7 Latest Grads Who Earned Awards in Sustainable Improvement


7 Latest Grads Who Earned Awards in Sustainable Improvement

by
Emily Tenaglia
|August 4, 2022

The Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Improvement is proud to have a good time the exhausting work and excellent dedication of its latest graduates. Sustainable Improvement Departmental Honors are awarded to college students with a grade level common of a minimum of 3.7 of their main programs and a minimum of a B+ in each programs of the senior thesis seminar. Six college students from the category of 2022 earned Departmental Honors, and two acquired the Stuart Gaffin Award for Management and Engagement. We caught up with them to study their post-graduation plans, their understanding of sustainability, and their recommendation to present college students.

Lily Friedland (Departmental Honors)

What are your plans having now graduated from this system?

I plan to take a yr off to journey, volunteer, and hike the Appalachian Path earlier than making use of to grasp’s applications in sustainable city design, planning, transportation and/or structure.

How did this system form your understanding of sustainability?

The sustainable improvement program allowed me the pliability to find the limitless fields of sustainability work and the sector I felt essentially the most captivated with personally. A variety of undergraduate applications give attention to environmental bodily sciences or restrict the scope of environmental social science to coverage or economics. These are all important fields to the examine of sustainability, however Columbia’s program allowed me the pliability to find different fields, like sustainable city design and planning. Sustainability could be utilized to many fields past what we presently know, and the SDEV program at Columbia permits college students to find and invent these connections that can most definitely be part of our future.

What recommendation would you give to present college students in this system?

My recommendation for college kids is to by no means cease looking for what makes them excited to be taught and commit their research (and doable future profession) to a sustainable future. Throughout my time at Columbia, I trusted a intestine feeling that advised me that I used to be alleged to commit my profession to sustainable improvement, however lots of the extra well-known careers within the area by no means jumped out at me. It was solely through the pandemic after I unintentionally lived on an energetic inexperienced development redevelopment web site that I found my goal within the sustainability area: sustainable city design and transportation. We’re lucky to be a part of a rising area made up of foundational inexperienced jobs like these in authorities in addition to these of their infancy. Your distinctive goal is on the market and we want your expertise to make a distinction!

Lauren Apollaro (Departmental Honors)

What are your plans having now graduated from this system?

On the finish of the summer time, I can be becoming a member of California Environmental Associates Consulting as a analysis affiliate in San Francisco. I couldn’t be extra excited for the chance to interact with a various array of stakeholders relating to our most urgent environmental points — and likewise to discover a brand new metropolis!

How did this system form your understanding of sustainability?

Earlier than coming to Columbia, I had very restricted data relating to sustainability. In actual fact, Intro to Sustainable Improvement with Professor Smerdon was my first publicity to the sector. At first, the idea appeared easy, however my understanding of sustainability has grown as I labored my approach by means of this program. Via core program lessons just like the Capstone Workshop and electives like Fundamentals of World Well being, I started to understand the nuance and intricacy that the examine of sustainable improvement calls for. With each course, my understanding of sustainability advanced to develop into a posh net of the relationships between environmental, social, and financial stakeholders — every at differing scales and with completely different views and targets.

What recommendation would you give to present college students in this system?

Don’t be afraid to achieve out to upperclassmen! This program has such all kinds after all choices and curiosity areas, and my upperclassmen Sus Dev friends had been instrumental in serving to me determine which lessons match greatest with my targets and pursuits. You’re surrounded by superior, succesful, good people, so take benefit. And if you happen to don’t know any upperclassmen personally, be at liberty to achieve out — I’m joyful to assist!

Ben Dahan (Departmental Honors)

What are your plans having now graduated from this system?

Since graduating, I’ve been finishing a summer-long service time period by means of Americorps, working with the Heart for Rural Livelihoods in Cottage Grove, Oregon. The principle through-line within the work we’ve been doing — which runs the gamut from invasive species elimination, gasoline hundreds discount, pure constructing and restoration forestry — is that my fingers get lots soiled! Sooner or later, I plan to work in local weather change adaptation in my residence areas of California and North Africa.

How did this system form your understanding of sustainability?

As a basis of this system, you be taught in regards to the ever-evolving definition of sustainability, put ahead in milestones just like the Brundtland Report [which developed guiding principles for sustainable development]. You learn to see the various issues led to by growing unsustainably by means of their political and pure dimensions. What I discovered most formative, although, was the range inside sustainable improvement — that “sustainability” itself is a giant tent that holds the nice number of passions of my fellow college students throughout the main! Personally, by means of conversations with professors and friends, I got here away with the thought of residing sustainably by adapting in concurrence with altering techniques. 

What recommendation would you give to present college students in this system?

The key to profiting from this system is: to not confine your self to it! Columbia is a hub of sustainability of every kind, touching various disciplines and departments. I’ve been to an intimate roundtable with the power minister of Colombia by means of the Heart for World Power Coverage, rubbed elbows with local weather change officers throughout the Protection Division by means of the College of Worldwide and Public Affairs and the Saltzman Institute for Struggle and Peace Research, and was blown away by a dialogue on the framing of the “local weather disaster” placed on by the Center East Institute. Subscribe to analysis middle newsletters. Attain out to professors and alumni (together with / particularly me!) doing cool issues. Have interaction with the problems that drew you to Sustainable Improvement within the first place, and discover what you might by no means have anticipated to seek out inside it!

