ERG Student Groups & Committees

A unique aspect of ERG is how involved students are in the administration of the program and facilities through committees. Student-led committees and groups at ERG are ever-evolving. Current committees operate rather ad-hoc and depend on schedules and level of involvement.

The ERG Social Media Group maintains the ERG Facebook, Twitter handle (@ERGBerkeley) and “Life at ERG” Blog. The group and all of its social media initiatives were started by the 2012 class and we are really eager to keep our online presence a tradition managed by the Master’s students! Additionally, the Social Media Group initiated work on a new website for ERG, which launched in April 2014. The goal is to increase our online presence and keep both students, alumni, prospective students, and others aware of the incredible happenings at ERG, what matters to us, and what we do about it! As a guideline, we like to have all the newbies write a post in the ERG blog during their first year. Students involved: Chris Hyun, Pierce Gorden, Dimitry Gershenson, Cecilia Han Springer, Laura Moreno, Nikky Avila.

The Space Committee is concerned with maintaining and improving ERG’s common and student space. With Professor of Architecture and Urban Design Harrison Fraker as the current Dean of ERG, students appealed to the design-minded dean to launch a short-term and long-term space change plan for the ERG facilities. Short term changes include new desks and ergonomically friendly chairs, new furniture, a massive cleaning overhaul, and new flooring and paint in various rooms. Long-term changes include structural, lighting, and other design changes. Students involved: Peter Alstone and Monica Testa.

Despite our hard work, we try to maintain a work-life balance at ERG. That also requires coordination! So, ERG’s social committee works to plan monthly happy hours, biannual picnics, and more for ERGies. Students involved: Dimitry Gershenson (chair), Laura Moreno (table) and Ian Bollinger (footstool).

The main responsibility of students in ExComm is to liaise between the student body and the faculty by attending monthly meetings, bringing student issues to the meeting, and returning with updates for the students. ExComm students are also typically in charge of working with ERG administrative staff in scheduling Town Hall meetings. ExComm is a great opportunity to influence important ERG decisions (especially in critical times), channel student opinion, get to know the faculty members better, and understand better the strange world of academic politics. Each semester there is one student representative from the Masters-level and one student representative from the PhD-level. Students involved: Ranjit Deshmukh and Monkgogi MK Otlhogile.

ERG students participate on the admissions committee each year. All positions on this committee are confidential. This committee can be a lot of work, especially during the early part of the spring semester, but is also quite rewarding.

The welcome committee is in charge of welcoming new students to ERG, that is: finding hosts when prospective students visit, matching them with current students with similar interests, ensuring their questions are answered, and assigning them a mentor once they are admitted. While all welcome events are an ERG joint effort, the welcome committee just takes a management role. Students involved: Kripa Jagannathan, Andrea Mercado.

Sometimes ERGies like to get together for meals or other events and speak in another language. In the past there have been groups in Spanish and Chinese. Students involved: Cecilia Han Springer (Chinese).

Bay Area Scientists in Schools (BASIS) is a program designed to get area graduate students and scientists to visit local elementary and middle schools. Rebekah Shirley developed a renewable energy curriculum several years ago. Several ERG students have participated in BASIS volunteering as an outreach activity where we build wind turbines out of water bottles with 4th graders and also teach a small module on solar panels using solar-powered race cars.  It is a very fun and rewarding way to interact with future renewable energy leaders! Students involved: Noah Kittner.

Established in Summer 2014 as a safe space for LGBTQ students to hang out and just be. They have various events and get-togethers all year ‘round. Joining is completely confidential at your request. Students involved: Andrea Mercado and Chris Hyun.

The student diversity committee focuses on student recruitment, faculty and staff hires and the social environment at ERG. Students involved: Sasha Harris-Lovett, Pierce Gordon, Nikky Avila, Chris Hyun,, Cecilia Han Springer, Grace Wu, Erica Newman, Lara Cushing, Monkgogi MK Otlhogile, Yang Ruan, Patricia Hidalgo-Gonzalez, Noah Kittner.

Provides space and platforms for women to come together, dialogue and be.

Note: The views expressed here belong solely to the author of each entry and are not representative of the position of the Energy and Resources Group, UC Berkeley.
© ERG. Design adapted from Main-Blogger Blogger Template.