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Two Join Center for the Environment at Catawba College

05/02/11 by Juanita Teschner

Two individuals have joined the staff of the Center for the Environment at Catawba College for the coming year.

Craig Midgett, a former researcher with the Environmental Assistance Office at UNC-Charlotte, and Michael Smith, a LEED-accredited professional, will work with the Center in energy-related fellowships.

 Midgett, a native of Elizabeth City and current resident of Charlotte, recently received a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from UNC-Charlotte. He is working at Catawba on the campus-wide Presidents’ Climate Commitment and researching various sustainability- and energy-related initiatives on campus.

Smith, a Newport News native who lives in Charlotte, is a certified building analyst through the Building Performance Institute as well as a LEED-accredited professional. A graduate of UNC-Charlotte with a bachelor’s degree in architecture, he worked as an energy efficiency and weatherization coordinator with Habitat for Humanity/Central Piedmont Community College and as a project architect before joining the Center.

Smith is working at Catawba on energy-related aspects of campus buildings, including LEED certification. The U.S. Green Building Council established the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program. It is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

The Center received a $184,000 grant from the North Carolina Energy Office to create internships and fellowships as part of the Catawba College Energy Corps. The program is facilitating the placement of as many as 17 college students or recent graduates in on-the-job internships and fellowships.

The N.C. Energy Office is distributing $5.6 million in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to create the internship and fellowship programs, which will collectively employ 400 North Carolina students to work in green-energy-related fields. Public and private agencies in North Carolina are contributing an additional $3 million to the program.

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The Center for the Environment at Catawba College was founded in 1996 to provide education and outreach centered on prevalent environmental challenges and to foster community-oriented sustainable solutions that can serve as a model for programs throughout the country.

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