Fielding Graduate University News

Fielding's Social Justice Award Recognizes Fielder and Chouinard

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Fri, Jan 23, 2015

Fielding Graduate University's Social Justice Award Recognizes the life work of Marie Fielder, PhD (posthumous) and Yvon Chouinard, founder and CEO of Patagonia.

During Fielding's annual Janaury Winter Session at the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort in Santa Barbara,CA, faculty, students, staff and alumni came together to recognize the social justice work of Fielder and Chouinard. The Social Justice Award was established in 1986 by psychology alumna Lynn Friedman Kessler to recognize demonstrated concern for and commitment to the furtherance of social justice. The award is granted through the Office of the President and demonstrative of one Fielding's core values focused on reducing the many forms of inequality.

Marie Fielder, PhD

Marie FielderFielder achieved national prominence as the first African American woman with a doctorate to teach in the San Francisco Bay Area, and for her theories that focused on how diverse cultures and groups relate to one another. Fielder was one of the first researchers to document cultural bias in IQ testing, and was instrumental in making the Berkeley public schools the first in the nation to desegregate through two-way busing.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Fielder contributed to the work of such civil rights leaders as Martin Luther King, Jr., and Whitney Young. She also advised numerous government and civil-rights organizations, including the U.S. Department of Education, the Black Panther Party for Defense and Justice, and the National Organization for Women. Fielder lectured, directed diversity forums, and conducted workshops and training for many school systems, government agencies and businesses across the United States.

Fielder worked with many kinds of people to help empower and enable them to solve their own problems. She inspired several generations of students at the three universities at which she held faculty appointments in California, many of whom went on to pursue highly successful careers.

As Congressman Ron Dellums said about her in 1995 when he acknowledged Fielder in the Congressional Record, she has been an exemplary public servant, bringing quiet dignity and distinction to every project on which she has worked.

Yvon Chouinard

Yvon Chouinard

Chouinard was born in Lewiston, Maine, in 1938, and raised in Southern California. There, as a teen he taught himself how to climb, surf, skin dive—and blacksmith. By the early 1970s when he founded Patagonia, Chouinard Equipment pitons, carabiners and ice axes had become the world standard.

Spending 140 days a year in the natural world, Chouinard learned early in his life as an alpinist, surfer and fly fisherman the seriousness of the environmental crisis—and he brought this knowledge to bear on his work. In the late 1980s he instituted Patagonia’s earth tax, pledging 1 percent of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment.

In the 1990s, Chouinard encouraged Patagonia to consciously to reduce the environmental footprint of its products and activities, beginning with a 100 percent switch from conventional to organic cotton and the introduction of fleece clothing made from recycled polyester. He then sought to work with other partner companies to reduce environmental harm on a global scale. Chouinard, either independently, or with Patagonia helped co-found the Fair Labor Association, One Percent for the Planet, the Textile Exchange, the Conservation Alliance, and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. In addition, Patagonia has been a B corp member since 2012.

Chouinard continues to surf and fly fish. He is the author or co-author of Climbing Ice, Let My People Go Surfing, The Responsible Company and Simple Fly Fishing.

President Katrina Rogers and Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Research, Orlando Taylor, PhD, took stage in front of a packed house to introduce the outstanding work of the recipients.

Nicola Smith, MBA, JD, daughter of Fielder, shared some inspiring words about her mother’s work, as she accepted her award posthumously. She encouraged today and tomorrow’s scholar to exemplify Fielding’s values by leading the way in the social justice field.

Social justice award nicola yvon katrina resized 600Highlights of the evening also included a question and answer session with Chouinard after he introduced his company values and goals. Chouinard enthusiastically shared personal insights to his life and business vision. The discussion addressed topics such as his work to promote a more sustainable retail industry that educates consumers, his ongoing commitment to choose international supplier with safe and fair practices and his efforts to offer an innovative and equitable working environment to his employees. As the evening closed, the energy in the room was contagious after what had proved to be a lively and informative award ceremony.


