J500 Media and the Environment

About Me by Victor Vijayakirthi
June 15, 2009, 9:42 am
Filed under: About Us, J840 Week 1 | Tags: , , , , ,

I’m Victor Vijayakirthi and I’m working on my MBA at the Business school. I’m almost done with the program and I’ve learned a lot about what makes a for-profit organization tick, from new products development to marketing, finance, accounting, organization behavior, corporate strategy, etc. What I haven’t learned much about yet is how to give back, how to run a successful business while still being good stewards of the environment.

While I was thinking about how I can learn more about the environment and sustainability in a formal way, I heard about this course and it seemed like just what I was looking for. In this course I’m hoping to learn how I can apply these concepts at my work, and how to communicate this, within and outside the organization.

I work at Sprint, in IT. IT is among the most energy-consuming organizations in most companies today. Being one of the bigger companies in the Kansas city area, in an industry that by several accounts contributes to over 3% of greenhouse gas emission, Sprint IT has taken some serious initiatives to reduce its impact on the environment, including server consolidation and switching to energy-efficient hardware. Sprint as a whole has also invested in energy savings programs like installing a wind turbine at its campus, and actively pursuing a cellphone recycling program, among other things.

I live in Lenexa with my wife and 3 cats. I like reading non-fiction (and occasionally the ABA journal), traveling, and watching old movies. I’d like to travel to South America sometime in the next 2 years.

-Victor V

About Me: Carrie Shoptaw by carrieshoptaw
June 15, 2009, 5:10 am
Filed under: J840 Week 1, Waste + Recycling | Tags: , , ,

canturburyUThis is a very popular class and after having thought I’d missed the boat by getting admitted to school too late to join, I was excited and a little overwhelmed to find there was an opening last week!

I have a BS in Philosophy from KU and have just started grad school this semester at the Edwards Campus.  A few years ago I thought I’d never make it back to finish my undergrad, so I’m still trying to beleive I’m actually here!

At work, the past eleven years have kept me busy managing the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.  Social media networking has been a big part of how our participants keep up-to-date with auditions, promotions and each other as well as up-to-the-minute schedule changes. The entertainment department is really the best at it~I’m still trying to make it more a part of my daily communication system, so our guests are in the loop if they want to be!

I started a recycling program for our guests in 2007 that’s been getting more efficient each year. We go through a lot of cardboard and plastic. We’ve also reduced orders in printing a really focused on waste. About 14 tons a year now goes to recycling instead of the landfill. I’ve got a funny picture I’ll post later of me, my site managers and the man of my dreams in a twenty yard dumpster full of bottles.

I have a great kid who is also in school, down the way at Johnson County Community College,  soon to be heading to Lawrence to finish her BA in something related to photography. We have two great dogs, a few cats and are baby-sitting a bearded lizzard and two turtles.

More soon! See you in class~ Carrie Shoptaw

About Me: Monica D. by monicadela

It’s good to be back. I took a break from graduate school to take an undergraduate level American Literature overview. The course spanned the 1850s through 1970s. Many American authors from Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) to Jack Kerouac incorporated environmentalism into their works. We studied Eudora Welty for her perspective on the postbellum South and her use of nature in plot development (i.e. The Wide Net).  In learning more about her life, I came across this quote of hers: “it had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming of themselves like grass.” This lovely observation emphasizes the inspiration and wonder of nature. What a celebration of language and the environment.

I love words. My undergraduate degree is in strategic communications from KU’s J-School. I’m a senior editor at Hallmark Cards where I develop and manage content for social expression product. In five years, I’ve worked on all the Everyday card lines (Birthday, Wedding, Baby, Kids, etc.). My current assignment is with Hallmark Sinceramente, the Spanish-language line of cards. It’s really a gift when your work is both personally and professionally fulfilling. My family is Cuban, and I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. The highlight of my career was attending the 2008 Latin Grammys in Houston to promote Spanish “Cards with Sound.”

My team with Juanes

My team with Juanes

Hallmark is taking more initiative to communicate internally and externally that “green” is a corporate strategy.  It’s tricky when you’re a paper-based company. Hallmark has always been an environmentally-conscious company by way of recycling and sustainability efforts. For example, our cafeteria sends waste to a compost facility in Missouri. There is an internal communication campaign to turn computers and office lights off at the end of the day. Crown Center hosts a farmers market during the summer. This past spring Hallmark debuted a line of “green” greeting cards. The paper stock is completely recycled and recyclable. The card back includes an environmentally-friendly tip and manufacturing information. Go show nature and someone that you love them…send a card.

