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Student Experiences

Sustainability in the Classroom

Broadly, sustainability relates to our natural, built, and social domains. It’s a topic in high demand at BYU Marriott, where new courses are shaping a generation of stewards. Here are two of them.

Students at BYU Marriott

GSCM 414: Introduction to Sustainable Business is an undergraduate course taught by assistant professor of global supply chain Clark Pixton. The students, when sharing their motivations for taking the course, speak of career-defining opportunities: improving society, protecting the environment, innovating new solutions. Others speak of a moral obligation to God or future generations. Still others express a personal commitment to gain knowledge and lead by example. “I feel that the only way you make an impact,” one student tells the class, “is by starting with yourself and then branching out as much as you can.” Another student agrees, saying, “When I don’t turn off lights or recycle, I don’t see the effect, but when you multiply that by millions or billions, there’s a huge effect. It’s going to take every single one of us to have the collective impact we need, and this class will give us the tools we need to influence others in a positive way.”

MPA 689R: Equity and Inclusion in Public Service is a graduate course led by Anthony Bates and Robert Christensen, professors in the Romney Institute of Public Service and Ethics. Equity and inclusion, they say, are not only constitutional and moral mandates but also requirements for just and sustainable societies. In this class, aspiring policymakers and public servants learn about social policy as well as solutions for equitable and inclusive organizations, which can elevate the human condition. In sincere and personal discussions on race, class, gender, and other topics, tears are sometimes shed. “What motivates a public servant is a higher sense of purpose,” says Christensen. “It’s knowing that you’re working to help all of God’s children thrive.”

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Written by Bremen Leak