Camarillo, Calif, June 30, 2014 – A grant from Edison International, parent company of Southern California Edison (SCE), will fund student scholarships in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and an energy conservation innovation lab at CSU Channel Islands (CI).  The $50,000 grant, awarded to the Henry L. “Hank” Lacayo Institute for Workforce & Community Studies (HLI) at CI, will provide scholarships to low-income, underrepresented students who show promise in STEM.  It will also help launch the online HLI SCE Energy Conservation Lab – a partnership between CI and Edison International to advance and share successful energy conservation practices with area residents and businesses.

“This grant represents a great step forward in the effort to educate future leaders in the vital areas of STEM and energy conservation,” said Richard R. Rush, President of CI.  “We are grateful to Edison International for its ongoing support of the CI campus, our students and community.  Through partnerships like these, we are strengthening our workforce and environmental commitment for the good of the entire region.”

Launched in 2010 with funding from Edison International, HLI is an independent, nonprofit public policy institute intended to build a robust regional workforce for the 21st century.  Named for workforce and community leader Henry L. “Hank” Lacayo, the institute focuses on conducting research, community outreach, education, and leadership development programs that will enrich the area’s economy, workforce, and quality of life.

“Edison International is pleased to support the Hank Lacayo Institute at CSU Channel Islands,” said Tammy Tumbling, director of Philanthropy and Community Investment at SCE. “Since 2009, Edison International has given almost $45 million to education programs that help students excel in STEM. Our philosophy of giving is that all people should have opportunities to do well. Together, Edison International and CSU Channel Islands hope to promote the inclusion of minority, low-income and underrepresented students in STEM fields.”

The grant is expected to support between four and 15 CI students in the STEM disciplines, with scholarship amounts varying based on the students’ financial needs.  The two-year scholarships will be awarded to students from low-income, first-generation and underrepresented backgrounds that show an aptitude for STEM.

The HLI SCE Energy Conservation Lab is a new initiative to highlight and advance the University’s conservation efforts in a way that enables residents and small businesses to make similar strides.  The lab plans to test and demonstrate new technologies in energy management and control systems, conduct campus energy audit studies, and highlight helpful findings and results for the public on a new website.

CI’s campus was founded on principles of improving sustainability and minimizing environmental impact.  With the help of regular energy and waste audits, the University has reduced electricity usage by 28 percent over the past two years, reduced potable water consumption by 40 percent over the past five years, and diverted more than 60 percent of campus waste to recycling rather than landfills.  It has also instituted a variety of other energy- and resource-saving measures, including irrigating the campus with reclaimed water, using solar panels and LED lighting, moving course catalogs and university materials online, and promoting campus-wide conservation through educational campaigns, clubs, events and student initiatives.

“We’re excited to partner with Edison International on work that will help reduce our carbon footprint, enhance our campus sustainability, educate a new generation of environmental leaders, and contribute to the region’s understanding and ongoing efforts to reduce energy consumption and waste,” said Karen Carey, Associate Vice President for Arts and Sciences. “By sampling and sharing the best practices in energy conservation with community residents and businesses, we can broaden our impact on the region’s economy, health and future.”

For more information on HLI, visit www.csuci.edu/provost/hanklacayoinstitute.  To learn more about CI’s sustainability efforts, visit www.csuci.edu/fs/sustainability.

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI's strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master's degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI's Social Media.