Skip to main content

Further Together, the ORAU podcast

Further Together, the ORAU podcast

Join host Michael Holtz as he discusses all things ORAU, through interviews with our experts who provide innovative scientific and technical solutions for our customers. Discussions focus on ORAU’s storied history, how we’re impacting an ever-changing world, as well as our commitment to our community.

The Further Together episode guide below will allow you to listen to each edition on You can also find Further Together on the Apple Podcasts app for iOS devices, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and Stitcher.

Episode 92: Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge helps 14,000 of our neighbors access free primary care services

Episode 92: Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge helps 14,000 of our neighbors access free primary care services

The Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge provides no-cost primary care services to 14,000 people in its three-county service area. These are our neighbors, people who don't qualify for TennCare because they make a little too much money but can't afford health insurance. Think the coffee shop baristas, grocery store clerks, food delivery drivers, etc. Ashley Golden, director of health studies, is a member of FMCOR Board of Directors. She and Billy Edmonds, FMCOR executive director, talk about the work of the organization. Ashley has a fundraising goal of $5,000 to support FMCOR. Help her meet her goal by donating here:

Learn more about FMCOR here:

Check out the videocast for Episode 92 Listen to Episode 92 

Episode 91: Health, healthcare and policy: ORAU as once, current and future pioneer

Episode 91: Health, healthcare and policy: ORAU as once, current and future pioneer

Our health is one of our most important personal assets, and Brenda Blunt, ORAU director of health policy, knows that from her experience as a nurse and her extensive experience working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She and host Michael Holtz discuss the importance of healthcare and health policy, during a wide-ranging conversation. One revelation: While ORAU is known for its health and healthcare history, including being a pioneer in the field of nuclear medicine and radiation therapy, we have also been actively involved in the formation of health policy for years, for customers like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We hope you enjoy this episode.

Check out the videocast for Episode 91 Listen to Episode 91 
Transcript for Episode 91 

Episode 90: CIA Mission Possible winner Kourtney Purham reflects on the past school year

Episode 90: CIA Mission Possible winner Kourtney Purham reflects on the past school year

Kourtney Purham, a STEM teacher at Kramer Elementary School in Washington, D.C., was one of three winners of the CIA Mission Possible Classroom Transformation competition in 2021. After 15 years at another school, Purham's win of $25,000 in new technology for her classroom definitely made an impression. During this conversation, she and host Michael Holtz discuss what the last year has been like, how her students and her school have benefited from the new technology, and the learning challenges that still exist for her students. The conversation took place in a coffee shops just blocks away from the school, in the neighborhood where Purham lives and works. ORISE manages the Mission Possible program for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Listen to Episode 90 Transcript for Episode 90

Episode 89: REAC/TS: Dr. Carol Iddins discusses the importance of this world-renowned DOE asset

Episode 89: REAC/TS: Dr. Carol Iddins discusses the importance of this world-renowned DOE asset

In this episode, host Michael Holtz talks with Dr. Carol Iddins, director of the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site, or REAC/TS. REAC/TS is a world-renowned Department of Energy asset located at ORISE. Dr. Iddins talks about the work of REAC/TS, the importance of their role for both DOE and the National Nuclear Security Agency, and how her team is always ready to respond in the event of a radiation incident.

Check out the videocast for Episode 89 Listen to Episode 89 
Transcript for Episode 89 

Episode 88: Finding a place at the table for animal use and care in teaching veterinary students

Episode 88: Finding a place at the table for animal use and care in teaching veterinary students

Although rigid guidelines have been established for animal research, the parameters have not been as clear in the teaching and training of students veterinarians. Marci Savoy, Ph.D., a research associate with ORAU's research services team, co-authored a chapter on "Animal Care and Use in Veterinary Teaching and Clinical Services," for the book Finding Your Place at the Table, published by the Medical Library Association. In this conversation, Dr. Savoy shares her experience as a medical librarian and the challenges of finding standard protocols for animal care and use for teaching student veterinarians. The history of this topic is fascinating, including the development of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees. We hope you enjoy this conversation.

Check out the videocast for Episode 88 Listen to Episode 88 
Transcript for Episode 88 

Past Episodes

  • How has the coronavirus pandemic magnified barriers to career development for women in science? That's the question being researched by Dr. Laura Davenport, ORISE evaluation specialist for STEM Workforce Development, and Dr. Firouzeh Sabri, chair of the Department of Physics and Material Science at the University of Memphis. Their research is funded through the ORAU-Directed Research and Development program. In this episode of the podcast, we discuss how these scientists and their teams came to work together, where they are in the process, and what happens next. Barriers to career development for women in science is an important issue. Tune in for this enlightening conversation.

    Listen to Episode 87 Transcript for Episode 87

  • How did so-called lockdown or stay-at-home orders designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus impact air pollutant concentrations, particularly in underserved communities? That's the question Davyda Hammond, Ph.D., ORAU environmental engineer, and researchers at the University of Houston Air Quality Forecasting and Modeling Lab are working to answer. They are investigating and characterizing the human health risk disparities due to air pollutant exposures prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hammond's research was funded through the ORAU-Directed Research and Development program. In this episode of Further Together, Hammond discusses her research in-depth and talks about next steps for her and the research team.

