Educating the Student Body on Earth Day

Students who attended our Net Impact Earth Day described it as “an open and creative event” that made it easy for them to “learn from their peers about the importance of sustainability.”

On Earth Day we hosted a creative take on a trivia game to prompt peer-to-peer discussions about the daily impact that any individual can make on the planet.  Our format offers a good way to bring people from diverse backgrounds into the conversation about protecting and preserving our planet.  The better informed student body takes us one step closer to making the positive change we want to see in the world!


UptoUs Duq Team Raises Awareness and Turns Heads

With an unconventional approach to attract attention, using a MoneyMachine to spark people’s interest, Duquesne’s UptoUs competition team held an awareness event at the Union that featured a Money Machine, free food, and prizes! The UptoUs team, which is made up of members from the MBA Sustainability cohort, informed the campus about the over $19 trillion debt the country has right now and brought a ton of attention to the issue. Check out all the photos and reasons why Duquesne students care about our national debt! Also, make sure to come to our other events, including a Trivia Night, during this month which will have even more prizes and fun!

Net Impact Mixer at the Science Center

12512828_10153231241192204_8071218061155347040_nMembers from across campuses in the Net Impact community met to explore the wonderment and knowledge inside the Carnegie Science Center. The 12507582_10153231241122204_8672163904666736950_n21+ Night was the stage for a meeting of minds, and some fun, as members of Duquesne, Chatham, and Carnegie Mellon Net Impact chapters came together to network. The night included exciting conversations, interesting exhibits, and enjoyable times in the interactive kid’s area. It was a great evening of meeting new people who had the same drive and motivation to make the change that they want to see in the world.

Game On! This is How our Generation will Create Positive Impact

“Be the change you want to see in the world” is a quote from Ghandi, and represents the essence of the 2015 Net Impact conference in Seattle. The Net Impact chapter officers of Duquesne were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend this national meeting of the minds. This conference brought together multiple universities, businesses, and NGOs to discuss how the millennial generation has the capability to generate a positive change in the world today.

This conference was teeming with dozens of speakers and presentations that all had a focus on innovation and sustainable business practices. One of the most inspiring guest speakers included the CEO of REI, Jerry Stritzke, who spoke as one of the keynote speakers about REI’s mission to get their consumers to “Opt Outside.” He also mentioned the stance they are taking on one of the busiest retail business days of the year. REI did not open on Black Friday this year, and gave their employees the day to spend quality time with their loved ones. What a game changer!

The Net Impact officers held an information session for fellow students and faculty after they returned from the conference. One takeaway was actually not from the conference itself, but from the city of Seattle. Seattle has a citywide ordinance that requires comprehensive recycling and composting. Our Net Impact chapter was amazed by the support and efficiency that the city has developed to implement this program. This concept fit in perfectly with our Fall Consulting project of turning Waste to Energy. A few of our own students are now looking into the feasibility of implementing such a program here in Pittsburgh. Keep checking in on our blog to see their progress!

Net Impact Conference 2014

By Sarah Jilbert


Net Impact is a nation wide organization dedicated to creating positive social and environmental change in the school, workplace, and world. Every year they sponsor a conference where thousands of members from around the nation meet to discuss the world’s toughest social and environmental problems. 13 members of the sMBA cohort attended the 2014 conference in Minneapolis, MN where they, as well as the school, benefited greatly from their experiences.

These 13 individuals spent three days listening to numerous speakers, attending break out sessions, and interacting with students, young professionals, and employers. Students from other university’s were shocked that our sMBA students were completing an MBA in one year, and that their education focused on one of the main topics discussed throughout the conference, sustainability. Duquesne sMBA attendee, Caitlin Merritt, claimed she felt all of the sMBA attendees were way ahead of the game. They had already learned the sustainability concepts discussed and knew much more about the topics at hand compared to the other MBA students. Our students felt confident while speaking about what they had learned from the program and made Duquesne a school to talk about by the end of the weekend.

Our students took away a lot from the conference including confidence in how Duquesne’s program applies to real world application. Students also came home with many business cards and professional connections. For example, attendee Katherine Smith developed a mentor connection at the conference and still speaks to her today. The Net Impact Conference adds value to the sMBA education as well as shows Duquesne in a positive light.

Net Impact Update

By Sarah Jilbert


Dan, Jamie, Peter and Nayan pose with Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, after his talk about the National Debt in February.

Duquesne’s graduate Net Impacters are getting involved this semester! In February, Allegheny County Executive, Rich Fitzgerald, came out to educate students about the impacts of the national debt. This event was part of our involvement in Net Impact’s Up to Us competition. In order to educate the campus further about the national debt we had TacoBoutDebt Day where hundreds of students were given free tacos if they signed a pledge saying they were aware and concerned about the national debt. We finished top 20 in the national competition!


Jacob and Peter get students excited to Taco Bout Debt for Net Impact!


In late February we had a collaboration event with Carnegie Mellon’s Net Impact chapter to build connections and help each other improve our chapters. The restaurant we met at, The Porch, focused on local and fresh made food. I, along with the other 20 students who attended, thought it was some of the best pizza we’ve ever had!

In March, after getting back from our fabulous French study trip, we had Rockwell Hall Green Week where we brought green awareness to the business school. During the week we gave out donuts to students who took public transportation to school, changed the computers to print doubled sided, and handed out candy to those who had a reusable water bottle.

public transit

Events coming up later this semester include an alumni job search panel, mock interviews, and environmental trivia. We are also creating a clean up team for Duquesne’s annual spring-clean up and helping with a recycling program for the NCAA. Programs for next year are also coming together as we are planning to become mentors for Pure Thirst, an organization dedicated to bringing water to communities with limited resources.

More Net Impact updates to come soon!

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!


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.


Our team advanced to the next round of the Net Impact “Up to Us” Competition!  They will design and run a campus campaign to raise awareness about the national debt during the first quarter of 2015. The competition is partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative University and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.


The team of students (from left to right) Daniel Kriger, Peter Arnoldt, Jamie Valeriano, Jacob Bethem, and Nayan Joyappa.

Net Impact + Building New Hope

A few weeks ago, Net Impact partnered up with Building New Hope for a fair trade week fundraiser.  Led by Steve Sumpter, Net Impact members sold Building New Hope’s coffee, also available at Whole Foods, in the Duquesne Union as part of the fair trade vendor market.

Fair trade is a social movement that helps producers in developing countries to create better trading conditions and promote sustainability.  Fair trade advocates for higher social and environmental standards.

Building New Hope, located in Pittsburgh, Pa., has created a coffee project that goes beyond fair trade and takes part in direct trade.  The organization works with communities in Nicaragua and El Salvador to foster economic development, education opportunities, and other community development.  Coffee is sold to raise money for continued operations and has cultivated a relationship with the employee owned farm “El Porvenir” in Nicaragua.  The farm supports 48 families, receives a price above the fair trade price, and allows reinvestment in the community.

Our Net Impact members were happy to sell this coffee during fair trade week, and educate students, faculty, and other shoppers on the mission of Building New Hope.

For more on Building New Hope, visit their website: