A thesis paper on renewable energy policies has garnered Landon Cass ’20 the Vannicelli Washington Semester Away Award for the Spring 2019 semester.
The Vannicelli Award, named for the late Holy Cross political science professor and Washington Semester director Maurizio Vannicelli, is given each semester to the student who produces the best thesis during the Washington Semester Program.
While in Washington, D.C, Cass, an economics and political science double major, interned at the consulting and lobbying firm Flywheel Government Solutions. There, he worked on different consulting projects, focusing on state-level policies and looking at renewable energy. His thesis, titled “Renewable Energy Policy in a Changing World,” explored the subtleties of people from different sides of the aisle pushing for similar ideas.
When he was back on campus, Cass discussed his thesis in a presentation in the Rehm Library. “The policies I’ve looked at are those policies that impact pretty much everybody,” says Cass. “If you consume energy, which we all do, you’re impacted by these policies. To be able to dive into those in a very in-depth way has been really rewarding.”
Now in his final two semesters on The Hill, Cass’ time in Washington, D.C. has changed his perspective on college — and what comes after graduation. In fact, Cass already has his next move lined up — a post-grad job at a major defense contracting company. “That workplace understanding has shaped how I’ve chosen my classes and how I focus on different assignments. I’m doing things that I know will benefit me in a work setting.”
“Before going to Washington, I went through all my classes really focused on the readings,” he says. “I still do that, but now I do it with a much more targeted perspective.”
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