The WKU MBA concentration in sustainability uses instructors from both the business and science fields. This year the instructors include the following:
Dr. Brian Sullivan, Associate Professor of Management, Gordon Ford College of Business
Brian Sullivan is the first faculty/staff recipient of the President's Award for Sustainability. Sullivan has generally taught courses related to the legal environment of business but he has a long history of social and environmental responsibility. As a law student and a young lawyer, he was involved with a number of environmental initiatives. Early in his teaching career at WKU, he taught seminars on environmental policy. In the past year, Sullivan has been a leader in adding a sustainability emphasis to WKU's MBA program and has worked with academic programs, WKU administration and the community to get it done. Currently, Sullivan is working to create a sustainability concentration within the undergraduate management program at WKU and is teaching an Honors Colloquia on sustainability.
Christian Ryan-Downing, WKU Sustainability Coordinator
Christian Ryan-Downing is WKU's Sustainability Coordinator. In that position she helps identify and develop opportunities for reducing the University's environmental footprint and better steward operational costs. She does this through campus initiatives that reduce waste and use energy, water, and other resources more efficiently. She works with students, faculty and staff at WKU to integrate sustainability principles and practices into the University's operations and culture. As an instructor in the MBA program, Ryan-Downing provides students with an organic perspective of the sustainability megatrend, hands-on in nature using teaching methods that transcend the typical books and reports of academia. Ryan-Downing has a Master of Science degree from WKU and her current research is focused on sustainability at WKU. As a student, she was a co-founder and president of GreenToppers Students for Campus Sustainability.
Dr. Wilburn (Wil) Clouse, Executive Director - Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Mattie Newman Ford Professor - Entrepreneurship, Professor of Management
Wil Clouse is an entrepreneur at heart. He serves as director of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in WKU's Gordon Ford College of Business, as well as the Mattie Newman Ford Professor of Entrepreneurship. The Center is an interdisciplinary program that is uniquely designed to maximize the entrepreneurial talents and expertise of WKU faculty, staff, students, and community in partnership with entrepreneurs. For the MBA program, Dr. Clouse applies his expertise of entrepreneurial endeavors in a sustainable development capacity, educating students of the numerous opportunities this budding field offers.
Raja Bhattacharya is an owner of Himalayan Rugs on Fountain Square and president of Kumari Homes. Bhattacharya is completing his PhD at the University of Louisville in Entrepreneurship. One of his interests is in growing interest in sustainable and locally grown products. For instance, he wants to take Kentucky-grown alpaca fiber and send it to Nepal to be woven into rugs designed by Kentucky artists. He also hopes to start manufacturing an outdoor clothing line of alpaca wool that would be sold in higher-end boutiques and online. Toward that end, Bhattacharya is having discussions with alpaca farmers, Haven4Change, WKU, and the Kentucky Arts Council. He is educating MBA students at WKU on sustainability and social entrepreneurship drawing from his personal experience as an entrepreneur and his current education in entrepreneurship.