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2022 Women in Clean Energy Conference

Women in Clean Energy Conference 2022


The goal of the 2022 Women in Clean Energy Conference was to provide students and recent graduates from all fields the resources they need to begin a meaningful career in clean energy and sustainability. We want to empower women and allies to make a difference in the male-dominated energy industry and educate men on the challenges often faced by women in the industry. We believe that by providing education, networking, and recruitment opportunities, we can close the gender gap in the energy industry in an empowering and productive way.  Questions can be emailed to


Speakers for Virtual Sessions (Oct. 5 & 6, 6:30-8:00 p.m.)
Alexa Ruscitto - BlocPower

Alexa Ruscitto is currently a project manager at BlocPower. Ruscitto is responsible for overseeing electrification projects in low- to mid-income communities. Projects vary from air source heat pumps to solar panel installations. Prior to joining BlocPower, she worked as a construction manager of energy efficiency retrofit projects in hospitals throughout the New York City area. She currently holds a Bachelor of Science in biology with a minor in ecology and conservation from Sacred Heart University. She also earned her Master's degree in environmental policy from Pace University in 2020 and has received her LEED Green Associate certification since then.

Ariel Kalishman Walsh - Solstice Solar

Ariel Kalishman Walsh is the director of Business Development at Solstice Solar, where she works with community solar developers who need support in customer acquisition and management with a focus on low and moderate income (LMI) community services. Previously, she was director of Enterprise Partnerships at BlocPower, where she worked with municipal, utility and corporate partners who had climate, equity and justice goals that align with the outcomes of BlocPower’s building electrification, workforce development and community Wi-Fi programs. Walsh has worked in impact-driven roles across multiple industries, including sustainable food, consumer investing and documentary film her entire career. She has an MBA in sustainability from Bard College and a degree in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin. Walsh grew up in Oregon and New Mexico, lived in Brooklyn for many years and now resides in Lafayette, Colorado, where she  enjoys the mountains and time outdoors with her human and animal family members.

Subathra Rajendran - non-renewable (O&G) energy industry

Subathra Rajendran spends her days fulfilling her motto of turning “Struggle into strength." Hard work is who Rajendran is; it is what gives her drive and confidence. She has a strong sense of empowering women at different stages and a passion to make the world a better place. Born in Madurai, one of the bigger towns in Tamilnadu, India. Growing up in a middle-class family, her parents didn't graduate from high school, and she'd never met a woman who’d graduated with an engineering degree. Rajendran received a Diploma in Polymer Technology specialized in rubber and found that opportunity for women is less in this field, so she planned to graduate in chemical engineering, which provides a diverse job prospectus. Soon after university, she was appointed as scientist engineer in the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Sriharikota, where she was involved in solid propellant mixing unit for GSLV MK 3 project which forms the first stage fuel for space launch vehicles. After ISRO, Rajendran joined the non-renewable (O&G) energy industry and has 17 years of experience. Rajendran is  happy to be a women force in this male-oriented industry and break rules of gaining versatile experience in all aspects of onshore and offshore, petrochemical plants including engineering design, procurement, commissioning and operation. Despite all social, cultural and gender challenges, Rajendran managed to work in different parts of India, southeast Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand), middle east (Dubai, Sharjah and Oman) Europe (Netherlands, Italy and France), central Asia (Kazakhstan) and Africa (Congo).

Jessica Minor-Baetens - Guidehouse Energy, Sustainability & Infrastructure

Jessica Minor-Baetens is an associate director in Guidehouse’s Energy, Sustainability & Infrastructure practice. She has many years of experience in the energy efficiency and renewable energy space. She is currently leading the development of service offerings to ensure energy is provided equitably and the energy transition is just. In addition to evaluating and designing EE programs for utilities, Minor-Baetens led EV consumer adoption research and supported the design and implementation of a community solar program. Minor-Baetens earned her Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree and Master of Science in renewable and clean energy from the University of Dayton (Go Flyers!). Outside of work, she is a follower of the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement, zero waste, closed loop manufacturing, buying everything second hand, driving her 10 year old Volt and living with her family of four in 700 square feet.

