Following is one of 28 first-person alumni profiles that were compiled in a photo book for the Park Foundation Trustees in September 2016 and updated recently. Each alumnus was ask to share highlights of his or her path from receiving the Park Scholarship to the present day.
Name: Dr. Ben Gaddy ’07
High school: Montgomery Blair High School
Hometown: Kensington, Maryland
Undergraduate field(s) of study: Electrical Engineering; minor in Middle Eastern Studies
Additional degrees: Ph.D., NC State, 2013; MBA, University of Chicago, 2019
Current place of residence: Chicago, Illinois
Current job title and employer: Director, Technology Development at Clean Energy Trust
At Clean Energy Trust, I help startups harness the power of science and innovation to solve the biggest problem of our generation: climate change. As a nonprofit, our mission is to bridge the “valley of death” between fundamental research and widespread deployment of the technology. In my role as Director of Technology Development, I work with founders and researchers to help them define their market, customers, and strategy.
My career trajectory would not have been possible without the Park Scholarship. The flexibility and support offered by the Park enabled me to pursue undergraduate research in the bioelectromagnetics laboratory, which in turn prepared me for my later doctoral studies. When I graduated, I was able to choose a career path based on the impact I could make—rather than have to worry about repaying student loans. This let me work in government, academia, and now at a nonprofit. And finally, I owe something even more important to the Park Scholarship: my Park classmate Jordan O’Mara introduced me to my wife, Matney. We welcomed our first child, Sidney, in November.
I can thank the Park Scholarship for introducing me to some of the most passionate, caring, and driven people in the country, and my life would not have been the same without the Park Foundation.