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ORAU in the News

Learn more about how ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions for the Department of Energy and other federal agencies through news articles that highlight our commitment to advancing science education and workforce development, and protect health and the environment; our unique laboratory capabilities; our specialized teams of experts; and our consortium of colleges and universities.

Claxton teacher wins $7,500 in Extreme Classroom Makeover

Oak Ridger

Elaina Fields, a third-grade teacher at Claxton Elementary School in Anderson County, was named runnerup in Oak Ridge Associated Universities' Extreme Classroom Makeover and received a check for $5,000 on Thursday, March 24. She also received an additional $2,500 as winner of the competition’s Viewers’ Choice Award for her video submission.

Sevier Co. Schools teacher wins $25,000 for new classroom technology

WBIR-TV

When a Sevier County Schools teacher walked into her school's gym on Tuesday, she thought it was for a routine meeting. Instead, she and several educators gathered to hand her $25,000.

She was the winner of the Oak Ridge Associated Universities' "Extreme Classroom Makeover" program. Through the program, the ORAU selects teachers who teach third-grade through tenth-grade math or science, within a 50-mile radius of Oak Ridge, to get a big surprise.

ORAU welcomes new board members, six new universities

Oak Ridger

Officials at Oak Ridge Associated Universities recently nnounced the election of two new board members, a new Council chair and vice-chair, and welcomed six new institutions to its 152-member university consortium.

The announcement was made during the ORAU Annual Meeting of the Council of Sponsoring Institutions on Tuesday, March 8, according to a news release.

40 Under 40: Jennifer Tyrell has a heart for students and teachers' potential

KnoxNews.com

Jennifer Tyrell brings passion to every single science, technology, engineering and math project she tackles. After spending time in the classroom, she knows how influential teachers are in children's lives. She organizes outreach programs that support teachers and works with organizations that serve young people so they can reach their full potential.

Extreme Classroom Makeover

WATE-TV

ORAU is re-launching Extreme Classroom Makeover for 2022. One teacher in one classroom will receive $25,000 in new tech for creating the most compelling and creative video explaining what they would do with $25,000 and how they would use what they buy.

ORAU hosting free educator programs for teachers

WVLT-TV

For the month of June, Oak Ridge Associated Universities is hosting free educator professional development courses.

Maria Dassow, and Education Intern at ORAU says each course educates teachers on various topics and activities to take back into the classroom.

“All of these workshops are really for the purpose of supporting teachers as they educate the next generation of America’s stem workforce,” shared Dassow.

ORAU announces recipients of 2021 Pollard Scholarships

oakridger.com

ORAU has awarded five William G. Pollard Scholarships of $2,500 each toward undergraduate studies for the 2021-2022 academic year. The recipients of this year’s scholarships include Semilore (Semmy) Abiodun-Adeniyi, Olivia Campbell, Olivia Hudson, Sara Malicoat and Trisha Prater.

ORAU awards five Pollard Scholarships

oakridgetoday.com

ORAU has awarded five William G. Pollard Scholarships of $2,500 each toward undergraduate studies for the 2021-2022 academic year. The recipients of this year’s scholarships include Semilore (Semmy) Abiodun-Adeniyi, Olivia Campbell, Olivia Hudson, Sara Malicoat, and Trisha Prater.

ORAU’s Kristy Kistner appointed to ISO 9004 international group

oakridger.com

Kristy Kistner, ORAU director of performance excellence, is one of three quality management and quality assurance experts appointed to an international ad hoc group established to examine the feasibility of converting International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9004 into a quality assurance standard with stated requirements for organizations to achieve.

ORAU facility move provides office supplies for area teachers’ classrooms

oakridger.com

Imagine a warehouse full of teaching supplies where teachers are invited four times a year to stock up on materials, much like the show Supermarket Sweep.

The Teacher Supply Depot for Anderson County and Clinton City Schools does just that— allowing those educators from Anderson County and Clinton City schools the opportunity to lessen the burden on their own wallets and gather much needed classroom materials throughout the year.

NASA chooses ORAU for up to $129.7M contract

oakridger.com

NASA has selected Oak Ridge Associated Universities to provide the agency with administrative support and coordination of research opportunities between NASA’s mission directorates and centers across the agency.