Tags: patagonia, social justice, sustainability, higher education, fielding graduate university

The Thinking Executive's Guide to Sustainability

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Mon, Feb 24, 2014

Fielding Graduate University Faculty Member and Institute for Social Innovation Fellow, Kerul Kassel,PhD, publishes book intended for business professionals who are interested in successfully leading their organizations' corporate sustainability, social responsibility, and citizenship efforts.

The Thinking Exec.

Author, Kerul Kassel:

The Thinking Executive's Guide to Sustainability offers a practical, relevant, and easily grasped overview of sustainability issues and the systems logic that informs them, supported by empirical research and applied to corporate rationales, decision-making, and business processes.

We live in an increasingly global economy in which the effects of shrunken economies, broadened communication, and widespread meteorological incidents associated with climate change are leaving virtually no one untouched. As a result, a working knowledge of concepts such as the triple bottom line and sustainability, have become mandatory. Systems -thinking is foundational for grasping these concepts and is based on trans-disciplinary theories deriving in part from biology, physics, economics, philosophy, computer science, engineering, geography, and other sciences. Specifically it is the study of systems, including all life forms, climate phenomena, and even in human learning and organizational processes, that regulate themselves through feedback. The media and the public have become savvy to corporate green-washing, and government regulation, already pervasive in Europe, is imminent in the United States. Business practices are a subsystem of human activity, which is itself a subsystem of the biosphere we all depend upon for services, such as clean air and water, sufficient soils to produce food, and moderate weather. Corporate sustainability practices are in the midst of becoming a required aspect of the social license to conduct business, and the use of a systems framework provides a coherent and eminently sensible way to comprehend the structure and logic that underlies this transition. Green business efforts and stakeholder initiatives undertaken by those without the requisite understanding of sustainability and the trends related to it in the world of commerce risk adverse press, activist pressure, regulatory constraint, added expense, reduced revenue, and lowered valuation.

All proceeds benefit the Institute for Social Innovation

Kerul KasselKerul Kassel uses her doctorate in Human and Organizational Systems to help organizations and their leaders focus on (environmental and social) sustainability. She serves on the faculty at Fielding Graduate University, in the Sustainability Leadership and Global Leadership certificate programs is the author of a book on applying systems thinking to business management practices, a sort of "CliffsNotes" to sustainability and systems thinking for executives and managers.

Her research focuses on sustainability in an organizational context, and she has been awarded a Fellowship at the Institute for Social Innovation.

In addition to consulting, writing, and research, she has expertise in coaching, working with change agents, executives, managers, and business owners as a recognized expert in productivity and performance, and has multiple industry certifications. Kassel holds a LEED Green Association accreditation, Certified International Society of Sustainability Professionals designation, along with several executive coaching certifications. She serves on the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce National and Southwest Region Education Committees.

The Thinking Executive's Guide to Sustainability is available on

Tags: sustainability, fielding graduate university, fellow program, institue for social innovation

Fielding Graduate University Sustainability Survey: Your Input is Requested

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Wed, Dec 12, 2012

describe the image

This request is sent on the behalf of the

Fielding Graduate University Sustainability Workgroup

Dear Colleague,

Interest in sustainability has increased exponentially alongside global concerns that we are living unsustainably on the planet. Fielding Graduate University is stepping up its commitment to sustainability by engaging in a community-wide conversation about what sustainability means at Fielding Graduate University now and into the future.

The most common definition of sustainable development comes from the Brundtland Report which states, "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (1987, p. 43). For our purposes, "sustainability" refers to social well-being (people), economic stability (prosperity) and environmental health (planet).

With its longstanding commitment to diversity, social justice and social change, Fielding Graduate University is already helping to lead sustainability transformation. The purpose of this survey is to find out from you what ACTIONS you think we can take to build awareness of sustainability and its intimate relationship with social, environmental and economic factors.

Your responses to this survey will remain anonymous unless you choose to submit your name, and this research has received approval from Fielding's Institutional Review Board. This survey will be sent to students, alumni, administration, staff, faculty, the Board of Trustees and community partners associated with all three schools.

Thank you in advance for your contributions to these efforts. The deadline for completing this survey is December 21st, 2012.

Your input will be included in this university-wide consultation that the Sustainability Working Group will present to Fielding's leadership team and community members.

