College Highlight: Fernando Ortiz


College Highlight: Fernando Ortiz

Emily Tenaglia
|August 3, 2022

A sustainable designer and neighborhood organizer, Fernando Ortiz will educate Sustainability Administration this fall.

An adjunct professor in Columbia College’s Sustainability Administration program, Fernando Ortiz is a Dominican-American sustainable designer and the borough director for New York Metropolis Financial Growth Company, the place he manages authorities and neighborhood relations. Previously, he was a metropolis planner within the Bronx.

Ortiz began his profession as a neighborhood organizer for The Level Group Growth Company, and he has labored on environmental justice within the South Bronx and studied throughout 4 continents. His expertise contains collaborating with Native American tribes, and he makes a speciality of neighborhood engagement. He has participated in a number of city planning/design initiatives inside New York Metropolis.

Ortiz holds grasp’s levels in Sustainability Administration from Columbia College, and in Sustainable Design from the Boston Architectural School, and a bachelor’s diploma from Pratt Institute. As a Bronx native, he’s enthusiastic about uplifting the wants and voices of Bronxites throughout town and globe.

What initially motivated you to pursue the sector of sustainability?

I used to be at all times within the surroundings and understanding the way it shapes our society. I used to be drawn to environmental justice and learn how to not solely make our environments more healthy however learn how to enhance the lives of people that have been marginalized and deprived by infrastructure and the fossil fuel-based economic system. Its interdisciplinary method allowed me to discover varied industries; design, waste, vitality, and so forth.

What drew you to the Columbia Local weather Faculty and the Faculty of Skilled Research (SPS)?

I graduated from SPS in 2019 from the Sustainability Administration program and was drawn to SPS due to the chance to study sustainability in NYC and at one of many nation’s prime universities. Columbia gives so many alternatives to have interaction in sustainability points throughout the globe and with trade professionals.

What course will you be educating this fall and what excites you most about it?

I can be educating the Sustainability Administration course within the SUMA program, which college students often take of their first semester and is among the few required SUMA programs. I’m excited to convey my expertise within the non-profit and public sector into this course in addition to my ardour and dedication to neighborhood engagement, particularly in underserved communities, and to reveal college students to NYC.

What modifications do you hope to see within the subject of sustainability sooner or later?

I hope to see extra sustainability work that’s targeted on enhancing public well being and public areas — and that locations marginalized communities and their well-being on the forefront and that uplifts their narratives. I wish to see extra BIPOC practitioners and extra of stated tales highlighted.

What recommendation do you’ve gotten for college kids pursuing a profession in sustainability?

Discover completely different areas of sustainability, expose your self to completely different communities and locations, journey, take part in extra-curricular initiatives and initiatives, and community as greatest and as usually as you may. Additionally, don’t be afraid to achieve out to practitioners within the subject — ask questions and ask for assist. Lastly, I might advise college students to at all times put individuals on the middle of their work.


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