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2013 Kelly Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence announced

Simran Sethi is the 2013 Bonnie Jean and Joan Kelly Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence.
Simran Sethi is the 2013 Bonnie Jean and Joan Kelly Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence.
Photo submitted.

St. Catherine University’s 2013 Bonnie Jean and Joan Kelly Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence will be Simran Sethi — a journalist, educator and strategist focused on communications initiatives advancing social, environmental and sustainability issues.

On campus March 12-13, Sethi will collaborate with students and faculty on sustainability pedagogy for business communications and organizational development in the University’s School of Business and Professional Studies.

Sethi will address, "Women's Work: The Role of Women in Sustainability," Wednesday, March 13 at 7 p.m., in The O'Shaughnessy. The lecture is open to the public and free but tickets are required and can be reserved online.

She holds a Master of Business Administration degree in sustainable business from San Francisco’s Presidio Graduate School and graduated cum laude with Bachelor of Art degrees in sociology and women’s studies from Smith College.

Environmental journalism and justice

Throughout her career as a television producer and correspondent, freelance journalist, communications advisor and educator, Sethi has addressed environmental journalism and justice, teaching climate change communication with interdisciplinary approaches and the role of faith in environmentalism.

Formerly executive producer for, one of the largest dedicated environmental web sites, Sethi was featured in “Vanity Fair’s green issue” as “The Environmental Messenger,” and was also named an “Eco-hero of the Planet” by the United Kingdom newspaper, “The Independent.”

She has been a contributor to “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” NBC Nightly News and “The Today Show” on green homes and environment issues, and is the host of the Emmy-award winning 2008 PBS documentary, “A School in the Woods.”

Sethi is also a contributing author of “Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy,” winner of the bronze 2008 Axiom Award for “Best Business Ethics Book” and has written about sustainability for The Huffington Post, “Metropolis Magazine,” “Mother Earth News” and

She lectures worldwide on corporate social responsibility, environmentalism and sustainability in media, and will be among the speakers at Feb. 16’s TED-x Manhattan, “Changing the Way we Eat,” dedicated to food and farming.

Sethi presented “Why and how do we engage” about the role of psychology in social and environmental change at TEDx Cibeles in June 2012, and moderated panels for the White House sustainability symposium, GreenGov, and the Clinton Global Initiative University.

As an associate professor at the University of Kansas, she has taught courses in advocacy journalism, green reporting and media and the environment. She has also served on faculty at the Presidio Graduate School and as a visiting faculty member at

Sethi is the 2009 recipient of the Smith College Medal, awarded to alumnae demonstrating extraordinary professional achievements and outstanding service to their communities.

More about the Kelly program

The Bonnie Jean and Joan Kelly Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence is one of three programs endowed by Joan Kelly '46 in honor of her late older sister, Bonnie Jean Kelly, who died suddenly while she was a student at St. Kate's.

Joan Kelly was an English major and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate, and credits the liberal arts education she received at St. Kate’s for her success. The Kelly gift also funds annual student and faculty writing awards.

Jan. 28, 2013 by Julie Michener

See also: Business, Leadership, Liberal Arts, Social Justice