Marshall Launches First University-Wide Sustainability Fellowship Program


There’s a reason why the corner office is the most coveted.

“Change can happen anywhere, but when you get the corner office, you can make real differences,” said Associate Professor of Clinical Management and Organization Christopher Bresnahan.

And that’s the hope for this professor with a passion for the business of sustainability — to flip the mindset of corporations and organizations toward creating a more sustainable future.

The climate crisis is real — 97% of scientists agree that human actions are causing climate change. While the agreements made at the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28) were a tiny step forward, companies can no longer deny, distract, or delay the inevitable. Rather, there’s an opportunity to innovate and implement business practices that produce economic value while reducing environmental impact.

“If someone says, ‘hey, I care about this, but I want to start my own company and be successful and sustainable,’ that’s where you can balance and scale your business to go a certain way,” Bresnahan explained. “If you’re a director or a VP at a company, maybe you could do that. But when you’re a CEO, then you really can start to balance and tip those scales to create the change you want to happen.”

Focusing on organizational behavior and leadership in the courses he teaches, the professor works to prepare his students to gain access to the C-Suite. And now, Bresnahan has an additional tool in his tool box to help cultivate future leaders through a green lens: the Hayes Barnard Sustainability Fellowship (HBSF).

Bresnahan, director of the new program, has envisioned for a long time how to develop the first university-wide, cohort-driven experience dedicated to the endeavor of sustainability. The two-year fellowship will start in Fall 2024 with several goals: develop students who are well-versed in the business of sustainable practices, expose the Fellows to C-Suite level sustainability officers in a number of fields, and establish Marshall as a known source for outstanding bachelor-level leadership in the sustainability field.

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