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GEM’s Gems July 2014 – Melinda Harrington

July 13, 2014

During the month of July, the GEM Program would like to thank all military veterans who are a part of the GEM Community for their service. Throughout the month, our GEM’s Gem blog will be celebrating the accomplishments of several of these patriots.Mel Headshot 4

Melinda Harrington of Cohort X served in the U.S. Army from 1999 to 2003 as a HUMINT Collector, aka Interrogator. She has been stationed at Fort Jackson, Fort Huachuca, the Defense Language Institute, Fort Bragg, and the U.S. Embassy in Caracas Venezuela.

“I liked the idea of serving my country and the instant independence it provided,” Harrington said. “I discovered the possibility of becoming an Interrogator at a job fair my senior year of undergrad. … I mainly conducted target audience analysis for counter-narcotics and demining missions in Central and South America.”

Harrington, 36, is an Energy Program Planner at Fort Bragg, NC and supports the facility’s energy program. The program hosts a portfolio of energy projects and initiatives to reduce energy demand through promoting conservation and energy efficiency. 

“A day at my desk is never the same,” Harrington added. “I appreciate the dynamic nature of my job. “

What do you enjoy most about working in the energy industry?
I really enjoy the dynamic nature of the energy industry. My job is never mundane and neither are the opportunities in the energy industry. The most appealing part of being in the energy industry is that there is an opportunity to have a positive impact on the use of our natural and fiscal resources.

How has the GEM program benefited you?
The GEM program has enlightened me on intricacies of resource extraction and upstream and midstream energy sectors. I’ve also met an incredible group of people that I’m thankful to have as part of my network.

What are some of your favorite things to do during cohort weekends?

I enjoy socializing with the members of Cohort X whether we’re at a happy hour at the Four Seasons or seeking out the foodie spots on Larimer Square.

What are some of the things that you never forget to bring to cohort weekends?
I never forget my computer, lint brush, or umbrella (I’m a native Oregonian). 

Please share a story about GEM that will entertain other students.
Oh man! This is a tough one. There are many stories that have provided a chuckle. All that I can say is that Cohort X is comprised of an amazing group of people who are fun and intelligent.

Why did you choose the GEM program at CU Denver?
The GEM Program gave me the opportunity to understand the technical side of the energy industry with a business lens.

Is there anything else new in your life that you would like to add?
I’m recently engaged to an amazing man who supports me and understands the hours I must devote to homework.   


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