Institute for Sustainable Development Names Its 2010 Sustainability Fellows

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The Institute for Sustainable Development today named its 2010 Sustainability Fellows. The 2010 Class of Sustainability Fellows comprises graduate students and professionals from six universities in four different states. Fellows include Donna Daniels, Solita Denard, Max Felsher, Karina Hilton Spiegel, Jessie Margolis, Alissa Marturano, Marissa Mitzner, Darshan Mundada, Stacie Nagy, Catherine Noyes, Leigh Orne, Jay Reno and David Shirk. The Fellowships are competitive and the Institute selects only one in ten applicants. Fellows assist smaller businesses and non-profits in the Institute’s 17 Green Plus partner communities as they strive to improve their economic, environmental and social performance. Over the course of each summer, Fellows also conduct individual and group research projects to advance the principles and practice of triple bottom line sustainability.

“One of our core objectives is to help foster a new generation of leaders in sustainable business practices,” said Chris Carmody, the Institute’s Executive Director. “This year’s class is filled with extraordinarily bright people who have already made a big difference as individuals. The Institute hopes their combined talents will have even greater benefits for our partner communities,” Carmody concluded.

Schools represented include the University of North Carolina, Case Western Reserve, Coastal Carolinas University, Duke, Elon, and North Carolina State Universities and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Fellows represent the disciplines of business, environmental studies, information science, public policy and social work. The Fellows will attend a week of orientation and training in the North Carolina Research Triangle during early June, after which they will work with the Institute’s chamber partners in several states.

Donna Daniels

Donna Daniels is a recent graduate of the Terry Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University with a Master’s degree in International Development Policy, specializing in Social Policy.  Prior to graduate school, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana, West Africa where she worked as a health educator and a community developer.  Her accomplishments include extensive public service and professional experience in the areas of project management, program coordination, and professional training.  She has worked with a host of nonprofit organizations, both domestically and abroad, and she continues to serve her local community of Durham as a volunteer with TROSA.  Donna holds a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences with a concentration in Biology from the University of South Florida in Tampa.

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Solita Denard

Solita Denard is a recent graduate of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  Before attending UNC, she had the fortunate experience of working within the nonprofit sector and obtaining a wide range of experience in case management, coaching, training, and program development.  She also served as an AmeriCorps member for two terms with Public Allies North Carolina.  Denard’s most recent position as a research assistant has enabled her to explore and write about the field of asset development where public and private organizations are creating strategies for individuals and families to move out of poverty. She hopes to assist organizations that serve low-income communities create sustainable models and outcomes for employees and their clients.  Denard graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Social Work from North Carolina Central University.

Max Felsher

Max Felsher is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Information Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, focusing on the ways that information can be used to help solve social and environmental problems. He has served on the executive committee of the Orange-Chatham Group of the Sierra Club since the beginning of 2010 and volunteered as the group’s webmaster and newsletter editor for two years prior. Felsher earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Earth Systems from Stanford University, where he focused on environmental policy.

Karina Hilton Spiegel

Karina Hilton Spiegel is a joint degree candidate at Duke University, pursuing an MBA at the Fuqua School of Business and a Master of Environmental Management at the Nicholas School for the Environment. She is a board member of Dream in Green, a Miami based non-profit organization whose mission is to develop and implement programs that promote energy conservation and efficiency, environmental sustainability, and the implementation of renewable energy.  At Duke, she is a member of the Net Impact and the Energy club. Prior to returning to school, she worked in banking as an assistant vice president credit analyst for corporate and commercial real estate transactions. Spiegel graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics from the University of Miami.

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Jessie Margolis

Jessie Margolis is a dual MEM/MBA degree candidate for 2012 at the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Fuqua School of Business.  During her first year at Duke, she served as an assistant to the Corporate Sustainability Initiative (CSI) and was an active member of the Students for International Discussion Group and the LEED student group. As an undergraduate student, she studied political science and environmental studies at Tufts University.  After finishing her undergraduate degree, she supported the ecotourism center Yachaqui Wayi in Peru as a sustainable development teacher and subsequently worked as a research assistant for the Harvard School of Public Health ACCESS study and an accounts services coordinator at Education First.  In addition, she was a sustainability consultant to restaurants in the Boston area, which included developing product life cycle assessment tools to inform purchasing practices.

Alissa Marturano

Alissa Marturano is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Environmental Management with a concentration in Global Environmental Change at Duke University. At Duke, she is involved in the Nicholas School Student Council where she holds the position of treasurer. Before coming to Duke, she received her Bachelor’s of Science from Tufts University with majors in Biology and Environmental Science. At Tufts, Marturano worked as a GIS lab assistant and was actively involved in the school’s dance association. Her research interests include climate change and corporate sustainability. She hopes to pursue a career in corporate environmental management.

