Alumni Spotlight – Capturing kinetic energy at campus eco-fitness center

Recently, The Orange County Register featured a 20++ Duquesne sMBA alumnus, Mackenzie Crigger, in a business section article on leadership. The new eco-fitness center at Chapman University, where Mackenzie is energy conservation and sustainability manager, captures kinetic energy from exercise bikes and treadmills and feeds it back into the grid.

Mackenzie moved to California in August 2011 to launch a sustainability program at the university. Her first assignment was installing sub-metering to measure electricity use. She did not expect creating buy-in for sustainability to be her biggest challenge, but it was. Since then, her campus upgrades have included toilets that use 1.5 gallons of water (versus 3), a food digester that processes 1,200 pounds of food waste daily, and solar powered trash bins.

Her most recent accomplishment, creating the eco-fitness center, cost the University $85,000 but pays back in five years through lower electricity bills. It also generates publicity for the school. Mackenzie reports that her boss loves projects that save the University money. “If I can’t get a good payback on a project, it doesn’t matter how sustainable it is,” she says.

A graduate of Transylvania University in Kentucky, Mackenzie had a double major in political science and philosophy. After college, she taught English in Japan for a few years and did an internship with the Scottish Parliament. She credits her success as a campus sustainability director to the excellent preparation at Duquesne, especially in presentation skills. What a difference a year at Duquesne makes!

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