Weatherization Wizards

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JMU students Melissa, Yen, Isabella, Max, Jake and Brendan meet with CAAV members Laura Dansby and Joni Grady on February 8.

For the spring semester of 2016, CAAV’s efforts to increase home weatherization in the Harrisonburg area through the Community Housing Program-administered Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is getting a boost of energy from six JMU interns, self-dubbed the Weather Wizards. Their main goal will be to work on overcoming barriers to spreading the word about and getting homes more energy efficient through the federally funded WAP home weatherizing program which is free for income qualified families. The past year’s efforts have only succeeded in getting work done on six area homes.

The Weather Wizards are: Isabella Bauer, Max Florence, Yen Lopez, Brendan Queenan, Melissa Swan and Jake Walters, all taking Dr. Jennifer PeeksMease’s Organization Communication class. More about them below.

“The Weather Wizards’ mission is to assist the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley (CAAV) in their weatherization initiative, while maintaining their standard of beliefs and values. Using our resources effectively, we aim to spread awareness of energy
issues, as well as communicate effectively with community members.”

Among items under discussion are finding out what has worked in other communities, talking to families who have successfully navigated the application process to find ways to facilitate this, and developing an effective flyer as an outreach tool.

CAAV welcome’s the talent and energy of these JMU students!

Max Florence: I am a creative individual who enjoys analyzing and debugging structural
processes, primarily in movies. I excel at viewing a situation holistically and finding
solutions that benefit a group rather than an individual.

Isabella Bauer: I am an organized and dedicated student with an interest in identifying
organizational structures and creating ways in which to help them better perform.
Through past experience working in an office setting, I can aid in organization
management as well as applying knowledge to benefit others. In addition, I am a German
minor and can use my language skills to benefit the group as necessary.

Jake Walters: I’ve worked in a variety of fields that have had a focus of dealing with
many different clients (construction, appliances, food delivery, sports management). I
also have a genuine interest in participating alongside an organization that looks to
benefit the public. Additionally, I do have an Italian minor and although I wouldn’t say
I’m fluent, these skills could be helpful when needed. I’m a pretty easy guy to get along
with as well, and look forward to helping my group in any way that I can.

Yen Lopez: I am a junior Media Arts & Design and Public Relations double major. I
enjoy applying creative processes to find solutions to problems. I am bilingual; I can
speak fluent English and Spanish. I look forward to working with CAAV and aiding
diverse background families.

Melissa Swan: I am majoring in Communications Studies with a minor in Environmental
Studies. I very much enjoy learning about the natural world in which we live and I am
excited to work towards the goal of weatherizing homes of those in my community. I am
a very organized and persistent student who enjoys utilizing creative processes that will
solve communication issues that exist around me.

Brendan Queenan: I am an individual who enjoys a team environment and excels in
managing multiple tasks. Although I do not see myself as a big picture person, I do
believe that I am an individual who is fully capable of coordinating team members and
assigning roles in addition to conflict mediation.

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