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BNL, SUNY’s Zimpher and Killeen Say Goodbye to the 2012 Summer Students

Interns, mentors, Laboratory leaders and distinguished guests came together last week to commemorate the accomplishments of BNL’s summer students. This summer, over 150 individuals participated in one of the nine different internship opportunities offered by the Office of Educational Programs (OEP).

summer students

Some of BNL’s 2012 summer students from State University of New York (SUNY) schools meet with SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher (fourth from left) and Timothy Killeen, president of the SUNY Research Foundation.

Lab Director Sam Aronson addressed the crowd, emphasizing the value of a research experience at Brookhaven, both in technical growth and personal connections. Next, Frank Crescenzo, acting manager for the DOE Site Brookhaven Site Office, urged students to use what they had learned at Brookhaven to help build a better world.

“At the beginning of the summer, we encouraged you to continue pursuing a career in science or technology or engineering,” Crescenzo said. “We meant it then and we mean it now.”

Following Crescenzo was State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, this year’s keynote speaker. Zimpher, who is the first female SUNY Chancellor, holds a doctorate in teacher education and higher education administration from Ohio State University. She previously served as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and president of the University of Cincinnati.

In her talk, Zimpher discussed “The Power of SUNY,” her strategic plan to impact the world positively through the public education system.

Ken White, Nancy L. Zimpher, Sam Aronson, and Frank Crescenzo

(From left) Ken White, BNL Office of Educational Programs manager; SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher; Brookhaven Lab Director Sam Aronson, and Frank Crescenzo, DOE Brookhaven Site Office acting manager

“Every organization ought to have an ambitious, aspirational, and audacious goal, and the State University of New York has one. It simply is that we can be the economic engine for the revitalization of the state of New York and the quality of life of its citizenry,” she said. Zimpher then urged the students to plan, prepare, and work toward achieving their own goals.

Zimpher is working to infuse research and internship experiences into college curricula. She related her efforts back to Brookhaven, which has a partnership with SUNY in nanoscale science research, and stressed the value of collaborative effort. 

OEP Manager Ken White also highlighted the benefits of collaboration and networking. “The people you met this summer — the mentors, the faculty you may have worked with, the postdocs, the students next to you — can become lifelong friends or acquaintances,” he said. White also noted the BNL mentors’ generosity in sharing their time and expertise with the students.

The closing ceremony was preceded by a two-day poster session in Berkner Hall, where the students showcased what they had learned and achieved during their 10 weeks on BNL’s campus. The session included presentations in a wide variety of research areas at Brookhaven, including biofuels, spintronics, x-ray microscopy, radio telemetry, and superconductors. On hand to congratulate the students were Timothy Killeen, the SUNY Research Foundation president; David Lavallee, SUNY executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs; and Johanna Duncan-Poitier, senior vice chancellor for Community Colleges and the Education Pipeline.

summer poster session

Summer program participants at the poster session

“This summer, I’ve gotten the impression that the work I’m doing is really going to make a difference,” said Lamar Morgan, a Stony Brook University student who spent his summer working on PHENIX detectors. Morgan was featured in a short wrap-up video created by Brookhaven videographer Alex Reben. “Knowing that I can have a hand in the progression of a project known on the national level means a lot to me.”

STEM Hub Connections

During the chancellor’s visit, a luncheon was held with Long Island Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Hub partners, including representatives from academia and industry. Also attending was Margaret Ashida, Empire State STEM director, who has been a champion for the Long Island STEM Hub.

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