University of Vermont

Jeffords Hall

Event Planning and Research

by Kierstin Wall '13, CEF Summer Outreach Intern

During the past two weeks I have given the Equine Center opening ceremony the majority of my attention. This has included meeting with Jeff Wakefield, associate director of University Communications, who brought his experienced insights to the meeting. We discussed the guest list, the potential date and time for the event, our guest speakers, what we would need, etc; everything that needs to be finalized, the actual “planning” of the event. This process continued over the last two weeks, I have edited and revised numerous copies of a formal invitation to be sent to our guest speakers; a task that is much more time consuming and challenging than I had anticipated.

When first writing the letter the goal was to get as much information across as I could. Easy enough. Since then, each edit had been made to make the letter flow better, make our message come across clearer. I had to imagine I knew nothing about this project, that I was getting this invitation, and then write in a clear and concise way to make our potential guests understand. Majoring in public communications, this is a skill I use on a daily basis, and will continue to use in my professional and personal life to communicate with others. With the formal letter completed, we hope to send them out soon.

I am also learning a little more each week about solar PV systems, I will eventually be learning a lot from what my peers have been working on this summer, but each week I do a little more research on the PV system currently being installed at the Equine Center. I added a chart showing how solar energy can be used on farms, something other interns are currently determining at Miller farm.

I have learned how DC current needs to be inverted to AC before it goes into the grid, about the net-metering system, about incentives Vermont offers to those who choose to install solar systems, and I have thought about what this Equine Center solar project can mean for the University. I believe this project is a great opportunity towards making the school greener and promoting the sustainable future the students and faculty see for UVM.

I found the first file on this link to be very helpful during my research; it is the USDA's Solar Energy Use in U.S. Agriculture Overview and Policy Issues.