First Annual MBA Sustainability Alumni Weekend


Duquesne SMBA Alumni Board 2013 – from left, Dana McTighe (’12), Maureen Coyle (’12), Drew Lessard (’10), Erin Fargo (’12), Alison Steele (’11) and Jeff Gladstone (’11)

A few weekends ago, the MBA Sustainability alumni board organized the first annual reunion weekend with the help of professors, alumni and university staff.  As a current student, it was exciting to be included in the first of many alumni weekends to come, and it made me excited for trips back to the bluff to catch up with my cohort, program alumni, professors, and current students.

Drew Lessard shared that more than 20% of all alumni were in attendance over the course of the weekend.  The weekend kicked off with a “Discussion & Topics on Leading Change”.  This event included Andrew Butcher from GTECH Strategies, he discussed how he leverages a culture of “experiential learning” at his company to encourage employees to discover and innovate through their careers.

In addition, Jim Crisanti from International Electric Power (IEP) shared fascinating stories of cultural challenges in Haiti and Pakistan in the development of electricity generation. Contrasting the two experiences for IEP, Jim shared with us how leading change has been successful and more challenging in his experiences overseas.

Towards the end of the afternoon Bill O’Rourke led a panel discussion with program alumni.  The panel included Mackenzie Crigger, Energy Conversation and Sustainability Manager at Chapman University (’10);  Ashley Jones Organizational Efficiency Specialist at NORESCO (’12);  Jeff Gladstone Vice President of Operational Risk at PNC Bank (’11); and JP Gibbons Energy and Environment investment Officer at US Agency for International Development (’12).  Each of them shared insights and tips on how to drive change.

Other events throughout the weekend included class reunion dinners, an urban scavenger hunt, the big alumni bash, and a farewell brunch.  There is already a buzz in my cohort regarding next year’s alumni weekend. Thanks to an amazing alumni board for planning such an exceptional weekend, and to those of you who missed out keep your ears open regarding next year!


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