Eric Dixon, of Knoxville, graduated in December 2013 with a quadruple major in philosophy, economics, sociology and global studies. His interests include issues facing central and southern Appalachia, growing the green economy and service-learning initiatives. He is vice president of the Honors Council, is involved with the Roosevelt Institute and SPEAK (Students Promoting Environmental Action in Knoxville), and is helping lead a campaign to encourage UT to invest responsibly. He has served in the Student Government Association and has worked for The Daily Beacon. He currently does sustainability policy from a behavioral perspective at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Dixon was a Baker Scholar and an active member of the Chancellor’s Honors community. He spent the fall of 2013 working on the final touches of his thesis at the University of Arizona in Tucson as a participant in the National Student Exchange Program and was a 2013 finalist for the Truman Scholarship.
As one of 15 Highlander Fellows, Eric will be in Whitesburg, KY working at the Appalachian Citizen’s Law Center, partnering with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and Mountain Association Community and Economic Development (MACED). The broad purpose of the fellowship is to transition the Central Appalachian economy towards one that is socially just, environmentally sustainable, and works for the people of the region. Whitesburg, located in Letcher County, KY, is in the middle of the coalfields, and there are multiple mountaintop removal sites in the area. Specifically, he will be working towards creating economic opportunities for former coal miners, as well as organizing environmental reclamation projects for the MTR sites. The method will combine both community organizing and policy work. He will also participate in monthly community organizing and skills training sessions at the Highlander Center.