ORISE Future of Science Awards Awards celebrate ORISE's 30th anniversary and outstanding participant achievements

Winners of the inaugural awards were announced on September 15, 2022

Brooke Vollmer - Undergraduate Student and Post-Baccalaureate Award

Brooke Vollmer

Brooke Vollmer is an ORISE fellow in the Research Branch at the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL), which is a division within the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) located in Pittsburgh. Vollmer received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in Spring 2020. Throughout her education, she gained her research experience at NIOSH/NPPTL, first as a summer intern (2019) and regular fellow (2020-2021) prior to beginning her ORISE journey (2021-present). Vollmer has contributed to an abundance of research projects within her division and by representing NIOSH/NPPTL in research collaborations with outside organizations. She has focused her efforts on research that looks into understanding the factors that affect respirator performance, such as fit and filtration efficiency. This research helps to protect workers worldwide who rely on respirators to prevent occupational disease and illness.

Geneva Gray - Graduate Student and Post-Master’s Award

Geneva Gray

Geneva Gray is a doctoral candidate in Atmospheric Sciences at North Carolina State University and a current ORISE participant at the Environmental Protection Agency. She studies how extreme precipitation events change under future warming conditions using stakeholder-driven case studies and extreme value analysis. Geneva holds two Bachelor of Science degrees in Meteorology and Environmental Sciences and a master’s degree in Atmospheric Science, where she studied quantitative methods on climate model ensemble selection. She is a former U.S. Geological Survey Global Change Fellow and Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network Fellow. Geneva started her career in 2012 as an environmental meteorologist at the North Carolina State Climate Office where she learned how to build impact-driven research projects and how to communicate those result to the general public. Her career goal is to lead actionable climate science for a resilient future.

Ryan Corey Postdoctoral Award

Ryan Corey

Ryan Corey is an Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellow working with Professor Andrew Singer in the Coordinated Science Laboratory at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree from Princeton University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, all in electrical engineering. A hearing aid user since he was a teenager, Corey’s research focuses on signal processing strategies to help people hear better in noisy environments. In particular, he is developing systems that allow multiple sensors and audio devices to work together to improve performance in adverse environments. Since 2017, he has mentored a team of engineering, design and business students in the Illinois Augmented Listening Laboratory, which explores applications of large-scale microphone arrays and acoustic sensor networks. Corey has received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant, the Microsoft Artificial Intelligence for Accessibility Award, and the Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. He was also awarded the Workshop on Applications of Signal Processing to Audio and Acoustics 2019 Best Student Paper Award and the 179th Acoustical Society of America Meeting Best Student Paper Award.


To honor the 30th anniversary of the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, we are proud to announce the inaugural Future of Science Awards. This prestigious award recognizes excellence performed by ORISE participants in the areas of scientific achievement, professional growth, project contributions, and leadership.

Prizes: Cash prizes of $1,000 will be awarded to the selected nominee in each of three categories:

  • Undergraduate student and post-baccalaureate participants;
  • Graduate student and post-masters participants; and
  • Postdoctoral participants.

In addition, winners will receive a personalized plaque and may be featured in future ORISE podcasts, social media, and feature articles. For more information, contact us at ExperienceORISE@orau.org.