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Meet sustainability alumna Samantha Zah

June 6, 2019

Samantha ZahWith a growing number of sustainability programs out there, how do you choose?

Samantha Zah, a spring 2019 graduate of the Master of Sustainability Solutions (MSUS) at Arizona State University, said she chose the program because of its applied approach. “I was concerned with getting wrapped up in academia and losing connection with the real world, so I appreciated the option to straddle both while advancing my career in the MSUS program,” she explained.

Even before graduating, Zah applied the skills she was learning in class to a project with the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise, a business owned by the tribe. As part of the Navajo Nation’s strategic plan to advance economically by expanding tourism, Navajo Gaming is developing a travel center near Flagstaff — and Zah worked with the business to ensure sustainability was embedded in the project.

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Meet sustainability alumna Kaylin Ayotte

May 21, 2019

Kayin AyotteKaylin Ayotte is an Arizona native and a two-time Arizona State University graduate. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from the School of Sustainability and a minor in business, she went on to expand her education with the Master of Sustainability Solutions (MSUS), graduating in Spring 2019.

Along with fellow student Isabel Burdge, Ayotte developed a publication for sustainability professionals, Mindiac, that focuses on mindfulness. Read more about their culminating experience project, and Ayotte’s experience in the MSUS program, in her Q&A below.

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Meet graduating sustainability master’s student Anthony Contento

May 6, 2019

Anthony Contento stands near a sign for his business, Contento RecyclingLast summer, we did a Q&A with Anthony Contento, a Master of Sustainability Leadership student in the School of Sustainability. Now that he just graduated with a few more accomplishments under his belt, we thought it was time to do a follow-up interview to learn about his capstone project and hear reflections about his experience with the program.

Question: Can you tell us about your capstone project?

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Meet graduating sustainability master’s student Christopher Mutshnick

May 3, 2019

Christopher Mutshnick headshotOne of the goals of the Master of Sustainability Leadership in the School of Sustainability is to teach tools that can be immediately applied to benefit each student’s workplace — and student Christopher William Mutshnick is a great example of that succeeding. Mutshnick, who is graduating with an MSL degree this month, has worked in the field of educational outreach and equity for nearly 10 years and used his capstone project to create for his organization a program that addresses global challenges while improving student learning and access to higher education.

Initially, Mutshnick didn’t see how threats like climate change connected with education. But then it dawned on him: “In my quest to make the world a better place, I had failed to realize that a prerequisite was having a world left to save.” Read his Q&A to learn more about this realization and what Mutshnick has been working on since.

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Meet graduating sustainability master’s student Sophia Vitale

May 1, 2019

Sophia VitaleSophia Yvonne Vitale is days away from graduating with her Master of Sustainability Leadership from Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability. She said her inspiration to study sustainability came from a spiritual awakening in which she realized that all of her actions have impacts, and she wanted to do more to change the world.

Despite family tragedies occurring during her studies, Vitale was able to stay on track with her degree and learn a lot through her classes, school mentors, classmates and capstone project — a sustainability consulting project working with businesses. Read more about Vitale’s journey in her Q&A.

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The vegan event of all vegan events

March 13, 2019

Aly StoffoThe vegan smorgasbord on Aly Stoffo’s plate might be overwhelming for anyone else, but that is exactly what she’s cooking up. The food feast in her academic oven is a plant-based food event called: Eat Well Live Well. It’s a project she undertook for her Master of Sustainability Solutions (MSUS) culminating experience in partnership with Aramark — ASU’s primary food vendor and high-visibility supporter of university sustainability initiatives.

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Propelling environmental and career change with the Master of Sustainability Leadership

View Source | September 13, 2018

Woman standing and smilingFor many ASU Online students, the chance to make a difference in their communities is a powerful motivator for earning a degree. Whether their goal is to advance in their current field or propel into a new arena altogether, working professionals who enroll in one of our online degrees find the flexible and robust nature of the program helps set them up for success.

