Executive Master of Natural Resources Student & Alumni Profiles

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      • Jan 03, 2020 Blazing Trails to Local and Global Sustainability Change

        When it comes to leadership, Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) alum T. Adil Chawdhury stands as a trailblazer in the sphere of global sustainability. His deep understanding of stakeholder engagement and cross-disciplinary teamwork has helped him achieve a number of successes in both sustainable development and policy making. In his current role as a Climate Advisor for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Adil strives to make the city of San Antonio, Texas, run fully on renewable energy.

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      • Oct 15, 2019 Our Students Share Grad School Tips with Environmental Leadership Community

        Current and former students in the Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) program—Valerie Winrow, Sara El Choufi, and Danielle Simms—shared reflections and tips for choosing a graduate school with an online community of women interested in careers in global sustainability, in a webinar facilitated by the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program Alumni Network, a program of the Environmental Leadership Program.

      • XMNR Alumni Connect at the National Geographic Society
      • Sep 25, 2019 XMNR Alumni Connect at the National Geographic Society

        Two Virginia Tech Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) alumni, Arslan Ahmad and Mike Beckner, met for the first time in the elevator of their shared workplace, the National Geographic Society (NGS). Both men were wearing jackets with the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability (CLiGS) logo, which was enough to spark a conversation. “We talked about the program,” Mike recalls, “and I remember thinking it was nice to see someone else from my area of study at Virginia Tech.”

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      • Jul 16, 2019 XMNR Alum Karlee Siepierski tackles sustainability management at Swire Coca-Cola

        Since graduating from the Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) program at Virginia Tech’s Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability in 2016, Karlee Siepierski has both shifted fields and advanced in her career to become the Corporate Sustainability Manager for Swire Coca-Cola, the producer and distributor of many beloved beverage brands in the U.S. While at first unfamiliar, the beverage industry has become a platform where Karlee demonstrates her attention to sustainable corporate…

      • Valerie Winrow
      • Mar 25, 2019 Who am I to change the world?

        In these early days of the Executive Masters of Natural Resources Program at Virginia Tech, my fellow classmates and I are getting to know ourselves and one another, perhaps in ways, we had not considered upon entering this program. We are learning ways to build trust, as we establish working relationships towards our common goal, which is to learn and grow as sustainability leaders.

      • XMNR Student class photo
      • Mar 14, 2019 Celebrating XMNR and the Class of 2019

        In January 2011, when the first cohort of twenty students started the Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) program at Virginia Tech’s Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability, the learning curve for our faculty was steep. We had a core group of experienced professors, but we were an interdisciplinary lot. Many of us had not worked together before. None of us had previously developed and delivered an education program quite like this one: a cohort-based, executive-style graduate curriculum specifically for working professionals. This was a new and exciting opportunity and we were determined to succeed!

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      • Jan 24, 2019 Green Building for a Better World

        Ten years ago, when the term “sustainable development” was just starting to gain traction in Korea, I was beginning my career as an international “green building” specialist. The timing was perfect. I was new to the field, and as part of my role with a major construction project, I had the opportunity to complete a professional certificate in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Little did I know that it was the first step in a much longer journey that would literally take me around the world, including to the United States and India.

      • Sunset on dunes of Thar Desert
      • Jan 17, 2019 A Living Nexus of Global Sustainability

        Dust coated my hair, lined my throat, and stung my eyes while an open Jeep transported me deeper into the Thar Desert. The one-way sandy trail was unforgiving; dunes bounced me around while the sun beat a steady cadence across my back, and I contemplated how people managed to live in such a desolate place.

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      • Sep 24, 2018 Developing Resilience

        Two recent alumni of the Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) program are serving as skill-based volunteers in the nonprofit sector and are playing active leadership roles in Virginia’s environmental resilience. Ellen Graap Loth and Vestal Tutterow work in environmental consulting at Cardno and as program management at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, respectively, but have recently reconnected as board members in the organization, Resilient Virginia, a group dedicated to the vitality of Virginian communities.

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      • Sep 17, 2018 Confidence to Lead Sustainably

        In her former role at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR) alumna, Becky Long, discovered her passion for sustainability while working with international business leaders across different industries.

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