Before Duquesne: Alison attended Agnes Scott College in Decather, Georgia where she majored in International Relations and Biology. After graduation she worked as a sustainability consultant to the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners. She helped organize events that educated local citizens, as well as county executives, on topics such as energy efficiency, organic gardening and water conservation.
In Fall 2010, she left her position with DeKalb County and began a 27-month adventure as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) in Nicaragua. Her primary role was as a science teacher in local elementary schools, where she worked with students and the community to build organic gardens, compost piles, and tree nurseries and to make science fun. In her second year of service, she received a grant to build improved stoves since most people in Nicaragua still cook with wood fires. Improved stoves used less wood and emitted less harmful smoke into households and the environment She also worked with my community to collect over 300 pounds of trash and build a classroom out of eco-bricks (used 2 liter bottles, stuffed with inorganic trash).
Before coming to Duquesne, Alison traveled to Kampala, Uganda to continue her work with improved stoves and to help oversee the start-up of an improved stove business.
Why Duquesne: “I was immediately impressed with the breadth of the courses and the program’s commitment to environmental and social aspects of sustainability. I loved the consulting projects built into coursework, the emphasis of a global prospective through international travel, and that it all fit into one year! When I called Duquesne to ask more questions about the program, I talked directly with our program director. She took time to answer all my questions and enthusiastically tell me about the program. When I called back weeks later, she still remembered me. This was not the experience I had when I contacted other programs. Duquesne made me feel wanted and valued. I continue to be impressed with the individual attention that faculty give us.”
Beyond Duquesne: Alison wants to continue working on sustainable development in an international setting. She is especially interested in Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) or USAID opportunities.