Faculty, Staff and Students Attend Energy & Sustainability Conference

2014 Energy & Sustainability ConferenceFerrum College President Among National Business and Institutional Leaders Participating in Recent Energy & Sustainability Conference

Ferrum faculty, staff and students shared expertise with attendees. 

FERRUM, VA. (Feb. 21, 2014) – Ferrum College President Jennifer Braaten, Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Science Glen Stevens, and Energy Manager Christian Bedard attended the “Energy & Sustainability Conference” sponsored by Virginia Commonwealth University on February 11  and 12 in Richmond.  The Conference brought together more than 800 participants, including national business and institutional leaders, to discuss the issues impacting energy and sustainability strategies.

Dr. Braaten joined a Higher Education Leadership Roundtable along with Jon Alger, James Madison University President, and Colette Sheehy, University of Virginia's Vice President for Management and Budget. The panelists discussed why investments are made in energy and sustainability, and how those investments support their respective institutional missions. 

“Ferrum’s strong commitment to sustainability has been recognized by grant support from The Jessie Ball duPont Fund,” noted Dr. Braaten.  “We are grateful for duPont’s validation of our efforts and appreciate this opportunity to share our experiences with this group. 

Ferrum College students Dean "Trey" Ousterhout ’16 and Kyra Schultz ’16 also attended the conference, which Ousterhout described as “extraordinary.”

“In addition to all of the cool ideas the other schools were sharing we met a group of students from Christopher Newport University (CNU) who wanted our advice and help on starting a sustainability program,” said Ousterhout.  He was the campus energy conservation intern last summer, a position funded by a duPont grant. “Kyra and I are excited to help, especially due to our experience working for Ferrum’s sustainability department. Being able to interact and help other schools was the most exciting part of the meeting and we look forward to working with the other students in the future.” 

Schultz shares Ousterhout’s enthusiasm at the prospect of working with the CNU students, “We explained to the students how far Ferrum has progressed in such a short period of time, and that it is completely plausible for them to pilot their own program. It was invigorating to be seen as a leader in sustainability on college campuses.” 

Schultz also noted that the conference offered opportunities to observe new innovations in sustainable technology that could be incorporated into life at Ferrum as well as varied perspectives on the future of energy and overall sustainability. “I enjoyed how it brought together representatives from coal and natural gas companies alongside environmentalists, because it allowed each group to gain an understanding of the other's views and opinions,” she said.

Photo (left to right): Energy Manager Christian Bedard, Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Science Glen Stevens, and Ferrum College President Jennifer Braaten.