Arizona State University Honors First-Ever Graduate in Sustainability

TEMPE, Ariz., Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ — Arizona State University (ASU)
awarded the first-ever Master of Arts degree in Sustainability at its fall
2008 commencement ceremonies (December 18, 2008). The new graduate, Brigitte
Bavousett, received her diploma from the university’s pioneering School of
Sustainability, the first degree-granting institution of its kind in the
nation.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081219/LAF051)

“This is a special moment for our School and for the university,” said
Charles Redman, director of the School of Sustainability. “We are very excited
to see Brigitte graduate and look forward to her leading a long procession of
future graduates who become agents of change in our community and around the
world.”

The graduate ranks as somewhat of a pioneer herself in this budding field.
Bavousett was among the first to enroll in the School of Sustainability after
it was formally established in fall 2007 by the Arizona Board of Regents. “I
am honored to be making history as the first sustainability graduate,” she
said. “It seems only a few weeks ago that I began this fantastic journey with
my classmates and professors. I love the variety of the curriculum, the
fantastic faculty, the interdisciplinary projects.”

Bavousett’s degree goes far beyond traditional environmental studies. The
School’s curriculum draws on a variety of academic disciplines that can be
applied to the world’s economic, societal, and environmental challenges,
preparing graduates to understand complex problems and find real solutions.
According to Redman, “Sustainability has captured ASU by storm and we expect
its graduates to transform our country.”

During her time at the School, Bavousett has been involved in a variety of
research projects with businesses and other organizations. One project
involved U-Haul International, where she researched forestation processes and
non-profit partnership options to help the company create a plan to reduce its
carbon footprint through carbon sequestration. U-Haul has extended Bavousett’s
internship indefinitely as it begins implementation of the plan.

“Brigitte has provided the personal interest, enthusiasm, and the most
cutting-edge knowledge needed to further enhance our sustainability projects
here at U-Haul,” said Michelle Sullivan of U-Haul International’s Phoenix
corporate offices. “She has been a tremendous asset to our department.”

A working mother, Bavousett said she has long had an interest in
sustainability and was involved in fostering societal sustainability before
she even knew what it was. Previously, as the founding director of an
international cultural exchange program, she toured former Soviet countries
and the U.S. for six years, exposing performers and audiences to new customs
and traditions while bringing theater to sometimes culturally-starved
audiences.

Looking forward to finding a job after her graduation, Bavousett feels
prepared and confident. “I may have to be creative in this economy,” she says,
“but I feel comfortable with the foundation of skill sets and cutting-edge
technologies the School has given me.”

About ASU’s School of Sustainability

ASU’s School of Sustainability, the first of its kind in the US, offers
integrated degree programs that advance practical solutions to environmental,
economic, and social challenges. ASU has a vision to be a New American
University, blurring the boundaries that traditionally separate academic
disciplines, promoting excellence among its students and faculty, conducting
cutting-edge interdisciplinary research inspired by real world application,
and leveraging its competitive advantage through strategic global engagement.
The School’s first full class of masters and doctoral students will graduate
in spring 2009. For more information visit:
http://schoolofsustainability.asu.edu.

About ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability

The Global Institute of Sustainability is the hub of ASU’s sustainability
initiatives. The Institute advances research, education, and business
practices for an urbanizing world. Its School of Sustainability, the first of
its kind in the US, offers integrated degree programs that advance practical
solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges. ASU has a vision
to be a New American University, blurring the boundaries that traditionally
separate academic disciplines, promoting excellence among its students and
faculty, conducting cutting-edge interdisciplinary research inspired by real
world application, and leveraging its competitive advantage through strategic
global engagement. For more information visit: http://sustainability.asu.edu.

[Via http://www.prnewswire.com]

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