SULI goes year-round

Fall semester is a great time for new beginnings, particularly for Ames Laboratory’s education programs. With the beginning of this semester, the Lab is now offering its Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program year around.  SULI began in 2005 as a summer internship at the Lab, but due to tremendous interest, this past January the SULI program was expanded to include a 16-week spring semester program, and now it’s been expanded again to include a fall internship. 

This fall’s inaugural program includes five students from colleges and universities around the country, including the University of California-LA, Georgia Gwinnett College, Brown University, University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State.  But since inception, students from over 100 colleges and universities nationwide have participated in the SULI program.

The students will spend their fall semester working in research labs with scientist-mentors at Ames Lab and ISU. 


(Back row l-r): Duane Johnson, Chief Research Officer; Deb Covey, Associate Lab Director-
Sponsored Research Administration; Cynthia Jenks, Assistant Director-Scientific Planning;
Steve Karsjen, Director of Public Affairs, Education, and Outreach; Tom Lagrasso, Interim
Director; (Middle Row l-r): Wenyu Huang, Reza Montazami, Zak Weinstein, Aaron Saddow;
(Front row l-r): Christopher Perez, Catherine Meis, Abby Souhrada, Jason Smith.

At the end of the semester, they will be responsible for preparing an abstract, a research report and a poster on their work, among other things.

The new crop of students will bring the number of participants in the 2013 SULI program to 34.  “That number is a far cry from the 10 SULI students we hosted our first year back in 2005,” says Laboratory Education Director Steve Karsjen. “And the success with which we’ve been able to grow our student base as well as find additional mentors to work with the students is a clear indication of the value all involved place on this dynamic DOE program.” 

All told since 2005, the Lab has hosted 163 SULI students, but SULI is not the Lab’s only education program. It also offers the Community College Internship (CCI) program and Visiting Faculty Program (VFP). CCI has been around since 2011 and VFP since 2010. This year, the Lab hosted three CCI students  and three VFP teams, which consisted of three faculty and three students.  These students and faculty have also come from colleges and universities across the country.  

CCI and VFP are much smaller programs than SULI says Karsjen, but he says all three programs are seen as incredibly valuable by students. “Students who’ve been through our programs repeatedly tell us research experiences at the Ames Laboratory and ISU not only change careers, but lives.” 

Ames Laboratory Education Programs would like to express appreciation to the 85 Ames Laboratory and ISU scientist-mentors who’ve been involved (many repeatedly) in SULI, CCI and VFP since their inception at the Lab and invites everyone to view the posters currently hanging in TASF, Spedding and Metals Development (or on the link below) that showcase the accomplishments of some of the students who’ve been through each of the programs.