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Celebration of the inaugural Masters in Sustainability class

May 19, 2015
MASus grads 2015 web

Photo: Scott McCullough

On May 7th, the inaugural class of Wake Forest Masters in Sustainability (MASus) graduate students and the program faculty celebrated their time together, and the tremendous amount of work it took to reach graduation, with an end-of-year reception.

Two students were acknowledged as having particularly high impact on the program, their colleagues, and the broader Wake Forest community. Philip Henson received the Director’s Award, voted on by faculty, for a student who exemplifies program ideals. Michael Aper received the Student Achievement Award, voted on by the class, in recognition of a student’s outstanding contribution to the MASus program and participants. Both awardees are people who demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities and are recognized as contributing to other students’ success. A great deal of gratitude goes to our program partners Hanesbrands, Inc., and High Point Bank, for their sponsorship of these inaugural awards at Wake Forest. This sponsorship has a critical impact on the program.

The founding faculty members, listed here, were also recognized for making the program not only possible, but excellent:

  • Keith Bonin (Physics)
  • Saylor Breckenridge (Sociology)
  • Justin Catanoso (Journalism Program)
  • Mark Curtis (Economics)
  • Robert Erhardt (Math)
  • Steven Folmar (Anthropology)
  • Bailey Green (GO2Water Inc., Biology)
  • Michael Gross (Chemistry)
  • Dilip Kondepudi (Chemistry)
  • Dedee DeLongpré Johnston (Office of Sustainability)
  • Lucas Johnston (Religion)
  • John Knox (Law)
  • Abdou Lachgar (Chemistry)
  • Judith Madera (English)
  • Alan Palmiter (Law)
  • Mark Peterson (Schools of Business)
  • David Phillips (Interdisciplinary Humanities)
  • Amy Rosenthal (World Wildlife Fund)
  • Richard Schneider (Law)
  • Sid Shapiro (Law)
  • Miles Silman (Biology)
  • Greg Verutes (The Natural Capital Project)
  • Ron VonBurg (Communications)
  • Amy Wallis (Schools of Business)
  • Robert Whaples (Economics)
  • Richard Williams (Physics)
  • Vanessa Zboreak (Law)

MASus students gave Ashley Wilcox, Program Assistant, Jon Clift, Associate Director of Outreach, and Dan Fogel, Director of the program, gifts, including a pen from each student. Samantha Voncannon explained the significance of the pens: “Surrendering one’s pen is a symbol that the giver believes their own wisdom and contributions pale in comparison to the person receiving the pen. It is a symbol of homage, a symbol of appreciation, and a symbol of gratitude.”

Fogel reminded the students to “craft the world you desire, as your future is created when you use your education to craft possibilities and maintain and create connections to attack important issues.”

CEES and the Sustainability Graduate Programs congratulates, and wishes the best of luck to its very first class as they craft a new world.

Congratulations to:

  • Michael Aper
  • Matthew Berthinet
  • Nicolas Griffin
  • Jessica Hamm
  • Heather Hardman
  • Philip Henson
  • Phillip Hunsucker
  • Sidra Hussain
  • Staci Kyle
  • Jennifer Loftin
  • Nicole Johnson
  • Torin Martinez
  • Scott McCullough
  • Claire Nagy-Kato
  • Jacques Pierre
  • Khiry Sutton
  • Samantha Voncannon
  • Andrew Wilcox
  • John Williams

Finally, Fogel gave a lighthearted description of the first class in numbers. The inaugural class distinguished itself with:

  • 20 class members who started the program
  • 28 faculty members
  • 110 core classes
  • 5 marriages, babies, other life changing events
  • 6 sunburned in Belize; 1 forgot his bathing suit in Belize
  • 2 pigs roasted
  • 4,224 pages of text produced by the class
  • 618 required readings
  • 3 students via webcam from Charlotte
  • 1 lone plant that survived the year in our office and for which we owe Scott McCullough a debt of gratitude for his care.