WRISE announces 2021 Rudd Mayer Fellowship and Wind at Our Backs recipients

May 21, 2021 • Recent Press Releases, Stories About WRISE

The eight awardees will be recognized at WRISE virtual luncheon happening next month

Brooklyn, NY —WRISE has selected six 2021 Rudd Mayer Memorial Fellows and two 2021 Wind at Our Backs Scholars. Each year, WRISE awards fellowships on a competitive basis to women and other underrepresented genders who are college students or recent graduates. The fellowship honors wind industry pioneer Rudd Mayer of Boulder, Colorado, who passed away in 2002.

In 2016, a new scholarship program launched for women in or graduating from degree and training programs for wind technicians. This new program is designed to help diversify the wind energy workforce and provide greater opportunities for women and underrepresented genders in the field.

Meet the 2021 Rudd Mayer Fellows:

  • Anu Makinde, University of Ottawa
  • Sarah Murphy, Rutgers University
  • Christina Ortega, Colorado School of Mines
  • Julianna Schroeger, Duke University
  • Anisha Sharma, Appalachian State
  • Lauren Thomas, The University of Texas School of Law

Meet the 2021 Wind at Our Backs Scholars:

  • Megan Jackman, Pinnacle Career Institute
  • Christina Myslinski, Northwest Renewable Energy Institute

“After a year that was so incredibly challenging and painful for so many in our community, I am thankful to have the opportunity to celebrate our current class of Wind Power Fellows. These talented individuals are ready, each in their own way, to tackle the challenges ahead, bringing their ideas and vision to build the clean energy future we need,” said Kristen Graf, Executive Director of Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy. “They are models of resilience and enthusiasm and I am excited about the hope they bring to the table today.”

The fellowship and scholarship normally covers the cost to attend the annual CLEANPOWER Conference and Exhibition, this year’s conference will have a virtual education and networking component this June that fellows will be able to participate in.

A virtual event is scheduled for June 4, 2021, from 1-3 pm ET that will recognize this year’s fellows as well as provide networking opportunities for the broader WRISE community. 


About the Rudd Mayer Fellowship: 

The Rudd Mayer Fellowship is WRISE’s way of supporting women in the academic community, college students and recent graduates, who are interested in expanding their knowledge and engaging in the renewable energy field by attending the CLEANPOWER Conference & Exhibition. The 2021 Rudd Mayer fellowship is made possible with the generous support of NextEra Energy.

About the Wind at Our Backs Scholarship:

Wind at our Backs is a new scholarship program for women in or graduating from degree and training programs for wind technicians. This scholarship which provides a tuition stipend, focuses on furthering the education of women in wind energy and is designed to help diversify the wind energy workforce and provide greater opportunities for women in the field. The 2021 Wind at Our Back Scholarship is made possible with the generous support of Vestas.

Both of these annual fellowship and scholarship opportunities are awarded on a competitive basis and selection is based on commitment to renewable energy development, academic achievement, potential for future contributions to the U.S. renewable energy community, and financial need.

About Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy:

WRISE was founded in 2005 and works to promote the education, professional development, and advancement of women to achieve a strong diversified workforce and support a robust renewable energy economy. Since that time, WRISE has grown to an organization with local chapters in the US and Canada; national programming that includes activities at renewable trade shows across the country, the Leadership Forum, Take Charge Workshops, mentoring, professional development and webinar series; and a growing grassroots network of nearly 15,000 clean energy supporters.