The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) kicked off the 22nd year of the Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) program on June 12 in Washington, DC. Undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students representing 39 universities from 24 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Colombia will participate in a 10-week summer fellowship providing hands-on research experience under the mentorship of FE scientists, engineers and program officials.
The MLEF was created in 1995 with the goal of promoting opportunities for underrepresented students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The program helps students gain insight into how the DOE is striving to meet the energy challenges of the future and enables them to foster lifelong connections with peers.
At this year’s kickoff event, Doug Hollett, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, welcomed the 2017 class, encouraging them to openly ask questions and make the most of their opportunity this summer. The students also heard from keynote speaker Mrs. Alison Leland, Director of the Bonner Leaders Program and instructor of Political Science in the Honors College at the University of Houston.
In the afternoon, a leadership panel gave Fellows the opportunity to ask questions to a group of panelists including Dr. Linda Kimberling, Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of FE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL); Alison Leland; Captain Ernest Hunter, Sr., MLEF Co-Founder; Mr. Christopher Smith, Former Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy; and Mr. Reginald “Reggie” Spiller, MLEF Co-Founder.
The students will now begin their 10-week program onsite at DOE Headquarters, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), or one of the other DOE Laboratories. At the end of the program, Fellows will attend a “Technical Forum” where they present their research findings and tour a nearby technical site.