Look! I'm a "green" card.

Look! I'm green.

I enjoy writing, reading non-fiction and watching CSI shows and So You Think You Can Dance. By this time next year, I should be hanging a Marketing Communications Masters diploma in my office.

Monica D,

About Me: Christine Weremy by christinewerem
June 14, 2009, 3:18 pm
Filed under: J840 Week 1 | Tags:
The night we became engaged on a cruise in the Bahamas

The night we became engaged on a cruise in the Bahamas

I’m Christine Weremy and my life continues to grow crazier every year since graduating college. I graduated from Marquette University (www.marquette.edu) in 2006 with a BA in journalism and moved to Kansas City in 2007. Since moving to Kansas City, I’ve had two jobs, found a boyfriend, became engaged, bought a house, adopted a puppy, started taking two graduate courses a semester and (along with my fiancé) will be housing a 13 year old girl for the summer and maybe longer.

I currently work at Penton Media as an Online Audience Manager and have been there for a little over a year. I love my job as I’m paid to use Photoshop and Dreamweaver daily. For the past year, Penton’s Intranet has promoted employees to email ideas of how each office can save money by practicing green initiatives. While specific green ideas each office may be using has yet to be promoted on the Intranet, I have submitted a few ideas. All of the ideas dealt with light and how Penton uses three separate options to illuminate our offices – overhead fluorescent lighting, fluorescent lighting at each desk and windows within each office. My idea was to not use the desk lighting and each office should only use daylight instead of their overhead lighting.

While green initiatives are not promoted within our office there are obvious signs of recycling and friendly green behavior. Each floor recycles paper and aluminum cans and Penton is the first office I’ve worked for that uses a low amount of paper. There are nine other Online Content Managers and it is rare to see anyone using a pad of paper. Of course this means that if one computer crashes that day’s productivity goes down the drain.

But enough about work and more about me. This year has been the year of major changes for me. I adopted a puppy, became engaged, went on my first cruise, bought my first house (http://thekesslergardnerhome.shutterfly.com/) and will be housing a 13 year old girl for the summer and probably beyond. Our house is new, is in Gardner and should be completed by the end of June for a July move-in date. Buying a new house is crazy as there are many details of house accessories to choose (interior and exterior paint color, cabinet wood colors, lighting fixtures, fence preferences, landscaping preferences, deck with stair or now stairs, etc.). Buying a house that is further outside the city also means more time driving, and buying a new house means meeting with the developer multiple times a week. But it also means taking pictures of the home as it becomes completed which is fun and builds wonderful memories.

Our dog Tai. a.k.a. "The Tai Fighter"

Our dog Tai. a.k.a. "The Tai Fighter"

I would include what I like to do as a hobby but my busy life doesn’t allow me to have a hobby. In fact, I’m writing journal entries for my other summer course (Writing for Marketing) on how to find ways to distress myself without adding more activities to my day. I’ve found there are many ways to distress a person but a person’s personality can define what techniques work best. My distressing activities may be practicing some type of meditation (yoga, tai chai, etc.) and taking nature walks.

I’m excited to learn about what green techniques my office may continue to follow through discussion and research within this course.


Christine Weremy

About me: Jennifer E. by jenniferedw
June 14, 2009, 11:47 am
Filed under: J840 Week 1 | Tags: , , ,

I work in the employee communications department for a company in Kansas City. One of our areas of focus for the past few years has been more effectively communicating to employees about all the environmental and social responsibility initiatives occurring within our company. Many employees have a strong interest in hearing about these projects and fully understand the importance of a company being socially responsible. They also want to find ways to be ‘greener’ in the course of their daily work. Because this group is highly engaged, they’re easy to reach and impact with our corporate messages.

My dogs Homer and Martha

My dogs Homer and Martha

However, there are large numbers of employees who I believe have only a passive interest in environmental issues. In this class, I’d like to learn the most effective ways to communicate with this group to convince them to take an interest in the company’s environmental efforts and realize their importance. I’d also like to learn better ways to communicate how an individual employee or team can take small actions that can have a major impact, both environmentally and in terms of cost savings – which is something everyone understands, especially in today’s economic environment.

