Kenneth Walz, PI, Madison College

Dr. Kenneth A. Walz

PI, Madison College, Madison WI


Office: (608) 246-6521

Dr. Kenneth Walz has taught science, engineering, and renewable energy at Madison Area Technical College since 2003, where he serves as the Director of the CREATE Energy Center funded by the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Walz earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin while performing research on advanced lithium-ion batteries with Rayovac and Argonne National Laboratory. Dr. Walz is an alumnus of the Academies Creating Teacher Scientists Program at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and he also spent time as a visiting scientist with the University of Rochester Center for Photoinduced Charge Transfer.  Dr. Walz is an adjunct professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, where he has taught graduate courses in Engineering Professional Development and Teaching Methods for Scientists and Engineers.  He also serves as an instructor and an advisory board member for the K-12 Energy Education Program and the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education.

Dr. Walz has been recognized as Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and as the Energy Educator of the Year by the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education.

Kathy Alfano, Co-PI, College of the Canyons

Dr. Kathleen Alfano

Co-PI, College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, CA


Office: (661) 362-3024

Kathleen Alfano has a Ph.D. from UCLA in Higher Education with a cognate in administration and evaluation. Her B.S. is in chemistry and she worked as an analytical chemist in industry before pursuing a career in education. She served as founder and Director of the California Consortium for Engineering Advances in Technological Education (CREATE) based at College of the Canyons from 1996 to 2016. At College of the Canyons she is a Professor Emeritus and also served as Dean of Professional Programs and Academic Computing. She currently acts as an Educational Administrator/Co-PI for the CREATE NSF ATE Renewable Energy Support Center (DUE 1600934) and as PI of a NSF ATE targeted research project (DUE 1445841) and Co-PI of a workshop/mentoring ATE/S-STEM grant (DUE 1744731). Dr. Alfano served as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation and Co-Lead of the ATE program in 2007-2008 and was the only community college representative on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Workforce Trends in the U.S. Energy and Mining Industries which released their report in March 2013.

Dr. Kevin Cooper, Co-PI SCADA, Indian River State College

Dr. Kevin Cooper

Co-PI SCADA, Indian River State College, Fort Pierce, FL


Office: (772) 462-7132

Kevin Cooper holds multiple patents and publications in advanced technology fields, including robotics, sensor technology semiconductor processing, chemical detection techniques, optics, and energy generation. Currently, he is the Dean of the Advanced Technology at Indian River State College. Prior to IRSC, Kevin worked in semiconductor industry and as a small business owner. Kevin obtained a doctorate in chemical engineering from Arizona State University and degrees in chemical engineering and applied physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Cooper’s current research focuses on autonomous based systems utilizing HSI and LiDAR for characterization of ecological and hydrological conditions. In addition, Dr. Cooper is the Principal Investigator of an NSF ATE Center focused on nuclear workforce development.

Robert Ebbage, Co-PI at Lane College

Roger Ebbage

Co-PI, Lane College, Eugene, OR


Office: (541) 463-6160

Trained in Industrial Arts, Environmental Studies, Technical Education Program Management, and Passive Solar Design, Roger Ebbage is an Association of Energy Engineers Certified Energy Manager, a California Certified Energy Auditor, a Bonneville Power Administration Certified Energy Auditor/Inspector, and a general building contractor.

Roger Ebbage has been the director of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) accredited Energy Management/Renewable Energy Program at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, since 1992 and has made the program a national model for energy education. After developing and piloting several energy-efficiency workshops in the residential and commercial sectors, Roger founded and serves as Director of the Northwest Water and Energy Education Institute ( His duties as director include identifying energy-efficiency market trends, developing workshops based upon market trends, evaluating training programs, and providing technical expert consulting.  Most recently, Roger created and delivered, under a National Science Foundation grant, online classes in Energy Efficiency to/through community colleges throughout the United States. Roger currently, serves as a Principal Investigator (PI) on another NSF ATE project grant (iLEED) and Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) on an NSF ATE National Center grant (CREATE-SC).

Roger has developed programs internationally including the University of Argentina at San Miguel Tucuman and the American University at Beirut in energy efficiency and the energy auditing process. Roger recently worked with Wilberforce Community College in Evaton, South Africa to create an Energy Management and student exchange program. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP – founding member) and Controls Professional Association, also as a founding member.