Isadora Muszkat (Departmental Honors)

Photograph: Bruce Gilbert

What are your plans having now graduated from this system?

Proper now I’m working with the Larger New Haven Clear Cities Coalition as a summer time intern, growing a undertaking to assist bus and truck fleets scale back their emissions and improve their use of other fuels. I’m very fascinated with sustainable consulting and ESG metrics and rankings and I hope to enter this area sooner or later.

How did this system form your understanding of sustainability?

I bear in mind the primary time somebody requested me how I’d outline sustainability or sustainable improvement. I spotted then that I had by no means tried to place into phrases what was, to me, nearly an emotional understanding of the time period. This system at Columbia helped me craft a extra rational and sensible understanding of sustainable improvement whereas making me understand how broad and complicated the subject of sustainability is. As a program, the sustainable improvement main is as holistic as the thought and approaches to sustainable improvement itself. At first, I used to be anxious about being completely overwhelmed by science lessons (which had been very difficult, I’m not gonna lie), however the diploma is way more than that. I had lessons on economics, information evaluation, meals manufacturing, legislation, and social sciences by means of the lenses of sustainability, and that actually gave me a extra full and holistic understanding of sustainability.

What recommendation would you give to present college students in this system?

Work collectively. Make buddies in school and discover folks you’ll be able to work with. With the ability to educate and be taught out of your friends will make your expertise way more enjoyable and your life simpler. Don’t let the aggressive ambiance at Columbia forestall you from learning collectively and serving to one another. On the finish of the day, the thought of sustainable improvement itself requires that all of us work collectively in the direction of a typical purpose.

Nick Kime (Departmental Honors and Stuart Gaffin Award)

Along with Departmental Honors, Nick Kime was a recipient of the Stuart Gaffin Award for Management and Engagement. The award commemorates Professor Stuart Gaffin, who taught the Workshop in Sustainable Improvement from 2009 to 2019. Award picks are primarily based on demonstrated management and repair within the spirit of sustainable improvement both on or off campus. The award honors management, influence, engagement, and dedication, all of which had been attribute of Professor Gaffin’s contributions to our Columbia group.

What are your plans having now graduated from this system?

I’ve simply moved to Washington, D.C. and began work on the Shopper Monetary Safety Bureau. I’ll be right here for a minimum of two years as a fellow, rotating by means of a few completely different workplaces throughout the bureau. My first task is with the Workplace of Supervision Coverage, the workplace that organizes how the bureau supervises monetary establishments to ensure they adjust to federal monetary laws. Most individuals who hear that I’m working on the CFPB are somewhat stunned contemplating that it doesn’t immediately relate to environmental points like another widespread jobs for graduates with a sustainable improvement diploma. I believe one priceless takeaway from my undergraduate training, although, was the concept sustainability, in concept, can and may inform all points of society and, particularly, governance. Stakeholder fashions intrinsic to sustainable improvement are extremely priceless to authorities companies just like the CFPB, whose categorical goal is to hearken to client complaints and analyze monetary information to develop the infrastructure vital to manage banks and different monetary establishments. That stated, I’m trying ahead to spending the subsequent couple of years in Washington, and I’m not positive the place I’ll find yourself after! 

How did this system form your understanding of sustainability?

This system did an incredible job of illustrating the practicable parts of sustainable improvement — the legal guidelines, developments, modifications and plans we should always and shouldn’t be implementing with a view to obtain current and future prosperity. It additionally goes with out saying that college students of sustainable improvement are confronted with numerous extremely unhappy materials. And I believe one of the crucial refreshing issues about taking programs within the sustainable improvement program was its escape from the pessimism that appears to pervade most of our technology, notably with regards to environmental points. I’m not saying local weather anxiousness isn’t actual, however I believe the advantages of that type of ambiance of optimism positively formed how I perceive sustainability — that’s, at its core is a perception that the Earth and its individuals are fairly nice and price working to save lots of.

What recommendation would you give to present college students in this system?

I can’t stress sufficient how priceless it was for me to have taken lessons in sustainable improvement whereas additionally concentrating in historical past. I believe that sustainable improvement provides you a very fascinating lens to investigate points outdoors of the direct purview of environmental research. Positively take lessons outdoors of the most important, in several disciplines that you understand nothing about. Additionally, as I hinted at within the earlier query, I believe that sustainable improvement is a reasonably distinctive main in that it hinges on its pupil’s appreciation of the Earth — so recognize the Earth! Take breaks, go to live shows, discover neighborhoods deep into New York Metropolis and check out meals you’ve gotten by no means heard of earlier than. You’re residing in one of the crucial various locations on the earth, and I believe it’s vital in your sustainable improvement training to reap the benefits of that.

Jiashi Yang (Departmental Honors)

Jiashi Yang double majored in Sustainable Improvement and Russian Literature and Tradition. She accomplished a joint senior thesis with the Slavic Languages Division entitled The Sino-Kazakh Power Relationship: How Sustainable Is It?

Lauren Ritchie (Stuart Gaffin Award)

Lauren acquired the Stuart Gaffin award for her work with the Earth Institute and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Her efforts persistently centered round amplifying efforts in advancing variety, fairness, and inclusion. Lauren’s widespread and impactful work to foster conversations on campus about local weather justice, intersectional environmentalism, and local weather activism by creating the Columbia Local weather Conversations collection and different digital and in-person efforts will go away an enduring impression on the college group and the SDEV program.


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