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Marissa Mitzner

Marissa Mitzner is a recent graduate from Coastal Carolina University with a B.S. in Business Administration. As an undergraduate she served as the first Student Sustainability Coordinator for two years and upon graduation became the first Sustainability Coordinator at Coastal, where she has been for the past two years helping the university to become climate neutral. While at Coastal she has helped to create two bicycle programs, a dorm recycling program, and has mastered the art of breaking down boxes during the successful move-in day recycling programs. Her most recent achievement was winning a state-wide award from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control for the 2009 Recycling Event of the Year for her Campus Salvage move-out program.  Mitzner also serves on the Bike, Hike, and Paddle Committee for the City of Conway as well as an Executive Member for the Winyah Chapter for the Sierra Club.

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Darshan P. Mundada

Darshan Mundada is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Work at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A Rotary Peace Fellow from India, he was recently awarded a certificate in Peace and Conflict Resolution by a joint program between Duke University and University of North Carolina. Mechanical Engineer by background, he founded and developed a civil society organization in India before pursuing his graduate studies. Through his organization, Friends’ Society (Pune), he worked in various spheres of social welfare, community building and sustainable development. He is also Secretary General of the Youth Forum of UNESCO Chair for Human Rights, Democracy, Peace and Tolerance (Asia Pacific). In parallel with his studies, Mundada is currently working on creating a triple bottom line self-sustainable program for rehabilitation and reintegration of former sex workers in mainstream society in the cities of Pune and Sangli in India. After completion of his studies, he plans to return to India and work on implementing and developing this program.

Stacie Nagy

Stacie Nagy is currently pursuing an MBA at the Jenkins Graduate School of Management at NC State University, with a dual concentration in Supply Chain Management and Consulting & Services Management. She is vice president of her school’s chapter of Net Impact. Prior to returning to school, Ms. Nagy worked in production and business operations at ARAMARK Higher Education, where she drafted a zero-waste catering plan including fully compostable service ware. She received her undergraduate degree from UNC Chapel Hill – a B.A. in political science. At UNC Ms. Nagy was co-chair of the Student Environmental Action Coalition, helped spearhead the Green Energy Campaign during its initial passage, and was an inaugural member of the Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee.

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Catherine Noyes

Catherine Noyes is currently pursuing a Master’s of Environmental Management with a concentration in Global Environmental Change at Duke University. At Duke, Noyes is active in the Student International Discussion Group, and also serves as a debate/forensics judge for the Collegiate Forensics Association. Before coming to Duke, Noyes received a Bachelor’s of Science from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, where she majored in Business/Economics, Biology, and Environmental Studies. At R-MC, Noyes was a member of the strategic planning committee, editor of the newspaper, and a mentor resident assistant.

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Leigh Orne

Leigh Orne is currently pursuing an MBA at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) where she enjoys learning about how businesses create triple bottom line impact. At CWRU, Orne is an active member of the Weatherhead School of Management Net Impact Chapter and the Committee for Community Service. Before moving to Cleveland in 2009, Leigh worked for several years at Winrock International, an international development non-profit based in Washington, DC.  At Winrock, Orne specialized in project coordination and proposal development within the Forestry and Natural Resource Management Unit. Her experience at Winrock and the international travel opportunity it afforded allowed her to see first-hand the value of conservation, multidisciplinary collaboration, and capacity building through education and training.  Orne graduated Cum Laude in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Gonzaga University.

Jay Reno

Jay Reno recently graduated with honors from Elon University where he received a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and a minor in Economics. During his time at Elon, Reno represented his class as the Treasurer for three years before becoming the Senior Class President in his final year. As the President, Reno ran numerous campaigns to increase awareness of environmental issues and sustainability among his constituents.  Jay was a member of the Student Sustainability Council, the Elon Green Team and Chair of the Gift Giving Committee, which created a Sustainability Research Grant to fund undergraduate research in the field of sustainability. In the fall, Reno will be pursuing a master’s degree with a concentration in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard University.

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David Shirk

David Shirk is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Coastal Carolina University.  During his undergraduate study, David participated in organizations focusing on both environmental concerns and community service.  He has served leadership roles in the Eco-Representatives Program, Rotary International, Outdoor Adventure Club, and Beta Gamma Sigma.  David also studied entrepreneurship and taught during the Entrepreneurship Institute at Coastal to youth-at-risk students during a summer program.   David was nominated Marketing Student of the Year his senior year. David is looking forward to working with Green Plus and helping businesses in his local area become more sustainable.

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