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2021 Plastics Recycling in California

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ABOUT THE PROJECT

The 2021 Energy Impact Fellowship team spent the summer exploring the technical, economic and regulatory barriers to increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of plastics recycling in California with a particular focus on strategies to reduce pollution, landfill waste, and exports to vulnerable regions. 

The 2021 Impact Fellows present their summary and recommendations.


2021 Energy Impact Fellows

Adria Nyarko '24

Adria Nyarko is a rising sophomore planning to major in Civil Engineering and minor in Computer Science. She was born and raised in Taylor, Michigan and is the daughter of Ghanaian immigrants. She is extremely interested in sustainable energy and water infrastructure, as well as how it can be implemented in under resourced African countries. She is also interested in social issues and creating equitable environments for minorities. Working with the TomKat Center will be her first internship and she is extremely excited to get hands-on experience with sustainable energy. 

Catherine Beck '22

Catherine Beck is a rising senior studying Earth Systems with a focus has been environmental economics as well as a minor in History. She is particularly passionate about working to decarbonize the grid as well as issues surrounding food insecurity and justice. Catherine is excited about the summer ahead with TomKat working as their Energy Impact Fellow for summer 2021. Outside of academics, she can be found on long hikes, doing improv with the Stanford Improvisers, or dogsitting her brother's puppy. 

Julia Hok '23

Julia Lecana Hok is a rising junior majoring in mechanical engineering with the intention of combining her background in STEM with her passions in the arts and social justice issues to forge a better world. Growing up FLI and attending a Title 1 school, she learned firsthand the obstacles low-income families face on a systemic level and thus cofounded a nonprofit with a retired public defender to give low-income families better opportunities to break their generational cycles of poverty. Ever since then, she has been driven to support other causes such as the many within intersectional justice (race, gender, ability, etc.) at Stanford, all while being determined to push for a clean, sustainable future. She is extremely excited to learn more on how to get closer to this future this summer and contribute as much as she can.

Robert Hurley '23

Robert Hurley is a rising junior majoring in biology with a focus in biochemistry and biophysics. As a first generation low-income undergraduate at Stanford University, taking advantage of the opportunity to do research is very exciting for him, but in the end Robert plans to go to pharmacy school. Medicine has been of great interest to Robert since he was young. This passion led him to choose the Center for Wellness and Medical Professions at Boca Ciega High School in St Petersburg, Florida. Outside of the classroom, Robert loves to play guitar, try new foods, and go to the beach. Although the scenery is beautiful, the shining sun of the Bay Area makes it very easy to spot plastic waste lying on the ground. In an effort to keep the land clean, Robert joined and eventually became the president of the Earth Guardians St Petersburg chapter. His battle against plastic continues this Summer as an Energy Impact Fellow at the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy.

Sree Sundararaman '24

Sree Sundararaman is a rising sophomore and is planning to major in engineering physics. She was born in India and raised in Kenya. She is extremely passionate about sustainable energy and enabling access to clean energy in rural parts of Africa. In addition to this, she is passionate about sustainable agricultural systems, especially in water-poor countries. Outside of academics, Sree loves to bike, hike, cook, or any outdoor activity. Sree is very excited to work with the TomKat Center and gain hands-on experience working in sustainability so she can implement similar projects back at home, in Kenya. 

The 2021 Impact Fellowship graduate student mentor/teaching assistant:
Caroline Yuandi Ling '21, MBA/MS Environment & Resources Candidate, Stanford Graduate School of Business