All summer long, Moraine Valley Community College assistant professor of Chemistry, Dr. Prabhjot M. Menon, is working at the Argonne National Laboratory as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Visiting Faculty Program.
This is a 10-week summer internship through August that partners college faculty with DOE laboratory research staff to work on a research project of mutual interest. This collaboration attempts to increase the competitiveness of faculty at institutions historically underrepresented such as community colleges in the research community. Dr. Menon is working with Argonne’s distinguished scientist, Dr. Michael Pellin.
“I saw this opportunity through the office of DOE for research and could not resist to apply. I am fortunate to find a host in Argonne National Laboratory and a researcher of Dr. Pellin’s caliber who has offered to collaborate with me. Dr. Pellin is a world renowned scientist. It’s a great honor to be able to work with him,” Dr. Menon said. “I have a strong background in research, and I have always been interested in engaging undergraduate students in basic research. At Moraine Valley, I have focused on teaching so far.”
The program is sponsored by the DOE Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists in collaboration with 14 participating DOE laboratories. Dr. Menon will gain research experience at Argonne and use that knowledge to aid his students.
“Argonne’s facilities and research capabilities (in terms of equipment and personnel) of this caliber are among a handful in the world. I hope to gain insight into creating pathways for undergraduate research, especially for our honors students. In the last few semesters, I have had students who have been awarded undergraduate laboratory internships by DOE, so I know that our students have interest and have the ability to participate at this level. I would like to explore what possibilities exist for our students and find pathways for student engagement in undergraduate research,” Dr. Menon said.