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Students choose to make a difference at ASU's School of Sustainability

October 15, 2013

How do you define “sustainability?”

For the newest crop of ASU School of Sustainability students, “sustainability” means changing the world for the better.

“My dream is to help save the world and make a difference,” says Kate Tiffany, a Phoenix native who is studying sustainability and international development. “I’m really happy to be involved in a community that’s really passionate about the environment, and we all love what we’re doing and feel strongly about sustainability. I’m excited to be here.”

While there are many sustainability programs across the country, ASU’s School of Sustainability is the first program to offer a comprehensive, degree-granting education on all aspects of sustainability, including environmental, social and economic systems.

“I was accepted at UC Berkeley and the University of Oregon, but I chose ASU because of its sustainability program,” says Kaelyn Polick-Kirkpatrick, a freshman from Mesa, Ariz. “I’m interested in anthropology and I was trying to find a way that would incorporate that with my love of nature and the environment. I stumbled upon ASU’s sustainability program on the Internet and decided it was for me.”

The School of Sustainability offers undergraduate and graduate programs in sustainability with focus areas or “challenges,” such as Tiffany’s international development challenge. Many students refine their challenge area later in their academic career, based on their future plans. And sometimes, a future plan isn’t so clear. But no matter what, the School of Sustainability is there for you every step of the way.

“One big goal is to have a big impact on the world and sustainability seems like a good route to go about it,” says Derek Duran, a freshman from Washington.

School of Sustainability alumni have gone on to affect change in nonprofit, government and corporate sectors, such as Waste Management, VP Sportswear, Dell, GreenBiz, Argonne National Laboratory and City of Avondale.

By graduation time, you will not only be able to define sustainability, but apply it to a fulfilling career.

School of Sustainability courses for spring 2014 are available to view on Oct. 17. Use prefix “SOS” to search the 2014 course catalog. Course registration begins on Oct. 21. Visit the ASU Academic Calendar for more information.