Written by Laurel Kohl
Eastern students participating in the North American Student Energy Summit held at Columbia University include, left to right, Trevor Warbin, Business Administration; Ying Chen, Accounting; Stephanie Rogers, Environmental Earth Science; Dustin Munson, Environmental Earth Studies; and Kyle Ellsworth, General Studies. The students were accompanied by Adam St.Denis, university assistant.
Willimantic, Conn: -- Six students from Eastern Connecticut State University traveled to New York City in late June to spend two days with fellow students and energy experts from across North America. The North American Student Energy Summit challenged college and university students to question and understand critical regional energy issues and the future of global energy dynamics. The event was held on June 19-20 at the United Nations and Columbia University, and was linked with four other Regional Student Energy Summits, held simultaneously across the world in Latin America, Africa and Europe.
Eastern's President Elsa Núñez said of the event, "This was a great opportunity for our students to engage with like-minded people, looking to solve our future energy needs, and bringing that knowledge back to Eastern to make an impact on our campus."
Three hundred undergraduate and graduate students from 75 institutions throughout the United States and Canada participated in the summit. Twenty-seven experts from industry and government gave presentations, and participated in live interactive sessions with the students, engaging in discussions on the future of fossil fuels, financing alternative energy, technology innovation and carbon management. The roster of distinguished speakers included Melanie Kenderdine, energy counselor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy; Ray Dempsey, vice president of British Petroleum, America; and Daniel Gross, managing director at Oak Tree Capital. The Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) at Eastern was an Institutional Partner for the summit.
The Eastern participants, all student interns working at the ISE, gained valuable insight into current global and domestic energy trends, problems and solutions. Senior Kyle Ellsworth was inspired by the event, saying, "The energy problems of the world seem like a giant jigsaw puzzle, but seeing the level of intelligence, and the commitment to a better future by the students and presenters, it feels good to know we are all working towards a more sustainable future together."
The International Student Energy Summit, held every other year, will be in Bali, Indonesia, in 2015. The events are organized by Student Energy, a global not-for-profit focused on creating the next generation of energy leaders committed to transitioning the world to a sustainable future.