WRISE and GRID Alternatives announce winners of solar fellowship

September 1, 2022 • Recent Press Releases, Stories About WRISE

The seven aspiring solar professionals selected will attend RE+ in Anaheim

WRISE and GRID Alternatives today announced the 2022 Rising Solar Fellowship recipients. The fellowship offers an opportunity for chosen individuals to network, receive mentorship, and professional development. Part of WRISE and GRID’s workforce diversity initiatives, the program is aimed at anyone identifying as a woman or marginalized gender training for careers in installation and design, as well as college and graduate students studying renewable energy and related fields.

Meet the 2022 Rising Solar Fellows:

    • Alexandra Cornacchia, University of Pennsylvania, BA, Environmental Studies
    • Somtoochukwu Ik-Ejiofor, University of Texas at Austin, MPA, Public Affairs and Energy Policy
    • Sarah Montañez, University of Michigan, BS, Mechanical Engineering
    • Kayla Partridge, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, Certificate in Microgrids
    • Kiran Anand Rekha, University of Colorado – Boulder, MENV, Renewable and Sustainable Energy
    • Seda Sarp, New York University, BSc, Chemical Engineering
    • Chris Stone, Swarthmore College, BS, BA, Engineering and Environmental Studies 


“Building a diverse and equitable workforce is an essential part of making progress to a more sustainable future. It’s crucial that we are intentional in providing opportunities that reflect this understanding – we can’t just recognize the importance of equity, we have to invest in programs that truly strive to recruit and retain diverse talent in our industry. This year’s cohort of fellows is an incredible example of what our future can look like if we continue to create the space for younger generations to connect, explore, and develop the solutions to the many challenges of today,” said WRISE Executive Director, Kristen Graf. “I’m so grateful for our partnership with GRID Alternatives and our sponsors that allows us to provide these opportunities that support the amazing students and graduates that are the next generation of renewables.”

“GRID is excited to be partnering with WRISE once again on this impactful fellowship. Our fellows this year have interests that span the industry from solar project management, to design, engineering, clean mobility and storage. We’re grateful for the opportunity to be part of their journey and to continue our efforts towards creating a more equitable renewable energy industry,” said Lauren Friedman, Senior Workforce Operations Manager at GRID Alternatives.

The fellowship offers virtual education and networking sessions, and covers the cost to attend RE+ 2022. 


About GRID Alternatives

Renewable energy can drive economic growth and environmental benefits in communities most impacted by underemployment, pollution and climate change. GRID Alternatives is a leader in helping economic and environmental justice communities get clean, affordable renewable energy, transportation, and jobs. Internationally, our energy access work is lighting up off-grid communities in Nepal, Nicaragua, and Mexico. GRID envisions a rapid, equitable transition to a world powered by renewable energy that benefits everyone.



Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE) formerly called Women of Wind Energy (WoWE) was founded in 2005 and accelerates the transition to a sustainable and equitable energy future by igniting the collective power of community. WRISE has local chapters across the US and Canada; national programming that includes the annual luncheon, Leadership Forum, fellowships, the Speakers Bureau and webinar series; and a growing grassroots network of more than 15,000 participants. The organization is supported through hundreds of volunteer hours and the generous contributions of individuals as well as corporate partners. www.wrisenergy.org