Pursuing a Master of Sustainability Leadership degree enabled ASU Online student Annalise Dum to transition from the field of architecture into the nonprofit sector, where she now works as the Chicago facilities and workplace wellness manager for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Her role with the environmental action group includes overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Chicago office, in addition to consulting and advocating for the wellness component of sustainability within institutional construction projects and NRDC’s workforce.

“I focus on holistic sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and health and wellness in the workplace,” Annalise says. “I am certain that I got here, in large part, because of the MSL program. Being able to talk about the four different threads of the program and my capstone project is what sold me in my interview."

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Student helps expand bike share program, LEED certification in Phoenix neighborhood

July 9, 2018

Ethan McCloskeyDuring a four month internship, Ethan McCloskey, a Bachelor of Science student at the School of Sustainability, used his drive and work ethic to participate in the Stardust Affordable Housing Internship with the City of Phoenix. The department was so impressed with his work that now, after graduation, he is employed with his former supervisor expanding on the projects he worked on as an undergrad.

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Graduate student rides the solar curve to a Master of Sustainability Solutions

June 27, 2018

Devon RoodDevon Rood completed her Solar Duck Curve and Sustainable Storage Options project in April 2018 as the culminating project for her Master of Sustainability Solutions (MSUS) degree.

Working with Arizona Public Services (APS), Rood’s goal was to evaluate the most sustainable energy storage option out of the three potential options APS was considering. These included pumped hydro energy storage, compressed air energy storage, and Lithium-ion batteries.

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Meet the Disruptors: Disrupt/Create/Sustain

May 7, 2018

Disrupt HeaderAs the largest university in the country Arizona State University inevitably makes quite a bit of waste. Sure we have a Zero Waste initiative, and we recycle and compost, but there are often items, large and small, that get overlooked. Students are helping to fill the gaps.

In spring 2018 a one-credit course was created as a cross-disciplinary effort between the School of Sustainability (SOS), University Sustainability Practices (USP), and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts (HIDA) to bring students of different disciplines together to collaborate on a sustainability-focused art project. Students were charged with the task of developing a prototype of an outdoor common space for the Tempe campus. They focused on waste, recycling, and circular resources and were then released to complete the project with guidance from a team of staff from SOS, USP, and HIDA. The intention of the final installation was to engage campus visitors, students, staff, and faculty who move through common spaces at ASU. Groups were encouraged to consider innovative materials and construction processes for their installations.

Class time comprised of talks by artists, designers, and sustainability experts to give students an idea of the kinds of projects they could create, the specific issues they could focus on, and free time to work on their designs. Once student teams moved through development stages, they received approval to construct their proposed installation. Students were judged by ASU student peers, selected staff, and faculty. Funding and scholarship opportunities were also available for this group and were judged in a competition setting.

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Undergrad helps the tourism industry become certifiably green

February 5, 2018

Justyn BeachInterns 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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Student makes huge impact with wine and butterflies during undergraduate internship

December 19, 2017

Christine Carmazzi, an Christine Carmazziundergraduate 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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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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ASU Sustainability and Design Team Develop Award-Winning Project in Hawai’i

July 25, 2017

Hawaii Project TeamSince August 2016, an interdisciplinary team of ASU design and sustainability students and faculty have been working on a group project called “Water is Life” with local Hawai’ians to imagine a more sustainable Hawai’i. We followed up with Leah Gibbons, PhD student, Sustainability; Paul Coseo, Assistant Professor, The Design School; and Chingwen Cheng, Assistant Professor, The Design School to talk more about the future of the project and its continued impacts.

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Celebrating Student Sustainability Projects

May 22, 2017

Sustainability Projects ShowcaseWe had a wonderful array of student projects this 2016-2017 academic year covering a vast landscape of topics. We decided to make a video montage to celebrate the solutions-oriented projects students worked on this year.

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