UNG Business Students Tour Energy Plant

Staff Report

Tuesday, January 24th, 2023

Students in the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Mike Cottrell College of Business toured Southern Company’s Plant Vogtle last November at the invitation of Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols.

Louisa Schlesiger, Raven Dodson-Bankston, Sara Bruni, Tristan Taylor, all seniors pursuing bachelor's degrees in management; Joe Wytanis, a Cottrell Master of Business Administration student; and alumnus Matthew Frey attended the tour.

Hugh Scott, UNG lecturer of management, reached out to Echols about the opportunity. The students also participated in a post-tour segment on "Energy Matters," Echols' podcast

Wytanis found the experience particularly insightful.

"As someone who works professionally in a completely different industry than energy, it was fun to learn about the systems and processes that contribute to a major part of our energy grid in Georgia," Wytanis said.

Schlesiger, a Lawrenceville, GA, resident, also appreciated the unusual nature of the tour.

I felt honored to participate in these experiences. Nuclear power is usually not something that is discussed in detail, nor do we get to see a nuclear power plant in person. So this was memorable," Schlesiger said. "Energy matters, especially for our generation and those that follow, so this felt like a starting point for me in terms of personal interest and career aspirations."

Scott already sees the possibilities for future similar student experiences.

"I'd love to incorporate this more into my teaching. It's a matter of finding out where students’ curiosity is and tying it back to the subjects you’re discussing," Scott said. "These things are not just words in a textbook. When you can do these things, they become tangible."