Sustainability Initiative  




Progress: Sustainability in Education

Sustainable Business Programs
Aquinas College currently offers both undergraduate and graduate studies in Sustainable Business.

The 65-semester hour Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Business major is an interdisciplinary program that integrates science, business and environmental studies. Undergraduate students can also choose to complete the 28-semester hour Sustainable Business minor, or an 18-semester hour certification instead. >More Information

Aquinas also offers the Master of Sustainable Business program for graduate students. This 12-course, 2-year program strives to uniquely qualify students to recognize the problems of business today and how to apply a durable, nature-based, and profitable solution. >More Information.

Integrating Sustainability into Existing Programs
Our dedicated sustainable business programs are graduating agents of change each year, but we are also working hard to integrate the concepts of sustainability into existing academic programs. Through our faculty fellows program (which began in 2014), professors from a wide array of disciplines are learning sustainability principles and acquiring the necessary tools to incorporate sustainability. Aquinas uses the AASHE STARS system of identifying courses that are dedicated to sustainability and courses that include sustainability as a module or unit. The results of the most recent curriculum survey completed in spring of 2014 can be viewed here (PDF).
Sustainability Research on Campus
Several Aquinas faculty are actively engaged in research-related to sustainability. Please contact them for current research status.
  • K. Heinz-Ciullo: Business
  • N. Clatterbuck: School of Education
  • A. Dunham Strand: Women's Studies
  • D. Steketee: Sustainable Business
  • D. Wickering: Sociology
  • T. Yarbrough: Economics
  • E. Jensen: Chemistry
  • G. Rumohr-Voskuil: English
  • J. Rasmussen: Geography and Environmental Studies
  • J. Fritz: Chemistry
  • K. Häusler-Gross: World Languages
  • K. Kremer: Sociology
  • M. Tueth: Sustainable Business
  • R. Bajema: Biology
  • R. Durham: Political Science
  • S. Schousen: Art

“Kool-Aid” Chemistry Lab
Chemistry Lab

Each year the Chemistry Department performs Spectrometer Experiments.  In past years the chemical solutions used for the experiment were nickel nitrate, copper sulfate, and cobalt chloride.  These compounds are hazardous to human health and the environment among other things.  Nickel nitrate is a cancer causing compound that is extremely toxic to aquatic organisms (MSDS). Copper sulfate is “very toxic to aquatic organisms and may cause long term damage in the environment” (MSDS). Cobalt chloride “may cause damage to the upper respiratory tract, skin, eyes, and teeth” (MSDS).


The chemistry department has taken a new approach to this experiment most recently, thanks to Dr. Beth Jensen. This year the department decided to replace these harmful chemicals with Kool-Aid.  Kool-Aid is a non-hazardous mixture that provides color just as well as the previously mentioned compounds.  Kool-Aid does not negatively affect the environment or human health providing for a more environmentally and socially friendly experiment.

Got Art?
Sustainable Art

The concept behind the Got Art? program at Aquinas College is to make student, staff, and faculty art more widely displayed on campus. The Center for Sustainability has developed a virtual space for advertising available art for display, and on-campus locations desiring art. Users can search through the online listings of available art, to find a piece of artwork suitable for the desired location. Individuals/departments acquiring artwork for display are encouraged to provide a donation to the artist, but it’s not required. >Visit the Got Art? website*


*Note: These links are only accessible from the Aquinas computer network and AQNet.