Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Mike Bradley ()
Communications and External Relations

Secondary Contact: Cassandra Stuart (mcgeecm@ornl.gov)
Minority Educational Institution Program
(865) 576-3560


Outstanding mentors and teachers honored at ORNL

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 14, 2008 — The U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge Associated Universities and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have recognized outstanding ORNL staff for mentoring students and teachers in laboratory education programs and throughout the community.

The Mentor and Education Champion Awards were presented recently at ORNL in a joint ceremony by ORNL's Minority Educational Institution Program and ORAU, which last year administered 34 education programs for ORNL, involving almost 1,100 participants from nearly 300 colleges and universities in the United States and around the world. Overall, in FY 2007 ORAU provided educational opportunities for more than 5,000 students and faculty members from 900 U.S. and foreign colleges and universities.

Bill Valdez, Director of the DOE Office of Science's Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists, was keynote speaker. ORNL Director Thom Mason, Assistant Laboratory Director Jim Roberto, and ORAU President Ron Townsend also were speakers at the event.

Johnnie Cannon, Strategic Planning Director, National Security Directorate, and Michael Smith, Astrophysics Experimental Group Leader, Physics Division, received the Education Champions awards.

Cannon was honored for his long-standing commitment to education, particularly minority education and his contributions in planning and leadership at Knoxville College. His contributions include creation and management of the college Leadership Team; counseling of students and their parents on financial and educational issues; and organization of the alumni association. He serves as a project liaison on the Health Awareness in African American Communities collaboration between Knoxville College and Meharry Medical College in Nashville. Cannon also helped the college establish Internet connectivity and develop long term dormitory refurbishment plans.

Smith has been involved in a large number of student mentoring efforts, hosting students, visiting schools to speak and traveling internationally to deliver student lectures. His recent efforts include the Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility Astro Workshop (30 graduate students); Adopt-a-Physicist participant with follow up lectures at the Webb school in Knoxville; lectures and career-day advice to Rhodes College in Memphis' Society of Physics Students; the Division's lecturer at ORNL Day of Science; nuclear astrophysics lectures and seminars to last summer's ORIAU-placed and other students (perhaps 150 attendees); taught a graduate course at the University of Tennessee; and conducted a seminar for 24 Tennessee Governor's Academy students last fall.

Mentor Awards were given to the following staff members for outstanding contributions to a variety of mentor and education programs:

Md S. Bhuiyan-Chemical Sciences Division Willem Blokland-Research Accelerator Division David Broughton-Information Technology Services Division Gary Capps-Engineering Science and Technology Division Kennon Carter-Physics Division Xiaohui Cui-Computational Sciences and Engineering Division Allen Ekkebus-Neutron Scattering Science Division Boyd M. Evans III-Engineering Science and Technology Division Barbara Evans-Chemical Sciences Division Steven Fernandez-Computational Sciences and Engineering Division Jaime Fernandez-Baca-Neutron Scattering Science Division Auroop Ganguly-Computational Sciences and Engineering Division Elias Greenbaum-Chemical Sciences Division David E. Hill-Computational Science and Engineering Division Forrest M. Hoffman-Computer Science and Mathematics Division Jeffrey Holmes-Research Accelerator Division G.E. Ice-Materials Science and Technology Division Dale P. Kaiser-Environmental Sciences Division Tatiana Karpinets-Computer Science and Mathematics Division Anthony King-Environmental Sciences Division Edward J. Michaud III-Biosciences Division Bruce A. Moyer-Chemical Sciences Division Hugh O'Neill-Chemical Sciences Division Yury N. Osetskiy-Materials Science and Technology Division Steven Owens-Nuclear Science and Technology Division Mariappan Parans Paranthaman-Chemical Sciences Division Rekha Pillai-Engineering Science and Technology Division Bradley Rearden-Nuclear Science and Technology Division James A. Rome-Computational Sciences and Engineering Division Adam Rondinone-Chemical Sciences Division Cecilia Rowe-Contracts Nagiza Samatova-Computer Science and Mathematics Division Chrissi Schnell-Neutron Scattering Science Division John T. Simpson-Engineering Science and Technology Division Roger E. Stoller-Materials Science and Technology Division Daniel Stracener-Physics Division Neil Thomas-Engineering Science and Technology Division Warren Kyle Thomas-Facilities Development Division Costas Tsouris-Nuclear Science and Technology Division Sudharshan S. Vazhkudai-Computer Science and Mathematics Division Thomas R. Watkins-Materials Science and Technology Division Don Williams-Information Technology Services Division Bruce Wilson-Environmental Sciences Division Leslie Wilson-Chemical Sciences Division Lakeisha Walker-Neutron Scattering Science Division

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