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Cultivating growth and experience: The Farm at South Mountain internship program

School of Sustainability News Alumni News Alumni and Student Spotlights

February 12, 2019

Matthew Waldman headshotOriginally studying to become a civil engineer, Matthew Waldman was so inspired by a sustainable neighborhoods urban development class that he changed his major to sustainability at Arizona State University.

As a School of Sustainability student, Waldman was able to participate in first-hand experiential learning opportunities that allowed him to serve the community while gaining real-world experience. He said his most meaningful opportunity was his internship at The Farm at South Mountain.

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Meet sustainability alumnus Nathan Gassmann

School of Sustainability News Alumni News Alumni and Student Spotlights

February 11, 2019

Nathan GassmannIt took 10 years for Nathan Gassmann to get his bachelor’s degree — the “scenic route,” as he called it. But finally getting that diploma in 2014 from the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University was the result of a lot of hard work, persistence, and balancing responsibilities as a parent, student and employee.

Gassmann recently landed a job as Subway’s manager of global sustainability, and he said he’s excited to enact change at a large scale. His advice for all Sun Devils is to challenge themselves.

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Meet sustainability junior Ally DiSera

School of Sustainability News Alumni and Student Spotlights

January 31, 2019

Ally DiSeraBy leaving Minnesota to attend Arizona State University, junior Ally DiSera gave herself the opportunity to achieve a well-rounded sustainability education from the School of Sustainability — something she couldn’t find closer to home. “Sustainability is a human issue,” she said, so finding a program that touched on the social pillar of sustainability as well as environmental and economic pillars was important to her.

DiSera is currently pursuing dual degrees: a BA in sustainability and a BS in global supply chain management. Read the Q&A below to see how DiSera is making the most out of her time at ASU and how she plans to apply sustainability to her future career.

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Alumna lands job as sustainability manager

School of Sustainability News Alumni News Alumni and Student Spotlights

January 23, 2019

Debbie NamugayiCongratulations to Arizona State University School of Sustainability alumna Debbie Namugayi, who in early 2019 started work as Eastern Kentucky University’s new sustainability manager. Namugayi earned her master's degree in sustainability in 2014, and has a history of connecting sustainability with higher education through prior positions at Bucknell University and the University of Maryland.

On top of accomplishment, Namugayi recently acted as the master of ceremonies for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education 2018 conferences.

Photo courtesy of Amanda Cain, Eastern Kentucky University

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Meet sustainability student Maryam Abdul Rashid

School of Sustainability News Alumni and Student Spotlights

January 18, 2019

Maryam Abdul RashidMaryam 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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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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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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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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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

Board Letter 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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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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Meet Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership alumna Antonia Castro-Graham

School of Sustainability News Alumni News Alumni and Student Spotlights

October 31, 2018

Woman with blond hair smilingAntonia Castro-Graham decided to pursue her Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership from Arizona State University after a careful search of different programs. It makes sense that she wanted to invest her time and money wisely — she already had a full-time job, an adjunct professorship at California State University, Fullerton, and a two-year-old.

“I wanted a degree that would propel me to the next level,” she said. “EMSL enabled me to broaden my skill set.”

In the Q&A below, Castro-Graham — who works for the city of Huntington Beach, California as the assistant to the city manager and the energy and sustainability manager — talks about her experience as an EMSL student and explains how the master’s degree has allowed her to become more successful as a sustainability professional.

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Meet our 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award nominees

School of Sustainability News Alumni News Alumni and Student Spotlights

October 29, 2018

Rob Melnick bestowing with the Outstanding Alumnus AwardOn November 2, during Arizona State University homecoming weekend, the School of Sustainability will bestow one alumnus with the 2018 Outstanding Alumnus Award. With so many incredible nominees, it’s going to be a hard decision to make.

If you’re an alumnus, we invite you to join us for the alumni reception mixer at Postino in Tempe from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., where we will announce the winner (please RSVP). But first, check out the seven nominees — in alphabetical order:

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