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Student success spotlights

Student success spotlights

Student success spotlights

Two short films explore sustainable food and water harvesting

May 22, 2020

Two new short films Holding on to the Corn and Plant the Rain, produced by students in the School of Sustainability and Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in a class taught by Peter Byck, highlight the benefits of a local regenerative food system.

Holding on to the Corn

Holding on to the Corn explores how Hopi spiritual beliefs, ceremonies and agricultural practices centered on corn are being re-established by tribe members. The original intent of the film’s proponents was to create sustainable agriculture and promote healthy access to food, only to discover that their tribal traditions and experiences provided all the knowledge they needed to succeed.

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Now emerging from a sustainable business incubator: “Together We Brew”

May 22, 2020

From his experiences in the beverage business, Master of Sustainability Solutions student Nicholas Shivka was painfully aware of how hard it is for local businesses to compete with the global giants. He knew that local business start-ups lack the financial support cities provide to multinational corporations interested in establishing a local presence. Those companies promise the addition of new jobs in exchange for tax breaks and other “attraction” incentives offered by city officials enamored with Fortune 500 companies, while local businesses receive minimal support and suffer financial disadvantages in the local economy.

Shivka saw a need to encourage and support local entrepreneurs in their quest to build sustainable businesses by creating a sustainable business incubator program. Using the co-op ownership model, sustainability methods, and participatory practices, he built an educational program for local residents interested in sustainable food production. To test his concept he began the incubation of “Together We Brew,” a sustainable beverage business, with a group of Phoenix entrepreneurs.

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Meet Master of Sustainability Leadership alumnus David Ginn

May 8, 2020

One of the many changes David Ginn experienced as he moved from rural Pennsylvania to metropolitan Phoenix was the increase in his concern for the growing climate crisis. Motivated to do something about it, he decided to enroll in the Master of Sustainability Leadership program at Arizona State University.

“The focus on global and strategic perspectives in sustainability seemed like a great trajectory for the program, and the subject matter of the curricula for each course seemed very interesting to me,” Ginn said. “I was not from a traditional sustainability background for my undergrad studies, so this seemed like the perfect bridge into the field.”

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Meet Master of Sustainability Leadership alumna Laura Friedman

May 6, 2020

Overworked and experiencing health issues, Laura Friedman knew she needed to make major life changes. So, when her son recommended she go to college, she didn’t hesitate.

“I researched online graduate school degrees and learned that Arizona State University was ranked No. 1 in the country for innovation,” Friedman said. “I found the Master of Sustainability Leadership program and I believed combining and expanding the sustainability leadership themes with my technology career would enable me to make a valuable career shift.”

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Meet Master of Sustainability Leadership alumnus Joseph Aubert

May 4, 2020

Joseph Aubert was looking to make a career change when he discovered corporate sustainability. Excited by the opportunity, he applied to Arizona State University’s Master of Sustainability Leadership (MSL) program.

“My impression of the MSL was that it flipped that paradigm, and was much more 'macro' in scale, focusing on the big picture instead of the day-to-day management,” Aubert said. “A culture of sustainability needs to start at the top, which is where I want to be.”

This May 2020, Aubert is graduating from the program and will continue his journey to help bring about meaningful change in the world. In the following Q&A, get acquainted with Aubert and his future plans.

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Meet Master of Sustainability Leadership alumna Sydney Lund

May 4, 2020

A native of Southern California, Sydney Lund had been taught to be environmentally conscious from a young age. But it wasn’t until her undergrad that her passion for sustainability was awakened.

“During undergrad, I started formally learning about sustainability themes within the classroom where I became extremely passionate about the subject and received a certificate in sustainability leadership,” Lund said. “After graduation, I went to teach English in Costa Rica.”

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Meet Executive Master of Sustainable Leadership alumnus Dan Colton

May 4, 2020

Although he had been taught to live sustainably before he even knew the meaning of the word, Dan Colton’s interest in sustainability wasn’t sparked until he got to — of all places — law school.

“I was in law school taking classes such as Environmental Law, Water Law, and a newly formed class called Sustainability," Colton said. "I realized then that there are some incredibly powerful tools in our society that can help us responsibly use the world's resources in a way that protects them and makes them available for future generations. From that point on, I was always looking for ways to tie my profession back in to my interest in sustainability.”

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ASU faculty and staff work to increase Latino representation

April 28, 2020

Alycia de Mesa is elated.

An instructor in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University, she and her colleague Maria Coca Ascencio, a graduate of the Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program, have recently been voted on to the executive board of the ASU Chicano/Latino Faculty & Staff Association (CLFSA) for leadership positions. De Mesa is serving as president-elect and Coca Ascencio is secretary of the association.

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Meet sustainability alumna Taylor Reimann

April 28, 2020

Inspired by her love for nature but dismayed by its degradation, Taylor Reimann was determined to pursue sustainability from an early age.

“Growing up, my family continued to frequent our favorite Arizona gems, but over time things began to look different,” Reimann said. “These things were hard for me to see, and as I got older I realized that it wasn’t just my home that was suffering, this was happening in a lot of people’s  backyards. When it came time to decide on a career path, there was nothing I felt stronger about than sustainability.”

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School of Sustainability alumna provides tips on reducing food waste

April 23, 2020

As we try to tackle the wicked problem of climate change, one of the biggest and most important hurdles is the transformation of our food systems. While that may sound like a daunting task, the good news is there are little changes we can make each day to bring us closer to that transformation. One of these changes is reducing food waste, a concept that has found a passionate advocate in sustainable restauranteur Danielle Leoni.

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