Western Carolina University
 
 
 

WCU STUDENT AND FACULTY COMPLETE FELLOWSHIPS
WITH OAK RIDGE INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE AND EDUCATION

Image: Tracy Zontek, WCU visiting professor in health sciences, performs air monitoring while Alex Puretzky harvests nanomaterials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
Tracy Zontek, WCU visiting professor in health sciences, performs air monitoring while Alex Puretzky harvests nanomaterials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
 

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education summer fellowships enabled a Western Carolina University nursing student and two faculty members to join teams of top researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

The U.S. Department of Energy hosts the institute to encourage research into health risks from occupational hazards, assess environmental cleanup, respond to radiation medical emergencies, support national security and emergency preparedness, and educate the next generation of scientists.

Amy Drakeford, a WCU junior nursing major from Lenoir, worked in a high temperature materials laboratory. I have been privileged to work with some of the world's most talented researchers, and I have learned so much from them, said Drakeford, who completes her internship Friday.

Drakeford worked with a physicist specializing in novel oxides with unique magnetic and thermal properties.  She also worked with Jane Howe, a researcher whose projects include establishing a new standard for nuclear graphite for the American Society for Testing and Materials, and Tracy Zontek, a WCU visiting professor in health sciences, on a project that entailed using an X-ray diffractometer and scanning electron microscopes. Drakeford and Zontek, as a result, co-authored a report that was presented in Toronto, Canada.

Zontek also assisted the Materials Science and Technology Division at Oak Ridge in a review of workplace safety. Her inspection of laboratories and research processes helped identify potential hazards and remediate them.

Another faculty member from Western, Burton Ogle, director of Western's environmental health program, worked with researchers at the Center for Nanophase Material Sciences. The summer fellowship marked his second consecutive at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and he has been invited to return in 2007.


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Last modified: Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Copyright 2006 by Western Carolina University