Alice is a program manager in EERE's Technology-to-Market team. She manages the Cleantech University Prize (UP) and the National Incubator Initiative for Clean Energy (NIICE). UP helps to foster the next generation of clean energy innovators; NIICE supports clean energy business incubators across the country. Alice earned a B.A. in environmental science from the University of Virginia; and is currently studying at John Hopkins University for her masters of science in energy and climate change.
1.) What inspired you to work in STEM?
Growing up, family vacations were often dedicated to visiting America’s national parks and I quickly gained a fond appreciation for their unparalleled natural and cultural resources while also recognizing the serious implications for inaction. Since then, I knew I wanted to pursue a career where I was committed to the preservation of the natural environment and focused on finding sustainable solutions for the water, energy, and climate change nexus.
2.) What excites you about your work at the Department of Energy?
Despite the enormity of the global energy and climate challenge, I’m constantly inspired to see and hear about talented people and dedicated communities developing transformative clean energy solutions. I’m at the forefront of a program that pulls innovative solutions at the university level, and I’m frequently awed by these smart and talented innovators and entrepreneurs. I strongly believe DOE serves as a key driver in fostering and advancing the growth of entrepreneurial ecosystems and has the unique ability to enable breakthrough clean energy solutions. Programs at DOE are very supportive of energy entrepreneurs and their technologies and help unite government, academic, and business experts.
3.) How can our country engage more women, girls, and other underrepresented groups in STEM?
I believe it’s critical to cultivate a higher interest in STEM among girls and underrepresented groups by exposing them to STEM disciplines and careers at an early age, as early as elementary school. In addition, encouraging participation in supplementary programs and workshops, both in- and out-of-school, helps maintain stronger interest in STEM fields. I also think that promoting the relevancy of STEM careers with mentors, especially women who are already in STEM, is really crucial. Offering the opportunity to engage directly with a mentor who can lead and motivate is really invaluable and helps young people build confidence to continue down the STEM pathway.
4.) Do you have tips you'd recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?
Explore a variety of options. You’d be surprised how many different STEM careers are out there. Talk to people and take up internships – surround yourself with people who can pivot you to the right direction and who can be your support network. I would also recommend to really hone your writing skills. Finally, be open and adaptable. Every opportunity will help you along your career journey, even if you can’t see it at first.
5.) When you have free time, what are your hobbies?
I love to travel, especially to explore new food and places and to take landscape photographs. I also enjoy being outdoors as much as I can, particularly to hike and camp.