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Nineteen Students Receive Energy Studies Minor Certificates

Nina Welding • DATE: May 31, 2018

The Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (ND Energy) presented certificates to nineteen students who completed the Energy Studies Minor during the 2017-18 academic year at a ceremony on Friday, May 18, in the Atrium of Stinson-Remick Hall. The ceremony and reception kicked off a busy and exciting Commencement Weekend for the graduates and their families.

The invocation was led by Rev. Terrence Ehrman, C.S.C., Assistant Director for Life Sciences Research and Outreach in the Center for Theology, Science, and Human Flourishing. The graduates were then addressed by Michael Ryan, assistant dean for academic affairs from the College of Engineering.

Following the conferral of certificates, Ginger Sigmon, managing director of ND Energy, highlighted a few of the energy experiences in which students participated for their capstone credits. Projects ranged from working with Student Government to increasing green energy knowledge here on campus to studying energy topics worldwide in places such as Iceland, Uganda, and the Dominican Republic.

Sigmon also read a testimonial from one of the students, describing the value of the minor in the student’s own words:

Pursuing the Energy Studies minor has been one of the best choices I have made at Notre Dame….The courses I took from the Energy Studies minor piqued my interest in these topics, and alerted me to their societal importance…The courses in the energy minor have shaped my interest in energy, and encouraged me to continue energy research into graduate school.”

This year’s graduates have a variety of paths mapped out for their future. Whether they enter an energy-based career, or move forward in life as more informed, passionate citizens, ND Energy hopes that their experiences here will guide them to make a difference in the world.

“All of us at ND Energy wish you, our graduates, the very best as you move out into the real world. We hope that you will all keep in touch and help us in our quest to mentor the next generation of energy leaders,” Sigmon said at the conclusion of the ceremony.

The Energy Studies Minor is housed in the College of Engineering, yet it is open to undergraduate students in all majors and colleges at the University of Notre Dame. Students may draw from both technical and non-technical resources to learn how to help move our country and the world toward a more sustainable energy future.

The academically diverse class of 2018 is listed below.

Gustavo Alberto Ariza Matos

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Majors: Finance, Economics

Future plans: Investment Banking Analyst at JP Morgan Chase
Rodrigo Benavides Martinez

Monterrey, Mexico

Major: Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics

Future plans: Data Scientist at Vector Casa de Bolsa
Andrew James Boushka

Houston, Texas

Major: Accountancy

Future plans: University of Notre Dame Masters in Accountancy
Rory T. Burke

Andover, MA

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Future plans: Systems Engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton
Spencer Charles Clark

Andover, MN

Major: Physics, Glynn Family Honors Program,concentration in Advanced Physics

Future plans: Pursuing a position in energy consulting
John Higham

Poland, OH

Major: Chemical Engineering

Future plans: Process Engineer at ExxonMobil
Joseph Charles Jared

The Woodlands, Texas

Major: Environmental Engineering

Future plans: Graduate school at Texas A&M, studying sub sea engineering
Robert Leo Lucian

Cincinnati, OH

Major: Finance

Future plans: Risk and Compliance Consultant with Protiviti in Chicago
Austin W. Matheny-Kawesch

San Diego, California

Major: Economics (minor in the Hesburgh Program in Public Service)

Future plans: Working with the German Department in Berlin this summer, with hopes of working on sustainability policy in the future
Kevin Michael Mickan

New Orleans, LA

Major: Finance

Future plans: Financial planning and analysis for United Airlines

Abigail B. Mnes

Little Rock, AR

Major: Finance

Future plans: Discover Financial Services

Julia Christine Pucillo

Summit, NJ

Major: Finance

Future plans: Sales and Trading Associate at Guggenheim Securities (New York, NY)

John Julian Salvadore

San Antonio, TX

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Future plans: Master’s degree in Engineering Science in Sustainable Energy at University College Cork in Cork, Ireland

Benjamin William Schultz

Howell, Michigan

Majors: Chemical Engineering, Political Science

Future plans: Energy industry analyst in the Washington, DC area

Michael Robert Sinanian

Flushing, MI

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Future plans: Protection and Controls Engineer at American Electric Power

Kala Rene Sperbeck

Coldwater, Michigan

Major: Science-Business

Future plans: Hoping to implement sustainability initiatives in the Midwest

Declan Thomas Zidar

Glenview, IL

Major: Accountancy

Future plans: Financial Analyst at Amazon

Robert Georges Courtadon

Suffern, NY

Major: Political Science

Future plans: Working in state/local government, or for an environmental non-profit organization

John T. Feger

Louisville, KY

Major: Neuroscience Behavior

Future plans: Teaching middle school for Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE)

* Unable to attend the certificate ceremony.

— Koby Keck, ND Energy Center