Check out Rebecca Bykoski Class of ’14

Check out Rebecca Bykoski’s interview with TribLive on the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program she designed! Rebecca is a 2014 graduate of the Duquesne SMBA program and is a current member on the Alumni Board. Prior to returning to school to earn her MBA, she was a junior high special education teacher. This just goes to show that you do not have to stay on the same career path forever! The SMBA program is a great way to help shift your career into a new direction! Follow the link below for more information on Rebecca’s interview!

The Corporate Cup

On Saturday July 18, 2015, a group of students were sponsored by their client to participate in the first annual Huntington Bank Corporate Cup to help raise money for Pelotonia Cancer Research. The group was able to rock some Duke pride with team t-shirts, represent Duquesne, and be sponsored by Tom Nist of Huntington Bank to go toe-to-toe with 9 other corporations to fight for the number one spot. The team was able to work and play along side various ranking managers and employees of these other corporations and Huntington Banks itself. They participated in events such as 5 vs 5 basketball, 6 vs 6 volleyball, Tug-of-War, Cornhole, and even an obstacle course. It was an excellent opportunity for the students to immerse themselves in the community and rub elbows with their client and other young professionals, while working hands-on in their practicum course.  And they even got to have a little fun while doing so!

Duquesne TeamPictured from left to right: Brandon Martin, Sarah Jilbert, Meng Dong, Derek Craig, Katie Greer, and Dave Sexauer

Congratulations are in Order!

Duquesne’s Graduate Net Impact chapter is excited to announce that we have achieved GOLD chapter status this year! Although the statists aren’t out yet for 2015, less than 17% of the over 300 Net Impact chapters were awarded gold status in 2014. In order to achieve this prestigious status, a chapter must host at least ten events (or host eight events with one program) and have two events featuring meaningful collaboration throughout the year.

Some event highlights this year were “Tacobout Debt Day,” the collaboration social with Carnegie Mellon University, and the alumni job search panel. “Tacobout Debt Day” was part of the Net Impact two-cents day competition where our members handed out free tacos to students in order to raise awareness of the national debt. We finished top 20 in the competition and earned a free trip to Florida for one of our team members… who met Bill Clinton!

Another successful event was the social with Carnegie Mellon. Several members from their graduate chapter joined us for happy hour and appetizers to discuss our Net Impact chapters as well as network. It allowed us to form a great chapter connection right down Fifth Avenue! After this event we had another networking opportunity with alumni of the sMBA program. We invited a panel to come out and give us the cliff notes version of job searching. It was extremely helpful and our chapter learned a lot about Boolean searching!

Now that we have had such a wonderful year and accomplished our gold chapter goal we are ready to pass the reins to the sMBA 2016 class! – Sarah Jilbert


From left to right: Meredith Wingerson, Zach Snyder, Gina Johnson, Vani Hans, Phillip Venanzi, Sarah Jilbert, Caitlin Merritt, Katherine Smith, and Alyssa Haber.

#FlashBackFriday Sustainable Ballers!

IMG_20150203_195853 Flash Back Friday! Back to the spring semester when a group of students rallied together to find a way to relieve the stresses of life. The solution? Intramural Coed Basketball! With the obvious choice for the team name being “The Sustainable Ballers”, the crew assembled. The roster was assembled and the players took the court. Under the leadership of stellar Collegiate athletes like Brandon Martin, David Sexauer, Arielle Love, and Elise Farris, the Ballers went on to only lose 2 games total (one of those being in the championship game), finishing with a record of 6-2, second best in the league. It proved to be a long, but fun and entertaining for everyone. Plus a little exercise never hurt anyone! Pictured left to right: Dan Kriger, Derek Craig, Kamryn Thorpe, Elise Farris, Zach Snyder, Brandon Martin, and David Sexauer

Summer Clients

We are pleased to announce clients and challenges for the MBA Sustainability capstone practicum this summer.   In this 8-week consulting engagement, students conduct primary research and work on-site with client communities, examining emerging and systemic challenges.  Deliverable is a leading change proposal that quantifies financial, social and environmental opportunities and risks. Following is a list of the clients the students will be working with and the challenges they face.

City of Pittsburgh – Analyze costs and environmental imprint for City fleet and develop a long-term strategy, policy and purchasing plan to become a leader in green transportation among the nation’s major cities

Huntington Bank – Develop an analytical framework to assess whether social commitment is translating to business development and propose an ongoing strategy for investment decisions, including market-specific activities for economically challenged areas 

Idea Foundry – Forecast B2B opportunities for new technologies accepted to the 2015 InterSector program for social enterprises and develop an action plan for corporate sponsorships

PNC Bank – Revamp PNC’s “Green Team” program to engage the company’s 50,000+ employees around the corporation’s environmental commitment

Pennsylvania Environmental Council – Develop a regional strategy for valuing and leveraging energy-saving “green” building attributes in real estate pricing and multi-listings

Student Conservation Association – Assess market demand for SCA’s sustainability fellowships and develop a strategy to increase corporate placements and diversify revenue sources while nurturing future leaders

EU climate change expert speaks to MBA students at Duquesne

On the heels Pittsburgh’s selection to the 100 Resilient Cities, Pittsburgh hosted a planning meeting for the initiative.  One of the speakers,  Piero Pelizzaro from Italy, was a former colleague of Patrick Cellie’s,IMAG1043 a current student who worked as an environmental engineer in  Rome before coming to Duquesne for his MBA, and invited Pietro to spend an evening with our cohort, alumni and faculty.  Piero is a climate change adaptation policy specialist with Acclimatise, a specialist consulting, communications and digital application company for climate change adaptation and risk management. Piero currently oversees the International Cooperation Unit for the Kyoto Club in Rome, Italy, and serves as a member of the Working Group of Local Authorities for Kyoto.  He has worked with the Stockholm Environment Institute and is recognized as an international expert on climate change adaptation policy, especially with regards to energy scenario and climate change impact models.  His current work includes several high profile projects supported by the European Commission including: as a senior expert on the resilience plan for Bologna (BlueAP), as Technical Director of the Recovered Waste Cooking Oil for Combined Heat and Power Production (RECOIL) project, and with community energy project ZeroCO2. He also writes on climate change adaptation issues and has been published in numerous magazines and online sources.

You gotta Love it!

While taking 15+ graduate credits per semester in our MBA program, Arielle Love used her last year of NCAA eligibility to distinguish herself as a leader on and off the court.  Arielle is Duquesne’s University’s “athlete of the year” and a nominee for national recognition as NCAA Woman of the Year for 2015.


Arielle Love “It is very humbling and such an honor to be among those nominated for such a prestigious award.”