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Undergraduate Research Experiences

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) provides undergraduate participants with a better knowledge of their anticipated field of study. By conducting authentic research while networking with researchers and fellow students, participants expand their expertise into new areas.

Experiences of undergraduate participants are highlighted in the following profiles and videos:

Michael Capozzoli

Michael Capozzoli

Michael Capozzoli, a participant in the NETL Summer Internship Progam, studied computer programming and now is employed by a NETL contractor to work on a new website.

Paris Cornwell

Paris Cornwell

Paris Cornwell, a participant in the Laboratory Technology Program at ORNL, traded his pizza delivery job for an opportunity to help make a future delivery person’s vehicle safer and more fuel efficient.

Eric Dulmes

Eric Dulmes

Eric Dulmes, an undergraduate in the DHS Scholarship Program, characterized explosives and blast effects to support aircraft vulnerability testing and assessment.

April Gillens

Shaun Galvan

As a participant in the DHS HS-STEM Summer Internship Program, Shaun Galvan worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory synthesizing gold and silver particles to enhance Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy analysis of explosive substances.

April Gillens

April Gillens

April Gillens interned in the Earth and Environmental Science Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory where she determined stable isotope “signatures” that could help stop illicit trafficking of nuclear materials.

Leslie Koyama

Leslie Koyama

Leslie Koyama, a participant in U.S. DHS HS-STEM Internship Program, spendt the summer researching the mechanisms of DNA repair at Sandia National Laboratory.

Ezinne Nwankwo

Ezinne Nwankwo

Ezinne Nwankwo, an undergraduate at Emory University and a summer intern for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at Sandia National Laboratories, is investigating ways to improve more rapid technology for DNA “fingerprinting.”

Christopher Tomkins-Tinch

Christopher Tomkins-Tinch

Christopher Tomkins-Tinch participated in the Undergraduate Student Cooperative Education Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory where his research could help the U.S. government fight biological weapons of mass destruction.

Justin Vadas

Justin Vadas

Justin Vadas is exploring ways to incorporate a magnet in refrigeration applications to provide cooling at a low-cost, efficient and environmentally-friendly manner. He is conducting research as part of the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship Program at ORNL.