2017 Energy Leadership Scholarship Awards

June 13, 2017 | Posted in Energy Education

DP&L and Vectren have teamed up to provide three $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors interested in careers in energy. The candidates were assessed on their leadership experience while in high school, as well as their career goals. These scholarships were presented at the Ohio Energy Project’s Youth Energy Celebration. The Ohio Energy Project is a non-profit organization and partner of DP&L, dedicated to educating students and teachers on energy and efficient energy use.

Congratulations to this year’s recipients: Mark Lauterbach of Oakwood High School, Thomas Muhlecke of Ponitz Career Technology Center, and Katherine Hemm of Lehman Catholic High School.

Mark Lauterbach, Oakwood High School

Mark Lauterbach Oakwood High School DPL Vectren scholarship winnerMark Lauterbach joined Oakwood’s Energy Team as a freshman and served on Oakwood’s CORE leadership team for three years during high school. Science teacher Heidi Steinbrink described him as “a natural leader that draws people in… He played key roles in researching the energy system needs as well as designing our prototype vertical garden.”

“As I have grown older and learned about the positive effects of energy efficiency I’ve seen it’s connection to my life.” Mark described positive changes he has made in his life, including turning off lights, taking shorter showers, convincing his family to use reusable grocery bags, and focusing on recycling and reducing the amount of waste his family throws away.

Mark says, “I realize that my small efforts in energy efficiency won’t instantly save the environment, I do believe however that I can have a positive impact on the environment and I am making a difference. I hope one day everyone realizes what pollution and the lack of energy efficiency is doing to the environment and hopefully we can change so the world can run on clean, renewable energy.”

Lauterbach plans to attend the University of Dayton and major in mechanical and aerospace engineering.


Thomas Muhlecke, Ponitz Career Technology Center

Thomas Muhlecke DP&L Vectren scholarship winnerThomas Muhlecke served in several student leader roles at Ponitz Career Technology Center, including captain of the robotics team and captain of the solar vehicle team.

Ponitz internship coordinator David Andrews describes Thomas as “a person who refuses to give up, even on the most difficult tasks or projects. He is willing to stay late, come in early and on days off in order to help his classmates. Thomas is dedicated, hard working and energetic.”

Thomas says, “My goal is to become an Electrical Engineer so I can find new and better ways to power the world.”

Muhlecke plans to attend the University of Nebraska Lincoln and major in electrical engineering.


Katherine Hemm, Lehman Catholic High School

Kate Hemm Sidney Lehman Catholic High School DPL Vectren scholarship winnerKatherine Hemm served as a student leader at Lehman Catholic High School in Sidney: class president, captain of the swim team, and also as a peer leader with Lehman’s Ohio Energy Project team. Katherine’s science teacher, Tracy Hall, described her as “very involved with a true passion for energy. She is passionate about teaching younger students, her peers, and promoting conservation in real life.”

Katherine describes the experience of teaching younger students: “I not only grew in knowledge from attending OEP seminars, but my patience grew when I attended local grade schools… I see the light bulb that goes off in younger kids’ heads when they realize what they are capable of doing.”

Hemm plans to attend Miami University and major in business.


Teacher Awards

Scott Spohler DPL teacher of the yearTwo Miami Valley teachers also received awards from DP&L and Vectren for their participation in the Ohio Energy Project. Scott Spohler of Madison Plains High School in London (pictured) was awarded the 2016 DP&L Teacher Award and Amanda Runk of Washington Court House Middle School received the 2016 Vectren Teacher Award.


DP&L’s Commitment to Energy Education

DP&L and Vectren team up every year to host an Energy Fair with hands-on sessions for high school students that allow them to mentor their younger peers. Since 2009, DP&L has sponsored the Be E3 Smart energy efficiency program, resulting in more than 60,000 energy efficiency kits sent home through the classroom. Learn more about DP&L’s energy education efforts.

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