This past semester, the M.S. in Sustainability Management program (MSSM) reached a milestone, with over 100 alumni since its inception in the fall of 2010. Graduates of the program are integrating sustainability into organizations across the world: Dina Mustafa, Sustainability Manager at Ernst and Young Middle East in Dubai and Uta Jungermann, who is working for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in Geneva, are just some of the alumni putting sustainability into practice. Others like JD Capuano and Sami Abbay chose an entrepreneurial path— these two began a successful sustainability consultancy, Closed Loop Advisors, here in New York City.
Here is a sampling of the alums’ reflections on their time in the program:
- “The program’s interdisciplinary focus has helped me to better understand the interconnectedness and interdependencies of ‘sustainability.’ There is never a straightforward answer to a question, or a single solution to a sustainability challenge. Understanding and respecting this is essential to developing and progressing in the broad field of sustainability, which involves balancing multiple interests, perspectives, approaches and beliefs.” – Uta Jungermann
- “We are grateful to have several faculty members provide advice from the company’s pre-launch phase through our latest proposal to a prospective client. We look forward to continued collaboration with MSSM students, faculty, and alumni for the rest of our careers.” – JD Capuano
- “Personally, the diverse professional backgrounds of the students in the MSSM program provided a unique and rewarding educational environment. It was very helpful to hear varying perspectives and opinions when discussing controversial environmental issues.” – Jessica Bollhoefer
- “Throughout my career, I plan to reference the skills that I learned in the MSSM program so that I can continue to move my clients forward in the world of sustainability.”- Eileen Quigley
- “I really feel like the M.S. in Sustainability Management program was the stepping stone that got me into the field. I am sure that I will utilize contacts and fellow students in the future as my career progresses.” Sarah Gudernatch
Many of the MSSM alums came out to celebrate the inaugural Earth Institute Alumni Event on November 17, which featured a discussion entitled Climate Change and Energy Agenda: Post Presidential Election. Panelists included experts such as Travis Bradford, President and Founder of the Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development; Michael Gerrard, Director of the Center for Climate Change Law; and Dan Lashof, Program Director for Climate & Clean Air at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Watch the video here.
The reception following the alumni event allowed MSSM alums to catch up with fellow graduates and faculty members, as well as to meet and mingle with current students and alumni from across all Earth Institute sustainability education programs. The Alumni Event is just one of many new initiatives that the Earth Institute is undertaking to keep its graduates connected, not only to current environmental issues but to one another, as they build their professional networks in the field.
The M.S. in Sustainability Management, co-sponsored by the Earth Institute and Columbia’s School of Continuing Education, trains students to tackle complex and pressing environmental and managerial challenges. The M.S. in Sustainability Management program requires the successful completion of 36 credit points. Those credit points are divided among five comprehensive content areas: integrative sustainability management, economics and quantitative analysis, the physical dimensions of sustainability, the public policy environment of sustainability management, and general and financial management. Please visit our website to learn more about the program.