Please join SmartPower in welcoming interns Raj Shah of American University and Amber Dunlap of Pennsylvania State University into our Washington, D.C., office.
My name is Amber Dunlap and I am one of the Summer 2012 interns at SmartPower. I am beyond excited to get started here and learn as much as I can about communications and outreach and the renewable energy industry. This past May 2012 I graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Meteorology. My dream is to work in the area of environmental communication via creative outreach campaigns and journalism to reach a variety of different audiences ranging from elementary school students to politicians.
My time at Penn State was a pretty powerful one. I had the opportunity to see the world and gain a better understanding of my role in it. The spring semester of my junior year was spent completing a full circuit around the world via the University of Virginia’s study abroad program, Semester at Sea. I visited 12 countries embarking in the Bahamas and disembarking in San Diego. My experiences in places like Brazil, Ghana, India, and China expanded my world perspective and fueled my desire to become a more active global citizen, truly making an impact in the area of climate change and environmental stewardship.
I was born and raised in a suburb of Hartford, CT and now currently reside in Leesburg, VA. I am an adventurer at heart and lover of the outdoors. I frequently spend my weekends on foot running the trails in the DC metropolitan area, always in search of something new and unexplored. When I’m not running or working at SmartPower, you can find me either updating my personal blog about the latest bit of interesting climate news or hopelessly trying to tackle my goal of becoming fluent in Spanish.
Born in Detroit and raised in Buffalo, New York, I now live in Washington, DC where I’m a rising junior at American University, studying Environmental Science and Finance. I’ve always been interested in geology and conservation, and in the past couple of years I’ve become fascinated with renewable energy and energy efficiency. Before joining SmartPower, I worked in website development and social media outreach for SolarTown LLC, a firm that sells solar energy products from various manufacturers, as well as serving as a student assistant in the University of Buffalo’s Office of International Education, where I worked on making the application process for international students more automated and reducing paper usage.
I see myself eventually working in the business/technology side of renewable energy. I would ideally like to work in sales or investment management of renewable energy technology, but I do not have a definitive career path planned as of yet. My goal for working at SmartPower is to understand how renewable energy is marketed to consumers in small communities, as well as at the larger levels with states and large businesses, and how to make that process more efficient. I believe the key to making renewable energy more marketable and more widely used is to show its application on many different levels. People are more likely to purchase or buy into the idea of purchasing a product if they feel it is useful in their day to day lives. My aim at SmartPower, as well as in my career, is to be able to streamline this process.
Though I’ve grown to love living in Washington, I frequently escape to Boston and Baltimore to spend time with family and friends. When I’m not busy with school or work, I can be found on a basketball or tennis court, doing woodwork, reading the latest articles from Photovoltaic Magazine, or just kicking back and relaxing with friends. I plan on graduating with degrees in both Environmental Science and Finance in the spring of 2014, and afterwards either entering the renewable energy industry or enrolling in a Master’s program for Environmental Science.
SmartPower could not be more delighted to have such passionate, intelligent and highly skilled interns with us this summer. We look forward to teaching them all we know, but at the same time learning from their individual and valuable expertise! Welcome!
ABOVE: Solar panels atop a building on American University’s campus.
Keep in touch with your summer interns! Many of them go on to do great things. In a brand new Huffington Post column, SmartPower President Brian F. Keane discusses just that:
Take Joshua Kaplan. When Josh, then a junior at American University in Washington, D.C., began his internship at SmartPower, my first comment to him was that we should work together to get solar all over AU’s campus.
Josh agreed - and now, working as an assistant to AU’s director of sustainability, Chris O’Brien, he is making it a reality. In fact, AU is now the home of the largest solar installation in Washington, D.C.
The school recently finished installing more than 2,150 solar photovoltaic panels on six different buildings. There are also 174 solar thermal energy panels set for installation on four campus buildings this month. Those will provide “hot showers to more than 2,000 students living on campus and hot water to the university’s largest dining hall,” and will comprise the largest urban solar hot water system on the east coast of the United States.
Read more over at the Huffington Post.
American University is putting the finishing touches on what will be Washington, D.C.’s largest solar array (above).
We hear that the mix of photovoltaic and solar thermal will provide enough energy to power the Tavern, a popular meeting spot in the Mary Graydon Center, the on-campus student union building. The completed array will have 2,150 PV panels and 174 solar thermal panels over six buildings.
Nice job, AU!
The campus of American University just got a little greener.
The Class of 2011 has presented University President Neil Kerwin with a $13,000 gift, earmarked for the installation of an on-campus wind turbine:
The $13,000 raised by the class will support a new vertical axis wind turbine, to be placed on the top level of the Sports Center Garage, which will provide enough electricity to power the Tavern. The turbine was designed by SIS professor Terrence Sankar.
Prior to commencement on Friday, May 6, at the Toast to Graduates, a check for $12,150 was presented to President Neil Kerwin; funds raised in an evening event the night prior brought the total to $13,000. Approximately 1,000 individuals, including over 300 students, contributed to the gift, which was raised through a range of fund raisers — from cupcake and wing sales to social events like this year’s senior semi-formal.
Way to go, AU!