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The Sustainability Advocate

News Story

International student Joanne Mantzouridou Onasi ’22 is the founder of the Strategy and International Business club, co-owner of a fashion brand in Greece, and founding member of the GoodHuman app. Ask Joanne about Greece—she loves sharing her culture!

Joanne Mantzouridou Onasi ’22 is pursuing an MS in Strategic Management, which perfectly encompasses her time here at Pace. She’s the founder and president of the Strategy and International Business (SIB) club, an organization providing graduate students with opportunities to discuss, debate, and increase awareness of emerging topics related to strategy and international business. (They recently hosted an event on sustainability.)

It was with the help of Professor Ibraiz Tarique, PhD, that Joanne launched SIB. “The most rewarding part is definitely the support of my e-board. They trusted and believed in my vision for the club since day one, which motivated me very much,” she told us.

At first, Joanne was drawn to Pace for graduate school because it not only offered career opportunities, but a multicultural experience as well. “I wish more people knew that international students tend to really like sharing their culture and explain their traditions to others,” she added. (Hint: ask her about what it’s like in Greece!)

She’s currently working on tying in her passion for her culture with a thesis on sustainability and an upcoming project that she’s organizing called Fashion Revolution Greece. “[It’s] the first-ever sustainable fashion summer program in Greece,” Joanne told us, which pairs nicely with the GoodHuman app she is a founding member of as well. GoodHuman is an ethical marketplace for sustainable brands that aims to educate consumers and help them improve their purchasing habits.

It’s obvious sustainability is a passion of hers, and it all started when she was very young. “The entrepreneurial spirit has always been inside me. I think my father played a role in it being awakened,” Joanne told us. “Since I was a kid, I realized that a lot of things I was seeing were wrong and wanted to change them. The wasteful fashion industry was one of them.”

In 2017, Joanne decided to work toward changing that. Along with her sister, the two launched DeGRwear, which makes 100% handmade clothes and accessories in Greece.  “I love creating community, synergies, and positively impacting the environment around me in any way possible,” she said.

Even with the variety of different businesses and organizations that Joanne oversees, she still has time to create art. In addition to poetry, which she’s submitted for competitions over the years, she also paints. “I fell in love with the process of turning a white canvas into a colorful story,” Joanne told us. “I like vivid colors and different textures, so I play with them creating a unique piece every time.”

Don’t miss Lubin’s interview with Joanne to learn more about her experiences at Pace. This is one business expert and advocacy leader you’ll be hearing more about as she continues paving a way forward for a more sustainable world.