The Laboratory hosted 18 faculty members from 14 of the nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) last week during a joint visit sponsored by the Department of Energy's Office of Economic Impact and Diversity.
A number of local business members and entrepreneurs also participated in the meeting. The goal of the meeting was initially to increase the Laboratory's engagement with HBCUs -- a commitment stated by Director Parney Albright at his first all-hands meeting nearly a year ago.
A second goal of the meeting was in response to a request by DOE for the Laboratory to help pilot an initiative aimed at increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in technology transfer activities.
"What resulted from these two objectives was an exciting interaction among Laboratory researchers, economic development and industrial partnership professionals, HBCU faculty and local current and future entrepreneurs," commented Tommy Smith, director of the Lab's Office of Strategic Diversity Programs.
The meeting also was joined by Dot Harris, the director of the Department of Energy's Office of Economic Impact and Diversity. The groups were welcomed by Al Ramponi, Director's Office chief of staff, and Buck Koonce, director of the Office of Economic Development.