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The Middle-West TN Clean Fuels (MWTCF) and East TN Clean Fuels (ETCF) teams were awarded the opportunity to hire interns through the Clean Cities University Workforce Development Program.

The CCUWDP program is a national internship opportunity through Argonne National Laboratory that matches university students (undergraduate and graduate levels) with local Clean Cities Coalitions. These students bring their talents and backgrounds to assist Coalitions in their missions to promote alternative and renewable fuels along with various programs and projects.

Each Tennessee Coalition accepted applications from students interested in assisting on projects such as the Reducing Diesel Emissions for a Healthier Tennessee (RDE4HT) program and learning about the world of alternative fuels.

Ultimately, two fantastic students were chosen to work with the Coalitions for the Fall 2021 semester with the potential to continue in future semesters.

The Middle-West TN Coalition hired Joanna Stathopoulos, a junior studying Economics and Environmental Public Policy with a minor in Data Science at Vanderbilt University.

“I am extremely interested in environmental sustainability, and how to make green practices more publicly acceptable, accessible and implemented by businesses,” Stathopoulos said. “I hope to go into corporate responsibility after university, specifically environmental sustainability.”

During Stathopoulos’s time with MWTCF, she will be assisting with planning workplace or public alternative fuel demonstrations and/or outreach events. She will also be conducting research in the Tennessee alternative fuels market and will be helping with building Tennessee Clean Fuel’s social media and online presence.

“I personally hope to reach out to a local business or group, take what I’ve learned throughout this internship, and successfully encourage them to switch to an alternative fuel method of travel,” Stathopoulos said.

The East TN Coalition hired Katie Davis, a senior studying Civil Engineering with a focus in Environmental Engineering and Water Resources at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. After university, they plan to travel and work with an organization that benefits both the community and the climate.

“As an intern with ETCleanFuels, I am assisting on numerous projects like the National Drive Electric Week’s Ride and Drive event,” Davis said. “I will be working on outreach to my campus and community and working to learn more about and assist with what keeps a nonprofit up and running behind the curtain.”

Davis felt like working with ETCF would be a great fit for them.

“I am enthusiastic about the work we do here in reducing petroleum usage, and love learning more about it,” Davis said. “I hope to get more ‘in the weeds’ as time goes on so that no matter where I end up, I can look back on my time with ETCleanFuels with admiration and confidence in the abilities I’m learning here.”