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Student creates portable generators to power underdeveloped countries

09.17.2012

What if developing countries had access to portable generators? How would it improve their lives? These questions typically aren’t on a freshman’s mind, especially one planning to double major in broadcast communication and graphic design and digital imaging.

However, Anthony Vita is not a typical freshman. HPU is proud to welcome a new class of outstanding students this fall. Many of them, such as Vita, have a lot to bring to the table.

Vita is in the early stages of developing a portable, durable and compact solar power generator. New ideas are constantly surfacing for people to help those in need, but Vita wanted his idea to do more – to create something that is capable of continually expanding.

“I wanted it to have the potential to create a trickle-down effect that goes far beyond what the generator can do,” he says.

In developed countries, it may be hard for some to understand the necessity of the type of technology Vita is creating. But in fact, roughly 20 percent of the earth’s population lives without electricity. Vita’s generator would be utilized in underdeveloped nations, providing power via solar origination rather than fossil fuels. Households with the generator would then be able to power lights, cell phone chargers and basic necessities. It could ultimately change lives and modernize a civilization.

“This idea has the potential to change the way people live. If you sit and think for a second about how many basic things we use in a single day that need electricity, it’s truly astounding. Electricity powers our lives, and by giving free, quiet, clean energy to undeveloped nations that they can use to power devices that contribute in a positive way to every aspect of their life, I feel something truly fantastic can happen!” says Vita.

Vita is keeping his constructions plans under wraps until patents are approved. Until then, he plans on opening doors of opportunity at HPU by working with faculty and fellow classmates. He believes HPU is going to be the place where some of the greatest help will come from with this project. Dr. Titus, professor of chemistry, is one of the faculty members Vita hopes to work with.

“As faculty, we like to help students ask interesting questions and find the answers to those questions,” says Titus. “Anthony Vita is doing just that. Physics faculty and physics majors can consult with Anthony on the project. We can help Anthony calculate the maximum energy attainable from solar power and how much energy is needed for light, heating water, etc. These calculations will help him know how to design such a generator and what its practical capabilities and limitations are. It’s an excellent example of science, entrepreneurialism and social activism working together.”

“I have eagerly awaited the beginning of classes so I can develop some new relationships,” says Vita. During Vita’s college search, his college counselor recommended HPU. After visiting the campus, Vita knew this was the place for him.

“I saw myself thriving in a certain type of environment; a smaller school, with incredible professors and facilities, and a very outgoing community,” he says.

Not only has Vita been developing the plans for his generator, he has been busy making connections for his career goals. As Vita is looking forward to pursuing a career in communication, connections are crucial. A natural go-getter, Vita wasted no time when he decided where he wanted to make those connections.

“I figured what better way to learn than from one of the largest news corporations on the globe? With little hesitation, I did some research online and found the President of CNN, Jim Walton, I called him directly.”

This attitude proved beneficial for Vita, landing him the rare opportunity, as a high school senior, to be a CNN intern. In addition to continuing his internship next summer, Vita will be a “CNN affiliate” over the next four years at HPU. While not an employee of CNN, he still will have the ability to report stories to CNN, thus serving as a “defacto” affiliate.

With his internship set and plans in the works for this great project, Vita has a bright future ahead of him, here at HPU and beyond.

“High Point is one of those rare places where I can thrive as both a student, focused on my declared majors, yet pursue a completely disjoint interest in physics with a professor who does not even have me as his student,” says Vita.

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