Thetwo-day Sustainable Business and Design Conference provided a platform for collaboration and discussion throughout the creative industries, highlighting advances in sustainable design and thought leadership. Environmental and social challenges and potential solutions were explored through innovative student projects, cross-institutional research, and industry partnerships.
2019 year’s theme, Innovation to Impact, served as a unique platform for collaboration and exchange, highlighting the greatest advances in sustainable leadership while also celebrating individuals making impact and inroads towards sustainable and scalable solutions.
Dr. Arthur Kopelman is a population ecologist whose research interests, since 1987 include the population dynamics and feeding ecology of fin and humpback whales of New York and New England; and since 1995, the population dynamics of harbor, grey, harp and hooded seals of NY. He received his Ph.D. in Biology in 1982 from The Graduate School and University Center of CUNY. Dr. Kopelman is a full professor of Science in the Department of Science and Mathematics.
For more than 30 years, Dr. Kopelman has been one of the strongest voices propelling FIT towards embracing the issues of sustainability, and was pivotal in the establishment of the annual SUNY-wide Sustainable Business and Design Conference. Dr. Kopelman was a founding member of FIT's Sustainability Council and was the chair of the Ad-Hoc Sustainability Committee of the FIT Faculty Senate (2009-2012), and chaired the FIT Faculty Senate Committee on Sustainability (2012-2014).
In May 2010, Dr. Kopelman was appointed to Distinguished Service Professorship rank by the State University of New York Board of Trustees. Distinguished Professorship is the highest honor conferred upon instructional faculty in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Dr. Kopelman is the first faculty member at FIT to be named to SUNY Distinguished Faculty ranks.
Dr. Artie Kopelman is a co-founder, president, chief scientist, and webmaster of the Coastal Research and Educational Society of Long Island (CRESLI, http://cresli.org).
Amber Valletta is a fashion icon who has worked with some of the most prestigious names in the fashion world and graced countless magazine covers over the course of her modeling career. After moving to Los Angeles, Amber found success as an actress, and has transitioned seamlessly between modeling and acting over the last 10 years. Her screen credits include “Hitch”, “What Lies Beneath”, and “The Spy Next Door”, along with television roles on ABC’s hit show, “Revenge” and TNT’s “Legends” opposite Sean Bean.
Theanne Schiros, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Science and Sustainability at FIT, where she guides students to rethink textiles through technology, biology and sustainable design. Schiros is also a research scientist at Columbia University, where she investigates 2-D nanomaterials for next generation, low power electronics, and explores biofabrication of materials for sustainable textiles and biomedical applications in the MRSEC. She is also the co-founding scientific director for Algiknit, a start-up developing kelp-based biomaterials and bioyarn for sustainable textiles in a closed loop life cycle. Schiros is engaged in international sustainable development with organizations such as Engineers without Borders (Haiti), There is the Finca Morpho Permaculture collective (Costa Rica), and There is No Limit Foundation (West Africa), where she teaches natural dye workshops utilizing local plants and food waste. She has published her work in numerous peer-reviewed journals and has been the recipient of multiple grants to support this work, including the National Geographic Chasing Genius Award (Sustainable Planet) and Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Award for development of a kelp-based bioyarn. Schiros has served as a United Nations ECOWAS Fellow for Sustainable Energy Engineering, a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Fellow, and an Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) Fellow researching organic photovoltaics.
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