Identifying and successfully recruiting high-quality students and recent graduates is the centerpiece of any workforce development program. From traditional recruitment strategies to the more complex, niche recruitment activities needed to attract specific scientific talent, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) lead recruiters excel in the recruitment of a diverse and qualified pool of applicants. Through well-developed networks that span the United States and abroad, we attract thousands of applicants each year for federally funded national programs. 

Our success would not be possible without the creative and tireless efforts of our core recruitment project managers. Meet some of them below and see what tips they have for both recruiters and students alike!

Jennifer Casey

Jennifer Casey

Jennifer is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) project manager located in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Previous to her project management career, she was a chemistry teacher and a NASA STEM teacher liaison for the State of Tennessee. Jennifer has a background in anthropology, administration, science education development, group travel planning and recruitment. As an ORISE project manager, Jennifer administers appointments for various U.S. Department of Energy programs for the National Energy Technology Laboratory, the Oak Ridge Environmental Management Office and the Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship Program.

Jennifer’s top tip for recruiters: Invest time in developing relationships with multiple university placement offices. A few days before a career fair, send out a digital copy of your program brochure to the career services office and ask if they can set up a time for you to meet with students in your area of interest before or after the career fair. Students actively use their career services to look for internships and employment.

Jennifer’s top tip for students: Federal employers have different application and resume requirements than private companies. Did you know that a resume for federal employment should include as much information as possible? A multiple page resume is typical for Federal employment, but a one page resume is typical for a private company.

Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn.

Karen Cleveland

Karen Cleveland

Karen is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education recruiter and senior program specialist located in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Karen brings Project Management Professional expertise and communication strengths to her recruiting initiatives. Her experience includes working with international customers at a Fortune 500 organization and advising international and graduate students at a flagship university. Her passion is building relationships with recent graduates and ensuring their success during pivotal career moves.

Karen’s top tip for recruiters: Use the wealth of information found at university websites and target faculty in the research areas needed. Build a relationship with faculty based on what you can offer their students. The higher the degree level recruiting, the greater the “buy in” response from targeted faculty you will experience.

Karen’s top tip for students: Join a club on campus related to your research focus and take a leadership role. Employers are increasingly asking for candidates with communication and leadership skills. Recruiters seek out club membership rosters and contact members directly about job opportunities.

Connect with Karen on LinkedIn.

Leslie Fox

Leslie Fox

Leslie is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) project manager located in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Before joining ORISE, Leslie served as an engineering career consultant for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the director of adult career advancement services and community relations for Tusculum College Graduate and Professional Studies. Her professional background in marketing, business development, networking, and recruitin—as well as a passion for helping students and graduates excel in their career development—guides her in her current role where she recruits and administers appointments for Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In her free time, she is an avid reader of mystery and fantasy novels, passionate about animals (particularly her two dogs) and volunteers for her local community fair.

Leslie’s top tip for recruiters: Remember the basic marketing principle that it takes seven “touches” before someone internalizes your marketing plan or call to action? That principle applies to students as well. If you want the top students, be sure to do more than just visit a campus for the big career fair once a year. Instead, you need to form a relationship. To do this, identify your key universities and then ask career services how you can get involved year-round. Layer your interactions with students and faculty by offering informational sessions, interview workshops, class presentations and student club events. Can you provide staff to assist on move-in day, sponsor a student club competition during spirit week or host an alumni networking event? What about offering your expertise to faculty to serve as an advisor for student projects? The more the campus knows you and your organization, the more likely you are to get top candidates.

Leslie’s top tip for students: When applying for an internship or job, be the “obvious” fit. Study the posting description, the organizational website and literature, LinkedIn profile, etc. Then identify your key strengths and skill sets that fit the needs and language used by the company. Mirror that language in your application, resume or cover letter whenever possible. Make it obvious that you can deliver what they need and are the best fit for the opportunity!

Connect with Leslie on LinkedIn.

Michelle Goodson

Michelle Goodson

Michelle Goodson is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education section manager located in Oak Ridge, Tenn. In her role, Michelle leads the recruitment and human resources team who support a number of Scientific Assessment and Workforce Development missions. Michelle is an integral member of numerous teams that oversee project management, talent management and retention, and process improvements. Michelle is an expert on full-cycle recruitment, metrics, and application development and she is a senior certified professional of the Society for Human Resource Management.

Michelle’s top tip for recruiters: Make contact with advisors, career services representatives and undergraduate research offices. Be sure to close the loop by saying thank you for a direct referral that led to a completed application or selection. This helps the university contact know that his/her time is well spent and that you acted on his/her recommendation.

Michelle’s top tip for students: Be authentic! Present the real you in all aspects of the recruiting process. Review the opportunity description and tailor your application responses to show how you fit the position through your unique skills, talents, education, training and passion. Make the connection so clear that the recruiter cannot help but think you are a superb match!

Connect with Michelle on LinkedIn.

Amanda Hurley

Amanda Hurley

Amanda is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) project manager located in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Previously, she worked for Monster.com, where she recruited top talent, managed various projects and developed retention strategies for companies across the U.S. Hurley has a background in recruitment, marketing, sales and organizational communication. As an ORISE project manager, she recruits for and manages the relationship with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Research and Development Office. She is the subject matter expert for recruiting trends and technology.

