A new scholarship for Northwest students will honor regional visionary Paul Woodin, advancing his focus on innovation, education and clean energy solutions. Renewable Northwest Project today announced the establishment of the Paul Woodin Memorial Scholarship Fund with the Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) Foundation. The fund will grant scholarships to students enrolled with the nationally renowned CGCC Renewable Energy Technology program.
Mr. Woodin passed away on March 2, but his legacy as a leading innovator, advocate and renewable energy facilitator is indelible among his community. Mr. Woodin was a U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran, and a veteran of the Northwest region’s aluminum-smelting industry. He recognized the renewable energy industry as an opportunity for his region’s workforce and a solution to economic challenges, including in rural communities like his Goldendale, Wash., home. Through his involvement with the Community Renewable Energy Association, Mr. Woodin was a leader among peers and a mentor for emerging renewable energy professionals. His voice and ideas reached nationally, resounding with industry groups and Washington, D.C. policymakers.
A natural educator, Mr. Woodin was a supporter of the CGCC Renewable Energy Technology program, which began in 2007 and was the first program by any West Coast community college to provide comprehensive training in the wind energy field.
“Just as Paul Woodin enjoyed science and engineering, he enthusiastically shared ideas with future leaders,” said Dan Spatz, chief institutional advancement officer at CGCC. “One way to preserve and expand some of the momentum he brought to the field is to support aspiring renewable energy professionals.”
The CGCC program was among the first three U.S. training programs to receive the American Wind Energy Association’s Seal of Approval for technician training. In addition to wind energy, the curriculum focuses on diverse renewable energy technologies, all with a strong basis in math and electronics.
“We are grateful for the renewable industry successes spurred by Paul Woodin’s unwavering vision,” said Rachel Shimshak, executive director at Renewable Northwest Project. “We encourage local and global clean energy supporters to donate and continue his legacy by supporting tomorrow’s leaders.”
The Paul Woodin Memorial Scholarship Fund will be implemented through the CGCC Foundation. Individuals and organizations interested in donating may visit the Renewable Northwest Project website: www.rnp.org or CGCC Foundation, www.gorgefoundation.org . For more information about the CGCC Renewable Energy Technology program, visit www.renewableenergycareers.org
Tom Gray, http://www.awea.org/blog/