Alumni & Testimonies

"When I look back on my college experience, IDEASS is what I am most proud of. Through this course I developed the confidence to work as a professional while carrying out a project that made both educational and physical contributions to the Santa Cruz community. I additionally discovered my passion for solar energy and was able to add new skills to my resume. I now work in the solar industry, and I appreciate the background and dedication my IDEASS teachers/mentors have provided because they helped lead me to this path. I encourage all students to take this class; the knowledge and experiences I gained are invaluable."

Alexa Schroeder, IDEASS Student 2011-2012, employed at Solar City


“IDEASS has helped me prepare for the ‘real world’ more than any previous class or experience in my college career. The 'learning by doing’ motto is no gimmick! Seeing my off-campus project evolve, change, grow, and change some more in the community was hard work, but definitely paid off and was a huge confidence booster. The connections I made with my project mentors and stakeholders has opened up job opportunities after graduation, and I have definitely taken advantage of this. IDEASS instructors are the best teachers/ coaches/ mentors at UCSC for making your project prosper and I can't thank them enough.”

Ryan Heywood, IDEASS student 2011-2012


"IDEASS taught me more about how to be successful after college, both in academia and professionally, than any course I took at UCSC. IDEASS let me work on a meaningful and challenging year-long project, teaching me skills in programming, project management and engineering. It was these skills I gained through IDEASS that lead me to being accepted to every graduate school I applied to, as well as being hired by NASA Ames." 

Samuel Kahn, Applied Physics Major, IDEASS student 2012-2013


"I currently work in South East Asia with a nonprofit organization called Sustainable Cambodia. In this position, I help monitor their Rainwater Catchment and Bio-sand Filtration Systems that have been installed in the surrounding rural villages. Before these systems were installed, many villagers would have to travel over rugged terrain to collect water of poor drinking quality. With the systems installed, villagers have had more time for work and education and also have reported a decrease in water related illnesses. If it had not been for my experience with the Rainwater Harvesting Project under the IDEASS course, I would have never come to a position like this. This opportunity is a direct outcome of my working on the Rainwater Harvesting Project under the IDEASS course. IDEASS gave me the necessary ‘hands on’ knowledge in project implementation, project organization, engineering, and water science to have an impact and to make a real difference in the workforce. The guidance of the IDEASS instructors and mentors has been invaluable. I highly recommend IDEASS to anyone who wants a real impactful experience during college."

John Ford, IDEASS Student 2012-2013, employed at Sustainable Cambodia

Sustainable Cambodia Rainwater Catchment System