On February 17, 2021, the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity (ED) in collaboration with Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) and Microsoft, hosted an “Empowering and Transforming our Communities” webinar designed to highlight current opportunities for students and faculty members at minority serving institutions (MSIs) and leaders of minority business enterprises (MBEs). The webinar was designed to provide stakeholders a glimpse into the various opportunities.

Dr. Desmond Stubbs, ORISE Director, STEM Diversity Initiatives, kicked off the event by highlighting multiple programs at ORISE, DOE’s largest Science and Energy Laboratory. In FY 2020, ORISE facilitated workforce development experiences for over 8,057 program participants that included 30% percent from Minority Serving Institutions. Of these MSIs, 87 were Hispanic Serving Institutions and 38 were Historically Black Colleges and Universities, representing all states.

Program participants were exposed to ORISE programs such as: GEM Fellow Internship Program, Mickey Leland Fellowship Program, HBCU/MEI Faculty Summer Research Program, and other workforce development experiences with short term (10 weeks or less) or long term (10 weeks and more) for all academic levels. Additionally, Dr. Stubbs shared tips on how to find internships, resources to search for opportunities at ORNL and other federal laboratories and agencies at zintellect.com. Additional information can be found on the ORISE website.

Mr. Damon House, Senior Business Program Manager, Microsoft, expressed his passion for STEM education and highlighted a strategic vision for communities of color. Education, health care nutrition and economic development are just a few of the topics being addressed at Microsoft. Microsoft believes it’s important to engage universities and students. Not only are they looking at the academic side but the technology side to bolster the educational process. The “Empathy in Action Program” is tailored to the HBCUs and MSIs community-based programs and smart city engagements. Interacting with students and universities, helping with different entrepreneurial programs, innovation competitions, (Hackathons), etc., creates an environment where research and development of products are appreciated.

Additional information can be view by visiting the video ORISE & Microsoft Empowering and Transforming Our Communities.