Andrew McMahan, Co-PI, Central Carolina Community College

Andrew McMahan

Chair, Department of Sustainability

Co-PI, Central Carolina Community College, Sanford, NC 


Office: (919) 545-8036

Andrew McMahan is the Chair for the Department of Sustainability at Central Carolina Community College in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Andrew has been involved in renewable energy education in North Carolina since 2004; first as an instructor, then as the program coordinator for CCCC’s biofuels program. From 2010-12 Andrew worked as the Energy Sector Director for the Code Green Super CIP, a statewide initiative tasked with integrating renewable energy training and workforce development into existing vocational programs at all 58 community colleges across North Carolina. He has also written and managed multiple grants to support the growth of renewable energy education and workforce development in North Carolina. Andrew is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a degree in Environmental Policy & Planning.

Ben Reid, Co-PI SCADA, Impact Allies Consulting

Ben Reid

Co-PI SCADA, Impact Allies Consulting, Fort Pierce, FL


Office: (972) 800-3234

Ben Reid has a Masters of International Business from the University of Florida and worked as a marketing manager launching products for major companies before his career in education. From 2007 – 2012 he was a business faculty member and center director, serving as the director of the Center for Promotional Development at California State Polytechnic University and the Banner Center for Energy at Indian River State College. In 2013 he started Impact Allies Inc, which provides STEM evaluations and project management. Between these two roles, Reid is involved in every category of National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) awards at Institutions of Higher Education. With a mixed background of marketing, teaching, management, evaluation and entrepreneurship, Reid strives to help NSF-ATE projects through planning, implementation, assessment, curriculum development, relationship building, capacity building, and scaling.

Joel Shoemaker, Co-PI, Madison College

Joel Shoemaker

Co-PI, Madison College, Madison, WI


Office: (608) 246-5275

Shoemaker is a Wisconsin state-certified Master Electrician with over 12 years of experience with photovoltaic systems. He has been a Co-PI for Madison College’s NSF ATE grants since 2009. He has been a past instructor for the PV trainer programs offered by Madison College and Solar Energy International, and led the creation of the Madison College PV Institute for High School Teachers. In 2011, the Wisconsin Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards and the Wisconsin Apprenticeship Advisory Council recognized Shoemaker as a Centennial Educator.

Gabrielle Temple, Project Manager & Co-PI, College of the Canyons

Gabrielle Temple

Project Manager & Co-PI, College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, CA


Office: (661) 362-3024

Mrs. Temple is the Project Manager for the National Science Foundation Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education (CREATE) and the Co-PI on the National Science Foundation Energy Storage Project (ESP) at Madison Area Technical College in Wisconsin. She has spent the last seven years as the Project Manager for the National Science Foundation CREATE Center at College of the Canyons in California, and has more than sixteen years’ experience working on NSF grants. During her time as Project Manager for CREATE, Mrs. Temple coordinated three successful international projects funded through NSF to explore the renewable energy achievements in Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, and Germany. Mrs. Temple started her career in the private sector in accounting and finance before coming to College of the Canyons. Mrs. Temple earned her B.A. in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations at California State University Bakersfield and a M.A. in Strategic Communications from National University. In addition to her grant administration duties, Mrs. Temple is an Adjunct Instructor in Communication Studies.

Dr. Jean Sando, Evaluator, Moorhead

Dr. Jean Sando

Evaluator, Moorhead, MN


Dr. Jean Sando, Evaluator Dr. Sando serves as the external evaluator for the project. She has a Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana State University. She is the former Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and as Assistant Vice President for Assessment at Minnesota State University Moorhead. She has acted as a review panel member for the U.S. Department of Education’s Strengthening Institutions program and has been an external evaluator for one national and two regional NSF/ATE centers. Dr. Sando is the co-author of, “Stepping Ahead: An Assessment Plan Development Guide” with Gloria Rogers, Ph.D. which has been distributed to over 10,000 faculty members throughout the country. She has also worked in a variety of areas in higher education including corporate, foundation and government development and grant management. Currently she is teaching and researching in a local high school in reading development.

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