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University student receives Golden Pinecone Sustainability Award

The Golden Pinecone Ball celebrated its 25th anniversary

As a computer science and engineering student at the University of Nevada, Reno, Eric Duong was awarded the Golden Pinecone Sustainability award in November of 2017. Duong became interested in pursuing renewable energy research after taking organic chemistry classes at the University while still in high school, and interning at Envirolution, a nonprofit organization that develops STEM programs centered around energy efficiency for K-12 education.

"I have a true passion for helping to improve how we treat our environment," Duong said, "and with the research I want to do during my university career, I hope to develop ways to make our everyday appliances more energy efficient."

Below is the speech Duong made after receiving his sustainability award.

I would like to thank Celeste Tinajero for a wonderful introduction of me. Now, a bit about myself:

Shifting from a developing country like Vietnam to a developed country like United States of America, I had always had a deep appreciation for the massive learning opportunity that is being provided here at the United States. 

Even after squeezing my time table with every educational opportunity offered to me at my high school, there were still things that I couldn't find time to learn, and it still bothers me.

Anyway, the point is, I think America has many great potentials. We have many problems that we have to solve, the dependence on fossil fuel is one in particular, but it has been consistently shown throughout the history of America that anyone can bring great social changes and make the country better than it is now. 

Again, I would like to thank Celeste Tinajero for an amazing introduction of me. I would also like to thank Nathan Daniels, Vanessa and Donna Walden for providing me phenomenal internship experiences. 

And finally, I would like to show my gratitude to Leigh Metcalfe for teaching me robotics and energy technology, and inspired me to become an engineer who can develop better future technology and make America, and the world, a better place. Thank you.

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