What we learned from Costa Rica and Guatemala…

Each year, our cohort embarks on two study abroad trips.  In February, we traveled to Germany.  In May, we traveled to Costa Rica and Guatemala.  The learning from the trips are evident in this video.


Conquering Fears in Costa Rica

By Katherine Summers


For 23 years I have been afraid of heights. When we were in La Fortuna we were given the opportunity to either go on a canopy walk or go ziplining. I decided that if I was going to face my fears I should go all out.

As we were strapped into our gear I was having second thoughts but told myself I would probably only be in the Costa Rican rainforest once so I had to do it! It was the most amazing experience of my life! I am so proud of myself for facing my fears, and thankful to be in an MBA program that allows these opportunities!

Rebecca’s First Trip to Europe!


By Rebecca Bykoski

February 28th, 2014 was the date that marked the first time my feet touched European soil!  As anyone who was in attendance on the trip to Germany can attest, it was a world-class experience.

We toured over most of southern Germany, beginning in Frankfurt, then spent a day in historic Heidelberg before traveling to Darmstadt and Stuttgart, and ending our Germanic journey in Cologne.  We were fortunate enough to be welcomed by many businesses and organizations such as Bayer, the European Central Bank, and Kreissparkasse to see how sustainability is incorporated into their operations and had the unique opportunity to visit Passivhaus, which illustrated how simple it can be to achieve energy efficiency not only in homes, but in businesses as well.

In addition to our business visits, we were taken on personal tours through both Frankfurt and Cologne where we marveled at castles, Roman ruins, and some of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen.

The high points of my trip:  The Dom in Cologne, the most majestic structure I have ever had the opportunity to be inside, the trailblazing hike with one of my classmates halfway up a mountain to reach a lookout tower thousands of years old, and the many memories and deep bonds that were formed with my amazing friends and professors.

I thank you, Duquesne University, for this life-changing experience, and I send a personal thanks to Dr. Drake and Professor Nist who took time away from their families and lives to enrich not only our educational experience, but our lives.  For them, I am eternally grateful.  And, lastly, I cannot wait to return to Europe!

(Rebecca is one of many students who enjoyed their first trip to Europe thanks to the MBA Sustainability program. An experience of a lifetime).

Spring Break Study Trip

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 11.12.35 AMLast week, Tom Nist spoke with our cohort regarding our spring break study trip.  We were very excited to find out that we will be traveling to Germany! Our cohort has students who have never left the United States, others that spent extended periods of time overseas, and others that were born and raised out of the US. We are lucky to have one student that spent a semester in Germany, and speaks German!   As we hear more information regarding our itinerary, I will be sure to share it with you.

Student Spotlight: Daniel (Dan) Sutton


Before Duquesne: Dan attended The Pennsylvania State University where he majored in Architecture.  During his undergraduate education Dan was able to spend a semester abroad in Rome, Italy studying Architecture and Urban Design.  Upon graduation, he received his Bachelor of Architecture, which complimented his previous degree of an A.A.S. in Architectural Design and Drafting from Butler County Community College. Before joining the cohort Dan worked for rue21 as a Store Design Coordinator.  Prior work experience includes intern architect experience with Premier Architecture/JMAC Architects, the Penn State Solar Decathlon Team, and The Foreman Group.

Why Duquesne: “I chose this program over the others for few reasons. The first is that you are obtaining your MBA but there is a strong focus on Sustainability. My background in school primarily focused on sustainable design and I thought this would be a great program to compliment my background if I decide to stay in the field of architecture, or, it could open up new opportunities in a new career field. The second reason was the time, a one-year program. I didn’t want to drag my education out for 3-4 years. I wanted to hit it hard and get it over with in one year. That was definitely a huge selling point for me. Another reason was the faculty. When I visited the school, they had such passion for what they were doing and a passion for sustainability which is near and dear to me.”

Beyond Duquesne: Dan’s goal is to take on a leadership role within any organization whose business strategy supports sustainability and a global call for change.