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Smeal MBA Students Provide a Pathway for Further Integration of Sustainability

From left: second year MBA students Ryan Roach, Sophia Schuster, Elizabeth Kennedy, Benedetta Piva, Jonathan Capra, and Director of Sustainability Erik Foley

They are a sign of a sea change in business and business education. As one observer has stated:

"Surveys show that 88 percent of business school students think that learning about social and environmental issues in business is a priority, and 67 percent want to incorporate environmental sustainability into their future jobs. To meet this demand, the percentage of business schools that require students to take a course dedicated to business and society increased from 34 percent in 2001 to 79 percent in 2011, and specific academic programs on business sustainability can now be found in 46 percent of the top 100 US master of business administration (MBA) programs."

On Wednesday, December 5th a small group of MBA students (pictured above) culminated several months of work, hundreds of interviews, benchmarking and over 400 hours of work-time with a terrific presentation to Dean Charles Whiteman and a host of leaders from across the college and the Sustainability Institute.

Their recommendations spanned new required courses, a strengthened sustainability option in the residential MBA, new electives, experiential learning opportunities, industry partnerships, and a dual degree program.

Hats off to Sophia, Ryan, Benedetta, Liz and Jonathan! Hard-working students who gave up sleep, their summer and countless hours to recommend changes that can impact students for years to come.

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