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Philadelphia university

Masters in Sustainable Design

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Courses are taught by sustainable designers and engineers for an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on applying creativity and knowledge to real world sustainability problems. Degree options: 12-month accelerated, 2-year full-time, 2-year part-time, 18-month hybrid online/ on-campus.

Fern Gookin Director of Sustainability, Revolution Recovery; Co-founder of Recycled Artist-in-Residency philadelphia | class of 2010

Alex Dews Policy and Program Manager, Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia Philadelphia | Class of 2010


lex Dews initially enrolled in the program at Philadelphia University intending to learn more about green building, and how that knowledge could be applied to real estate development. But when his work as a graduate research assistant required him to work with Councilman Curtis Jones’ office, Dews’ interests shifted to city government’s role in sustainability issues. His timing couldn’t have been better. The spring after Dews enrolled, Mayor Nutter released his Greenworks Philadelphia plan. Dews started thinking about sustainability on the city level, and for his thesis decided to look at sustainability policy implementation. His research led him to Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability, where he was eventually hired as the policy and program manager while he finished his thesis. “I was really eating, sleeping, breathing sustainability policy implementation,” says Dews about his last semester. “It was great for me, great for that project.”


ith a background in architecture, experience managing indoor environmental health hazard rehabilitation projects, and a passion for sustainability, Gookin was attracted to the interdisciplinary nature of the Philadelphia University program. While writing her thesis—which examined the role of art in creating awareness about sustainability issues—she met local artists who were receiving materials from Revolution Recovery, a construction waste recycling company based in Northeast Philadelphia. The academic project inspired Gookin to co-found the Recycled Artist-in-Residency program with Philadelphia artist Billy Dufala, and helped her land a full-time position with Revolution Recovery as Director of Sustainability. Today, Gookin handles all sustainability-related projects, such as guidelines for recycling on LEED-certified construction, office renovations and stormwater management on the property.

There are so many people from so many backgrounds in the program, and the same [can be said for] the professors that are teaching in the program. I was able to pull from a lot of different experiences throughout the program as I got a collaborative learning experience.” —fERN gOOKIN

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Grid Magazine September 2012 [#041]  

This month’s cover features nine graduates from Philadelphia-area sustainability programs.

Grid Magazine September 2012 [#041]  

This month’s cover features nine graduates from Philadelphia-area sustainability programs.