“In order to grow, you have to expand your mind to new things. This trip enlightened me to new things that I didn’t know about before. Now, I can use what I learned and experienced and see how I can add it to my life to enhance myself to higher learning” says Senior Computer Science major Justin Crumpler.
On September 6th-7th 2018, the Fayetteville State University's Center for Defense and Homeland Security (CDHS) sponsored eleven S.T.E.M. students from Fayetteville State in a visit to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. ORNL, the largest science and energy national laboratory in the U.S. Department of Energy, is a federally funded research and development center. ORNL's scientific programs focus on materials, neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology, and national security. ORNL partners with the state of Tennessee, universities such as Fayetteville State, and other industries to solve challenges in energy, advanced materials, manufacturing, security, and physics. 11 students were hand selected to represent FSU and their various departments on an all-expense paid educational trip to learn what ORNL has to offer. The classification of students ranged from freshmen to seniors and the majors represented were computer science, biology, math, and chemistry. On their visit, students toured sites such as the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility where they had the opportunity to observe the operations of supercomputers such as Summit, the world's fastest supercomputer. "My interest in Computer Science and 3D Printing was increased as I witnessed both supercomputers (Titan and Summit) and their 3D Printed Car in their laboratory" says senior Computer Science major Jeremiah Prieto. During the visit, they were accompanied by the STEM Workforce Development Recruiter responsible for the year-round hiring of interns. This made for a great networking opportunity for students interested in obtaining a future paid internship with the lab. "I soon will be putting in an application to attend their internship for the summer. I appreciate Mr. Harris for giving me information about this trip; I also hope that it is around next year so that more students don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity" says Junior Forensic Science/Forensic Biology major Brittany Willingham. The trip was a huge success in that each student walked away more aware of how their major can impact society through the research method. "It was really great seeing students in their element and having the opportunity to learn how the knowledge they are gaining in the classroom can be applied in their area of discipline to one day change the world" says Mr. Mose Harris IV, Program Manager for Federal Internships at FSU's Center for Defense and Homeland Security (CDHS). "This trip serves as an excellent example of our ongoing Mentor-Protégé Partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU)" says Mr. John Bellamy, Interim Director of FSU's CDHS.
* A special thank you to Mrs. Andrea Bennett, Department of Math and Computer Science and Department of Chemistry and Physics Academic Advisor, for her assistance in identifying students.