Alumni spotlights and updates

Alumni spotlights and updates

Success stories

Meet sustainability alumnus Michael Herod

September 20, 2018

Smiling man with glasses and red collared shirtMichael Herod has two degrees from the School of Sustainability: a bachelor of science and an Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership. But Herod didn’t enroll in sustainability because of a passion for the environment or for the health of communities around the world, as many students do. Herod initially pursued sustainability to prove his boss wrong and to do something beneficial with a “pocket full of Uncle Sam’s money” after returning from Iraq with the U.S. Army.

During his last undergraduate semester, Herod had a realization that inspired him to pursue the EMSL, and then to start a successful business called GOEFER that allows people and businesses to monitor and save on their energy use through advanced power strips. Read on for more about Herod’s journey and how he got the idea for his business.

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

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Meet sustainability alumnus Sean McGraw

August 28, 2018

Sean McGraw FOR EnergySchool of Sustainability alumnus Sean McGraw founded FOR Energy while he was still an ASU student, and now it’s among the fastest-growing companies in the United States (number 1,215 to be exact, according to Inc. Magazine’s annual list). FOR Energy helps homeowners in Arizona and Nevada use energy more efficiently by conducting energy audits and completing home improvements — things like installing solar panels or energy-efficient windows, sealing leaky ducts, and improving insulation. The company’s 2017 revenue was $2.2 million — not bad for an idea that came to McGraw one day in a renewable energy class at ASU.

Read on for why McGraw switched his major to sustainability and what he believes is the most important factor that has contributed to FOR Energy’s success.

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

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ASU sustainability alumnus Andy Stein named to '36 Under 36' list

July 17, 2018

Andy Stein smilingArizona State University School of Sustainability alumnus Andy Stein was just named to the seventh annual “Double Chai in the Chi: 36 Under 36” list, selected by the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago’s Young Leadership Division (YLD). The list highlights the societal contributions of Chicago’s young Jewish population.

“To see so many people creating new opportunities that better our community is truly inspiring,” said Alex Entratter, current YLD campaign chair and former honoree. “This is just the beginning of a bright future for these individuals and the community they are impacting."

Stein graduated from ASU with a Master of Sustainability Solutions. While at ASU, Stein was concurrently a Project Manager for the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives. Now, Stein is a Sustainability Program Coordinator at Northwestern University, where he focuses on the university’s Built Environment Program. He has a particular interest in sustainable building practices and incorporating sustainability into business operations.

When asked by the “36 Under 36” list’s organizers to describe himself in 10 words or less, Stein responded: “Passionate about creating a healthy and sustainable future for everyone.”

Meet sustainability alumna Diane Trimble

July 12, 2018

Diane Trimble stands with Dean Chris Boone at the School of Sustainability convocation as she receives her master's degreeDiane Trimble now has two degrees from Arizona State University, but the journey to those achievements wasn’t easy. Trimble dropped out of college in Nevada in the mid-1990s, but in recent years, she wanted to become a better role model for her sons and community. Thus, she enrolled in online classes at Arizona State University through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan partnership and earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership in 2016. But she didn’t stop there. This year, Trimble graduated from the Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership (EMSL) program in the School of Sustainability.

We asked Diane questions about how her ASU education has changed her life for the better and what sustainability means to her.

Question: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

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ASU sustainability alumnus gears up for carbon-neutral road trip

June 29, 2018

John Martinson shows off his Tesla at Green Living AZ event in Scottsdale, ArizonaTo Arizona State University alumnus John Martinson, “range anxiety” — the fear of becoming stranded in an electric vehicle after the battery dies — is a state of mind, not an actual concern.

With a bit of planning, a cross-country road trip in an electric vehicle is possible. And Martinson should know: On July 1, he’s embarking on a monthlong father-son road trip from Arizona to Canada and back in his new Tesla, which advertises up to 310 miles of range.

Completing an ambitious road trip in an electric vehicle may worry some people, but for Martinson, it’s another way to live his values. Martinson is a recent graduate of the ASU School of Sustainability’s Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program, and he’s also the school’s alumni board president. Before he graduated from the school, Martinson co-owned the successful China Mist Tea Company for 34 years. He believes in natural capitalism, which is a business model that takes into account the value of earth’s natural resources and ecosystems.

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Master of Sustainability Leadership graduate uses skills at FedEx

May 18, 2018

portrait of Benjamin Fogg wearing a suitWhen Benjamin Fogg was brainstorming ways to bring sustainability practices to FedEx Ground, a company he began working for after completing his bachelor’s degree in Alabama, he discovered Arizona State University’s Online Master of Sustainability Leadership. Fogg applied to the program at the School of Sustainability, he said, because of its focus on innovation and leadership “paired with the broader, global context. Since FedEx Corporation operates all over the world, it felt like the perfect fit for my career.”

During his time as a master’s student, Fogg was promoted multiple times and moved to different states. “ASU Online allowed that mobility to happen while I continued my education,” he said.

Recently, Fogg was promoted to a Sustainability Specialist position at FedEx. His career goal, he said, is to “obtain a senior leadership position within the company that focuses on bringing sustainability to the forefront of what we’re doing.”

EMSL graduate hired as executive director

January 27, 2018

Jessica MorrisonJessica Morrison, a School of Sustainability graduate who earned an Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership degree, has been chosen as Resource Conservation Partners's new executive director. 

Resource Conservation Partners is a nonprofit organization that works to protect and restore natural habitats through cross-sector collaboration in Ventura County. In her new position, Morrison hopes to increase stakeholder and community engagement through local restoration and conservation projects.

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 SzetoSamson 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."