Every quarter, my colleagues in Heller Communications put out a new issue of the Heller magazine, and at the risk of sounding like a bit of a dweeb, I always read it cover to cover. Although I would say that Heller is better than a lot of workplaces at fostering community, there’s always so much going on that it’s hard to keep up with what everyone else in the building is up to. The Heller Magazine always does a great job highlighting interesting stories from students, alumni, faculty, and even giving a bit of Heller history. Some of my favorite articles from issues past include Beyond “Do no harm”The Best Lessons I Learned at Heller: Alumni share stories about their favorite professors, and 2020 asks us: If not now, when?.

When I came into the office on Tuesday, I was so excited to see the Winter 2022 issue in my mailbox, and have spent the last few days reading it cover to cover. You can find the full accessible PDF here, but I wanted to highlight some of my favorite articles from this issue.

Fighting for Energy Justice – This article profiles the work of an alumna of our Sustainable International Development program, Paula García. García’s interest in environmental issues began when she worked as a ranger in her native country’s (Columbia) national parks as a college student, but today she works as a senior bilingual energy analyst in the Climate and Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. In the article, she shares what she’s been doing since she graduated from Heller, why green technology is essential for addressing climate change, how clean energy can combat climate change and deal with its impact, and the importance of energy equity. It was this last piece that I found especially compelling, and I learned a lot from the article that I’ll admit hadn’t really occurred to me before.

Stand-out quote: “On the customer side, a recent study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found just 15% of households with solar panels earned below $50,000 per year, signifying that the technology remains out of reach for residents who would benefit most from the energy cost savings. Low-income families are spending nearly 9% of their income on electricity, the Department of Energy has found, versus 3% for wealthier households.”

Preserving Concord’s Black History – This article immediately caught my eye for two reasons: 1. As an American literature buff, I love the town of Concord and 2. It focuses on the work of Maria Madison, who is one of my favorite people at Heller – I challenge anyone to talk to her for over a minute and not walk away stunned by her intelligence and warmth. In addition to being Heller’s Associate Dean of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity; the Director Institute for Economic and Racial Equity; and the co-chair of the Economic and Racial Equity concentration, Dr. Madison also is the founder and co-president of The Robbins House, a nonprofit focused on the long civil rights movement in America, through the lens of African descended inhabitants of the eponymous 19th century house, including a black woman activist who attempted to challenge the nation’s first civil rights act of 1866.

Stand-out quote: “Too often, she [Madison] says, historic sites and museums omit the Black history of the U.S. ‘Concord’s Black history is America’s history,’ says Madison, noting that Concord was the location of the first successful battle against British forces.”

Q & A: Meet Alison Elliott, MBA/MA SID’22: My partner is an environmental scientist, and through him, I’ve definitely become more interested in issues of environmentalism and sustainability; I’ve also been a vegetarian for almost two decades and love cooking, so this Q&A with Alison Elliott, MBA/MA SID’22, was basically written just for me. Elliot is the author of “The Farmer Foodie,” a blog and social media platform where she shares vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free recipes as well as sustainable culinary and farming tips with the goal of helping people reduce their environmental footprints.

Stand-out quote: “What is the biggest misconception people have about your work? People sometimes think their individual impact doesn’t matter. It definitely does, because people’s individual impact collectively makes a big impact. I often get asked, “Why should I compost? Why should I recycle?” At the end of the day, it adds up.”