2004 College Student Interns

Photograph of three women and two men standing in front of a rock wall with petroglyphs.

Pictured left to right at Hopi Tribe petroglyph: Benjamin Mar, Jennifer Coots, Colin Ben, Deborah Tewa, and Sandra Begay-Campbell.

Learn more about the Tribal Energy Program's 2004 college student interns, including their educational backgrounds, research papers, testimonials, and a photo.

Colin Ben (Navajo)

Degree: M.A. American Indian Studies, University of Arizona

Research paper: Researching Renewable Energy Systems Available to Indian Country

Jennifer Coots (Navajo)

Degree: MBA Finance, University of New Mexico

Research paper: A Decade of Changes to an Alternative Power Source for a Rural Utility

Benjamin Mar (Cherokee)

Degree: B.S. Electrical Engineering, Worchester Polytechnic Institute

Research paper: Navajo Tribal Utility Authority: Photovoltaic Hybrid Operation and Maintenance Process for a Sustainable Program

Deborah Tewa (Hopi)

Degree: B.S. Indigenous Studies, Northern Arizona University. Her research focused on the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) reliability database for off-grid photovoltaic systems.

Intern Testimonials

"This internship has been a great experience that has allowed me to share my perspective as well as learn from other perspectives. My work with other Native People in the engineering field has been an invaluable experience for me since I have not had this opportunity before the internship. This experience has helped me to see that a problem has many facets that cannot be answered entirely with technical answers, but must be complemented by societal, financial, and other considerations as well. By visiting current Native American renewable energy installations, I was able to see the implementation of an electrical engineering design with real world applications — a piece which can be overlooked by engineers when developing the latest technology." — Benjamin Mar, 2004.

"The collaboration among the DOE Tribal Energy Program, Sandia, and the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority supports renewable energy development. The interns learned a wealth of information about numerous clean and efficient renewable energy technologies that are available for Native American tribes according to their natural environmental resources. The installation field visits throughout Indian Country provided an opportunity for the team to research and interact with real installation projects, real people, and witnessing real energy produced." — Colin Ben, 2004