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ISEN 2019-2020 Cluster Fellows Announced

Ginny Lee | November 15, 2019
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cluster19_20.webpThe Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN) is proud to announce the 2019-20 Cluster Fellows: Nathan Bradshaw, materials science and engineering; Yijing Chen, chemistry; Kazuki Imasato, materials science and engineering; Emilie Lozier, chemistry; and Luca Podrecca, Earth and planetary sciences.

Each year, the fellowship program brings together a group of exceptional graduate students from a variety of science backgrounds ranging from technical, natural, and social sciences. Together, the fellows represent a strong interest in learning about and promoting sustainability and energy.

The Cluster Fellowship has operated under the Graduate School’s Interdisciplinary Cluster Initiative since 2010 and provides fellows with opportunities to nurture their interest in sustainability and energy through innovation, education, outreach initiatives, and communication with stakeholders. Chosen fellows are also placed into ISEN’s graduate core course sequence and act as teaching assistants in ISEN undergraduate coursework.

The multifaceted nature and the collaborative experiences that the Cluster fellowship offers is deeply valued by the fellows. “We can learn a lot of cutting-edge ideas and knowledge through being TAs and in classes which definitely broadens and deepens my own understanding of energy technology,” wrote Imasoto. “Another aspect I found very unique in this program is that ISEN is truly interdisciplinary. Other fellows and classmates are from completely different programs such as chemistry, physics, social science, and management. I appreciate such a collaborative environment because it captures the overall picture of the current state of sustainability. I value hearing feedback from outside of my scope.”

“Learning about climate change and sustainability from a different perspective through ISEN courses is very inspiring and it also brings me ideas of how to solve problems in my own research, noted Chen. “This fellowship allows me to share my experience with those with similar interests but different backgrounds and the possibility to tackle challenging problems with our interdisciplinary efforts.”

The Fellows will apply the diversified experiences and knowledge they gain from the program to work toward their future aspirations of contributing to the field of sustainability. “By the conclusion of my time at Northwestern, I aim to have attained a toolbox of skills and connections that will allow me to tangibly contribute to climate action and resiliency efforts. Whether I accomplish this as a public servant, a journalist, a researcher, an organizer, or in some other role, I know that my experience in the next year as an ISEN fellow will be instrumental to the outcome,” wrote Lozier. 

Participants are also interested in surpassing the traditional boundaries of science to spread scientific findings and issues with the public. “I am interested in how scientists share their findings with non-scientists. I like to explore how narratives can be used to help people learn more about being environmentally conscious and more informed about the science behind new and greener methods of producing energy” wrote Bradshaw.

“I love teaching and I love hands-on Earth science; the dream is to teach marine geology/chemistry on a sailboat with one of the various university level "Semester at Sea" programs,” noted Podrecca. 

With their ambition, the group is sure to bring fresh perspectives and inspiration to current issues in sustainability and energy.