I agree, the School of Sustainability is Great!

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The school year is starting up again and if you are interested in gaining an academic perspective on Achieving Sustainability, there is no better place to do that than at Arizona State University's (ASU) School of Sustainability (SOS). Disclosure: I got my master's degree there from 2008-2010. The current dean, Dr. Christopher Boone is laying out a convincing case with the top 13 reasons to attend. You can follow along on his blog.

Some of my thoughts on the posts so far:
  1. First in the Nation: The amazing part to me is that despite of the success of SOS, I do not know of any other universities that have created a free-standing, research, teaching and outreach unit dedicated to Sustainability.1)I am sure there are places that would take exception to this as academics like to split hairs over definitions and every university defines its units differently. But if there is one like SOS, I would like to know-banish my ignorance! Most programs are only teaching, or only research, or are part of another department etc, SOS continues to stand alone.
  2. Great Careers: Sustainability can be a challenge for a career for several reasons: 1) no accepted career path 2) enormous range of possible employers (how do you prepare) 3) few employers are familiar with what the degree means 4) people hiring are NOT Sustainability people and often prefer someone with their background and an interest in Sustainability (e.g. engineers hire engineers, businesses like business majors etc. 5) few institutions are interested in the type of transformative changed studied at SOS, which can be a big let down.
  3. Support and Guidance: I can confirm that SOS recognizes the importance of staff far and beyond what is typical of elitist academics.
  4. Aaron Graduation from SOS
    Graduation from SOS
  5. Financial Assistance
  6. Sustainable Campus, or Walking the Talk : What is most amazing about ASU's commitment to "walking the talk" is the scale. We are not talking about some little rural campus where a single wind turbine can power the whole place. ASU is demonstrating that change can happen on a city level scale!
  7. Vibrant Community
  8. Meaningful Internships: I had the opportunity to set-up some internships several years back and I can attest to the seriousness with which the institution takes creating internships that actually are parte of the culmination of your academic career and form bridges to the real world.2)They even published an academic paper describing the important place that internships occupy in the Sustainability program.
  9. Undergraduate research opportunities…
  10. Make a difference, and others may follow: SOS is certainly a community which fosters a culture of difference making, from small daily actions to big global changes.
I look forward to following the continued growth and progress of my alma mater.

Aaron Redman is the founder of Achieving Sustainability and what passes for an administrator in these parts. Currently he is working on his Sustainability PhD at ASU while raising a baby daughter and taking advantage of nap time to foment discussions on this here blog.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. I am sure there are places that would take exception to this as academics like to split hairs over definitions and every university defines its units differently. But if there is one like SOS, I would like to know-banish my ignorance!
2. They even published an academic paper describing the important place that internships occupy in the Sustainability program.
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2 thoughts on “I agree, the School of Sustainability is Great!

  1. I would also add that SOS is a place to get inspired. I found that everyday conversations with students, professors, and staff provided me with much needed inspiration to fight for the tranformational change I believe in and work hard to Achieve Sustainability!

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