Please use this link to access the survey:

For questions, please contact Principal Investigator, Four Arrows


Sustainability Working Group:

Four Arrows, Jo-Anne Clarke, Kerul Kassel, Roan Kaufman, Jean Lasee, Jeff Leinaweaver, Katrina Rogers, Julie Smendzuik-OBrien, Paul Stillman, Nate Strongelk, Steve Upham, David Blake Willis

Tags: sustainability, higher education, fielding graduate university

Open research and education: Fielding alumna Gigi Johnson presents globally

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Mon, Oct 29, 2012

The first Open Knowledge Festival was held in in Helsinki from September 17th to 22nd, 2012 with over 800 participants from across the globe. This festival included a week of participatory sessions, keynote lectures, workshops, hackathons and satellite events. This years theme was Open Knowledge in Action: looking at the value that can be generated by opening up knowledge, the ecosystems of organizations that can benefit from such sharing, and the impacts transparency can have in society.

The week was organized through collaborations amongst over 100 guest planners from around the world leading 13 key Topic Streams of whom Fielding Graduate University alumna and current Fielding Alumni Council member, Gigi Johnson, EdD, (ELC '11) presented on Topic Stream 7: Open Research and Education. From her time zone southern California in the middle of the night, Gigi remotely joined team members from Mexico City, Brooklyn, and in Finland at the festival.  Gigi noted, "It went really well. We used Google Hangout to do a four city discussion while showing videos and text from our Peeragogy project. Our cohort on the ground (on-site in Helsinki) worked with our workshop participants, who had contributing new ideas to the research project based on their experiences across several countries."

To view videos of how hundreds of change-makers and experts from private, public and community sectors and helped build an international open knowledge ecosystem in Helsinki:
OK Festival

Tags: technology, educational leadership, sociology, sustainability, leadership, international, adult learning, higher education, human development, learning

Sustainability across the world: Fielding Graduate University Provost Katrina Rogers is busy raising awareness

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Thu, Oct 11, 2012

describe the imageFrom the United Nations Office at Geneva to the AARP Headquarters in Washington, DC, Provost Katrina Rogers is keeping busy building sustainability consciousness all over the world. Next stop: New York.

Fielding Graduate University Provost Katrina Rogers, PhD, keeps her passport handy as she travels the world presenting her latest research on sustainability. Her most recent visit was to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).  Housed at the Palais des Nations, the UNOG is the second largest United Nations center after the United Nations Headquarters in New York.  UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on all UN agencies, funds and programs to become climate neutral and 'go green' after recognizing that they can take measures in their daily operations to reduce their environmental impact. UNOG, maintains more than 1,600 staff and services more than 8,000 meetings every year, making it one of the busiest conference centers in the world. On World Environment Day in 2007, Secretary Ki-moon made public his ambition to make the United Nations more efficient in its operations: “I would like to see our renovated Headquarters complex eventually become a globally acclaimed model of efficient use of energy and resources. Beyond New York, the initiative should include the other United Nations headquarters and offices around the globe.”(

Rogers’ engagement with UNOG began when Fielding Graduate University alumna Katrina Burrs, PhD, (HOD '97) introduced a colleague of hers from the UNOG. Rogers met Marie-Jose Astre, Senior Director of Training and Development of the UNOG, and during their conversation, Marie-Astre became enthusiastic about Rogers’ research on sustainability. Rogers was asked to participate as an outside consultant on a team called The Sustainable United Nations Unit (SUN), which houses a number of initiatives that influence the UN system and beyond. Rogers has spent the last few years working on this team as a to raise awareness of how to improve the sustainability performance of the UN system, and provide support to public sector organizations embarking on their own sustainability journeys. Based in part on work of the SUN unit along with several environmental and sustainable groups , Greening the Blue ( was launched in 2010 to communicate with all UN staff as well as external stakeholders. The aim is to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability throughout the UN system and highlight what’s been achieved, what’s happening next, and how staff can get involved.

