Student Spotlight – Ronna Peacock Pratt

BeforeRonna Photo Duquesne: Prior to Duquesne I obtained my bachelors degree in Anthropology with a concentration in Archaeology, Italian minor, and global studies certificate from the University of Pittsburgh. After graduation, I took over as manager of operations and catering at Food for Thought New York Style Deli and Custom Catering, where I worked for three years before applying for my MBA.

Why Duquesne: The sustainability concentration offered at the Duquesne business school is what first attracted me to the program. The program was appealing because I can complete it in only one year.

Beyond Duquesne: My interests lie in sustainable urban redevelopment.

Interesting Fact: I currently operate a small home cupcake business called Little Cakes (



Student Spotlight: Ellen Yates

Photo on 2013-08-30 at 15.08 #2Before Duquesne:  Ellen attended the University of Pittsburgh where she majored in Urban Studies and English Writing.  Her primary work experience is in copy writing for the web.  She was part of the inbound marketing team at Growing Tree, an online toy retailer.  She applied that experience to a business development position at the Mad Science Supply and Surplus Store, the social enterprise arm of Literary Arts Boom, a children’s writing program in Garfield.  Currently, she is working with another Penn Avenue Arts organization, called Bunker Projects, to organize their financial information into a year-end report and develop a membership campaign.

Why Duquesne: “First, I wanted to stay in Pittsburgh, because I think the city has a bright social and economic future. Pittsburgh is small enough that one person can make a serious impact. Duquesne’s competitive price, AACSB accreditation, and reputation were all factors in my decision.  But the program’s focus on sustainability is what sold me, because I agree with that business is one of the most efficient tools for achieving social change.”

Beyond Duquesne: Her long-term goals are to create her own socially oriented enterprise to improve the lives of employees, customers, and people in Pittsburgh. After completing her MBA, she would like to start out working in the field of real estate development and management, as a manager or as part of a project development team.  Alternatively, she is also interested in internal and external corporate communications.

Student Spotlight: Karli Minick

ImageBefore Duquesne: Karli joins our cohort after completing her undergraduate work in three years at the University of Pittsburgh.  Karli was able to major in both finance and supply chain management in three years, while also cheerleading.  Karli completed a leadership internship at Target Corporation, a supply chain internship at Westinghouse Electric Company/Toshiba, and a finance internship at Prime Metals & Alloys, Inc.

Why Duquesne: “I chose this program because it will allow me to complete my MBA in one year, and it complements my supply chain management degree.”

After Duquesne: After completing this MBA program Karli will be looking for positions in sustainable supply chain management.

Meet the Author of “Natural Corporate Management”

ImageOften we read textbooks for class, but forget that someone spent the time to study and write those theories.  This semester, our professor, Dr. Wasieleski, made it possible for us to meet the author of our textbook!  Last week, Dr. William C. Frederick, the author of “Natural Corporate Management,” visited our Applied Business Ethics class.

His visit to our classroom allowed for thought provoking dialogue about the relationship between nature and business. The discussion fit with the course’s purpose — to force us to think differently.   I know this discussion took me outside of my usual framework.

As MBA + Sustainability students, we see the connection between nature and business that many professionals unfortunately overlook.  Dr. Frederick reinforced my optimistic outlook when he commented that our cohort “encourages [him] to believe that progress is possible for [our] generation and future generations.”

Dr. Frederick is a professor emeritus of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business.  More information on Dr. Frederick can be found at the following websites: