WSSU Makes Plans to Save Energy and Money, Fellows from Environmental Defense Fund to Spend Summer on Energy Efficiency Projects

May 3, 2011

   Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) will host two graduate students this summer who are specially trained to sleuth out energy savings by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps Public Sector.

    Michelle Williams, a recent MBA graduate from WSSU’s school of Business and Economics, and Matthew Peck, a Wake Forest University School of Business MBA student, have received EDF Climate Corps Public Sector summer fellowships to develop energy saving projects that will  address WSSU’s unique needs.

     EDF Climate Corps Public Sector places talented university students on campuses to identify practical, cost-saving ways to reduce energy use and save shrinking budget dollars.  Working with WSSU’s sustainability staff, Williams and Peck will develop a custom energy efficiency plan for WSSU.

    By participating in EDF Climate Corps Public Sector, WSSU will receive a blueprint that identifies short-term and long-term ways to save energy, and thus reduce greenhouse gas pollution.  Climate Corps fellows, trained by EDF in the leading energy efficiency technologies and practices, also document how to use immediate savings to pay for energy efficiency upgrades.

    For example, two fellows assigned to North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC last summer identified ways the campus could cut energy costs by more than $2.6 million annually – a 64 percent reduction.  In addition, the EDF fellows identified how the university could recover its up-front energy investment in only two years.

    “We are thrilled to host the EDF Climate Corps Public Sector fellows and participate in this program,” said Dick Kabis, WSSU director of sustainability.  “We look forward to achieving significant utility cost savings beyond our current efficiency initiatives.”

    Launched in North Carolina in 2009, EDF Climate Corps Public Sector is placing fellows on 13 campuses this summer.  Hosts include public and private campuses and minority serving institutions in Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Washington, DC.

    EDF Climate Corps Public Sector is an offshoot of EDF Climate Corps, which began in 2007 to place top-tier MBA students in the nation's leading companies.  The program's rapid success in the corporate world led EDF to expand its work to the public sector.

    In addition to universities, EDF Climate Corps Public Sector works with municipalities and houses of worship.  In summer 2011, EDF will place fellows in Asheville (NC), Raleigh (NC), Atlanta (GA), the City of New York Housing Authority, and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, among others.  

   “EDF Climate Corps Public Sector is part of our commitment to increasing diversity in environmental leadership and reducing energy usage,” said Michael Regan, EDF energy efficiency director.  "For young people looking to change the world not tomorrow but right now, EDF provides a remarkable opportunity."

About Environmental Defense Fund (, a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships.

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