Catawba students take part in energy summit

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 25, 2013

Six Catawba College students attended the 2013 Appalachian Energy Summit held July 17-19 on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone. The students, all of whom volunteered to participate in the summit, attended plenary presentations, experienced panel discussions featuring industry experts, and worked together with their peers from other institutions in a series of breakout sessions designed to inspire and organize the summit’s future collaborative efforts.
The students attending the summit included Colleen Smiley of Salisbury; Dan Couchenour of Ft. Mill, S.C., and Erica Pippen of Durham, both environmental stewards at Catawba; Payden Mitchell of Salisbury, a Noyce Summer Intern who will enter Catawba this fall as a Noyce Scholar; David Crescenzo of Jamestown; and Kara Ferguson of Charlotte. Also attending were Director of Catawba’s Center for the Environment Dr. John Wear, Catawba Trustee Fred Stanback of Salisbury and his wife, Alice, both of whom are environmental advocates; and Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Institute and a member of the Center for the Environment’s Advisory Board, Marty Pickett. Catawba College was one of only a handful of private colleges invited to participate in the summit.
Senior David Crescenzo described his experience at the summit like this: “From all of the meetings, seminars, Q&A panels, and break-out sessions at the Appalachian State Energy Summit I gained a much greater understanding of what the sustainability movement looks like for other campuses and businesses and how they compare with Catawba’s sustainability programs. All of the challenges that Catawba faces are hardly campus specific. Almost every college at the summit are handling similar challenges such as student involvement, limited funding, lack of awareness, legal restraints and resistance to change. However, it is also clear that sustainability is ‘on the radar’ as both colleges and industry are working to resolve the issues at hand.”
The Appalachian Energy Summit, in its second year, is an annual gathering of the University of North Carolina Energy Leadership Challenge. Through this initiative, campus leaders from across higher education in North Carolina share goals to reduce energy expenditures, transform energy utilization and reduce the environmental impacts of both higher education and the state.
Amory B. Lovins, co-founder and chief scientist at the Rocky Mountain Institute, delivered the keynote address at the Appalachian Energy Summit.