Thank you Living Cully Energy Interns!

Living Cully has been grateful to have four motivated and passionate student interns working on the Living Cully Community Energy Plan this year. Portland State University’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions has been a long time Living Cully Partner. They provided funds for three students to work on the design and implementation of the energy plan, one this summer and two during the 2017-2018 school year.  Additionally, Living Cully partnered with the Environmental Justice and Civil Rights Clinical Practicum through Lewis and Clark to host a fourth energy intern focused on advancing policy around Community Based Renewable Energy.

Our interns took a moment to share about the work they will be doing, and their interest in energy:

Summer Dean

Field of study: Environmental Studies with a minor in African Studies, June 2019

What are you planning to do with energy in Cully? I’m assisting with the planning, outreach, and implementation of the Living Cully Community Energy Plan. The plan consists of renewable energy and energy efficient pilots that are not only climate-friendly but increase neighborhood resilience against displacement. Currently, I am leading the research for Cully’s electric vehicle strategy. I will help assess the mobility needs for Cully’s residents, and help design an equitable electric vehicle project alongside the rebuild of the Living Cully Plaza.

What makes you interested in energy? Climate change is already affecting millions of people around the country, and we are far behind on getting to work on this issue. I think many people don’t realize that we already have the technology to move to a 100% renewable energy economy, which would generate jobs as well as protect the state of the climate for future generations. Working on a renewable energy policy is the most important step communities can take around the globe, and ensuring disenfranchised communities receive the benefits of clean energy is crucial.

What superpower do you wish  you had? I wish I had the power to make fossil fuels vanish!


Tay Stone

Field of study: Master of Urban Regional Planning, 2019

What are you planning to do with energy in Cully? I’m going to be working on the implementation plan of the Ductless Heat Pump Coop pilot as part of the Living Cully Community Energy Plan. My work will include doing feasibility analysis and research, outreach, communication, and networking to make sure the pilot is a success!

What makes you interested in energy? I’m interested in energy because it’s one of the biggest changes we can make in society to reduce our carbon emissions. Energy use is so much more than just turning on a light switch, it’s culture, behavior, equity, policy…so many things wrapped up into our work, home, and lives. I like how interdisciplinary the energy sector is, especially in how it relates to environmental justice and the human condition as a whole.

What superpower do you wish you had? If I could have a superpower, it would be teleportation. There are so many places in the world I want to see and experience. Not having to pay for travel would be a nice perk!


Lawrence Kaleb Pittman

Field of Study: Environmental Law – Energy Law, May 2018

What are you planning to do with energy in Cully? I am looking forward to help expand knowledge around renewable energy in the Cully neighborhood. I aim to provide information on tools, implementation and methods of community-based renewable around the nation, to help expand the Cully neighborhood’s ability to access renewable energy.

What makes you interested in energy? Energy is the way of the future. If low-income and minority communities are left out of the modernization of the electrical grid, this will only provide further disparities between low-income communities and those communities which have more financial capital. I would like to help expand low-income and minority communities ability to access renewable energy so that we too can play a role in how the influence of renewable energy will shape the future of the electricity grid.

What superpower do you wish you had? I wish I had the superpower of teleportation, so that I could almost be at all places at any one time.


Dat Huynh

Field of Study: Economics (June 2017)

What did you do with energy in Cully? (Summer 2017) For the Cully Community Energy Plan, I worked on analyzing the neighborhood’s energy consumption from 2012 to 2017. As suggested by the data, I learned that there is a high energy burden in the neighborhood. Therefore, I’m glad to assist Carolina and her team to build the Enegy Plan as a way to assist Cully residents.

What makes you interested in energy? Before coming to the US, I lived in Ho Chi Minh City. Even though HCMC is the biggest city in Vietnam, we are still facing a limited energy supply. As a result, there is an “electricity outage schedule” for the whole city. Not only that power outage may disrupt our life, but it also reduces our productivity and effects economic performances. Therefore, when I came to the US, I wanted to learn more about energy economics and conservation. In the future, I hope to find solutions to ensure a reliable energy supply for the city, and the country as a whole.

What superpower do you wish you had? I love to learn more about people from different backgrounds. For me, each person has a story or a lesson that everyone should know more about. Therefore, I wish I had the ability to speak and understand all languages in the world.

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