Why Environmentalism

Interview with Ryan McPherson:

Above is a short clip of my interview with Ryan McPherson at UB.

I recently interviewed Ryan McPherson, Chief Sustainability Officer and former Assistant Vice President for Government Relations at the University at Buffalo (UB). McPherson earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of New Hampshire as well as a doctorate of law from UB. He has received many awards for his community involvement and public outreach as an environmental advocate.

When did you become interested in the environment?

“I grew up in the woods basically. A very small town of five thousand people. Boston was two hours away. The movie theater was a 35-minute drive. We didn’t even have a McDonald’s in the town I grew up in…So I didn’t grow up in the urban core. I would ride my bike, run through the woods…that type of stuff. I went away to boarding school my last two years of high school in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and absolutely just fell in love with the beauty.”

What lessons has your work life taught you?

“The ability to not just come up short, but to understand why you came up short and put that into practice. Some failures are costlier than others, obviously…but be resilient and learn from that. That was a big lesson for me.”

Do you have any advice for students going forward?

“Failing forward, building resilience…and the ability to laugh and have fun.”

Ryan McPherson is an energetic, engaging faculty member at UB. From his green fly-fishing tie to his frequent smiles I can see how he has managed to lead University at Buffalo students and faculty to become more sustainable on campus. You can read more about Ryan McPherson’s achievements on LinkedIn or SUNY at Buffalo’s website.

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