The Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business (“Center”) and the Scheller College of Business have selected Jenny Choi as the first recipient of the Vivian Nora Lukens Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship was established to support undergraduate students who are pursuing the Certificate in Sustainable Business (“Certificate”)
Through her Scheller College coursework, Choi has been learning how to evaluate critical problems for companies, government, and civil society through a sustainability lens. The Certificate, which was approved by the Georgia Tech Faculty Senate in April 2019, provides undergraduates from any major with the opportunity to build a sustainability toolkit that can be used to help organizations address the most pressing environmental and social challenges of our time. Coursework may be selected from business classes taught with an environmental and social sustainability lens as well as classes from other disciplines that will help students build their fundamental knowledge of sustainability.
Choi, who anticipates graduating in December 2020 with a B.S. in Business Administration and a concentration in Strategy and Innovation, has long been interested in sustainability—for the planet, organizations, and communities. Even though Choi was on track to graduate in May 2020, she decided to continue at Georgia Tech for an additional semester in order to pursue the Certificate, which she says will better prepare her to align her values with her future career. Choi is no stranger to stepping up as an unofficial sustainability ambassador. After her freshman year, as a marketing intern at local juice and smoothie company Arden’s Garden, she spoke up about her interests. As a result, the company gave her the green light to work on several sustainability initiatives, including research into recyclable packaging options.
Sustainability has been woven throughout Choi’s Georgia Tech experience. Since her sophomore year, she has served as the student photographer for Serve-Learn-Sustain. Over the past three years, her position has enabled her attendance at over 80 sustainability- and community-building workshops, seminars, and programs. In 2018, she also worked as the Center’s student assistant. This role gave her a broad range of responsibilities, such as representing the Center at tabling sessions, photographing and marketing events, and helping to facilitate the Business, Environment, and Society Speaker Series. She credits the experiential learning course, MGT 4369: Sustainable Business Consulting Practicum, taught by Michael Oxman and Bob Lax, with giving her the opportunity to apply a structured problem-solving approach to a feasibility study for a solar marketplace platform. Recently, she was accepted to the Create-X program, which will provide her with resources as she explores a sustainable activewear startup idea. In Fall 2020, Choi will enroll in business courses that she believes will help her implement sustainability practices in organizations and communities of which she is a part.
Choi states, “Thanks to my courses and experiences at Georgia Tech, I clearly see the intersection between communities, businesses, and sustainability. In our rapidly changing world, I believe sustainability will become increasingly tied to business. Consumers are becoming more conscious of how their decisions impact the behavior of firms, which in turn has the potential to impact the environment on a global scale. I expect the knowledge I gain through Certificate-related courses to shape business decisions throughout my career.”
By Jennifer Holley Lux