Earlier this month, Students for Responsible Business welcomed Kathleen McGinty as its guest speaker, who told attendees about her time in the White House and how the sustainable business environment will be changing as they enter the workforce.
Fox School of Business dedicates one week at the beginning of October for honoring those who are progressively contributing in their respective field during Human Resource Week. On. Oct. 5, Students for Responsible Business brought in Kathleen McGinty, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, to speak with students about her achievements with sustainability efforts.
McGinty discussed the role she plays in upholding environmental sustainability and the importance and benefits of creating a green campus, community and world.
“I’m always trying to figure out new ways to raise the bar for what else can be done to increase sustainability and make it more efficient,” McGinty said.
McGinty works for Western Solutions Inc., a green development business. She said her passion leads her to push the company forward in terms of taking risks. In regards to environmental sustainability, she said many companies overlook certain issues to divert situations that can make the company vulnerable.
“We must take risks,” McGinty said. “There is nothing simple or easy about environmental sustainability. WESTON understands how to take on the tough environmental issues out there. Instead of waiting on others to call us with a problem, we are hands on, walking through communities to find those problems.”
She said people must think outside of the box to find success in the sustainability field. Community members living in places that have abandoned sub-sections within them are desperate to see those neighborhoods come to life. McGinty is dedicating her service to issues like these and said she hopes to inspire others with her efforts.
To keep students’ attention, McGinty’s presentation posed questions to students. Approximately 50 students were in attendance, who gave McGinty a round of applause at the conclusion of her 50-minute presentation.
“I was very pleased with McGinty’s presentation and her expertise in the sustainability field,” junior sports and recreation major Abdullah Allen said.
“This lecture and [HR Week] together are both beneficial,” Allen added. “It opened my eyes up to all the different ‘green’ options students can get into on their own or even alongside Temple. It made me feel that I should know more about things affecting the environment I live in.”
After her presentation, McGinty expressed the role and responsibility Temple has in the sustainability efforts. She said Temple could lead by example by reducing energy, conserving water usage and doing an overall good deed for the planet. As an educational institution, she said she believes that students should be informed about how they can get involved, as well.
“Students have the passion for sustainability,” McGinty said. “They are the changing agents.”
SRB on Main Campus has been an established organization for approximately five years that focuses its efforts on “greening” Main Campus and aims to “improve the world by growing and strengthening a network of leaders who use the power of business to make a positive net social, environmental and economic impact.”
Organization leaders said it was just recently that membership has strengthened.
“It may sound corny, but I like to be a part of something bigger than myself,” said SRB Vice President Deirdre Kurtz. “It’s a great feeling to be able to take what you learn to promote things that are going to make a positive change in this world. It’s even greater to be surrounded by people who think the same way.”
The organization has worked on projects including the reorganization of the Sexy Green Truck on Main Campus as well as starting the annual event Green by Design Week.
SRB was accepted for the first round of undergraduate organizations into the recently formed Net Impact Undergraduate program. During the spring semester, members are planning to spearhead a Green Jobs Fair.
“Everything is student-run,” said Dr. Lynne Andersson, SRB advisor and associate professor of human resource management. “I oversee [the organization] and pitch ideas and help in any way possible, but generally, everything that happens during HR Week and thereafter is because of dedicated and motivated students. It’s a wonderful thing and any student who wants to help surely can.”
SRB President Victoria Vicente, a senior international business and marketing major, said although the events are marketed towards students in Fox School of Business, anyone in any major with a genuine interest in the goals of SRB is more than welcome to participate.
“Being part of SRB is more than just hearing people lecture to you,” Kurtz said “People get practice and are able to apply the concepts they are learning in school to the bigger picture of things that actually matter.”
Shanell Simmons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.