Sydney Muñoz - Community Engagement Coordinator, RE-volv

Sydney Muñoz has a Master of Sustainability Leadership and more than four years of experience leading projects, programs, and initiatives on sustainability, waste reduction, clean energy, and alternative transportation within government, nonprofit, and university spaces. Her work is focused on sustainability project and program management, community engagement, and leading initiatives to reduce waste and emissions. Muñoz is currently the community engagement coordinator for RE-volv, a nonprofit solar energy organization that helps other nonprofits across the country go solar. At RE-volv, she manages RE-volv’s volunteer Solar Ambassador Program, communications, and community engagement efforts. Additionally, she is a Board Member for the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), where she provides strategic direction and guidance to support ASES’s mission of transitioning to 100% renewable energy.

Rebecca ‘Becca’ Ruiz - Wendy's

As a CSR specialist, Rebecca ‘Becca’ Ruiz supports the programming of Good Done Right, which is Wendy’s overarching banner for corporate responsibility efforts, through project management, communications, and stakeholder engagement. She also leads the Squarely Sustainable Council, Wendy’s employee-led initiative, which works to bring to life the Footprint pillar of our Good Done Right banner at the Wendy’s HQ. Previously, Ruiz served as a consultant to a wide range of Fortune 500 companies aiming to create or revamp their sustainability strategies. She majored in environmental science at the University of Kentucky and received her Master's degree in sustainability management from Columbia University in 2015.

Speakers / Panelists / Mentors In-Person Session (Oct. 8, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., KU Ballroom - lunch provided)
Nadja Turek - Altafiber

Nadja Turek was appointed Altafiber’s (formerly, Cincinnati Bell) Director of Sustainability in September, 2021, and is responsible for environmental sustainability throughout the $1.7B organization. She drives continuous improvement in sustainability towards ecosystem health and regeneration. An Air Force veteran, Turek started her engineering career on active duty leading military and civilian teams to construct, maintain, and operate Air Force base facilities. In her final years in service, she became the Air Force Institute of Technology’s subject matter expert in sustainable design and green building. Turek holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado, a Master's of Nonprofit Management from Regis University, and a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering and Science from the Air Force Institute of Technology. In her free time, Turek gardens, plays hockey, and volunteers in support of her kids’ schools and activities.

Lianna Nordwig - Go Sustainable Energy

Lianna Nordwig graduated from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree and began her role at Go Sustainable Energy in Columbus, Ohio, where she now resides. Nordwig serves healthcare clients as part of Go’s embedded energy management teams and contributes to energy audits, measurement and verification, commissioning, and other technical analysis projects. Her ability to analyze and understand utility and related energy data allows healthcare clients to track progress towards goals, identify and resolve issues, and gain support for energy management activities from leadership. Nordwig has also played a key role in an electrification-focused sustainability study for the Central Ohio Transit Authority, performing research and analysis, documenting recommendations, and advising on goal setting. When not at work, you’ll likely find her outside playing soccer or ultimate frisbee.

Amanda Alvarado - HEAPY

Amanda Alvarado is a 2020 University of Dayton graduate with a Master of Science in renewable and clean energy engineering and a 2017 graduate from Miami University (Ohio) with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering. Since 2019, Alvarado has been a part of HEAPY Engineering’s Building Optimization Practice where she designs, develops, and evaluates energy-related projects and programs to reduce energy costs and improve energy efficiency during the designing, building, and remodeling stages of construction. Alvarado specializes in retro-commissioning (RCx), sustainability planning and facility data analytics. She currently lives in Columbus, Ohio, where she enjoys cooking, Marvel movies and hiking.

Maha Kashani - IGS Energy

Maha Kashani is a senior regional sales manager at IGS Energy, one of the nation’s largest retail energy suppliers. In her role, Kashani is responsible for IGS’s largest and most sophisticated customer segment with a special focus on structuring custom-tailored energy solutions. She is a 2005 graduate of the University of Dayton studying communications and management (public relations and entrepreneurship). Kashani is driven by a desire to make a positive impact, true to UD’s mission to learn, lead and serve. She strongly believes in the importance of civic engagement and stays active in her community. Kashani currently serves as the vice chairperson of the Better Business Bureau’s Board of Directors, Board Member and Past President of the Dayton Arab American Forum,  a member of the Dayton Children’s Hospital Women’s Board, serves on the Board of Directors of the Community Blood Center and Day Air Credit Union as well as on the Dayton Daily News Community Advisory Board. She resides in Dayton, Ohio, with her husband, Matthew, and daughters, Lana and Lara.

