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Governance and Social Responsibility : Eller College Students Step Up to Promote Solar Energy in Arizona

Solar photovoltaic panels on Tucson homes
Rooftop solar photovoltaic panels at Tucson's Armory Park del Sol neighborhood.

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April 2009

By Taylor Albers, Journalism '11

Eller MBA and undergraduate students participated in the Arizona Leadership Summit on Solar Energy and Economics

This January, seven students from the Eller College of Management joined business leaders at the Arizona Leadership Summit on Solar Energy and Economics. The event was organized by the Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy, based at The University of Arizona, in cooperation with Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. The solar energy project provided an opportunity for national leaders, regional leaders, and Eller students to build and share ways to renew Arizona’s use of solar energy.

“Once at the summit, the students helped to smooth operations and worked behind the scenes to make sure the program didn’t skip a beat,” says Lon Huber (BSPA Public Management and Policy ’09).

MBA Benjamin Lyon and undergraduate students also presented policy briefs at the Summit. “We produced high-quality reports to inform key policymakers about pressing solar energy issues,” says Huber. Huber also produced a white paper in collaboration with Greater Phoenix Economic Council for the event. “If adopted, it would set Arizona up to be the solar manufacturing hub of the country, bringing billions in investments and thousands of jobs,” he says.

“There were a lot of big names at the event,” says Lyon. Steve Inskeep, the host of Morning Edition for National Public Radio; Michael J. Ahearn, CEO of First Solar; and David Ozment, the energy director of Walmart, were all event facilitators. “It was a great experience to be able to talk about the future of solar energy in Arizona with some of the brightest minds in politics and the industry,” Lyon says. “And it was a great chance to apply the networking skills I have acquired through the MBA program.”

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