New memorandum of understanding between Brookhaven National Laboratory, SUNY Old Westbury launched

New memorandum of understanding between Brookhaven National Laboratory, SUNY Old Westbury launched
A group of 40 officials from Brookhaven National Lab took part in BNL Day at SUNY Old Westbury, the first activity undertaken under the new agreement. (Photo: SUNY Old Westbury Communications/P. Mauro)

A delegation from Brookhaven National Laboratory visited SUNY Old Westbury recently to kick start work evolving from a new memorandum of understanding between the institutions that seeks to create collaborative and mutually beneficial programs and activities for each institution.

In all, more than 40 leaders from BNL took part in discussions about shared research interests involved in the natural sciences, physics, data science and information science and the organizations’ common goal of building a pipeline for future generations of scientists and technicians who hail from communities with widely diverse backgrounds.

“SUNY Old Westbury and Brookhaven National Laboratory’s partnership is necessarily significant, powerful, ethical, and authentic, said SUNY Old Westbury President Timothy E. Sams. “Our partnership is significant in that it connects two known and proven institutions. It is powerful in that it amplifies each institution’s transformational work. It is ethical in that it is dedicated to improving the human condition. And it is authentic in that it is genuinely committed to access, inclusion, equity, and justice.”

A key element of the memorandum of understanding calls for the establishment of a project steering committee between the  institutions to foster the continued growth and development of the relationship.

Among its responsibilities, the steering committee will drive programs that support undergraduate STEM-related research opportunities, that foster collaborations between BNL research and technical staff and Old Westbury faculty researchers, and the sharing of opportunities and ideas concerning BNL’s planned Discovery Park.

Serving as “champions” of what is expected to be a growing relationship between the organizations are Susan McKeon, Brookhaven National Laboratory’s associate laboratory director for business services and chief financial officer, and Duncan Quarless, the university’s special assistant to the president for strategic advancement and a professor of chemistry and physics.

During “BNL Day at SUNY Old Westbury,” the BNL attendees met with faculty and staff of the School of Arts and Sciences and its Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Physics and Mathematics and Computer Information Sciences departments. Information was also shared about Old Westbury’s OW-STEAM and LEAP-UP programs, which collectively have earned $3 million in federal funding to create pathways for students from underserved communities into careers in science, technology and engineering.

BNL’s team also heard from professional staff who manage the campus’ Educational Opportunity Program, Collegiate Science and Technology Entry and its TRIO Student Success initiative. The program also featured research presentations by undergraduate students involved in research along with “lightning” talks by research faculty of both the University and BNL.

Among those visiting from the laboratory were Ann Emrick, deputy director for operations; Noel Blackburn, chief diversity officer; Maggie Sullivan, chief human resources officer; David Manning, director of the Stakeholder Relations Office; Ken White, manager of the Office of Educational Programs; Aleida Perez, manager of University Relations and DOE Programs; and Doon Gibbs, former lab director; along with BNL staff representing both science and operations organizations.

Primarily supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, Brookhaven National Laboratory is home to seven Nobel Prize-winning discoveries and more than 70 years of transformative science and technology solutions addressing energy, environmental, and nuclear challenges.

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