Diversity brings varied perspectives, unique ideas, and creative solutions – which are all vital to scientific innovation.
The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) celebrates the integral role these institutions have played in our Nation’s history and the opportunities they have provided to many African Americans achieving their dreams through higher education.
Jahleel Hudson, a Howard University graduate and Engineer in NNSA’s Office of Defense Programs recently presented at the 2018 National HBCU Week Conference, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.
Hudson addressed the conference theme of “HBCU Competitiveness: Aligning Institutional Missions with America’s Priorities” by speaking about Strategic Partnership Programs – mutually beneficial relationships between NNSA and outside organizations in both the public and private sector.
“As the Nuclear Security Enterprise advances and strengthens its technologies, the economic, energy, and national security interests of the United States are increasingly enhanced for all citizens. We greatly encourage HBCUs to take advantage of these opportunities – to be a part of that prosperity and innovation,” Hudson said.
Scientific advancements made on behalf of NNSA’s missions are shared with the public sector through a process of careful patent licensing, cooperative research and development agreements, intellectual exchanges, and entrepreneurial programs known as Technology Transfer.
Hudson also recounted numerous initiatives at NNSA labs and sites to promote diverse entrepreneurship at local colleges and universities across the Nation.
He lauded the efforts of Sandia National Laboratories, which has engaged in many partnerships with HBCUs. Sandia Labs has licenses with seven HBCUs based on technology developed jointly with the laboratory and the universities. As an alumnus, Hudson is personally acquainted with an ongoing endeavor at Howard University in which Sandia Labs staff works directly with senior engineering students on their capstone projects.
All of NNSA’s labs participate in the Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (MSIPP). Hudson explained how a sustainable workforce pipeline of diverse new scientists is created by increasing awareness of NNSA missions and career opportunities while also enhancing students’ skills and knowledge.
Hudson mentioned that Kansas City National Security Campus proudly takes part in MSIPP by supporting two consortiums. The Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing pairs with seven HBCUs and the Advanced Manufacturing Network includes five Tribal Colleges and Universities. Additionally, 12 of the summer interns at Y-12 National Security Campus this year were MSIPP students.