The Technology Opportunity Pathway is a National Science Foundation grant-funded scholarship program offered at Genesee Community College, and for Sarina Dorazio, a Genesee Community College 2007 graduate, TOP was the pathway toward academic opportunity and career exploration. TOP Scholarship at Genesee Community College supports talented students who are pursuing degrees in computer science, engineering, mathematics, and computerized drafting. (Funds for Fall 2008 TOP scholarships are still available.)
As a TOP scholarship recipient, Sarina earned an AS degree from Genesee in Liberal Arts: Math and Science. She was then selected to participate in a 10-week, U.S. Department of Energy summer internship program in the 2007 Community College Institute (CCI) in Science and Engineering at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, WA. This is one of ten national science laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy. During the internship Sarina had the unique opportunity to work with a nationally-renowned scientist who immersed her into a materials engineering project involving the physical properties of polyol-based deicing solutions. This project will have both economic and environmental impacts on road maintenance and the airline industry. Sarina performed well in her research and provided valuable data for the laboratory.
"Ms. Dorazio grew academically, vocationally, and in confidence during her summer research appointment," said Royace Aikin, Senior Education Specialist at PNNL. "Faculty and staff at Genesee Community College can be proud of her accomplishments. We hope to host more Genesee students in the CCI program during future summers."
After her PNNL experience, Sarina continued her academic studies, earning her BA in Chemistry from the University of Buffalo in May 2008, where she has also now been accepted into the PhD program.
"When I applied for the internship, I was still not sure exactly what path I wanted to take for a career," Sarina said. "After working at PNNL for the summer I decided that I definitely wanted to continue in a science-related field."
This May, Sarina came back to Genesee to attend the SUNY CIT event (Conference on Instructional Technologies), where she presented a poster she created as a CCI intern, and she also shared information about her Genesee TOP scholarship.
"Genesee Community College laid the foundation for my future career," Sarina said. "My internship and further education have both built off the concepts I learned at Genesee. The professors at GCC are focused on teaching and everyone there seems like they want to help students in any way possible."
TOP Scholarship resources are still available for full-time students enrolled this fall in the following programs: math / science; engineering, computer support and operations, computer information systems, computer systems and networking, and computerized drafting.
For further information go to: http://top.genesee.edu/ or call Ken Mead at 585-343-0055 extension 6381.