Alumni Profile: Education Opportunities in Environment & Sustainability

Alumni Profile: Education Opportunities in Environment & Sustainability

By: Leigh McGregor | Faculty of Environment
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The easiest way to describe how including some sustainability studies at SFU can help you is to introduce you to one of the Faculty of Environment’s alumni, Wes Regan. Wes graduated last year with a BA in Geography and also earned two certificates while here: Urban Studies and Sustainable Community Development.

Here is his story, in his words: 

Since graduating from SFU I have become a successful contractor/consultant in the field of work that I was hoping to get into during my time studying: Community Development/Urban Planning.

I am currently the Executive Director for the Hastings Crossing BIA (Business Improvement Association) and also a part-time contractor for Fast Track to Employment and Building Opportunities with Business, two other economic development agencies in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The work that I do focuses on social innovation, tackling complex challenges in novel ways, and often involves collaboration between private and public sector entities as well as activists, non-profits and social-enterprises.

Some of the major program areas that I am currently overseeing include the creation of a Social Purchasing/ CED Portal and a Social Impact Business Accelerator, plus a comprehensive Crime Prevention through Environmental Design and Public Spaces Stewardship Strategy.

The founding Board of Directors for the BIA approached me to help them launch it, including its brand, its constitution and bylaws, its business plan and various strategies.  This was definitely a highlight of my career, being involved in the visioning and the nuts and bolts of how this new and innovative BIA could work, and then to launch it and nurture it to this point. 

I’m also the Vice-President and Co-Founder of Urban Stream Innovation, an award winning Greentech Startup focusing on food systems technology solutions for urban and remote communities. We are currently building out our patented Micro-Farms in Vancouver and the soon the Sunshine Coast too. These Micro-Farms are made from repurposing shipping containers and combine composting, vermiculture and hydroponics/aquaponics. All of these opportunities grew out of my experiences as a Faculty of Environment Co-op student, where I was placed in the downtown east side in 2009.

     

Leigh McGregor's role in the Faculty of Environment sees her working with prospective and current students to help them find and fulfill their academic goals, and enjoy a rich extra-curricular life. You can reach her at leighm@sfu.ca

Posted on January 29, 2013