A recap of the 2021 SOAR Internship Completion Celebration
SOAR intern Jacklyn Gee explains the results of her research with mentor Dr. Corie Ralston. Fellow intern Joshua Brodit listens.
On August 18, 2021, the achievements of 2021’s SOAR for Youth interns were celebrated over ZOOM. Based in California, SOAR for Youth is a non-profit organization that provides foster youth with support and opportunities for career exploration. Among SOAR’s core activities, they host pre-collegiate academies for youth. Graduates of these academies can pursue internships with a variety of Bay Area partners, such as Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. During their internship, each intern receives a stipend and transportation costs.
During her opening address, Diana Brown praised SOAR interns for their work, especially during COVID. “This has been a very challenging summer,” Brown noted, “but I’m delighted that twelve of the SOAR Youth went through the summer internship.” Workforce Development and Education hosted four interns interns at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory this summer: Joshua Brodit, Elijah Gardella, Jacklyn Gee, and Jamal Martin.
Joshua Brodit worked with Mary Beedle, General Accounting Manager, with special projects in the Controller’s Office. Brodit is a member of the SOAR Class of 2015. He has interned at the Lab for four years. “This year,” Brodit told attendees, “I was able to see the financial aspect that drives the projects at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.” He got a glimpse ‘behind the scenes’ at Berkeley Lab. “It was a great experience,” Brodit said, “ I’m always open to learning more about the Lab every summer.” According to Mary, Joshua “was instrumental in identifying process improvements” in their general ledger reconciliation process. She plans to use his work product to help support a department initiative.
Elijah Gardella worked with Senior Scientist Dr. Wibe de Jong in the Computational Research Division. His project was titled, “Integrating retention time prediction into JGI pipeline.”
Jacklyn Gee, SOAR class of 2014 worked with Dr. Corie Ralston at the Molecular Foundry. Ralston praised Gee’s hard work as a researcher. “Jacklyn did a terrific job,” she told the audience, “and I think we accomplished a lot, especially considering the limited site access.” Together, Gee and Ralston studied how proteins crystalize in oxygen-free environments and how radiation damage is affected by the presence of oxygen in proteins. Gee learned different techniques in growing, looping, and freezing the crystals. She showed attendees colorful pictures of her laboratory work (see above). Gee really enjoyed working with Ralston. The project wasn’t completed, but as Gee noted, “that’s part of the scientific process.” Gee hopes to visit the ALS again when it opens and conduct additional research with Ralston.
Jamal Martin worked with IT Help Desk Work Lead Jenny Brown on the IT Help Desk.
As interns finished sharing their internship experiences with the audience, SOAR’s community partners applauded their interns’ hard work. WD&E Director Colette Flood expressed her appreciation for SOAR’s interns and commended SOAR’s leadership. “Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to partner with SOAR,” she said to the members of SOAR’s leadership who were present. “Working with you all really helps us create pathways,” she noted, “and opportunities to contribute to the DOE mission.” Flood thanked the interns for their participation in the program. “Hopefully, you will fulfill your dreams of bringing science solutions to the world because we need you!” she told them.
“Those of you that have participated in SOAR,” Flood continued, “You’ve got a preparatory experience of what our full programs are like. I want to encourage you to apply to our CCI and SULI programs. Through these programs, you will be continuing to develop the fundamentals. If you have any questions, I am available and so is my team to support you in pursuing a career in STEM.”