The NASA Postdoctoral Program 2 contract is a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract with a maximum potential value of approximately $129.7 million, according to a NASA news release. The one-year base performance period begins Sept. 9, and is followed by four one-year options, which would end Sept. 8, 2026.

ORAU facility move provides office supplies for area teachers’ classrooms

oakridger.com

Imagine a warehouse full of teaching supplies where teachers are invited four times a year to stock up on materials, much like the show Supermarket Sweep.

The Teacher Supply Depot for Anderson County and Clinton City Schools does just that— allowing those educators from Anderson County and Clinton City schools the opportunity to lessen the burden on their own wallets and gather much needed classroom materials throughout the year. 

NASA selects ORAU for postdoc program

oakridgetoday.com

NASA has selected Oak Ridge Associated Universities to provide the agency with administrative support and coordination of research opportunities between NASA’s mission directorates and centers across the agency.

The NASA Postdoctoral Program 2 (NPP-2) contract is a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract with a maximum potential value of approximately $129.7 million. The one-year base performance period begins September 9, 2021, and it is followed by four one-year options, which would end September 8, 2026, NASA said in a press release.

ORAU holding free teacher development sessions

WATE-TV

Oak Ridge Associated Universities is holding a number of free professional development sessions for STEM teachers throughout the month of June.

The sessions will be held in person and virtually. Each class with help teachers to professionally, better interact with the student and have access to a wide range of tools to enhance classroom instruction.

On June 9 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., ORAU held a season on Mythical Cartography in the ORAU STEM Classroom, located off the lobby at 100 ORAU Way in Oak Ridge. Teachers learned more about project-based learning and associated resources through creating maps that incorporated geographic standards, visual arts standards, and social studies skills.

ORAU hosts Mythical Cartography Course for Educators

knoxnews.com

West Valley Middle’s Janet Getz presents one of the mythical maps she created during a “Mythical Cartography” teacher professional development session hosted by ORAU in Oak Ridge on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. The Mythical Cartography session gave educators a method and the tools to teach geography and visual arts in a more creative manner. ORAU is offering additional teacher professional development sessions that can be attended in-person or virtually free of charge through the rest of June.

ORAU awards 35 research grants, $175K to junior faculty

oakridgetoday.com

ORAU has awarded competitive research grants totaling $175,000 to 35 junior faculty from its member institutions. The annual grants are made through the company’s Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards program that provides funds to enrich the research and professional growth of young faculty, a press release said.

Clinton City Schools elementary students use Design Thinking in ORAU-supported STEM camp

oakridger.com

Students build a vehicle using a littleBits STEM kit during a STEM camp at North Clinton Elementary School on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. Rising fifth through seventh graders participated in an ORAU-supported STEM camp for Clinton City Schools this week. Students used Design Thinking, where students used empathy to solve problems.

ORAU awarded contract to build workforce capacity for rural and frontier health departments in response to COVID-19

oakridger.com

ORAU was awarded a contract to provide tailored training and technical assistance in public health communication to rural and frontier health department awardees for the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). 

This work aims to build the workforce capacity of local health departments related to their COVID-19 contact tracing and testing and vaccine administration efforts, a news release stated.

ORISE workshops offered to teachers to inspire STEM learning

WATE-TV

Educators have the opportunity to sharpen their tools when it comes to STEM learning and the digital classroom with a number of free workshops being offered this June. The workshops are being offered by ORISE AND ORAU. They will be held virtually with some in-person opportunities.

Q&A: Communication Strategist Breaks Down How to Talk About Addiction and COVID-19’s Impact on Appalachia’s Opioid Crisis

The Opioid Effect

The stigma associated with addiction and drug use in Appalachia and across the country has created a problem for people who are seeking access to care, says researcher Jennifer Reynolds.

Reynolds is a communication strategist for the ORAU, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, and has spent 15 years researching how to communicate about drug addiction and opioid use with the public. 

COVID-19 and Stigma: How Access to Care Has Become Harder in Appalachia

The Opioid Effect

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that drug overdose mortality rates are rising around the country and that “anecdotally, partners in Appalachia attribute those most recent trends to the impact of COVID-19,” according to a December article for the Journal of Appalachian Health.

Additional research by Well Being Trust and the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care reports that more than 150,000 lives could be lost to drug and alcohol use and suicide throughout the pandemic, with an additional 75,000 being directly related to pandemic isolation and the mental health impacts brought by COVID-19. 

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