Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education announces winners of its 2023 Future of Science Awards

December 21, 2023

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) announced the winners of its 2023 Future of Science Awards. These prestigious awards recognize excellence performed by ORISE participants in the areas of scientific achievement, professional growth, project contributions and leadership in three categories: undergraduate student and post-baccalaureate, graduate student and post-master’s, and postdoctoral. Each winner received a cash prize of $1,000, an award plaque, and recognition from ORISE.

ORISE Director Jim Vosburg presented the 2023 ORISE Future of Science Awards during a virtual ceremony to the following ORISE participant winners:


Annie Price—Undergraduate Student and Post-Baccalaureate Award

Annie Price is a researcher at the Air Force Research Laboratory, working within the high-speed systems division. Her research focus is on ramjet inlet design and analysis. She graduated from Princeton University in May of 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree. She is a former participant in the Air Force Institute of Technology program under the U.S. Department of Defense with Jose Camberos, Ph.D., and Ramana Grandhi, Ph.D., as her mentors.

Reese Tierney—Graduate Student and Post-Master’s Award


Reese Tierney is an epidemiologist in the Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During her tenure in CDC’s ORISE Research Participation Program, Tierney assisted CDC scientists with several high-priority projects, including the development of foodborne illness source attribution estimates, investigation of disparities in foodborne illness and analysis of social and environmental factors associated with salmonellosis. As a key member of the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration, Tierney also collaborated with scientists in multiple federal agencies. Reese’s goal is to continue to build a career in public health with an emphasis on the epidemiology of foodborne, waterborne and environmental diseases. She holds a Bachelor of Science in public health from Georgia Southern University and a Master of Public Health in epidemiology from Georgia State University. Reese participated in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases program at the CDC with Erica Rose, Ph.D. and Beau Bruce, M.D. Ph.D., as her mentors.

Jenny Paul, Ph.D.—Postdoctoral Award


Dr. Jenny Paul is an ORISE postdoctoral fellow with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf Ecosystem Measurement and Modeling Division in Gulf Breeze, Fla., and EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Division in Gulfport, Miss. She received her doctoral degree in zoology from the Center for Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences from Southern Illinois University. As an ecotoxicologist, her work is focused on understanding how environmental stressors and pollution affect aquatic ecosystems. She was awarded the National Science Foundation’s International Research Experience for Students and Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship fellowships to pursue research in some of the most pristine and polluted systems on the planet, from mountain streams in Patagonia to large rivers of central Europe. Her specialty is benthic ecology, animals that live on the bottom of a water body, which are used as bioindicators of habitat health. At the EPA, Paul is developing rapid assessment tools using marine invertebrates to better assist natural resource managers and monitoring programs in the northern Gulf of Mexico. These include techniques like sediment profile imaging which takes pictures that are later scored for animal activity and approaches using environmental DNA to evaluate the benthic community. Additionally, she serves as a technical adviser to the Pensacola and Perdido Bays Estuary program, including science adviser to the Oyster Committee and support for monitoring and environmental assessments. She is also an instructor for a liveaboard marine biology techniques course taught during semester breaks through Southern Mississippi University and the EPA. Paul performs her research through the EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Program Office with Janet Nestlerode, Ph.D., as her mentor.

For more information, and to watch for information regarding next year’s Future of Science Awards in spring 2024, visit the ORISE Future of Science Awards website.

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The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) asset that is dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research, and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system by providing world class expertise in STEM workforce development, scientific and technical reviews, and the evaluation of radiation exposure and environmental contamination.

ORISE is managed by ORAU, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, for DOE’s Office of Science. The single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.osti.gov.