Savannah River hosts workshop, job shadowing event

July 19, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
Savannah River National Laboratory employee Vernon Bush, center, and SRNL summer intern Jadrion Huell, standing at right, of Claflin University, conduct a job shadowing activity with students Tredarius Lassiter, seated at left, and Tommy Applewhite. (Photo: DOE)

A three-day Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (MSIPP) event, led by Savannah River National Laboratory researcher Simona Hunyadi Murph, was held recently at the South Carolina site, according to a release by the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM). The event included a collaborative workshop, job shadowing, and a tour of the laboratory and Savannah River Site field activities.

Managed by SRNL and sponsored by DOE-EM, the MSIPP promotes the education and development of the next-generation workforce in critical STEM-related disciplines that complement current and future DOE-EM cleanup missions.

“Our innovative strategies to engage both students and faculty members from prestigious universities across the country in developing our future workforce for the execution of DOE-EM mission needs is a unique model for success that I and my colleagues are truly proud to be committed to,” said Murph. “As our program continues to thrive, we will expand our career-bridging initiatives to ensure we achieve our goals for success.”

The participants: According to DOE-EM, the MSIPP event drew nearly 90 participants, including students and professors from Tennessee, SRNL DOE Office of Science Visiting Faculty Program participants, and scientists and engineers from SRNL. Taking part were representatives from Fisk University, Tennessee State University, Meharry Medical College, University of South Carolina–Aiken, University of Puerto Rico–Mayagüez, Benedict College, and University of Tennessee–Martin.

The collaborative workshop between scientists and professors was intended to inspire and initiate efforts to support DOE-EM missions and career exploration activities. Individualized job shadowing opportunities matched students with SRNL mentors for a day, with the goal of increasing awareness of career opportunities throughout the DOE.

They said it: “We learned a lot and my students enjoyed visiting sites, shadowing with the scientists from SRNL and learning what SRNL offers for them,” said Tennessee State University professor Bharat Pokharel. “I personally had a great time and saw numerous opportunities to engage and collaborate with SRNL.”

MSIPP program manager Vivian Holloway added, “Engagement with minority serving institutions and historically black colleges and universities provides an opportunity to inform students about the real challenges of the EM mission and position a future workforce pipeline. Events like the SRNL and Tennessee job shadowing are critical to the success of this effort.”

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