Nineteen Students Receive Energy Studies Minor Certificates

Esm Graduation Ceremony 2018

The Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (ND Energy) presented certificates to nineteen students who completed the Energy Studies Minor during the 2017-18 academic year at a ceremony on Friday, May 18, in the Atrium of Stinson-Remick Hall. The ceremony and reception kicked off a busy and exciting Commencement Weekend for the graduates and their families.

The invocation was led by Rev. Terrence Ehrman, C.S.C., Assistant Director for Life Sciences Research and Outreach in the Center for Theology, Science, and Human Flourishing. The graduates were then addressed by Michael Ryan, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs from the College of Engineering.

Following the conferral of certificates, Ginger Sigmon, Managing Director of ND Energy, highlighted a few of the energy experiences in which students participated for their capstone credits. Projects ranged from working with Student Government to increasing green energy knowledge here on campus to studying energy topics worldwide in places such as Iceland, Uganda, and the Dominican Republic.

Sigmon also read a testimonial from one of the students, describing the value of the minor in the student’s own words:

“Pursuing the Energy Studies minor has been one of the best choices I have made at Notre Dame....The courses I took from the Energy Studies minor piqued my interest in these topics, and alerted me to their societal importance...The courses in the energy minor have shaped my interest in energy, and encouraged me to continue energy research into graduate school.”

This year’s graduates have a variety of paths mapped out for their future. Whether they enter an energy-based career, or move forward in life as more informed, passionate citizens, ND Energy hopes that their experiences here will guide them to make a difference in the world.

“All of us at ND Energy wish you, our graduates, the very best as you move out into the real world. We hope that you will all keep in touch and help us in our quest to mentor the next generation of energy leaders,” Sigmon said at the conclusion of the ceremony.

The Energy Studies Minor is housed in the College of Engineering, yet it is open to undergraduate students in all majors and colleges at the University of Notre Dame. Students may draw from both technical and non-technical resources to learn how to help move our country and the world toward a more sustainable energy future.

The academically diverse class of 2018 is listed below.

Gustavo Ariza Matos



Gustavo Alberto Ariza Matos
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Majors: Finance, Economics
Future plans: Investment Banking Analyst at JP Morgan Chase

Rodrigo Benavides Martinez


Rodrigo Benavides Martinez
Monterrey, Mexico

Major: Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics
Future plans: Data Scientist at Vector Casa de Bolsa

Andrew Boushka


Andrew James Boushka
Houston, Texas

Major: Accountancy
Future plans: University of Notre Dame Masters in Accountancy

Rory Burke


Rory T. Burke
Andover, MA

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Future plans: Systems Engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton

Spencer Clark


Spencer Charles Clark
Andover, MN

Major: Physics, Glynn Family Honors Program,concentration in Advanced Physics
Future plans: Pursuing a position in energy consulting

John Higham


John Higham
Poland, OH

Major: Chemical Engineering
Future plans: Process Engineer at ExxonMobil

Joseph Jared


Joseph Charles Jared
The Woodlands, Texas

Major: Environmental Engineering
Future plans: Graduate school at Texas A&M, studying sub sea engineering

Robert Lucian


Robert Leo Lucian
Cincinnati, OH

Major: Finance
Future plans: Risk and Compliance Consultant with Protiviti in Chicago

Austin Matheny Kawesch


Austin W. Matheny-Kawesch
San Diego, California

Major: Economics (minor in the Hesburgh Program in Public Service)
Future plans: Working with the German Department in Berlin this summer, with hopes of working on sustainability policy in the future

Kevin Mickan


Kevin Michael Mickan
New Orleans, LA

Major: Finance
Future plans: Financial planning and analysis for United Airlines

Abigail Mines


Abigail B. Mines
Little Rock, AR

Major: Finance
Future plans: Discover Financial Services

Julia Pucillo


Julia Christine Pucillo
Summit, NJ

Major: Finance
Future plans: Sales and Trading Associate at Guggenheim Securities (New York, NY)

John Salvadore


John Julian Salvadore
San Antonio, TX

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Future plans: Master's degree in Engineering Science in Sustainable Energy at University College Cork in Cork, Ireland

Benjamin Schultz


Benjamin William Schultz
Howell, Michigan

Majors: Chemical Engineering, Political Science
Future plans: Energy industry analyst in the Washington, DC area

Michael Sinanian


Michael Robert Sinanian
Flushing, MI

Major: Mechanical Engineering
Future plans: Protection and Controls Engineer at American Electric Power

Kala Sperbeck


Kala Rene Sperbeck
Coldwater, Michigan

Major: Science-Business
Future plans: Hoping to implement sustainability initiatives in the Midwest

Declan Zidar


Declan Thomas Zidar
Glenview, IL

Major: Accountancy
Future plans: Financial Analyst at Amazon

The following students were unable to attend the Certificate Ceremony:

Robert Courtadon


Robert Georges Courtadon
Suffern, NY

Major: Political Science
Future plans: Working in state/local government, or for an environmental non-profit organization

Jack Feger


John T. Feger
Louisville, KY

Major: Neuroscience Behavior
Future plans: Teaching middle school for Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE)