Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORNL earns award from HBCU's for support

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Aug. 6, 2007 — Support for efforts to advance educational and career opportunities for students has resulted in the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory being designated as a 2007 Top Supporter of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The honor was published in U.S. Black Engineer and Technology magazine. Engineering deans of 11 HBCUs that have produced 33 percent of the nation's black engineers voted in the survey.

The criteria for the award is based on participation or support of a school's infrastructure modernization, along with research support, participation on advisory councils, internships, co-ops, career opportunities, scholarships, stipends, student projects and faculty development opportunities.

"Most of these 11 HBCUs have participated in ORNL's annual Day of Science program, attracting around 200 students and faculty members from minority and majority educational institutions to experience the laboratory's environment through minority subcontracting opportunities or one of the many summer research opportunities," said Cindy Spence of ORNL's Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Program office. "The laboratory has made it a priority to be the best in class when it comes to offering these opportunities, and this recognition continues to reflect these expectations."

Spence said the laboratory's senior management has a strong commitment to supporting science education and maintaining a diverse workforce.

"One of the laboratory's goals is to deploy a workforce with particular emphasis on increasing representation of women and minorities," Spence noted.

The 11 HBCU' engineering deans who participated in the survey are from Tennessee State University, Alabama A&M University, Florida A&M University, Hampton University, Howard University, Jackson State University, Morgan State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University, Southern University and A&M College and Tuskegee University.

The laboratory also recently signed a Mentor-Protégé agreement with Morehouse College of Atlanta to assist students in the College's science programs, and promote research collaboration at both institutions.

The first such agreement between a historically black college or university and a Department of Energy Office of Science lab, the event was recognized in a brief ceremony at DOE headquarters in Washington, D.C.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.