Amanda’s top tip for recruiters: Be social! Social media is the fasting growing source for research participation program candidates. Don’t believe me? Go to Twitter and search #HireMe. Candidates are looking for you and your organization on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Open the door and let them in so they can picture themselves at your organization. Plus, if you need to fill a position quick, the most immediate responses comes from social sourcing.

Amanda’s top tip for students: Proofread your resume and then proofread it again, and then have someone else proofread it. Errors and typos are not ok on something that becomes an organization’s first impression of you.

Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

Mike Janney

Mike Janney

Mike is a recruiter for the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education located in Belcamp, Maryland, and recruits qualified applicants across highly specialized disciplines for the U.S. Department of Defense research programs such as the Army Public Health Command, Air Force Research Lab, Air Force Institute of Technology and Army Corps of Engineers. His area of expertise is in developing recruitment strategies to build a talented diverse candidate pool in support of client recruiting initiatives through the use of in-person presentations, electronic and print media, and through his extensive network in industry and academia.

Mike’s top tip for recruiters: Continue to develop relationships with faculty and career service personnel. This will improve the accessibility to students and recent graduates for educational research opportunities.

Mike’s top tip for students: Utilize your career service office for resumes reviews, interview tips and access to actively hiring organizations.

Connect with Mike on LinkedIn.

Sharon Rice

Sharon Rice

Sharon is a recruitment specialist for the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education located in Belcamp, Maryland. In this role she supports recruitment efforts including marketing, advertising and social media for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, U.S Army Environmental Command and the Department of Public Works. Sharon is currently pursuing a master’s in business administration. She previously worked in the academic and non-profit sectors.

Sharon’s top tip for recruiters: Since 'job seekers' spend the majority of their time online, social media is a great way to leverage candidates. You can target your audience by posting opportunities on your social media platforms. If your audience does not identify with the opportunity, providing a link could encourage them to share the announcement with someone else who could potentially be a better fit.

Sharon’s top tip for students: Get out and network! Make sure to get involved in industry events in your area... attend career fairs and conferences, join professional associations, there you can meet with recruiters and build connections with professionals in the industry.

Connect with Sharon on LinkedIn.

Carl Rodgers

Carl Rodgers

Carl Rodgers is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) section manager in Belcamp, Md., and currently oversees a team that administers ORISE appointments with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). He provides management, recruiting, quality assurance, and operational support to a number of DOD installations around the world. Prior to his section manager role with ORISE, Carl worked as a recruiter and has experience as a headhunter with an international placement firm.

Carl’s top tip for recruiters: Connect and become a familiar with university faculty, advisors, professors and career service staff. This allows for the university team to connect their students with opportunities and helps the recruiter fill open projects as well as their talent pipeline. Once in place, this relationship will continue to produce while you as a recruiter can build elsewhere.

Carl’s top tip for students: Network, network, network! You never know when and where that next opportunity may present itself. Having contacts professionally, academically, and personally will ensure that you position yourself in a place where options will present themselves.

Connect with Carl on LinkedIn.

Krystle Wagemann

Krystle Wagemann

Krystle Wagemann is a recruiter for Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) located in Belcamp, Maryland. She recruits candidates for research participation programs with sponsors such as the National Geo-spatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center (CERDEC) and the Army Research Lab (ARL). Her area of expertise is developing recruiting strategies with universities to increase student participation in research. She previously worked in higher education planning career fairs, creating unique recruiting events, and creating connections between students and employers.

Krystle’s top tip for recruiters: Be proactive in your outreach to universities! Having emails, flyers, and social media posts drafted for universities before you reach out makes it easy on them to share your opportunities with the students, faculty, and candidates you want to reach. A well-crafted message can make all the difference!

Krystle’s top tip for students: Don’t be afraid to get feedback on your resume! A good resume doesn’t happen on the first draft and having other people take a look is a great way to get an okay resume to a great resume.

Connect with Krystle on LinkedIn.

Beth White

Beth White

Beth White is a project manager for the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) located in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Prior to ORISE, she was a faculty development professional and professor with 23 years of experience in higher education teaching. Beth holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology and research and has a strong background in education, faculty development, psychology, management and professional editing. As an ORISE project manager, Beth administers appointments for various federal entities including the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Beth’s top tip for recruiters: Students have strong ties to their faculty as well as their institutions, and those two groups have a great amount of influence on their students’ decisions. Don’t underestimate the influence of faculty and career services staff on potential participants. Taking time to build relationships with the gatekeepers from colleges and universities from which you want to recruit is time well spent. Personal emails or a phone call to a particular department are small things that can result in a large return. If the gatekeepers trust you and understand your programs, it is far more likely they will refer their students.

Beth’s top tip for students: While your college or university may have told that your resume should be one to two pages at the most, federal employers have a different perspective. They want to see all accomplishments and work related to the advertised opportunity. Consider creating a curriculum vitae, or CV, to showcase your research and publications.

Connect with Beth on LinkedIn.