Amy Kaspar - The Wendy's Company

Amy Kaspar is the senior specialist in Global Energy Initiatives at The Wendy’s Company.  Based within the Global Design and Construction team, she works with new and existing buildings to reduce the use of energy and water across the restaurant system. Prior to joining The Wendy’s Company in 2020, Amy worked as an architect for Richard Griffiths Architects (London, UK), glaserworks (Cincinnati), Schooley Caldwell Associates and Design Group (Columbus, Ohio). As a senior architect at the Ohio History Connection, she developed a statewide sustainability program and pursued LEED EBOM (existing building) certification for the Ohio History Center. Currently, Kaspar chairs American Institute of Architects (AIA) Columbus’s Committee on the Environment. She completed graduate degrees in architecture and international development practices at Oxford Brookes University (England) – and undergraduate studies in architecture at Miami University (Ohio). When not pursuing her passion to make a difference, she enjoys time with family and swimming with her Master's team.

Mryia Williams - Solar United Neighbors

Mryia Williams is a sustainability-minded individual who works for Solar United Neighbors. She started with SUN in a contract role to educate on the need for a policy for the solar rights of those living within a Homeowners Association and has since been promoted to Ohio Program Associate. Williams enjoys using her personal experience with the Solar United Neighbors Co-Op processto help with leading others through the process. She and her husband went solar on their own home with the Columbus 2020 Co-Op. Williams also enjoys sharing her knowledge about electric vehicles and how they can partner with solar installations.

Aileen Hull - Dayton Energy Collaborative

Aileen Hull graduated from UD this past May with a Bachelor in Sociology degree and minors in sustainability, human rights studies and Spanish. Hull combined her focuses of social justice and sustainability with the goal of working for environmental justice. She is passionate about combating climate change in post industrial cities in the Midwest, such as Dayton, cities that have been disinvested in and left with layers of pollution and ecological harm. I believe the best way to start effective change is to start on the grassroots community level. Since May, Hull has worked as the community engagement coordinator for Dayton Energy Collaborative. As we work to start our home energy efficiency retrofit program, I have outlined our outreach and recruitment strategies, built partnerships with neighborhood associations, local schools, and other non-profits and organizations in Dayton. Hull is in charge of the case management with their clients and believes in the mission and goals of her organization and is so excited to help them come about in the amazing city of Dayton, Ohio.

Conference Planners
Addison Grigsby

Addison Grigsby is completing her fourth year at the University of Dayton with a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering degree with a concentration in energy systems. She is currently interning with AES on the Transmission and Distribution Team where she works on interconnection for local solar developments and analyzes electric load for forecasting purposes. Grigsby is passionate about providing energy to everyone around the world in the most equitable ways possible.

Lauren Bower

Lauren Bower is a junior at the University of Dayton studying mechanical engineering with an energy systems concentration. She interned with Ford working on battery electric vehicles and is currently assisting in undergraduate research on increasing solar efficiency internationally. She is also involved in multiple sustainability and clean energy groups on Dayton’s campus. Bower is passionate about increasing accessibility to clean energy for all and incorporating clean energy into all aspects of industry.

Jean Nash

Jean Nash is a junior at the University of Dayton who is studying mechanical engineering with a minor in sustainability. She interned with GE Aviation where she held a supply chain role in quality engineering. She is currently working in the Diversity in Engineering Center where she plans social and professional development events for the Women Engineering Program. She is also a Society of Women Engineers board member. Nash is passionate about promoting women in the engineering field and increasing our global use of clean energy. 

Elise Clement

Elise Clement is a senior mechanical engineering student at the University of Dayton with a concentration in mechanical energy systems. She’s worked at Whiting-Turner, a construction management company, as a project manager intern. Elise has been very involved with The Ethos Center throughout her college career, going on 2 breakouts and 2 semester immersions, one domestically and one internationally, working with clean cooking and alternative growing technologies, hydro & aquaponics. The Ethos Center focuses on cultural immersive growth and building engineering skills surrounding sustainable living. She has a passion for humanitarian engineering and innovating renewable energy around the world.

Kathleen Ziemba

Kathleen Ziemba is a senior mechanical engineering student at University of Dayton with a concentration in human movement biomechanics. She has worked for Ethicon Endo Surgery for two terms, holding a research and development position within Endomechanical Surgical Devices during both. She currently works on the Sustainable Systems Team for Hanley Sustainability Institute, hoping to create a more sustainable campus through waste reduction and energy conservation. Additionally, she is team lead for RE-volv, a non-profit working to place solar panels on non-profits in Dayton. In the future, she hopes to work in a position where she could create a more sustainable medical device field or promote clean energy access for all.