Katrina UNOG resized 600In September of this year, Rogers addressed administrators and senior leaders who manage facilities, conferences, cafeterias, and information technology departments within the UNOG. Her primary focus was educating them about building internal personnel workshops based on the organizations’ set of initiatives and values.  She discussed techniques to become more effective and efficient in their processes and how to build sustainability awareness within their departments. In her presentation entitled “Building a Sustainable Organization: Tips, Tools and Trends,” Rogers stated: “An organization needs to follow a person through all of the cycles of sustainability. An organization usually starts the first step of building awareness, but it usually drops off with the final stage of providing feedback and support through positive reinforcement. Human beings tend to be more environmentally friendly in their home lives but not in their work lives. Why? The system of support at work. We need to think about how to link human sustainability to the workplace.” 

Rogers’ sustainability presentation continues this month when she will address Fielding Graduate University constituents and guests in New York City on Saturday, October 13th. On Monday, October 15th, at the AARP Headquarters in Washington, DC, Rogers will speak to AARP staff, guests and Fielding constituents about building sustainability awareness.

For more information about upcoming events, please contact


Tags: organizational change, Organizational development, sustainability, leadership, international

Fielding faculty member Jeff Leinaweaver to present at the first Symposium for the Study of Myth

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Thu, Aug 30, 2012

Jeff LeinaweaverJeff Leinaweaver, Fielding Graduate University faculty member, ISI fellow and alumni will be presenting on the eco-psychology of living myth and its role in sustainable living at the first Symposium for the Study of Myth co-sponsored by the Joseph Campbell Foundation, Opus Archives and Research Center, and Pacifica Graduate Institute.

This is the first conference of its kind to discuss the exploration of myth and its intersection in culture, theory and practice. Symposium themes are organized around three broad areas of inquiry and action: Myth in Culture, Myth in Theory, and Myth in Practice, and will include a blend of self-selecting energies and traditional formats. There will be round table discussion sessions, paper panels, keynote lectures by luminaries in the field of myth studies, and special events that include media presentations and performances. The Symposium runs Aug 31st to Sept 2nd in Santa Barbara.

For more information about the symposium, click here.

Tags: creativity, sustainability, higher education

Fielding adjunct faculty Kerul Kassel, PhD presents on sustainability at the Academy of Management All-Academy Theme Symposium

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Thu, Aug 16, 2012
Kerul Kassel, PhD

Kerul Kassel, PhD, participated in a panel presentation at Academy of Management All-Academy Theme Symposium with a focus on the "Informal Economy” (IE). 

The presentation was reviewed by author Joseph Sarkis in the Academy's blog Organizations and the Natural Environment on Monday August 6th, 2012 in his article titled “Sustainability and the Informal Economy.” Skaris writes, “Kerul Kassel, sought out the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) performance factors in her talk on the impact of sustainability reporting in on the formal economy.  She pointed out the irony of how a formal standard can be used to understand IE.  But there is some logic to this application.  She essentially made two points, IE needs to be evaluated from a more systemic (rather than binary) view; and sustainability reporting is a research lens that can tell us a lot about IE.” For the full article click here.

For more information:

Kerul Kassel, Ph.D. Adjunct Faculty, Sustainability Leadership Certificate Program, Fielding Graduate University

Tags: sustainability

Fielding Doctoral Student publishes book: Designing Ecological Habitats

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Tue, Aug 07, 2012
Designing Ecological Habitats

Designing Ecological Habitats – Creating a Sense of Place

Editors: E. Christopher Mare and Max Lindegger

Permanent Publications & Gaia Education, 2011

277pages; £ 14.95

Review by Daniel C. Wahl, Ph.D.

This book is a truly remarkable compendium of collective wisdom. The book brings together a wide diversity of perspectives and it does so in true ecovillage fashion, by honoring the wisdom of many voices. The book brings the subject alive through contributions from the global North and South, by men and women, old and young, offering indigenous, professional, scientific, grassroots, and deeply personal points of view.  Perspectives based on experience, on direct action, on daring to try, fail, and try again.

