MUM alumna Pia Fritsch in Utrecht, the Netherlands

Pia (second from left) at MUM with fellow students and Professor Travis Cox (third from right)

Tending the gardens at the Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center in Iowa during an MUM internship

MUM alumna Pia Fritsch recently published a paper in World Futures: The Journal of New Paradigm Research. In her article, titled 1.5 Degrees Celsius: The Metamorphosis of the AMERICAN Way of Life, A Transition in Collective Maturation, Pia argues that in order for the United States to become a sustainable society, it must go through a complex transformation process similar to adolescence.

Pia grew up in a family that practices the Transcendental Meditation® technique and, after three of her siblings graduated from MUM, she decided to attend as well. Pia was interested in psychology, philosophy, and sustainability, so she pursued the philosophies of sustainability track in the Sustainable Living Department.

Pia enjoyed the block system and the courses offered by the Sustainable Living Program at MUM. “Most other programs are under environmental philosophies, but sustainable living is an apt name and subject highlighting how humans interact with the environment, rather than thinking of the environment as something separate you need to preserve.”

During her studies at MUM Pia encountered the concept of ecofeminism, a small sub-field of feminism that studies the intersection of feminism, environmentalism, and environmental justice. This discovery also served as inspiration for her article on American attitudes towards climate change examined from the perspective of developmental ecopsychology and ecofeminism.

Pia graduated from MUM in 2015 and is now completing a master’s program in gender studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Pia is passionate about sustainability and gender equality. “Because of the gender division of labor in many parts of the world, a lot of the burdens of a changing environment fall on women. That’s why ecofeminism is becoming more pertinent.”

Pia is currently working on her graduate thesis on ecofeminism as exemplified by a woman-led art collective in Amsterdam which enacts art demonstrations at cultural institutions that accept money from the fossil fuel industry.