The Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business at Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business (“Center”) is delighted to announce the 2019-20 Graduate Sustainability Fellows and Undergraduate Sustainability Ambassadors. This year, 11 graduate and seven undergraduate students will deepen their engagement in sustainability by working on projects and participating in activities related to sustainable business. The programs for Fellows and Ambassadors deliver on the Center’s commitment to empowering students to become leaders in building a sustainable and prosperous future.
Applicants to the programs traditionally represent diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise, and this year was no different. Among the selected Fellows are a research scientist in chemistry and a consulting instructor in electrical engineering who helped to design the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design (both are Georgia Tech employees enrolled in the Evening MBA Program). Two Ambassadors are pursuing the B.S. in Business Administration, while the others represent different majors—from environmental engineering to public policy. Three Ambassadors are among the 17 Georgia Tech students selected for the 2019 Millennium Fellowship, a joint leadership development program of the United Nations Academic Impact and the Millennium Campus Network.
For the first time, the programs each have one returning member. William Abdallah, an Ambassador and industrial engineering major, worked in 2018-19 on the foundation for a project called “Koura.” He said, “With support from the Center, I was able to meet a lot of people in the industry who provided help.” Abdallah decided to reapply to the program because he had pivoted with the project and believed the Center would be able to help him develop it. He remarked, “This year, I hope to make a lot of progress in helping consumers use their buying power to influence companies to adopt more sustainable practices.”
The parallel programs for graduate and undergraduate students are co-organized by Arianna Robinson, Center assistant director of business operations, and Kjersti Lukens, Center program support coordinator. The Fellows and Ambassadors programs are managed by Robinson and Lukens, respectively.
Robinson said, “It’s inspiring to see students work through the practical, tangible application of moving sustainability forward. The projects they are working on, whether on campus or with partner organizations, represent real issues, and the students are identifying real potential solutions.”
Among the 2019-20 individual and team projects are: a feasibility study of carbon pricing; stakeholder mapping; research for an entrepreneurship venture; a feasibility study on the commercialization of the Carbon Reduction Challenge; and strategic planning for a newly established national park system in Patagonia, Chile.
Robinson remarked, “All of the students come to their respective program having some sustainability interest already, and they’re looking to integrate it more deeply into their studies. We at the Center see the diversity of Fellows’ and Ambassadors’ backgrounds as yet further evidence that awareness of the sustainability challenges we are facing globally is growing. We must continue to ensure that it is increasingly being woven into the fabric of Scheller College and Georgia Tech.” She highlighted that the Fellows cohort now includes both a Ph.D. student as well as two students pursuing the new (as of Fall 2019) Master of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Management (MSEEM)—the first master’s degree at Georgia Tech that embeds sustainability.
Anne Webb, one of the Fellows who is pursuing the MSEEM, said, “I applied to be a Fellow to complement my graduate studies in the School of Public Policy; to contribute my business expertise to the Center; and to research, support, contribute, and advance climate solutions for Georgia’s path to carbon neutrality.”
The Fellows and Ambassadors will share their projects with the public during a poster session in April 2020.
2019-20 Scheller College Graduate Sustainability Fellows
2019-20 Scheller College Undergraduate Sustainability Ambassadors
Written by Jennifer Holley Lux