The LiS program, co-directed by Professor Charles Corbett and Professor Magali Delmas, provides a platform for graduate students at UCLA to pursue their interests in sustainability and collaborate with students from different fields. LiS was proud to announce its sixth graduating class, which consisted of an interdisciplinary group of sixteen graduate students from a wide range of departments, including Urban Planning, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, Business, and Public Health, to name a few.
The ceremony was part of the Institute of Environment and Sustainability’s (IoES) ‘Spotlight on Sustainability’ event. The event was a great success, and brought together members of the Corporate Partners Program with LiS alumni, current students, and graduates. The event kicked off with a series of talks on supply chain sustainability and the impressive list of speakers included Jennifer DuBuisson from Mattel, Gero Lesson from Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps and IoES’s own Professor Charles Corbett and Magali Delmas.
A brief break over snacks and coffee allowed LiS graduates and members of the Corporate Partners Program to mingle and network. Following the break, Saira Gandhi, student director of the Graduate Student Association’s Sustainability Resource Center’s announced the winner’s of their Sustainable Research Showcase competition. The majority of the awardees were members of the LiS program, a testament to the program’s ability to motivate student’s to incorporate sustainability into their everyday lives, including their research as graduate students.
After the distribution of the awards, LiS was proud to introduce Diane Wittenberg, Director Emeritus of the California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative and The Climate Registry, as the keynote speaker. Diane has had a long time involvement with the sustainability movement, in particular with the advancement of electric vehicle technology and adaptation. Diane told the story of how she climbed the corporate ladder while keeping sustainability issues the focal point of her career trajectory. She described her numerous attempts at retirement, all of which ended with her return to the workforce, to fight in the trenches for sustainability causes.
Directly after Diane’s witty and engaging speech, the LiS graduates were announced. All graduates were required to take sixteen units of sustainability related coursework in addition to completing an independent leadership project. The LiS projects made a real impact on the community; projects were diverse and included components such as the monitoring of electricity consumption in Los Angeles and providing residents with access to local, organic produce. After announcement of the graduates, students celebrated their accomplishments together over food and drink.
As LiS students graduate and prepare for the next step in their career, they will carry with them the experiences gained in this certificate program. The interdisciplinary nature of the program has given graduates the tools and perspectives to be true leaders in sustainability in our society.