Last Wednesday WKU’s full time MBA students took a field trip to Trammel Creek to run experiments on the water quality. Students collected macro-invertebrates and used environmental keys to identify the various species. MBA students got their hands dirty by getting down into the creek to study the interrelationships between the environment and business.
Instructors for the field trip included professors from different disciplines across WKU’s campus. Both business and environmental education instructors were on hand as was WKU’s Sustainability Coordinator, Christian Ryan-Downing., who teaches in the MBA program
Dr. Terry Wilson, WKU’s Director of the Center for Environmental Education and Sustainability taught MBA students that water quality can be determined by identifying which species are present. Students also tested the water’s PH levels and amount of dissolved oxygen parts per million. Since water is a critical resource to many businesses, as well as the health of society, business professor Brian Sullivan believes field trips like this one help students get a deeper appreciation of the environment. “We teach the students about sustainability standards, laws, and best practices of companies but getting a view of natural resources at the ground level makes a real impact on the thinking of students, “according to Sullivan. Dr. Sullivan was the first winner of WKU’s President’s Award for Sustainability.
The field trip had an impact on students. “It gave me a better understanding and appreciation for the effects that people and society as a whole can have on the local ecosystem,” said Mariah Yates, one of the MBA students on the field trip. “With businesses now realizing how important sustainability is to their future and overall success I believe that our MBA graduates can be important in helping companies become socially responsible and profitable through sustainable efforts,” said Yates.
WKU is a leader in sustainability efforts. For instance, WKU is ranked among the nation’s most environmentally responsible “green colleges,” is a “Tree Campus,” and has earned many other recognitions in sustainability.
The Gordon Ford College of Business focuses upon business programs which are applied. For instance, the WKU MBA program is the only MBA program in Kentucky with a concentration in sustainability. The full time MBA curriculum consists of a series of mini-courses in sustainability; Business Interest in Sustainability, Metrics in Sustainability, Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Sustainability, and Sustainability and Social Entrepreneurship.