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Kiha Sai and Mark Ryan with Charlotte Burville, RISE program manager (far left) and Nicole Fisher, Kupu director of Sustainability Initiatives (far right)

Sustainability students graduate from energy fellowship program

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa students Mark Ryan and Kiha Sai completed the Energy Fellowship program through the UH Office of Sustainability. The fellowship is a collaboration between the Office of Sustainability, Hawaiʻi Energy and the Kupu Hawaiʻi Rewarding Internships for Sustainable Employment (RISE) program.

“Our partnership with Hawaiʻi Energy and Kupu RISE bolsters our operational capacity while enhancing the teaching and learning environment at the University of Hawaiʻi,” said Sustainability Coordinator Matthew Lynch. “Students help to solve real-world challenges through innovation, while building the kind of practical and multidisciplinary skill sets that are highly sought after by employers.”

Ryan and Sai’s RISE project analyzed lighting in the UH Mānoa athletics facilities and identified areas where upgrades to LED lights could reduce overall energy use. Their next pilot project aims to reduce energy consumption at Hawaiʻi Hall through simple changes in workplace behavior.

Both students became involved with the Energy Fellowship because of their interest in sustainability, energy efficiency and lessening Hawaiʻi’s dependence on imported energy.

“I’ve worked with some amazing people at Kupu that care deeply about each other and about the sustainable future of Hawaiʻi,” said Ryan. “Seeing that there are programs and organizations in the world that are willing to invest in the youthful generations and that are working to further sustainability makes me immensely hopeful for the future of Hawaiʻi and the future of the world.”

“Sustainability has become a huge part of my life and it will not end with this internship,” said Sai. “I plan to continue in this field for as long as needed, which I believe is an extreme necessity for society and for the world. The best takeaway I received that is short and precise is remembering ‘Only you can prevent energy loss!’”

The RISE graduation ceremony was held June 28.

Source: A UH News story