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GEM Program graduates eighth cohort!

January 24, 2014


Kyle Geron reflected on how much work went into receiving a Master’s degree from the Global Energy Management Program at the graduation ceremony on Jan. 19.

“We’ve spend a lot of time in this program,” he said. “Earning a Master’s degree is not just about gaining knowledge, but also teaching ourselves how to think.”

Geron estimated that he and his fellow classmates completed 324 discussion posts, 240 hours of classroom lectures, 162 hours of online lectures, and 108 hours of online group meetings to finish the required 12 graduate courses. And, this didn’t include the hours spent reading, studying, writing papers, researching, and working on multiple projects.


Kyle Geron, of Cohort VIII, gives a speech during the ceremony.

“We’ve invested in more than just knowledge – we have invested in ourselves and the future of energy,” Geron said. “We’ve learned the ins and outs of the energy industry. We’ve learned that we don’t know all there is about the energy industry nor do we understand the potential that we each have to change it.”

Geron was selected to speak on behalf of his cohort. He was among 27 students who graduated from GEM’s Cohort VIII at the Four Seasons Hotel Denver. To date, the program has 180 alumni across the U.S. and abroad.

Chris Lewis, Chief Corporate Officer of DCP Midstream, was the program’s keynote speaker and delivered an inspirational message to the graduates.

“It’s not something that everyone does well,” he said. “Think about what’s important and how you lead your teams. It will define a culture – good, bad, or ugly – your example will define your organization’s culture.”


Chris Lewis, Chief Corporate Officer of DCP Midstream, was the GEM Program’s keynote speaker.

Lewis said that leaders inherit the culture they deserve.

“It’s easy to get caught up in leading people and to forget what is important,” he said. “There is an inherit need for relationships and, without them, the day-to-day work is messy and not very fun. … When you take over the reins remember this – there is a cohort 20 years behind you that you will be depending on like we’re depending on you. The more you invest in the next cohort, the better results you’ll get and the healthier you dividends will be.”

GEM Advisory Council member Stephen Richardson was honored with the GEM Appreciation Award for his service and dedication to the GEM Program, and Michele Motley accepted the GEM Staff Member Appreciation award. Professor Michael Orlando was voted by the students as the program’s Outstanding Professor a second year in a row. “I know that I asked a lot from my students because they told me that all the time,” joked Michael Orlando.

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