Aiken, S.C. – Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) recently hosted a Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Management (EM) Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (MSIPP) Collaborative Workshop and Job Shadowing Event.
The three-day event was led by SRNL’s Inventor of the Year Simona Hunyadi Murph, Ph.D., and included students and professors from Tennessee, SRNL DOE Office of Science Visiting Faculty Program participants, and scientists and engineers from SRNL. Fisk University, Tennessee State University, Meharry Medical College, University of South Carolina Aiken, University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez, Benedict College, and the University of Tennessee-Martin were represented. In all, participation included 70 SRNL personnel, five DOE Office of Science Visiting Faculty Program participants, two Visiting Faculty Program students, and 12 Tennessee Consortium faculty members and students.
The program included tours and observations of SRNL’s laboratories and Savannah River Site field activities as well as a collaborative workshop between scientists and professors to inspire and initiate efforts to support DOE-EM missions and career exploration activities. Individualized job-shadowing opportunities matched students with SRNL mentors for a day, with the goal of increasing awareness of career opportunities throughout DOE.
“Our innovative strategies to engage both students and faculty members from prestigious universities across the country in developing our future workforce for the execution of DOE-EM mission needs is a unique model for success that I and my colleagues are truly proud to be committed to,” said Murph. “As our program continues to thrive, we will expand our career bridging initiatives to ensure we achieve our goals for success.”
Tennessee State University Professor Bharat Pokharel, Ph.D., said the visit was memorable and very productive. “We learned a lot and my students enjoyed visiting sites, shadowing with the scientists from SRNL and learning what SRNL offers for them. I personally had a great time and saw numerous opportunities to engage and collaborate with SRNL,” said Pokharel.
SRNL manages the DOE-EM sponsored MSIPP, which promotes the education and development of the next generation workforce in critical science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) related disciplines that compliment current and future DOE-EM missions.
“Engagement with Minority Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities provides an opportunity to inform students about the real challenges of the EM mission and position a future workforce pipeline,” said SRNL’s EM-MSIPP Program Manager Vivian Holloway. “Events like the SRNL and Tennessee Job Shadowing are critical to the success of this effort.”
To learn more about the DOE-EM MSIPP, visit https://www.linkedin.com/company/minority-servinginstitutions-partnership-program/.
Savannah River National Laboratory is a United States Department of Energy multi-program research and development center that’s managed and operated by Battelle Savannah River Alliance, LLC (BSRA). SRNL puts science to work to protect the nation by providing practical, cost-effective solutions to the nation’s environmental, nuclear security, nuclear materials management, and energy manufacturing challenges (https://srnl.doe.gov/).
SRNL employee Vernon Bush (center) and SRNL summer intern Jadrien Huell (right) of Claflin University conduct a job shadowing activity with students Tredarius Lassiter and Tommy Applewhite. The group is monitoring a LabView Data Acquisition System in SRNL’s Engineering Development Lab for a prototype melter system used to treat radioactive surrogate waste.
Spencer Gordon, a student from Tennessee State University, is exploring SRNL’s flying probe machine in the process of reverse engineering while participating in the Job Shadowing and Collaborative Workshop event at SRNL.