In addition, I can definitely make improvements in my environmental efforts in my personal life. I’m hoping this class will help inspire me to take additional steps and keep environmental issues top-of-mind inside and outside of work, so that I can properly communicate to others.

I live on the north side of Kansas City with my husband, Mike, and dogs Homer and Martha (see photo). I’ve been in my current job for about two years and prior to it, worked for a financial services company for several years. Before that I worked briefly for two local non-profits. I earned a bachelor’s degree in mass media from Washburn University in Topeka in 2001.

-Jennifer E.

About Me: Peggy Cox by margaretec
June 13, 2009, 12:21 pm
Filed under: J840 Week 1 | Tags: ,

Hello everyone, my name is Peg (nickname for Margaret) Cox and I’m a new student to the Marketing Program.  I work for J.P. Morgan in the retirement planning division and I feel fortunate to have great work that provides me personal and professional satisfaction.  Our work actually allows retirement plan participants to assess, plan for and reach their retirement goals.

For nearly 30 years I’ve been an outdoor athlete.  Regardless of weather I’ve rarely missed a chance to get my gear on and get outside to run, walk or bicycle.  One of my favorite outdoor adventures was my hike around Jenny Lake a few years ago.  These days my outdoor addiction manifests itself in daily walks with my loyal canine companion, Scout.  I spend any other free time with my friends and my huge family; parents, eight siblings and their families.




I’m a giant fan of Harvesters, our local community food network.  It’s tough to think about people going hungry in 2009 so I do what I can through running an annual drive at work and donating my time and funds directly.

Although I’ve been recycling for years and my firm is paperless, my serious awakening to climate change was the Al Gore slide show which I saw a number of years ago.  In recent years, I’ve made the incremental changes that many Americans have made:  cloth napkins, no purchased water, fluorescent bulbs, my own bags to the grocery store, etc.  I am excited to learn more about sustainability so I can do more, personally and professionally.

Peg Cox

About me: Jenni Brown by jennibro
June 11, 2009, 7:25 pm
Filed under: About Us, J840 Week 1 | Tags: , ,

“Passion will make you crazy, but is their any other way to live?” -Howard Hughes



My name is Jenni Brown. I am 24 years old and I live in downtown Kansas City. I am a recent graduate of, The University of Central Missouri. In May 2007 I recieved a Bachelors of Science in Commerical Photography with a specialized minor in Advertising Design.

Upon graduation I diligently interviewed for various companies in the Kansas City area, and I found my home at Burns & McDonnell. I am the Corporate Photographer, and a Graphic Designer, for Creative Services in Corporate Marketing. I photograph project sites, company events, sustainability initiatives, public outreach events, interviews and press conferences. My company has a strong faith in sustainable design and have constructed numerous sustainability initiatives on our World Headquarters campus. My job has given me the ability to document the construction and execution of a green roof, pervious pavement parking lots, a bioswell, rain garden,smart grid and a photovoltaic system. I have attended, and documented our sustainability summit that brings in the leaders of the industry to address sustainable ideas and the technology that is behind them.

Our entire company stands behind leaving the world a little bit better than we found it, and works to help correct the mistakes of the past. The Creative Services department has attended numerous workshops and webinars all dealing with sustainability in the paper industry. Because of these classes we can honestly say that we use 100% recyclable papers. We can say with confidence what percentage of our papers are post-consumer waste and which are pre-consumer waste. We know our footprint, and we work with mills that provide something back to the environment that they are taking from.

My boyfriend and I just purchased our first house and will be moving in a few weeks. I can’t wait to plant a little garden in the backyard and ride my bike through the neighborhood. We are also gaining a 3rd member of our little family. She’s 5 weeks old now, has a wet nose and bg ears.

Our lil' bugWe bring her home the first week of July. For those that wonder, she’s a papillon.

On the weekends I love getting fresh vegetables at the Farmers Market and making fresh salsa to munch on all weekend, going for walks through the park and just sitting inside with a good book letting the breeze blow in through the window. I adore photography and am rarely seen without a camera in hand.

I look forward to class and can’t wait to expand my knowledge of being green!

PS-I turn 25 on July 24th. See you in class!

Jenni Brown