Cecil College students make impact in internship roles at new power plant


Two Cecil College engineering students are spending their summer helping operators at Cecil County’s newest power generation facility prepare for its launch later this year.

The college has partnered with local businesses, including Old Dominion Electric Cooperative’s Wildcat Point Generation Facility in Conowingo where Elizabeth Hikins and Tyler Bishop landed full-time, paid internships.

The plant, with an estimated cost of three-quarters of a billion dollars, will provide electricity for member cooperatives that include Choptank Electric in Maryland and Delaware Electric Co-op, Greenville.

Hikins, a Bohemia Manor High School graduate, and Bishop, who came to Cecil College by way of Oxford High School in Pennsylvania, started their internships with ODEC in May and immediately saw how their classroom studies related to the plant’s operation.


“I’ve already gotten so much out of it,” Hikins said. “There are so many examples of physics around the plant, especially thermodynamics.” Bishop said he had the opportunity to participate in water testing with the plant chemist and noted that his lab work at Cecil helped him better understand the process.

“At first I was nervous about being a female in a traditionally male industry, but they’ve all been so nice and willing to answer any questions I have,” Hikins said. “My supervisor is very good at explaining complex information in an easily understandable way.”

According to Hikins and Bishop’s supervisors, the students have made positive impressions on their managers and co-workers as well.

Jeff Shute, Wildcat Point Generation Facility operations manager, praised Hikins’ eagerness to take on new tasks and her ability to apply what she is learning at Cecil to her duties at the plant.

“Lizzie has exceeded all of my expectations for an engineering student intern,” said Shute. “I know that whatever the future holds for her, she will definitely be successful.”

Hikins attributes part of her success to Cecil College physics, engineering and geosciences professor Gail Wyant for preparing her for this opportunity.

Likewise, Bishop said working with Cecil’s student life coordinator, Lisa Reynolds, and vice president of community relations and college advancement, Chris Ann Szep, during his time on the college’s Student Leadership Council has helped him become a more outgoing person.

After Hikins’ shift at ODEC, she fills her evenings by attending class three nights a week and working part time at Applebee’s in Newark. She is also a member of the college’s Robotics Club and participates in weekly club events.

Upon graduation from Cecil, both students plan to transfer to four-year institutions to continue their education.

Facebook Comments
Previous articleState continues to take action against homes, businesses tied to criminal activity
Next articleChristiana Care again makes Most Wired Hospitals list
Delaware Business Now is a four-year-old, five-day-a-week newsletter and website operated by Bird Street Media LLC. Publisher and Chief Content Officer is Doug Rainey, a 30-year veteran of business journalism in the state of Delaware.  Business Now focuses on breaking business news in Delaware and immediate adjacent areas with apropriate background and perspective. Also offered exclusively in our FREE newsletter is commentary on state and regional issues. Have a complaint, question or even a compliment? Send an email to drainey@delawarebusinessnow.com. For advertising information, click on the About tab at the top of the home page Our business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call us at 302.753.0691.