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Ryan Powanda ('09)
Integrated Science and Technology major
It hasn't taken Ryan Powanda long to make the JMU community aware of the urgency he sees in protecting the environment. In his first two years, he founded the JMU Clean Energy Coalition, became a member of the EARTH Club and joined the Society of Automotive Engineers, the Environmental Business Club and the Association of Energy Engineers. In addition, he is a winner of the MTV Break the Addiction Challenge and is the student representative to the Sustainable Campus Work Group and the Center for Energy and Environmental Sustainability governing body. He also has been appointed by President Rose to the Presidential Commission on Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability. Powanda's work has gained attention away from JMU as well, and in spring 2007 he was one of 80 students nationwide awarded a $5,000 Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship. The Udall Scholars were chosen on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, health care or tribal public policy, leadership potential and academic achievement. Powanda said he is interested in a career as a researcher in the renewable energy field or working as a liaison between the scientific community and policy makers. In nominating Powanda for the Udall Scholarship, Assistant Professor Chris Bachmann said "His dedication to the environment is uncompromising and his ability to organize the students and present policy considerations to the administration is unparalleled."
"Ryan Powanda is the most promising young student I have encountered during all my years in academia, including the time I spent at Rutgers University, Penn State and the University of Virginia." — ISAT Assistant Professor Chris Bachmann