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CareerLink showcases internships, research opportunities for minorities at ORNL

ORISE and ORNL host 43 faculty and undergraduates from minority institutions for networking event

Dec. 23, 2016

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) recently partnered with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to host a CareerLink Event Day that provided a full day of networking and workshops for faculty and undergraduate students from minority institutions.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists Programs and held at ORNL, this inaugural event benefitted 43 distinguished faculty and undergraduate students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Education Institutions (MEIs) who are interested in career opportunities with DOE or its national labs.

“Events like this help excite and educate faculty and students from our nation’s minority education institutions about STEM-related careers,” said Craig Layman, Ed.D., associate director with ORISE. “Students learn more about the critical mission areas of ORNL and, at the same time, network with potential mentors who are among ORNL’s top scientists and engineers.”

The CareerLink team developed an innovative tool called a Mentor Matrix and used it to match and connect participants’ areas of study to ORNL research areas. Pre-event interactive webinars allowed faculty and students to submit curriculum vitae and technical documentation about current research interests. These pre-event activities prepared faculty and students for high-caliber career and networking sessions.

The CareerLink Event Day workshops provided faculty and students with information and tools, so they could successfully apply to two of DOE’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists Programs: the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships Program and the Visiting Faculty Program.

Additional support for the event was provided by Jim Roberto, Ph.D., associate laboratory director of Science and Technology Partnerships at ORNL, and Ian Anderson, Ph.D., director of Graduate Education and University Partnerships at ORNL, who served as keynote speakers and provided highlights about current research and the career opportunities research programs present.

To help recruit participants, ORISE coordinated with ORAU. ORAU administers a broad range of internships, scholarships, fellowships, and research experience programs and maintains a network of colleges, universities and federal agencies across the nation. ORISE leveraged ORAU’s University Partnerships Office to reach out to top-tier faculty and students from ORAU’s member universities within its HBCU/MEI Council communities.

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