Graduate Assistant: Franklin Dureke
Franklin Dureke is an international graduate student majoring in Global Sustainability with a concentration in Sustainable Energy. Along with his graduate studies and research, Franklin is a Patel College of Global Sustainability (PCGS) Graduate Assistant (GA). He works directly with Dr. Brooke Hansen and Dr. Heather Rothrock. He helps assist both of them with their online classes. When it comes to Franklin’s job he likes how it helps him gain a great amount of experience, especially when working within the integrated section. He feels that his role and job aligns with his goals, since he favors and is so involved when it comes to global sustainability. His job also comes with interesting projects. According to Franklin, “these projects have the potential to bring the best out of you and give you a great advantage or experience, which not only can you put on your resume but also make you more marketable to future employers.
Franklin has been a GA at PCGS for a short number of weeks and has already started making a great change within the college. Working with Dr. Hansen, Franklin has helped the college partner up with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network to figure out ways to go about implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) into the college. While doing so, they have already set up a SDG center at the college, implemented the SDGs into the college’s Sustainable Speaker Series, and rebranded the college’s website so that it incorporates all the SDGs. Along with implementing the SDGs throughout the college, Dr. Hansen, Franklin, and fellow students tabled at the Florida State Fair in February, where they brought awareness to the community about the college and its programs.
Along with his GA duties at PCGS, Franklin is also participating in a project called “Turn the Tides for Tarpon Springs” with Dr. Hansen. The project focuses and addresses the problem of sea level rise, flooding and climate change. He also is currently working with Dr. Rothrock on Manatee County Projects, where they look at wetlands and find new ways to successfully redo things by looking at the ways of other counties and states. This semester, Dr. Rothrock’s students will access, analyze and draft environmental documents so that it can be reviewed and adopted by Manatee County.
At USF Tampa Campus, Franklin is involved and works with numerous sustainability organizations. He is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), which empowers higher education faculty, administrators, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. AASHE helps their members to turn information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a community of sustainability leaders. At USF, Franklin serves as a council member with the Student Government Energy Fund. He is also a member in the organization Association for Certified Chartered Economist (ACCE), which focuses on the study of free market economics and international financial service. In addition, Franklin is one of the founding members of the PCGS organization, Global Leaders Outreach for a Better Environment (GLOBE), which intends to obtain funding and support to implement ecologically friendly solutions across our community.
Franklin graduates this May 2020 and would like to work with energy firms and companies to help them transition from using traditional forms of energy to renewable energy sources. He is setting a great example for students who would like to be in his position or follow his path. In fact, Franklin advises others that if they would like to be in his position “they should work hard, make themselves available, and get involved. Make sure you make good relationships with people you work with and professors, because besides job recommendation letters and PhD applications, they can help open doors and provide you with amazing opportunities you wouldn’t even think of.” Franklin encourages his fellow classmates to meet often with the PCGS Student development office, who is currently helping him with his career search.