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Student success spotlights

Student success spotlights

Student success spotlights

Undergrad helps the tourism industry become certifiably green

February 5, 2018

Interns often wear many different hats, being responsible for or involved in a handful of different projects at any given time. This was certainly true in the case of Justyn Beach, who obtained a Pollution Prevention (P2) Internship for the Hospitality and Lodging Sector with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).

Justyn is a Sustainability undergraduate studying Sustainability with a Policy and Governance concentration and a minor in Justice Studies. From August to November of 2017 he created a comprehensive checklist of sustainable business practices for hotels, lodges, and resorts. It served as the bridge between sustainability and hotels, lodges, and resorts across the entire state of Arizona, and it was very difficult to create a statewide program that is large enough to be effective yet not so large that it becomes unwieldy. The checklist is part of a larger Green Certification Program that is currently being developed by the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association (AzLTA) in conjunction with Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It’s a step toward creating a more sustainable, functional business model.

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EMSL graduate hired as executive director

January 27, 2018

Jessica 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.

Student makes huge impact with wine and butterflies during undergraduate internship

December 19, 2017

Christine Carmazzi, an undergraduate student pursuing her Bachelor’s in the international development track, was able to obtain the highly sought after Sustainability and Harvest internship at the Patton Valley Vineyard.

Although Christine believes the most important part of her internship was that she built a monarch butterfly sanctuary, she admits that she feels particularly lucky to have stomped around in a tank of grape juice.

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Colbert, live from COP 23

November 30, 2017

The 23rd Conference of the Parties – a U.N. climate conference in Bonn, Germany – attracted dignitaries from around the world. Luckily, those at home had School of Sustainability student Julia Colbert to fill them in.

Colbert, a student worker with the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, shared her video coverage of COP23 on YouTube. On top of that, she connected with fourth-to-twelfth-grade classrooms throughout the country via Facetime or Skype, teaching conference-related lessons like “how to negotiate.”

"It was inspiring to see how much they really wanted to learn,” said Colbert. “It made me hopeful that this next generation will be the change-makers that truly make a difference in the fight against climate change."

MSL Profile: Benjamin Fogg

November 8, 2017

Ben Fogg wearing a suit jacket and standing in front of a windowBenjamin Fogg is a student in the ASU School of Sustainability's Master of Sustainability Leadership program and graduates in Fall 2017.

Fogg was recently promoted to Sustainability Specialist at FedEx Ground in Pittsburgh, PA. Currently, he works to develop internal and external relationships for FedEx Ground with the aim of applying circular economy principles using research from his SOS capstone project.

Why did you choose to major in sustainability?

Sustainability, in a sense, has been ingrained in me since I was a kid. I grew up in the Marshall Islands where I bore witness to beautiful islands and beaches, all while being surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. The island itself was only three miles long and half a mile wide. Over time, these islands – and many others like them – have fallen victim to issues like climate change, ocean acidification and the plastics epidemic. Knowing that such problems exist and that they threaten the beautiful paradise where I grew up, I decided to pursue an education and career in which I help solve these problems while getting businesses on board to do the same.

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1,000s of lab gloves will be recycled thanks to ASU sustainability student

October 24, 2017

Junkee Justin Ahn holding lab gloves and making the pitchforkWhile interning at paper giant Kimberly Clark, undergraduate School of Sustainability student Junkee Justin Ahn noticed that the company had a nitrile glove recycling program. He recognized the need for a similar program at ASU, where countless gloves are used in labs across its campuses each week, and began collecting information.

By bringing the program – called RightCycle – to ASU, Ahn is helping gloves from the Tempe and Polytechnic campuses reach recycling centers where they are turned into plastic materials. He presented his work at the nation’s biggest higher-education sustainability conference, held by the the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education in San Antonio, in October 2017.

Committed to action

October 16, 2017

With an exclusive invite, School of Sustainability undergraduate Yann Raymond and his thesis partner attended the 2017 Clinton Global Initiative University in Boston, Mass. The team’s “commitment to action” – a CGI U requirement – was to address the Valley’s lack of convenient, nutritious food.

“We’re doing this by growing fresh food aeroponically, using 90% less water and space and zero chemical fertilizers or pesticides,” said Raymond. “The concept relies on harvesting the herbs and vegetables the very morning that they go to market.”

The team later pitched their idea to Changemaker Central and Venture Devils, amassing $4,000 in start-up funds.

Tackling homelessness with tiny houses

August 19, 2017

GreenLight Solutions – a consulting organization started by ASU School of Sustainability students – has partnered with nonprofit Build Us HOPE to assist those experiencing homelessness.

In August 2017, members of GreenLight Solutions joined Build Us HOPE volunteers and people currently experiencing homelessness to break ground at Micro on Madison – a project that provides tiny houses to homeless veterans in the Valley. The 300-to-450-foot houses are sustainable, cost-effective and easy to replicate. Currently funded by donations, the houses will be paid for in part by future tenants with adequate funds.

“We’re just trying to get it done instead of talking about it,” said Kevin Keleher, a School of Sustainability alumnus and the executive director of Greenlight Solutions. “It’s a really exciting time.”

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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