The Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) welcomed the 27th Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) class of undergraduate and graduate students in a kickoff event at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in Washington, D.C. on June 2, 2022.
MLEF was created in 1995 to improve opportunities for under-represented students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and to strengthen a diverse pipeline of future STEM professionals. The program offers hands-on research and development experience under the mentorship of some of the foremost experts working in energy today. This year’s program includes 49 undergraduate and graduate students from 14 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico—collectively representing 38 universities.
The event opened with a keynote message from Alison Leland, JD, Director of the Honors Pre-Law and Public Service, University of Houston Honors College. Mrs. Leland shared advice with the 2022 class as well as background on the founder of the MLEF program, Mickey Leland, and his work to encourage students to make the most of the learning opportunities available during their summer experience.
Students then heard from Mr. Brad Crabtree, FECM’s Assistant Secretary, who offered an overview of the office’s mission and priorities along with further encouragement and advice for the 2022 class.
“This summer at the Department of Energy, you’re going to be working with some of the best scientists, engineers, researchers, and national laboratories that exist anywhere in the world. We’re fortunate to have those innovative thinkers and researchers, but we’re also fortunate to have all of you,” said Mr. Crabtree.
“What you’ve achieved by being selected for this program is significant and important for the future of this country. As STEM students, you are leading our nation’s energy research well into the future. With this fellowship, you have the opportunity to contribute to developing climate and environmental solutions not only for DOE, but for the world.”
Throughout the day, students also heard from David M. Turk, Deputy Secretary, DOE, who emphasized how they are arriving on the carbon management scene at a critical time, when the nation needs the best and brightest STEM experts working to address energy challenges. And they heard from panels of FECM and National Energy Technology Laboratory leaders, who shared more insight on FECM’s focus areas and structure, offering students a sneak peek at their host sites for the summer. The day’s program closed with remarks from MLEF Co-Founder, Reginal “Reggie” Spiller.
This year’s participants will conduct research either in person or virtually with several DOE offices and laboratories. The program will conclude in August with a technical forum where participants will present their final research findings.
We look forward to hosting these students this summer and seeing the contributions they will make to FECM’s mission to minimize the environmental impacts of fossil fuels while working toward net-zero emissions. To learn more about the MLEF program and the application process, click here.