Jesus Coronel is excited about the upcoming break, but not because he's because he's going to take it easy after a busy semester. Instead he'll be participating in the Brookhaven National Laboratory's Mini-Semester Program. "It's a big opportunity to expand my horizons, my knowledge, and broaden my perspective of where my opportunities lie in science and the STEM fields."
Brookhaven is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory located on Long Island. Its hallmark is discovery science and transformative technology to power and secure the nation's future. During more than 70 years of pioneering research there, Brookhaven has had seven Nobel Prize-winning discoveries.
Coronel is a 2017 graduate of Nottingham High School who began his college education at Syracuse University where he took classes part time with the goal of getting a degree in Exercise Science. Tuition costs there became too much to handle and he transferred to Onondaga Community College. When he took an anatomy-related class here, he realized he needed to switch his course of study. "In high school I had done well in college level Physics and Pre-Calculus classes. I decided to change to Engineering Science."
During the fall semester Coronel began getting involved with OCC's opportunity programs. The Educational Opportunity Program (known as EOP), Collegiate Science and Technology and Entry Program (known as CTSEP), and the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (known as LSAMP) are all headquartered on the second floor of Coulter Hall. It was LSAMP Director Melissa Hicks who told Coronal about the mini-semester program at Brookhaven. He applied and recently learned he was accepted.
Coronel is participating in Brookhaven's mini-semester virtually. It will start Tuesday, January 4 and conclude Saturday, January 8. If it goes well, it could lead to a 10-week paid internship in the summer.
He hopes the education he's getting at OCC coupled with the opportunities outside of the classroom will lead to a career one day as a mechanical engineer. And based on his OCC experience, he hopes students thinking about where to pursue higher education will take advantage of what is here. "It's a good place to start that will give you a leg up with less debt. It's a great experience students should consider when they are looking at colleges."