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ORNL Mentor Profile: Sarah Cousineau

ORNL physicist hopes to “pay it forward” to students and teachers after learning from mentors early in career


Sarah Cousineau

Oak Ridge National Laboratory physicst and mentor Sarah Cousineau.

There are many reasons ORNL research accelerator physicist Sarah Cousineau mentors students, but one of the main reason is that she benefited from the knowledge of a mentor herself.

“I did two undergraduate research internships with excellent mentors, and these programs strongly influenced my career path,” said Cousineau. “Now I like to ‘pay it forward’ and provide the current generation of undergraduates with the same opportunities that I had.”

Cousineau was also one of four researchers who helped develop the SNS to the Classroom workshop—a professional development opportunity introducing high school physics teachers to the world’s most powerful pulsed neutron source, the accelerator-driven Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). During the workshop, teachers toured the SNS, learned the fundamental principles of ORNL’s neutron scattering research and how particles are accelerated in the SNS linear accelerator, performed measurements during a sample accelerating activity, and learned how to ‘start’ the first eight cavities of the SNS linear particle accelerator using real data.