What began as an invitation to be a guest speaker for a class
turned into a show-and-tell on the Milford Campus of Southeast
Business instructors Chelsea Reese and Janet Scott teach
Introduction to Sustainability each fall (and Reese teaches it
online during the Winter Quarter), and both attended last month's
Sustainable Living Festival in Lincoln.
At the event, Reese met several Tesla owners, including Dan
Pickerill, chief executive officer of Digitec Inc. in Milford, and
Dr. Zijun Hao of the Lincoln Surgical Group.
"It started out as an invitation to speak to the five classes I
teach this quarter on the Milford Campus and the upcoming class in
the fall in Lincoln," Reese said. "Interest blew up quickly after I
mentioned the potential visit to my students and a couple
Reese pitched the idea of getting the automotive programs on the
Milford Campus involved in the Sept. 2 visit. She sent an email to
program chairs and deans on Aug. 28. By the afternoon of Aug. 30,
Reese had interest from more than 250 students, faculty and
"More requests to send students kept coming in right up to the
last session," she said. "I guess you could say my 'show and share'
SCC President Dr. Paul Illich and his wife Gail also were on
campus to get a close look at the vehicles.
Pickerill and John Hao, son of Dr. Hao, shared their experiences
with the cars, specifications of the respective vehicles, past and
future Tesla business plans, and the importance and relevance of
the technology behind the vehicles.
"Obviously, there is more to purchasing a Tesla than gas
savings," Reese said. Each car retailed for around $110,000.
Reese provided students with specifications for the Model S, as
well as an emailed copy of the glossy brochure.
"Technology behind sustainable options fascinates me," Reese
said. "I was overwhelmed that my side interests were so well
received by the Milford Campus. I've had some really great
conversations with colleagues about what their industries are doing
to further efforts to become more environmentally friendly. I find
interdisciplinary collaboration very important. It is support,
feedback and participation like what I saw that really allows me to
enjoy what I do."
Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers in
California's Silicon Valley who wanted to prove that electric cars
could be better than gasoline-powered cars. The Tesla Roadster
debuted in 2008. Four years later Tesla launched Model S, the
world's first premium electric sedan. The automaker now has more
than 50,000 vehicles on the road worldwide.