Eighteen students joined the inaugural class of AAE's new professional master's in Resource and Energy Demand Analysis (REDA) this fall. Next June, they will be ready to enter a growing workforce of analysts who can advance initiatives to conserve energy or manage water and land resources in a variety of organizations.
"We are excited to welcome our first cohort of REDA students," says director Bill Provencher. The REDA team is already identifying activities, like the Energy Utility Basics
conference, seminars offered at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Wisconsin Energy Institute, and presentations by experts coming to the department. "These will augment the classroom and help our students begin to establish their professional networks," notes Provencher.
"We are also exploring opportunities for internships with Madison firms," explains program coordinator Bethany Glinsmann.
The new REDA students bring a rich variety of experiences to the program. Ethan Barquest interned for the Sierra Club, where he monitored energy issues in the Minnesota legislature and public utility commission. Qifan Hu, from Renmin University in Beijing, hopes to work in consulting. He loves the NBA and plans to follow the Milwaukee Bucks in his free time.
Students Justin Margolies, Aaron Schrader, and Abby Mayer studying in the new REDA lounge
Cassie Jurenci worked as an aide for the Wisconsin legislature, where she developed an interest in energy. Zoology major Abby Mayer has worked on invasive and endangered species in Wisconsin and California, and recently helped rehabilitate injured sea turtles in Florida.
Kabeed Mansur and Kathleen Ward have already been working in the energy consulting world and seek to sharpen their skills. Says Ward, "I have to admit, I knew very little about the energy industry before starting the job, so it was a happy accident that I ended up in this field, and I've grown quite passionate about it!"
Since graduating, Emily Morris has worked with various arts organizations, as well as PwC, and has recently learned GIS. "I hope to learn a lot about job opportunities in the coming months," says Emily.
Greg Engelhart came to REDA after earning a history/international studies major at Colgate and discovering his desire to work in an analytical field. Justin Margolies worked for a solar start-up in Minneapolis and is interested in public policy.
Studying food systems led Andrew Mielcarek to explore ways to quantify the true cost of goods to promote sustainability. Later work in Hawaii and Kenya helped him realize that "if an entity is plugged in to a dirty power grid it can never truly be sustainable."
Despite their diverse backgrounds, the students share a love of the outdoors. "I enjoy any activity that is outdoors," reports Barquest. Mayer says, "I want to get involved again with the Hoofers Outing Club
, an organization for those interested in hiking, camping and canoeing, and I hope to be able to get out on the lake at least once before it gets too cold."