Team

Program Co-Founder and Co-Director Hal Aronson is a solar teacher, innovator and educational program developer. As Co-Founder and Director of WE CARE Solar, Hal created the We Care Solar Suitcase which serves as the foundation of the We Share Solar program. Hal has been teaching renewable energy in California for 18 years. He co-created the Solar Schoolhouse which brings solar curriculum and teaching technology into California Schools. He also created California Youth Energy Services, a service-learning program than now employs over one hundred youth a year as energy-efficiency retrofitters. Hal creates project-based learning and curriculum for students of all ages from third graders to licensed electricians. He leads professional development workshops for educators and has developed solar electricity programs for several colleges and institutions, including Solar Energy International. He installed the first legal residential solar electric system in Santa Cruz County in 1983. He obtained his Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz where his dissertation focused on environmental justice. Read more about Hal and his work for We Care Solar on the We Care Solar Team page.

Gigi teaching Solar SuitcaseProgram Co-Founder and Co-Director Gigi Goldman leads professional development workshops for We Share Solar in New Jersey. She serves as a strategic consultant to social businesses focused on addressing challenges in the developing world. After spending a decade in classic, corporate product management for General Mills, Inc. and Minnetonka Corp., she founded Gianna International Inc. in 1992. GII is a social business which focuses on sourcing and distributing product between Asia, Latin America and US companies, including major department stores. Gigi’s international work has led her to the awareness of basic needs in distressed parts of the world. In addition to We Share Solar, Gigi also works closely with FEED, a social business that sells product to feed youth in the developing world through the UN World Food Program. Ms. Goldman holds an M.B.A. from The Carlson School of Management, and a B.A. in English Literature from Carleton College. She serves on the board of We Care Solar, McCarter Theater in Princeton, NJ and has held many leadership positions on the board of PDS, a leading independent day school.

Wendy bio picWendy Cross, We Share Solar Program Manager, has worked in international development and non-profit management for over a decade, with a special affinity for Africa and education programs. She recently served as the Director of Programs and Operations for Teach With Africa and as Co-Producer of EdTech Summit Africa. Wendy began her international work while living in rural South Africa developing and managing sustainable development projects with grassroots organizations and also worked as a Grant Writer for The Global Fund for Children. Wendy received a Masters in Sustainable Development with a concentration in Community Development Management from SIT Graduate Institute and holds a Bachelors degree in Film and Television Production from Chapman University.

Pic for webMolly Naughton, We Share Solar Program Coordinator, is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. She found her footing in the Bay Area’s film scene as a production coordinator at George Gucas’ Industrial Light and Magic and across the bay at Pixar Animation Studios. These past several years, she has been spending time in one of her favoriate places, amidst hordes of kids. As a member of the Palo Alto Unified School District, Molly has been teaching the students the finer are of playground diplomacy. With all the additional practice, she has perfected the art of playing well with others.

Carol Weis in SeattleProgram Consultant, Carol Weis has been active with We Share Solar and has taught in our We Share Solar Professional Development programs. Carol has been teaching PV courses at Solar Energy International in Colorado  since 1998. Internationally, Carol has led solar technician trainings in  several countries including Haiti, Sierra Leone, and India. She has written Solar Energy International’s PV and Advanced PV curriculum and instructed in both the hands-on and online workshops. Through her work in the industry, Carol has traveled internationally to Nicaragua, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Haiti, and Mexico. Carol is the co-founder of SEI’s Solar Sisters group, a discussion forum for women working in, or aspiring to be part of, the renewable energy industry, and leads our We Care Solar Women Ambassadors Program. Carol is a licensed electrician. Her credentials also include: NABCEP Certified PV Installer Cert #: 093006-33, and ISPQ Master PV Trainer Cert #: US-0016.

Teaching Advisor Alan Jensen taught Social Sciences and Industrial Technology at Central Coast High School on Monterey Peninsula for 15 years. Additionally, he is the owner of a building company called Jensen Design/Build. Alan was introduced to the We Care Solar Suitcase at a Solar Energy International workshop where he met Drs. Hal Aronson and Laura Stachel. Alan is among the very first educators to build Solar Suitcases with students. “I have seen my students become totally engaged in hands-on learning of electricity and solar principles. They have also become true humanitarians by giving the gift of light to others in less fortunate situations than themselves. They begin to see the world in a new way and become ambassadors for making the world a better place for all. I am very proud to be part of the We Share Solar team and am looking forward to helping more youth experience the benefits and rewards of learning while also giving to others in need.”

Curriculum Advisor Laura Walters has created curriculum for Solar Energy International’s PV training program and co-authored their PV textbook series since 2006. She has been an instructor for We Share Solar workshops in Northern California. Through SEI, she has led Native American trainings, Solar in the Schools installations, PV online courses and PV lab courses. Recently, she became a We Care Solar Ambassador and helps to design curriculum and training manuals for Solar Suitcases. Laura has a B.S. in Environmental Science with a focus on renewable energy and climate change from Dickinson College, PA. Her passion for renewable energy and advocacy began in high school where she led the way for a solar electric system initiative. After graduating from Dickinson, she collaborated on the effort to elevate sustainability as an important topic in the college’s strategic plan, creating one of the first sustainability programs nationwide.

Technology Advisor Aminy Ostfeld is a Ph.D. student in Electrical Engineering at UC Berkeley. Her research is on printed and flexible electronics, with a focus on organic solar cells. She also teaches elementary school students about renewable energy with Bay Area Scientists In Schools (BASIS), and has helped to develop and teach an undergraduate course on solar cells at Berkeley. She holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Brown University.

 

The Solar Suitcase

We Care Solar designs portable, cost-effective Solar Suitcases that power critical lighting, mobile communication devices and medical devices in low resource areas without reliable electricity.

By equipping off-grid medical clinics with solar power for medical and surgical lighting, cell phones and essential medical devices, We Care Solar facilitates timely and appropriate emergency care, reducing maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, and improving the quality of care in Africa, Haiti and other regions.

> Learn more about the Solar Suitcase
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Donate to WE CARE Solar

We Care Solar promotes safe childbirth in developing countries. Your donations allow us to fulfill requests from clinics around the world in need of Solar Suitcases. Donations also help us integrate new medical applications for the Solar Suitcase, expand our programs, and build a network of local Solar Suitcase trainers and technicians. We welcome and deeply appreciate your support.

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