Amanda McAlpin has always had many interests, and tying them together is something that is very rewarding for her. While at Mississippi State University, pursuing a degree in Communication, Amanda learned about the Challenge X program. Though she was not in engineering, she was fascinated by science and transportation, and Challenge X was a way to learn more about those things while using communication skills.
“Watching the engineers take apart a vehicle and improve it is absolutely fascinating to me,” said Amanda. “I’d hang around the shop, just to see the work that was going on with our team’s vehicle.”
Amanda began doing outreach for the program, and soon found that the variety of activities and projects was diverse and challenging. She had to not only learn about vehicle components, but also work with the engineers to sculpt a targeted outreach plan that would communicate the program to others.
“One of the most fulfilling parts of being in Challenge X that has continued through my career is the partnership between team members working in different fields,” said Amanda. “It takes people from all backgrounds and with a variety of skills to move a project forward, and that process and interaction makes me excited.”
“One of the most valuable parts of being involved with AVTCs was the relationships I built through the program. I still work with people who are now in the automotive field whom I originally met from another team in Challenge X. It’s great to have that network of colleagues and friends.”
Amanda recently began in a new position at Argonne National Laboratory, where she’ll coordinate the Clean Cities University Workforce Development Program, and will still provide support to AVTCs. In this position, she’ll help place students at Clean Cities Coalitions across the United States.
“I think one of the greatest aspects of AVTCs is that it allows for those in non-engineering fields to be exposed to energy efficiency,” said Amanda. “This is the future of our automotive industry, and the more people who understand it, the better.”
Please help us in welcoming Amanda to the AVTC family!