I can only offer you a few tasters of the morsels hidden between the pages of the Ecological Key the third of four books in this series by Gaia Education and Permanent Publication. Albert Bates from the Farm in Tennessee gives us his vision of civilization 2.0. Declan Kennedy from Lebensgarten in Germany reviews his own list of design criteria for ecological settlements. Liz Walker shares some of the lessons from the community supported agriculture business that helps to feed the ecovillage at Ithaca. Michael Shaw from Findhorn, summarizes his decades of experience in the design of wetlands. Jeff Clearwater, who has lived in a number of ecovillages in the US, offers a useful synthesis of 32 years of experience in designing renewable energy systems at a village scale. Marti Muller from Auroville tells their remarkable story of environmental restoration. 

The book also includes practical and often transferable advice from such diverse places as Honduras, Nepal, Japan, Nigeria, and the Philippines.  It takes you on a tour of projects of hope around the globe. Other gems include: a new take on permaculture ethics and principles by Maddy Harland, a concise piece by Patrick Whitefield explaining why permaculture is such an effective design framework, and Blue Economy guru Gunter Pauli offers a vision of designing with the flow of air, light, sound, energy, matter, and people.  I also loved the piece by Sean Esbjörn-Hargens and Michael Zimmerman applying the four quadrant map developed by Ken Wilber to ‘Integral Ecology’ and the design of human habitats. I am humbled to find my essay on Transformative Resilience among such a deeply informative and useful set of contributions.

Chris Mare did a fantastic job in collating and editing this compendium with Max Lindegger and the help of Maddy Harland. Both Chris and Max also contribute excellent articles of their own. Chris points out that each one of the 42 short articles (yes, 42!) you can easily read over breakfast. Do that every morning for a month and a half and you will have read the book!  While Chris’s suggestion puts a spin on the New Years resolution of mindful eating, at least you would start the day a little more hopeful that people all over the world are doing their bit to co-design ecological habitats. We are co-creating a new sense of place, where human beings are a symbiotic keystone species and not a destructive force of biocide. Humans thrive where life thrives!

 Designing Ecological Habitats - Creating a Sense of Place e-book may be downloaded for free at: (Designing Ecological Habitats.pdf)

Designing Ecological Habitats - Creating a Sense of Place may be purchased at:

In the midst of a spiritual awakening, E. Christopher Mare discovered a Permaculture Design Course in 1993 and has been a full time student ever since. He is currently preparing for his doctoral dissertation through Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara.

E. Christopher Mare can be contact at

Tags: sustainability, habitat, ecological, environmental justice

Fielding Supports Goals of Occupy Wall Street

Posted by Sylvia Williams on Tue, Jan 03, 2012

The gap between rich and poor is greater than ever before in our lifetimes, and we need to stand up for those who are trying to improve their circumstances and provide for their families. As a graduate institution serving a community of scholars and practitioners who are devoted to learning and social change, we stand in support of movements like Occupy Wall Street, which attempt to create dialogue and collective engagement of our citizens at such critical social moments.

Students at institutions of higher education are being forced to pay more for tuition and go deeper into debt because of cuts in state funding and federal aid programs. The Social/Ecological Justice and Diversity Commission of the Academic Senate at Fielding Graduate University applauds the goals of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which continues to highlight the inequity and unfairness of the society in which we live. We strongly support the movement and wish it every success. We are in this together and support activities that foster continuing dialogue around these important social issues and strengthen our democratic engagement.

Tags: APA, social justice, educational leadership, Organizational development, Marketing, social media, Advising and Student Development, digital learning, sustainability, development, philanthropy, higher education, human rights, graduate education, environmental justice

HOD faculty-authored article in OD Practitioner

Posted by Sylvia Williams on Fri, Sep 30, 2011
Katrina RogersBarclay Hudson026

Two faculty members from Fielding’s School of Human & Organizational Development have authored the lead article in the Fall 2011 issue of OD Practitioner, the journal of the Organization Development Network. Katrina Rogers and Barclay Hudson’s article is titled “The Triple Bottom Line: The Synergies of Transformative Perceptions and Practices for Sustainability.”

What makes sustainability different from many other organizational challenges and opportunities is that it calls for changes in thinking and practices at every level, building on initiatives from every individual in an organization.

Tags: social justice, sustainability, higher education, environmental justice