Posted October 29, 2014

Students use Temple’s Sustainability Certificate to achieve diverse career goals

Joseph V. Labolito
Twenty-three Temple departments in eight schools and colleges offer courses that may be used to complete the requirements for Temple's Sustainability Certificate.

When Meredith Thomas, Class of 2014, completes her degree in journalism at Temple University this December, she will embark on a career path centered on helping make the Earth a better place.

Thomas is one of several students from a variety of disciplines who have given their education a green focus by enrolling in Temple’s recently developed undergraduate Sustainability Certificate.

Offered through University College, the 12-credit, four-course certificate program provides an opportunity for students to develop the knowledge and skills needed to contribute to sustainable systems from the viewpoint of disciplines as diverse as business, art, social work, communication and planning. The program is open to all majors.

After graduation, Thomas will travel to Reykjavik, Iceland, to further explore her interest in sustainability. “The concept of a country run nearly entirely on renewable energy is amazing to me,” she said.

When she returns to the U.S., she hopes to work for an environmental news organization.

“No matter the type of company I work for,” she said, “most businesses are talking about the environment today. By earning a Sustainability [Certificate], I feel I have a much stronger skill set in the professional market.”

“The certificate is designed to help students become effective leaders and agents of change for sustainability,” said Jacek Ghosh, director of sustainability education. “It makes our students more competitive in a rapidly changing job market where many sectors are incorporating green initiatives into their business plans.”

Twenty-three Temple departments in eight schools and colleges offer courses that may be used to complete the certificate’s requirements. “[Students] can tailor their experience in the certificate to their own interests,” said Ghosh. “For students who want to directly impact their community, this program takes their interests and develops them into a marketable set of skills.”

The first group of Temple students completed the Sustainability Certificate this May and are applying what they have learned in innovative ways.

Ivery Boston, SED ’14, who completed his undergraduate degree in community and regional planning in May, is a leadership development associate at Nielsen in San Diego, California—the same Nielsen that tracks how well your favorite television show is doing in the ratings.

“The certificate program is designed to develop effective leaders—those are skills that are very transferable,” he said. “My particular interest has been the social side of sustainability. In terms of market research and market analysis, sustainability and being ‘green’ is often a driving force in the discussion.”

View a complete listing of approved certificate courses. For more information, contact

- Jim Duffy