Overview — WWU Institute for Energy Studies

Overview — WWU Institute for Energy Studies


MANCA VALUM: Why is
understanding energy important today? Everything that we
do involves energy. DR. BRIAN BURTON: To
really understand energy, you need to
understand the policy. You need to understand
the politics. You need to understand
the science. You need to understand
the economics. You need to understand how
they interrelate to make a coherent energy strategy. DR. ANDY BUNN: When
I started thinking about how to do
energy education, we got together a
group of faculty on campus that were
interested in this. And we realized that
if we were going to build a new energy program,
we should ask for help. We got together a
group of energy experts from the industry
and said, what do you need in terms of graduates,
people with an energy education. And we sat and listened. DAVID ALLEN: The
whole workforce is going to need leaders that
have a really broad sense of the problem and
understanding of the components in the problem. And we think, especially, with
the Western Washington program, that it’s our first chance
this industry to actually see our input come to life. There will not be a
business of any size at all that doesn’t have
someone in their company that has the knowledge
and the background that these graduates will have. WWU is really close to having
something really special here. DR. BRIAN BURTON: It resonates
strongly with industry, because we are going to be
graduating the people they need to lead their companies,
lead their nonprofits, lead in the government sector
in solving these issues down the road. You can hire a Western
grad from this program. They’re going to be
making this their career. And they’re going to be ready
to make the changes that need to be made. KAYLEE GALLOWAY: The
fact that Western has taken the initiative in
planning and implementing these degree major and minor
options to help with energy and environmental conservation
and sustainability has been really great. MANCA VALUM: What I hear
when I’m out in the world talking to alums, talking to
business leaders what we hear is we need problem solvers that
can think across disciplines, so that they can work
as a member of a team. And we just happen to be the
right size, the right place, and the right history of
tackling education this way. DR. ANDY BUNN: The
thing that’s been most rewarding for me, so far,
is when I have students who have taken my classes and
they’ve gotten a good energy education. And they’ve gone
out and gotten jobs and they have gotten back in
touch with me and said thanks.

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