The Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business (“Center”) and the Scheller College of Business have selected Kayley Beard as the 2022 recipient of the Vivian Nora Lukens Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship was established to support undergraduate students who are pursuing the Certificate in Sustainable Business.
Kayley is passionate about sustainability and how it is implemented in the built environment, businesses, and cities. In May, Kayley graduated from Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s of science degree in architecture, a minor in sustainable cities, and the Certificate in Sustainable Business. Kayley grew up in Alpharetta and is a graduate of Alpharetta High School.
Before she came to Georgia Tech, Kayley was set on becoming an architect. However, that direction changed. She said, “As I learned more about sustainability in my courses, my path shifted. I’m now interested in a career as a sustainability consultant.” In her first semester at Georgia Tech, she enrolled in a Serve-Learn-Sustain (SLS) short course, Social Innovation for Sustainable Communities, taught by SLS Director Jenny Hirsch. Hirsch’s overall sustainability approach of thinking not just about environmental impact but also about equity and inclusion “has been a huge inspiration,” Kayley said. In her second semester, she took the SLS-affiliated course, Sustainable Urban Development, taught by City and Regional Planning Lecturer Jairo Garcia, which she described as “a great introduction to how cities and communities are incorporating sustainability programs and initiatives.” The SLS course, Foundations of Sustainable Systems, taught by Professor of Operations Management Beril Toktay, was also influential in that it helped Kayley better understand the complexity of sustainability. “My interest has only grown from there,” she said.
Kayley Beard leads an equity-focused tour of the Kendeda Building, offered as part of the SLS short course, ABCD in Practice.
Throughout her undergraduate years, Kayley was deeply involved in SLS as well as the Center. Through her work in the SLS Vertically Integrated Project (VIP): Building for Equity and Sustainability, she co-created an equity-focused tour of the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design. She also established a strong partnership with the NAACP Centering Equity in the Sustainable Building Sector initiative, helping them to push rating systems such as the Living Building Challenge to more thoroughly incorporate equity and community engagement. As a two-time SLS intern, she worked for the Center for Sustainable Communities on a webcast, Inspire & Empower, about women in STEM, and also for the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Resilience on creating a dashboard for equity and sustainability metrics. This summer, Kayley is participating in the Smart Community Corps internship program and working with Georgia Tech’s Infrastructure Research Group on a project on transportation equity and resilience. Through the Center, she served as a 2021-22 Scheller College Sustainability Ambassador. In the role, she worked with Graduate Sustainability Fellow Felicia Lamothe on a glass recycling project for Sustainable Newton.
Kayley also participated in a number of extracurricular activities. She was a member of Suit Up Professional Preparation, which organizes events such as a mock career fair and a resume workshop. She also served on the Shabbat and holidays committee of Hillel.
Kayley Beard (with Sarah Kaufman and Jacob Sloman) helped to organize a sustainable Seder in the Kendeda Building on April 16, 2022.
Kayley said, “I decided to pursue the Certificate in Sustainable Business because I wanted to understand more about how organizations incorporate sustainability. Through a number of courses, I worked with various partners and gained insight into their operations and how they envision the future. Those experiences were extremely valuable.”
In Fall 2022, Kayley will begin Columbia University’s Master of Science in Sustainability Management program, which she hopes will position her to be a leader who can help different types of organizations think more strategically and meaningfully about their impact on the planet and people.
Bright skies ahead! Kayley Beard visits the Grand Canyon on her 2022 spring break.
Written by Jennifer Holley Lux