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Michelle Yun brings electrons and law to a broader community

A first-semester class in her chemical engineering program showed Michelle Yun what power means to each of us and set a path for her life and work.

“The Biography of Energy seminar walked through the history of humans generating and capturing energy, studied our relationship to and dependence on energy and talked a lot about what was next,” Yun said. “It really inspired me to commit the rest of my career to the energy industry, because it’s such an invisible but powerful force in our lives and behaviors.”

Yun joined Alliant Energy in 2016 as senior attorney. She currently serves as senior manager of strategy and electrification and focuses on encouraging electrification, primarily through transportation. Yun is working to convert the Alliant Energy fleet to electric vehicles and to encourage customers to adopt electric vehicles.

“There is so much creativity and passion in the work we do,” she said. “It’s not just about keeping electrons flowing, although that is incredibly important to our customers. We think a lot about how to ensure no one is left behind.”

Toward that same end, Yun developed a program in Madison that encourages local, diverse talent toward the legal community. Tipping the Scales brings attorneys, judges, and other local legal leaders into high schools to share their knowledge and experience.

“This gives students a law school-like experience in a topic that is relatable and relevant, like cyberbullying or freedom of speech against school policies,” Yun said. “It also is taught by a diverse attorney or judge from our community. This allows young people to see themselves as a lawyer in the future and helps them realize there is room at our legal table for them.”

For many of these students, interactions with the legal community had been negative until their Tipping the Scales experience. For one student, a bad memory of family court had deterred her interest in law.

“This can turn a person away from the legal profession,” Yun said, “making it seem adversarial and about breaking up families. By the end of the experience, that student saw many avenues and purposes of the legal profession, and she talked about how she might want to be a lawyer someday to advocate for children in these family disputes.”

Those moments are exactly what Yun hoped for from Tipping the Scales, and she wants to broaden the program and eventually bring it to other cities.

“We have such talented young people right here,” she said. “While we do focus on recruiting the best and the brightest to our service area, we can also invest in our own communities to grow that diverse talent right here.”

Yun’s volunteer efforts and commitment to her community demonstrate how she uses her energy for good. She has earned a 2022 VIP Award from Alliant Energy.

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While we do focus on recruiting the best and the brightest to our service area, we can also invest in our own communities to grow that diverse talent right here.
Michelle Yun

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