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Student success spotlights

Student success spotlights

Student success spotlights

Meet sustainability online student Wes Fitch

December 13, 2019

Growing up in North Texas, Wes Fitch never really had the opportunity to experience nature. So when he finally did in Boulder, Colorado and the Pacific Northwest, it was life changing.

"As someone from the suburbs in Texas, this was my first experience living among beautiful geography and a community which reinforces a healthy, active and environmentally-conscious lifestyle," Fitch said. He credits these experiences with inspiring his dedication to create "harmonious relationships between humans and our planet’s systems."

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Turning plastic waste into educational opportunity

November 20, 2019

Arizona State University students standing with $6,000 checkThree Arizona State University students have won $6,000 in startup funds through the Microsoft Community Impact Pitch-Off for their new circular economy project.

Brian Boyle, Matthew Burmeister and Andrew John De Los Santos — three master's students from the School of Sustainability — were awarded the funds for their project, "The Circular Classroom." The project aims to meet the needs of underserved high school students in the Phoenix metro area with the technology and support necessary to transform hard-to-recycle plastic waste (i.e., #5 Polypropylene plastic bottle caps) into low-cost 3D printed educational materials.

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Meet sustainability sophomore Jackson Schiefelbein

November 12, 2019

Jackson SchiefelbeinA native of Columbus, Ohio, Arizona State University sophomore Jackson Schiefelbein has always been driven to help others. So when he discovered the School of sustainability and ASU invited him to visit, he jumped at the chance and the rest is history.

"Upon learning of the School of Sustainability and the diversity of its offerings beyond environmental science, I knew this was the place for me," Schiefelbein said. "Thanks to ASU's generosity in inviting me to visit and providing significant support through scholarships and other resources, I was able to commit to making the move to ASU."

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Meet Master of Sustainability Solutions student Kiana Mays

November 7, 2019

Kiana Mays“I’m passionate about the intersection of food and sustainability, as well as the beauty and fashion industries,” said Arizona State University student Kiana Mays. “The way we care for our bodies, on the inside and out, is truly a reflection of how we view and treat the outer world.”

Mays has manifested her interests in social responsibility, restaurants, food waste and wellness in a number of ways during her tenure at ASU, including a stint as a report writing assistant for the Project Cities program in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. As a former restaurant employee, she became aware of numerous social, environmental and economic issues that the industry faces on a daily basis.

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Meet sustainability alumna Lizzy Noble

October 23, 2019

Lizzy NoblePhoenix local Lizzy Noble had always wanted to be an architect growing up. Ironically, it was in the pursuit of this goal that she developed a love for sustainability.

“My freshman year of high school, I enrolled in the EPICS/engineering program of my school," Noble said. "The director of this program was one of the first sustainability gurus I met and would always assign us 'green projects.'"

These projects in tandem with a field trip to Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability motivated Noble to head down the career path of sustainability. Noble is a recent graduate from ASU who studied business sustainability and supply chain management. In this Q&A, she takes us through her history and what she's doing now, as well as what sustainability means to her.

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Meet sustainability master's student Matthew Burmeister

October 23, 2019

Matthew BurmeisterArizona State University student Matthew Burmeister has been doing incredible work in sustainability with "Sustainable Sound: Festival Guide," a guide to making music festivals more sustainable, which originated from a Sustainability Connect project.

Based on his experiences, Burmeister has some "sound" advice for students who are inexperienced in sustainability projects: “Don’t give up — when I first came up with the idea for 'Sustainable Sound' I had zero connections with anyone in the festival industry or even any experience in event planning. Regardless of my unfamiliarity with the field, I wanted to do this project so badly that I took the time to reach out to industry professionals and dug into the existing research and frameworks. After countless phone calls, emails, pitches and rejections, I am now working with some of my favorite festival organizations to help them transform their events.”

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Meet sustainability junior Andrew Kennedy

October 14, 2019

Andrew KennedyA quest to merge his passions for social justice and environmentalism led Andrew Kennedy to Arizona State University's School of Sustainability.

"I initially wanted to study conservation biology in high school because I absolutely loved learning about ecosystems, animal biology and how to protect valuable species," Kennedy said. "However, I was also very passionate about politics and justice."

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Meet sustainability student Andie Wilkerson

September 16, 2019

Andie WilkersonAlthough she was raised to love and care for the environment, Andie Wilkerson almost didn’t study sustainability.

“Going into college, I didn't even realize sustainability was an option,” Wilkerson said. “I applied to ASU intending to be an environmental engineering major, but two weeks before orientation, I discovered the school of sustainability through the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability's website.” Wilkerson read about the program and by the time she was done, she had decided to change her major.

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Meet sustainability junior Casey Rapacki

September 9, 2019

Casey Rapacki stands smiling in front of treeMoved by the beautiful scenery she witnessed during a hike, Casey Rapacki decided then and there to dedicate her life to protecting the planet and its species.

“I love our planet, but I fight for social, economic and environmental health for my love of living beings,” Rapacki said. “The planet will continue on, and I want to make sure that we thrive along with it for years to come.”

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Meet sustainability senior Dawson Morford

September 3, 2019

Dawson Morford - ASU sustainability student - wearing navy blue suit smiles in front of plant wallA simple question propelled Dawson Morford into the field of sustainability.

“When picking a major I had a close friend say, ‘Don’t you like all that renewable energy stuff?’ He was right — I always liked learning about all of the cool ways that society was creating energy," Morford said. "This then brought me to the arena of sustainability and I have not looked back since."

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