New opportunities arise with PepsiCo Fund for Environmental Science and Sustainability

New opportunities to support the environment through global study and local action have opened with the new $500,000 PepsiCo Fund for Environmental Science and Sustainability.

The 10-year fund will provide $50,000 annually to support Quinnipiac students in financial need engaged in experiential learning, study abroad, travel, internships, and other opportunities in the environmental science major, the sustainability and environmental policy major, and the environmental studies major in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“We have students who are going to be able to study abroad and investigate global environmental challenges, and come back home to discuss solutions to some of these challenges in the 21st century. It's on a need-basis as well, so many of our students would just not have the ability to participate in these kinds of experiences without the support from PepsiCo,” said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Adam Roth.

The fund may also be used for sustainability projects and initiatives across campus. Environmental science and studies program director Courtney McGinnis is overseeing annual fund distribution to ensure it meets both financial needs of students engaged in travel for environmental studies, as well as impacts broader sustainability goals campus wide.

McGinnis has collaborated with the Department of Cultural and Global Engagement to develop the first four faculty-led travel opportunities to include fund support, set for the spring of 2024. Applications have been opened and circulated to offer financial support for students within the environmental programs, based on need.

The 2024 opportunities include a College of Arts and Sciences Bonaire coral reef immersion experience, and a sustainable development course which will travel to Guatemala. Students can also apply to join 2024 School of Business sustainability trips to Tanzania and Alaska.

“PepsiCo’s funding will help to make this an option for more of our students to have these experiences,” said McGinnis.

McGinnis is also working with the Sustainability Implementation Committee to advance funding initiatives to develop student-led campus environmental and sustainability projects and programs.

“A portion of the annual funding is available for students across the institution that are hoping to advance the broader sustainability initiatives here at Quinnipiac,” said McGinnis. “We have our sustainability plan with the three pillars of live, learn, lead. We’re hoping to see students want to take control of some aspects of that and apply for funds to help support those initiatives.”

Over the next 10 years, Roth said the College of Arts and Sciences will gather evidence-based results of the many outcomes which will be supported by the fund.

“This will augment and multiply the kinds of opportunities that are available to our students, because we can help support it over a 10-year period; and hopefully this support will attract further commitments, because we’ll be able to prove and justify how this money is having a tremendous, transformative impact on students’ educational experiences,” said Roth. “That’s the goal and that is the hope. We have an extraordinary program that is certainly worth the investment, and the return on the investment will be evident.”

The new fund is a component of PepsiCo’s $3.6 million, 10-year extended philanthropic partnership with Quinnipiac, announced on September 5. Formed in the spirit of higher education and impactful collaboration, the partnership reinvigorates a 20-year relationship between PepsiCo and the university, said Michael Kassa, Quinnipiac’s associate vice president for corporate partnerships.

“We’re looking to reinvent our campus partnership opportunities to provide many more engagement opportunities between our business partners and our campus community of students,” Kassa said.

Roth said Quinnipiac's and PepsiCo’s dual commitments to environmental sustainability align well with the creation of the PepsiCo Fund for Environmental Science and Sustainability.

“It is such a wonderful opportunity for PepsiCo to fuel its own commitment to the environment and environmental sustainability by investing in a premiere program like ours at Quinnipiac University, which really seeks to immerse students in the challenges surrounding environmental issues and engage them in cutting-edge solutions,” said Roth.

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