The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) welcomes the 2021 MLEF class of undergraduate and graduate students this summer. The 26thMickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) class kicked off with a two-day virtual event.
On Monday, June 7th, the kick-off event began with welcome remarks from MLEF co-founders, Captain Ernest R. Hunter, Sr., and Reginal Spiller. Participants then transitioned to breakout sessions to learn more about their host sites.
MLEF was created in 1995 to improve opportunities for under-represented students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field and strengthen a diverse pipeline of future STEM professionals. The program offers hands-on research and development experience under the mentorship of world-class scientists, researchers and program managers. This year’s program includes 54 undergraduate and graduate students representing 44 universities from 20 states and Puerto Rico.
On June 8th, Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for FECM Dr. Jennifer Wilcox, welcomed the MLEF program fellows and wished them a future of personal and professional growth. “I do have a feeling that even if we do not meet face to face this summer, that our paths will cross again in the future – since you all are the future STEM professionals who will be working on the energy and climate challenges of today and tomorrow.”
Fellows also had the privilege to hear from keynote speaker Alison Leland, JD, Director of the Honors Pre-Law and Public Service, University of Houston Honors College. During the afternoon session, speakers from various areas of work at DOE, FECM and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) addressed the incoming class and welcomed them to the organization.
This year’s participants will conduct research virtually with several DOE offices and laboratories. The program will conclude in August with a technical forum where participants will present their research findings. We look forward to hosting these amazing students and are excited about their contributions to FECM’s mission to minimize the environmental impacts of fossil fuels while working towards net-zero emissions.