May 5, 2022

Student Assistants Help Propel Environmental Progress at Nicholas Institute and Energy Initiative

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Student assistants talking

The recently merged Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and Duke University Energy Initiative benefited from the work of 55 dedicated student assistants during the 2021–2022 academic year.

The interdisciplinary crew of student assistants hailed from undergraduate and graduate degree programs across seven Duke schools. They brought diverse skillsets and perspectives to their roles, further developing their expertise by working on real-world projects advancing environmental progress. 

The students’ efforts supported many aspects of the merged institute’s work:

  • Research on topics like climate policy, water and energy affordability, natural climate solutions, sustainable infrastructure, water and energy data analytics, and more.  
  • Educational programs serving students at Duke and beyond, including the Gilman Climate Leaders Virtual Seminar Series, the Energy Internship Program, and Energy Week at Duke. 
  • Engagement with decision makers, partner organizations, and the local community on issues ranging from energy access to plastics pollution to environmental justice.  
  • Communications with diverse stakeholders inside and outside the university. 

“This year, our student assistants have made significant contributions to addressing some of the world’s most daunting energy and environmental challenges,” said Brian Murray, Ph.D., interim director of the Nicholas Institute and Energy Initiative. “These students’ insightful questions, fresh ideas, hard work, and enthusiasm have inspired our team and strengthened our efforts. But the story doesn’t end there. We are confident that these students will continue to advance sustainable solutions in their future careers and communities, deepening Duke’s impact on the world.”

Thank you to the Nicholas Institute and Energy Initiative’s 2021–2022 student assistants:

Abby Liu MEM '23

Abi Vanover MEM '22

Adam Lohman MEM / MF '22

Aislinn McLaughlin MEM '22

Alexandra (Sasha) Iturralde MEM '23

Anjali Balakrishna MEM '23

Arianna Agostini T '22

Ben Joseph MPP '22

Blair Johnson MEM '22

Casey Schoff T '24

Cheyenne Quijano T '22

Christian Laspada MEM '23

Colin Lee T '22

Daisy Zhan MS '22

George Rateb E '22

Henry Drewyer MEM '23

India Mackinson MEM '23

Ishani Palandurkar MEM '23

Israel Golden MEM / MF '22

Jack McCabe MEM '23

Jade Forest MEM '23

Janet Bering JD / MEM '22

Jide Olutoke MPP '23

Juan Pablo Quintero MEM / MBA '24

Karen Thornton MEM '23

Kristen Trinh MEM '23

Lambert Ngenzi MEM '23

Madison Griffin T '23

Maggie O'Shea MEM '23

Malkie Wall MEM '23

Marta Lo Presti MEM '23

Mary Margaret Allen MEM '23

Michelle Jones MA '23

Miriam Shams-Rainey T '23

Nannaphat Sirison MEM '23

Natalie von Turkovich MEM '23

Nate Cole T '24

Rajas Pandey MS '23

Rajat Khandelwal MEM '22

Regan Rosenthal MEM '22

Ryan Hastings T '24

Sagar Shah T '24

Sam Saltman MEM '23

Sandunie Liyanagamage MEM '23

Shouta Hayashi MEM '22

Soman ul Haq MEM '22

Sophia Bryson MEM '22

Sophia Hill MEM '23

Tasha Griffiths MEM '23

Tay Holliday MEM '22

Vicky Janita MEM '23

Wendy Shi T '24

Yash Doshi MEM '22

Yifan Wang MEM '22

Yu Ma PhD '23


Brian Murray addressing student assistants