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Penn State Net Impact

Penn State Net Impact

Through speakers, workshops, field trips, panels, and discussion meetings, PSNI focuses on a collaborative learning environment where all members help educate each other. The role of the Board of Officers is to facilitate this learning and cultivate relationships with professionals and organizations in the business world. We discuss topics related to social entrepreneurship, socially responsible investing, sustainable supply chains, sustainable growth and development, corporate citizenship, social marketing, green building, and community economic development.

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Officer Bios

Portrait of Devin Giles.Devin Giles, President

Devin Giles is the President of Penn State’s MBA Net Impact Chapter. In this role, Devin’s primary responsibility is to lead both officers and members in connecting our surrounding MBA community with sustainable business practices. The Net Impact mission is to create a community of business leaders who can make a positive impact on society through socially and environmentally responsible decisions.

Devin is originally from State College, PA, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from The College of Wooster. Prior to joining Smeal’s MBA program, Devin worked in New York City for three years as a Senior Recruitment Consulting focused in the Global Marketing industry. Working one-on-one with a variety of companies, Devin saw the power that companies had to change their surrounding environment and the impact this could have on sustainability initiatives. She decided to get her MBA to bridge the gap between traditional business and sustainability. Devin decided to come to Penn State because of the individualized program, small class sizes and great community and alumni network.


Portrait of Jon Nelson.Jonathan Nelson, VP of Operations


Jonathan Nelson is the VP of Operations for the MBA Net Impact Chapter. In this role, Jon is primarily responsible for acting as the liaison between the MBA chapter and the external world.

Jonathan’s motivation for helping to lead the Net Impact chapter stems from his dozen years as a Habitat for Humanity (HFH) volunteer and love for the outdoors nurtured through many National Park visits. Through HFH, he witnessed the impact homeownership can make on individual self-reliance and community resilience. He also saw how the skills of leaders could help mobilize volunteers and change the outlook of a community. He joined the MBA program because he is interested in becoming one of those leaders. He plans to remain engaged with HFH as a volunteer and pursue a career in sustainable development, which he sees as another important aspect contributing toward community resilience. He remains active with the local HFH affiliate as a board member and is involved with projects at Penn State’s Center for Sustainability.


Portrait of Nicholas Lien.Nicolas Lien, VP of Finance and Communications


Nicolas Lien is the VP of Finance and Communications for the MBA Net Impact Chapter. In this role Nicolas is primarily responsible for managing the internal finances and communications of the organization.

Nicolas was born and raised in San Francisco, then attended the University of Wisconsin, where he majored in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. His motivation for majoring in the Atmospheric Sciences stemmed from his interest in Global Climate Processes - more specifically, in Global Warming. After graduation, Nicolas worked in the shipping industry as a Route Analyst, where he provided ship routes to merchant marine vessels around the world. He chose to attend Smeal for his MBA for its small class sizes and large alumni network. In his spare time, Nicolas enjoys travelling the world, rock climbing, listening to music, and following world news.