Area of Energy, Economics and Law Practices Service Learning in Local Community
By: Michele Moskos
The Area of Energy, Economics and Law is a true testament to the concept of service learning. Annually, a group of students in the Energy Commerce Program travel overseas for the World Energy Project.
The World Energy Project provides energy resources to small communities in developing countries where access to electricity is unavailable through traditional sources. The project utilizes solar panels capable of providing light to an individual home. Students travel to the communities to learn about system design, micro-finance culture and assist with the installation of panels.
Terry McIntuff, professor of practice and area coordinator, has encouraged his students to understand the importance of not only leaving a global impression, but also a local one.
Tent City Lubbock is a designated shelter area in the city of Lubbock for anyone finding themselves homeless. Texas Tech Energy Commerce partnered with Link Ministries (a local non-profit that supervises the shelter, help with jobs, clothing, substance abuse, and personal goal setting) to "light up" Tent City.
Current energy commerce students and faculty partnered with the National Junior Honor Society of Frenship Middle School to spend their weekend installing solar panels in the army-style tents of the homeless of greater Lubbock to allow those individuals the ability to have lighting in their units.
"The goal is to teach students that while our industry is exciting and potentially lucrative, it is also vitally important to the health and well-being of the world's population. Their career efforts are significant beyond what they see and do on a day-to-day basis," McInturff said.
The student volunteers were comprised of individuals who participated in the service-learning course entitled the World Energy Project (ENCO 4390) this past summer.
Ada Yee, the regional director for Light Up the World came from Peru to Lubbock, Texas to reunite and assist the student volunteers with the Tent City installation.
This is the Area's second phase of lighting up Tent City which joins the seven total installations that have been completed in Peru, the Amazon basin, the Andes, and Costa Rica. A total of 45 tents now have light, providing residents the ability to function after sunset, a critical need often taken for granted in the community at-large.
According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's June 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, 1,593,150 individuals experienced homelessness, from a period of October 2009 to September 2010.
The Rawls College of Business supports the efforts of Light Up the World and Area of Energy, Economics and Law.
For more information, contact Terry McInturff in the Area of Energy, Economics and Law at the Rawls College of Business at 806.834.1609 or email@example.com.
Written By: Zach West