State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Congratulations to the MPA in Environmental Science & Policy Class of 2012

Students from the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy (MPA-ESP) program commemorated their graduation from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) on May 17 at a pre-ceremony breakfast reception in Faculty House.

ESP graduates pause for a photo during the commencement line-up in Low Library.

Faculty, family, and friends joined the 62 graduating students in celebrating their accomplishments, fondly remembering the various assignments that they have completed as students in the ESP program.

“Graduation has provided with me an opportunity to reflect on all the substantial personal and professional growth that has occurred over the past year,” said ESP Class of 2012 graduate Joseph Daniel. “Now all I can do is look to the future and contemplate what my next career move will be. Do I go back to my old employer and try to introduce the sustainability paradigm to them? Do I work for a small start-up and help them to get established? Do I start my own green consulting firm? Fortunately, I have been well prepared to do any of these things, thanks to my professors and colleagues in the ESP program.”

After the breakfast, the ESP graduates took part in the commencement ceremony for the School of International and Public Affairs on Columbia University’s South Lawn. Degrees were awarded to 741 candidates from six different degree programs. Tara Sonenshine, the recently appointed Under Secretary of the State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, addressed this year’s class, providing the graduates with professional advice and encouragement. The 62 ESP alumni join more than 500 program alums who have graduated over the past ten years.

Excited ESP graduates during the procession to Columbia's South Lawn for the SIPA Commencement Ceremony on May 17.

“Graduation ceremonies are always an exciting time for the students, faculty, staff, family and friends, and this was no exception,” said Sarah Tweedie, Assistant Director of the MPA-ESP program. “It is always so rewarding to see the students receive their diplomas after a year of hard work. I am very confident that our recent graduates will go on to do big things in their futures and I am excited that I can be a part of that.”

Students in the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program enroll in a year-long, 54-credit program offered at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, in partnership with the Earth Institute.

Since it began in 2002, the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program has given students the hands-on experience, and the analytical and decision-making tools to implement effective environmental and sustainable management policies. The program’s 550 graduates have advanced to jobs in domestic and international environmental policy, working in government, private and non-profit sectors. Their work involves issues of sustainability, resource use and global change, in fields focused on air, water, climate, energy efficiency, food, agriculture, transportation and waste management. They work as consultants, advisers, project managers, program directors, policy analysts, teachers, researchers, and environmental scientists and engineers.

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