Vienna, W.Va.—On Friday October 19, Ohio Valley University’s College of Business held the 2018 Energy Colloquium, its third in four years. The annual conference was well-attended by members of the community, OVU staff and students, and representatives of the energy industry, both from within West Virginia and from as far away as Denver, Colorado. There are several drivers behind this meeting, but students are at the center of all of it.
The Energy Colloquium was first organized in 2015 by Dr. Dan Blair, OVU’s Dean of the College of Business, as an opportunity for students to showcase what they had learned over the summer in their individual internships. In subsequent years, guest speakers were brought in to discuss our local and state economies as they pertain to the energy industry, and the event has become a significant networking opportunity, not just for students but also for business and energy professionals.
This year, eight Energy Management students shared their experiences from summer internships ranging from work in West Virginia’s coal mines to municipal work with clean water. Several students also regaled the audience with their experiences testing innovative new products as well as with the ongoing project to install solar panels on OVU’s campus, a benefit for the school and its students in the future. In every case, these young men and women gained the kind of irreplaceable hands-on work experience that our industry demands and which few of their peers are able to attain before graduation.
The Colloquium also featured three guest speakers from the energy industry with whom students were able to network and receive valuable information about the economic sector that many of them will enter in a few short years. Jeff Dimick, President of the ACE Educational Foundation, provided an update on the groundbreaking gasification project which is tied to OVU and expected to take shape in Vienna, WV, next year. Once it’s in place, many of our Business Administration students, Energy Management and Marketing students, and Biology students will have the opportunity to participate in the operation of the plant and “learn by doing.” Mr. Greg Kozera, Director of Marketing for Shale Crescent USA, provided an outstanding discussion of the significant economic opportunities the future holds in the Mid-Ohio Valley, most of them stemming from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays that exist right under our feet. He was followed by Dr. Kevin DiGregorio, Executive Director of the West Virginia Chemical Alliance Zone, who spoke about the state’s deep-well oil and gas extraction efforts that are expected to bring a new era of prosperity to our state.
The event was covered by Parkersburg News & Sentinel and WTAP-TV, the local NBC affiliate, which profiled one of our students.
“The OVU College of Business Energy Colloquium is an event we plan to continue and expand on for years to come,” notes Jason Nulton, Director, Energy Management & Production Engineering (EMPE) Program.
* * *
Chartered in 1958, Ohio Valley University is a faith-based, residential, liberal arts college founded by members of the Church of Christ. Students of all faiths are accepted and encouraged to apply. The university offers a variety of baccalaureate and master’s degrees to students from 26 states and 25 nations. To learn more visit www.ovu.edu.