Semaj RashadApril 30, 2012 – Semaj Rashad, a senior industrial and systems engineering major at Morgan State University is closing out his second consecutive academic year serving as a U.S. Department of Energy Student Ambassador.
Rashad, of Bowie, MD, is one of eight students nationwide to be selected by the Department of Energy to be an ambassador. The Energy Ambassador program is part of the Department's efforts to increase interest in Federal service on college and university campuses through developing a group of passionate student advocates who actively promote public service following their completion of a Federal internship.
His responsibilities range from conducting presentations and workshops to collaborating with campus career services representatives, organizations and faculty and staff members.
"As a DOE student ambassador, for the past four semesters I have raised the awareness of the benefits of Federal service through presentations workshops meeting with over 1500 key students, faculty and staff members from over 50 universities in the northeastern region of the United States. It has been an honor and a privilege to engage talented students who may one day fulfill the Department’s mission critical needs in energy, security, science and our environment.”
Rashad, 24, is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, Golden Key International Honour Society, Institute of Industrial Engineers, and the National Society of Black Engineers. He is a graduate of Charles Herbert Flowers High School and will complete both a mathematics degree from Bowie State University and an engineering degree from Morgan State University by December of 2012.
"Our job is to spread the message to our peers who are not only in hot pursuit of careers, but they are very qualified,” said Rashad, “The Energy Department's mission speaks to all sectors of the economy. Whether your expertise is in science, technology, engineering, national security, international affairs or business, the Energy Department offers challenging and innovative work environments.”
"I’ve loved the freedom as an Energy Ambassadors program to be innovative in my efforts. I’ve partnered with Morgan State’s Innovative STEM Conference to have Associate Director Mel Williams serve as the keynote speaker. I’ve developed presentations that not only educate students about the career needs of the organization, but also to help professionally prepare students for internships and their first jobs out of college. Additionally, I partnered with the Office of Residence Life to put on the Kill-A-Watt Campus Energy Challenge that encouraged students to save energy by being more conscious of their consumption,” Rashad said.
These numerous efforts have caught the eyes of many organizations and Semaj has been asked to speak and serve on panels at schools all over the region, as well as on Morgan State University’s campus. Rashad states, “Over these last 2 years I’ve been to Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and southern Virginia, in addition to the greater DC Metropolitan area."
Ambassadors must have a strong interest in the Department of Energy's mission and energy-related career and educational opportunities. This year's ambassadors have recently completed internships at the Department, its national laboratories or the National Nuclear Security Administration.
The Energy Student Ambassadors program is conducted in collaboration with the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, a Department of Energy institute focusing on educating the next generation of scientists, among other initiatives.
The program is affiliated with the Partnership for Public Service's Federal Service Student Ambassadors program. Through the Partnership's "Call to Serve" initiative, the organization partners with more than 760 campuses and 75 Federal agencies to encourage a new generation to serve.