Introducing the 2014-2015 sMBA Cohort!

On August 18, the new MBA Sustainability cohort gathered for the first time to begin our weeklong orientation. We hit the ground running with a case competition, professional presentations, simulations and networking.

To start the week off, we did a team building activity. No one expected to be building with Legos in an MBA program, but that is exactly what we did. We had to design a new product and give an elevator pitch about it to the group.

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Vani, Jacob, Patrick, Elise and Gina work on their toy concept during orientation

We had many executive speakers from the Pittsburgh area, including Matt Mehalik from Sustainable Pittsburgh, Bill O’Rourke from ALCOA and Anita Brattina from All Facilities Group.

On Thursday, we broke up into groups for a case competition, a first for many students with backgrounds in liberal arts, science and engineering. Everyone enjoyed getting to know their group and working through a real world problem.

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Clare and Derek work on the case competition.

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Students used the new team rooms where the tables also serve as a writing surface

 

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Nayan, Phil and Gina discuss their team strategy for the case competition.

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Vani discusses the team’s strategy while Ronna makes notes for their team presentation.

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Caitlin, Liis and Catherine discuss their group presentation during the case competition.

After the case competition, we went outside to enjoy a barbecue and do a resource allocation simulation with Dr. Sroufe.

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Derek and Patrick discuss strategy for the resource allocation simulation.

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Caitlin, Zach and Catherine discuss their team’s strategy during the simulation.

 

We wrapped up an exciting week with an alumni panel featuring Dana McTighe, Alison Etheridge, Laura Troup, Ryan Baptiste, Steve Opar, Rudy Molero, and Nick Monzo. They shared their favorite MBA memories and talked about their preparation for roles in project management, purchasing, supply chain, finance, engineering and brand management with PNC, Heinz, BNY Mellon, FedEx, a healthcare provider and a social entrepreneur.

The various perspectives that each student brought made for interesting discussion throughout the week. There is a lot to learn in a short period, and everyone is excited to begin this exciting journey!

What a Difference a Year Makes!

The MBA Sustainability class of 2014 has officially matriculated.  Everyone at Duquesne University is excited to see the impact that this cohort leaves through their respective careers.  The video below shares highlights from the year-long program.  What a difference a year makes!

Duquesne Places Third in the Green Workplace Challenge

By: Matt Lepri

GWC photoOver the past nine months, I had the great opportunity to oversee Duquesne University’s MBA Sustainability program’s involvement in this years Green Workplace Challenge (GWC). The Pittsburgh GWC is a year-long competition for organizations, such as Duquesne, to save money and gain recognition through the implementation of green initiatives.

As part of my fellowship duties for the MBA Sustainability program, I tracked, measured, and implemented sustainability initiatives over a wide range of categories which include: energy, water, waste, transportation, policy, and engagement.​ In the University division, Duquesne placed in 3rd place and earned a total of 107 green action points. The competition-wide sustainable initiatives reaped incredible savings, as participants in total saved 37,300,000 kWh of energy, valued at over $3 million, 5,421,000 gallons of water, and 4821 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions​.

What we learned from Costa Rica and Guatemala…

Each year, our cohort embarks on two study abroad trips.  In February, we traveled to Germany.  In May, we traveled to Costa Rica and Guatemala.  The learning from the trips are evident in this video.

LEED-ing Rockwell Towards Sustainable Design

photo 2Students, Lixuan He, Peter Kassouf, Nicholas Monzo, and Laura Monahan, placed first in Duquesne’s MBA Sustainability LEED Commercial Interiors design project. Two students in our class, architect Dan Sutton and Carnegie Mellon University architecture student Rohini Srivistava consulted the student teams throughout the semester-long project.

“Being a consultant for the LEED CI project was very enjoyable because it allowed me to share my background experience and education with my classmates,” shared student and architect Dan Sutton.  “It was rewarding to see how each groups project developed over time and it was great to see how teams would take my advice and make it their own to create their new vision for Rockwell Hall.”

All of the student teams went outside their comfort zone to envision a plan for Rockwell Hall that accounted for triple bottom line benefits.  The students were instructed to create a design within a $2M budget that considers and educates stakeholders, while demonstrating the highest possible LEED CI point rating.

“The LEED CI project was an exciting opportunity to take sustainability concepts and get creative by applying them to a project that’s very close to our program, since it involves renovating the building that we use every day,” shared Nick Monzo, member of the winning team. “I’ve always enjoyed construction projects with my dad, and I loved having the chance to plan a large-scale project with a strategic sustainability vision in mind.”

photoEach year, Dr. Sroufe’s spring course, Sustainability Tools and Processes, includes a LEED CI project that focuses on different parts of Duquesne University.  Throughout the spring semester, Dr. Sroufe arranged visits and guest lecturers to educate the cohort on sustainable building design that assisted with our projects.  This year’s challenge forced the cohort to envision a new design for the concourse and basement levels of Rockwell Hall.  A panel of judges including architects, professors, alumni, and members of the business community judged teams in this competition.

 

Student Spotlight: Derick Florian

1395183_696689442043_1255847136_nBefore Duquesne: Derick, a Pittsburgh native, attended The Ohio State University where he majored in Mandarin Chinese and minored in Business.

Why Duquesne: “I chose this MBA program for the ability to participate in the live consulting projects”. This year Derick had the opportunity to complete consulting projects with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Braskem, and B Corps. Duquesne gave him the opportunity to compete in various case competitions including the Aspen Business & Society International Case Competition and the ACG Cup. Derick was part of the team that placed 2nd place in the Aspen business & Society International MBA Competition.

Beyond Duquesne: After graduation, Derick is excited to pursue a management role in a supply chain. In the future, Derick is interested in opportunities in China since he enjoys the Chinese language and culture.

Transforming Water Purification in Guatemala

During our visit to Guatemala we had the opportunity to visit Ecofiltro. Philip Wilson, CEO, realized that the lack of pure water in the rural households of many Guatemalans could not effectively be dealt with from the earlier donation dependent operation.  He decided to convert Ecofiltro to a social  business and followed a hybrid approach where urban sales of filters would serve to finance the distribution of rural filters at an affordable price. Ecofiltro’s factory is capable of producing 8,000-10,000 filters per month .  To date, Ecofiltro has distributed over 175,000 filters throughout Guatemala; however, they plan to reach 1 million rural guatemalans with clean water by 2020.

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