While most students will be taking a much-deserved break from college academics following final exams and the December holidays, Holyoke Community College STEM Scholar Noah Paradis-Burnett will be conferring with scientists at one of the nation's premier research labs.
Paradis-Burnett, an 18-year-old mechanical engineering major from Russell, was selected for a prestigious Winter College Mini-Semester at the renowned Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y., on Long Island. The internship is designed for undergraduates studying science, technology, engineering or math and is sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Energy. For one week during January break, he will attend lectures, interact with faculty scientists, tour lab facilities and participate in a team research project.
"STEM students who intern at BLM have the opportunity to meet and talk to some of the greatest scientists in the country about some of the world's most difficult problems," said Ileana Vasu, HCC math professor and chair of the engineering program. "It is a great honor and a great achievement."
Paradis-Burnett started at Holyoke Community College as a dual-enrolled 16-year-old high school junior through HCC's Gateway to College program. He is now one of HCC's STEM Scholars — recipients of a STEM Scholarship from the National Science Foundation. THE NSF HCC S-STEM scholarships provide up to $10,000 a year toward college tuition and fees. Recipients become members of HCC's STEM Scholars program and participate in field trips and guest lectures and benefit from other exclusive STEM-related events on and off campus. The NSF STEM Scholarship continues each semester students maintain good academic standing.
The scholarships are open to full-time current and incoming HCC students studying chemistry, engineering, mathematics, physics, or another STEM discipline. The STEM Scholarship application deadline for the Spring 2017 semester is Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016.
Last spring, Paradis-Burnett was also the first recipient of the John Sullivan Scholarship from the Holyoke Community College Foundation. The endowed scholarship honors the memory of the late former HCC math teacher John Sullivan and is awarded to one HCC student annually who is studying math, physics or engineering and maintains at least a 3.0 GPA.
Paradis-Burnett is on schedule to graduate in May 2017 and plans to transfer to Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst to continue his study of mechanical engineering.
Being selected for the Winter College Mini-Semester makes him eligible for Brookhaven's Community College Institute, a 10-week summer internship program.
PHOTOS by CHRIS YURKO: (Left) HCC STEM Scholar Noah Paradis-Burnett has been selected for a prestigious winter internship at Brookhaven National Laboratory. (Right) Noah Paradis-Burnett confers on a project with fellow HCC STEM Scholar Frances Rivera-Diaz during a STEM seminar class.