Sarah Fischer, a spring Ohio State graduate, became interested in sustainable international development as a high school student, when she learned that her French teacher’s husband was a former child slave in Haiti. Working with the nonprofit organization that he started to free other child slaves, she learned how deforestation and lack of environmental education contribute to poverty in developing countries such as Haiti.
“At some point, I realized that it doesn't really make sense for us to go into other countries to tell them how to do things when we have so many environmental problems in the United States,” says Fischer, who received her degree in environment, economy, development and sustainability (EEDS). “So I began researching what our largest challenges were, and that’s how I got interested in promoting sustainability, specifically in the transportation and energy sectors.”
During her time as an undergraduate student, Fischer held a variety of internships related to sustainability and the environment. She was a development intern for the Ohio Environmental Council, an electric vehicle and communications assistant for Clean Fuels Ohio and a sustainability intern for the Ohio State Athletics, Business Advancement and Business and Finance departments. Most recently, she worked for the Electrification Coalition, a nonprofit organization that promotes large-scale distribution of electric vehicles, through an internship with Smart Columbus.
She shares her experience as an EEDS student and numerous internships in a spotlight interview.
Fischer also served as vice president of events and president of Net Impact, a student organization that focuses on promoting sustainability in business. She was a member of the Time for Change Week planning committee and a School of Environmental and Natural Resources student ambassador.
The Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energyawarded Fischer with a fellowship to attend the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER conference last month in Chicago. This month, Energy News Network featured Fischer in an article about women in renewable energy jobs.
Fischer recently began her first post-graduate position as a program assistant at the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU), a nonprofit organization that helps residents and businesses in the Washington, D.C., area reduce energy consumption and save money through energy efficiency.
“I love the culture here at DCSEU, so I think I’m going to stay for a while,” says Fischer. “But in the future, I definitely want to return to graduate school to pursue a master’s of energy policy or a similar degree.”
Tristen Spahr is a student communications assistant at the Office of Energy and Environment.
Kelli Trinoskey is Communication and Outreach Manager in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics