Last Day for Up to Us Pledge to Address the National Debt


THe team of Jacob, Dan, Jamie, Nayan and Peter at the TacoBoutDebt event.

Duquesne’s Net Impact has advanced to the finals in a national competition to raise awareness about the national debt and we’re only a few pledges shy of national recognition and prize money.   

There is still time to sign the pledge.  Go here and keep Duquesne at the top of the leaderboard!
Last week, Duquesne MBA students kicked off our “TacoBoutDebt” campaign with free tacos for students who signed the pledge.  Many students were surprised by the debt per person of $56,600, that all of us have inherited.  As one student remarked, “If this is the financial situation of our country, are we still the greatest nation in the world?”
Congratulations to Jamie, Peter, Jacob, Dan and Nayan on a great event!


Spring Consulting Project

We are excited to announce our Spring Project Clients! This semester we will be working with the following organizations on a variety of process improvement challenges.

  • Circadiance: Quantify emerging trends for the adult CPAP mask market and forecast commercial potential for line extensions
  • Class-G: Analyze tools and processes for improving health, productivity and environmental impact of commercial properties and recommend refinements to the Class-G platform
  • UPMC: Evaluate external performance tools and measures and recommend best practices for leveraging sustainability in an integrated healthcare organization
  • US Steel: Identify industry benchmarks and prepare a best-in-class assessment for the new sustainability director
  • Washington Energy Services: Evaluate opportunities for leveraging sustainability and renewable energy with commercial and industrial customers

All six organizations gave us complex and challenges projects. This opportunity is exciting as well as a little daunting.

Check back for updates about how the projects are going throughout the semester!

Back to School!

It is hard to believe we have already begun our second semester in the MBA program. It’s amazing how quickly the program has already flown by and I know this semester will be no different.

This semester presents new, challenging classes and a chance to travel abroad. We will be travelling to France over Spring Break. We will be partnering ICN in Nancy and also visiting Strasbourg and Paris. Watch for trip updates!

For this semester’s consulting project, the class was broken up into six teams. Each team will be working with a different organization on a different challenge. The companies come from a range of industries ranging from healthcare to nonprofits.

This semester we have the opportunity to take a variety of electives ranging from product development to business law. Our finance course is building on interpreting the financial statements we learned about in accounting. We are also learning about economics and how environmental factors affect our economy.


The class ski enthusiasts love the snow but I am ready for the warm weather!


Power of 32 Conference

On December 11, 2014 more than 400 people gathered at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center for the Energy for the Power of 32 Conference. We presented our posters to attendees ranging in topics from city resiliency to impact investing to green roofing. It was exciting to be able to talk with others about a topic we are passionate about outside of the classroom.


Meredith, Arielle, Clare, Patrick, Derek and Taylor challenge attendees to create fuel from waste.


Katie, Ronna, Alyssa and Vani applaud Pittsburgh’s initiatives as a most resilient city.


Liis, Dave, Katherine and Caitlin demonstrate how green roofs solve water, drain off and energy challenges


Brandon, Colin, Kristy, Anastasia and Jamie present the possible social benefits of impact investing.


Elise, Jacob, Meng, Molly and Dan encourage investment in clean energy.


Gina, Sarah, Kamryn, Phil and Nayan explain how microgrids would solve wasted energy challenges.





The keynote speaker in the morning was very informative. He discussed how we need to focus on health as a reason to improve our energy. He used Pittsburgh as an example of how cleaning up your city can improve the quality of life for citizens and help business at the same time.


Kamryn and Sarah discuss their poster with an attendee.


Katie and Ronna listen as an attendee discusses their poster.


The highlight of the conference was the chance to work in small groups to discuss regional energy values and principles, key issues and opportunities to be addressed in a regional plan, and how to best conduct the Power of 32 regional energy planning process. After the discussions, ideas were shared with the larger group. It was interesting to see the wide range of ideas that came out of the conference and what our regions future may look like.

Breaking Boundaries

“The cost of not doing something is much higher than doing something.” – Paul Polman, Unilever CEO, in his keynote address at The Net Impact 2014 Conference

Last week I had the chance to attend the Net Impact Conference in Minneapolis. The theme of the conference was Breaking Boundaries.

The conference was held in beautiful downtown Minneapolis.

The conference was held in beautiful downtown Minneapolis.

Net Impact is an organization focused on creating positive social and environmental change in the workplace and the world. At the conference over 3,000 students and professionals came together to share this vision and learn about each other. Conference speakers included executives from Target, 3M, Best Buy, Coca Cola, Campbell Soup Company, Monsanto, General Mills Inc., and many others. I was surprised how passionately these companies embraced the ideals of Net Impact and they are looking for like minded people to lead their companies into the future. Each session reaffirmed what we are learning in the classroom, from accounting to systems and design thinking, is what is needed to succeed in the real world.


The “Hub” is where conference attendees could gather to network, grab a snack or just relax throughout the day.


Vani and Dan hang out with the Target dog in the Hub.


Caitlin participates in one of the interactive sessions during the conference. She is building a solar lamp for global education in a session sponsored by 3M.


Attendees listen intently to a panel discussion with CEOs of start-ups during the conference.

The conference reaffirmed that business can impact society. Regardless of the career path, I plan to be an agent of change and it is good to know I am not alone.

GaBi Training with PE International

We were stunned to learn how many different processes and materials it takes to produce a seemingly simple basketball.

We were recently trained to conduct a Life Cycle Assessment using GaBi software in Dr. Robert Sroufe’s course.  This software models all the elements of a product or system from cradle to cradle.  It gives businesses the information they need to make the most informed decisions on the manufacturing and life cycle of a product. GaBi is the premier LCA software and is used by hundreds of companies all over the world including Bayer, Bombardier Transportation, DuPont and Toyota.

We worked directly with a facilitator from PE International via web-conferencing. Students were able to model all the products and services that went into producing the final product. The software also allowed us to view the environmental impact of the product has on the environment. We are one of the only MBA programs that gives students an opportunity to work with such cutting edge software for Life Cycle Assessments.

Teams will be completing a Life Cycle Assessment using the GaBi software for two products for Dr. Sroufe’s course. Each team gets to chose a product and conduct the LCA. My team chose to look at aluminum and glass beer bottles. Other teams will be comparing include glass and aluminum beer bottles, plastic and wire hangers, and saran wrap and aluminum foil.

We will share our results when the analyses are complete.  ​