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Penn State Smeal’s Sustainability Alumni Network was created to support alumni and friends with an interest in leveraging business for positive social impact.

Original founder Danielle Yzaguirre ’17 SCIS, along with Evan Gorski ’18 Fin and Madelyn Koch ’15 Mktg, were instrumental in launching the group in 2020.

The network hosts quarterly virtual meetings to collaborate, exchange ideas and advice, offer support to current students, and provide an outlet for critical conversations surrounding sustainability in modern business.

Gorski says that Smeal does an excellent job embedding sustainability into the core curriculum so students can understand the business case for sustainability and how it’s integrated into each function.

“I remember Professor Ron Johnson frequently quoting Spider-Man in his BA 342 (Socially Responsible, Sustainable, and Ethical Business Practice) lectures: ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ Whether it’s how we live as citizens or how we run corporations, we each have the power to change. But we must continually evaluate whether we’re exercising that power in a responsible manner,” Gorski says.

The Sustainability Alumni Network has already hosted more than 10 virtual events. Past topics have included diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace; sustainability in the semiconductor industry; sustainability curriculum at Smeal; and more.

“Sustainability is not an addition to business, but instead, it’s built into business,” Gorski says. “That shouldn’t stop when we leave Smeal.”

–Anne Louise Cropp