    Check out the videocast for Episode 86 Listen to Episode 86 
    Transcript for Episode 86 

  • Around here, Kristy Kistner is ORAU's quality queen. As the director of performance excellence, she, among other duties, oversees maintenance of ORAU’s ISO 9001:2015 registration, compliance with the U.S. Department of Energy quality assurance requirements, and conduct of assessments and process improvement initiatives. Next week, she will be speaking during the American Quality Institute's ISO 9000 and Audits World Conference, where she will discuss "How to Rock Your Virtual ISO 9000 Audit" based on her experience leading ORAU through virtual audits during the pandemic. No surprise, we rocked it!

    Check out the videocast for Episode 85 Listen to Episode 85 
    Transcript for Episode 85 

  • This episode of Further Together, the ORAU Podcast, is an ORISE Featurecast. Host Michael Holtz talked with Dr. Jim Vosburg, director of the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education about the work ORISE does across five performance areas and plans in progress to mark 30 years.

    Check out the videocast for Episode 84 Listen to Episode 84 
    Transcript for Episode 84

  • ORAU and the University of Tennessee have partnered on a research project to develop computer simulations for rural disaster preparedness. In this episode we talk to lead researchers Julie Crumly, Ph.D., ORAU research and evaluation specialist and senior scientist, and Tom Berg, Ph.D., from the University of Tennessee, who has a joint appointment to the College of Nursing and the College of Engineering and Industrial and Systems Engineering. They talk about the challenges of building a model that works for every rural community and what they have learned so far. Tune in for a very engaging conversation.

    Listen to Episode 83 Transcript for Episode 83 

  • ORAU assumed management of the $129.7 million NASA Postdoctoral Program at the end of January 2022. In this episode of Further Together, host Michael Holtz talks with Scott Miller, ORAU program director for the NPP. What is the NPP, why is it important to the NASA enterprise, and how can early and senior career scientists be part of this important research program? Tune in for details, and check out the NASA Postdoctoral Program website.

    Listen to Episode 82 Transcript for Episode 82 

  • Ronnie Bogard has led an effort over the last few years to properly archive, digitize and make available to the public the archives of renowned nuclear physicist Alvin Weinberg. Weinberg, who was administrator of ORNL during and after the Manhattan Project, kept his papers—letters, commentaries, research projects, photographs, etc.—in a number of file cabinets and storage boxes. When he came to work for ORAU in 1975, the papers came with him. It was Weinberg's friendship with Selma Shapiro, founder of the Children's Museum of Oak Ridge and Bogard's mother, that led to his papers being left in the care of CMOR. The well-ordered file cabinets and storage boxes were locked in a storage room until Bogard and Beth Shea, CMOR executive director, began assembling a team to properly archive and digitize Weinberg's collection. In this interview Bogard shares how she has gotten to know Weinberg through this project and shares what a truly remarkable man he was.

    Listen to Episode 81 Transcript for Episode 81 

  • The presence and use of technology in the classroom has accelerated rapidly in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But what does technology look like in the post-pandemic landscape? ORAU and The MITRE Corporation partnered in 2021 on a long-term project to research and ultimately improve equitable adoption of artificial intelligence in education. In this episode of Further Together, Michael Holtz and special co-host Jennifer Tyrell, ORAU senior project manager for K-12 STEM education, have a conversation with Chris Nelson, Ed.D., ORAU program manager for K-12 STEM education; Guido Zarrella, senior principal AI engineer in the AI and Autonomy Innovation Center within MITRE Labs; Bobby Blount, Jr., head of MITRE’s Texas Innovation Hub; and Tracy Glazier, a math teacher at Herndon High School in Fairfax County, Va. Our experts discuss how AI is already being used in the classroom, how technology can save time for teachers while engaging students, as well as the importance of equitable access and the need for collaboration to improve access to AI.

    Listen to Episode 80 Transcript for Episode 80 

  • ORAU-Directed Research and Development grants is an investment program that provides a path for funding innovative research-based approaches/solutions that fall within the intersection of ORAU's core capabilities and our member universities’ research interests. In this episode of Further Together, we talk with Casey Thomas, ODRD program manager about the program, the priorities for research that joins together the skills of our subject matter experts with the research interests of our university partners, and the process of applying. We also talk with Davyda Hammond and Laura Davenport, two of ORAU's currently funded researchers, who discuss the benefits of the program and what happens next. Look for longer conversations about their research in the coming months.

    Listen to Episode 79 Transcript for Episode 79 

  • Dr. Donna Cragle, senior scientific advisor, has worked at ORAU for nearly 40 years. In the second part of our conversation, she talks about being a woman in science, how ORAU's culture has evolved, her role as corporate ombudsman and more. Her perspective on science and the company will be enlightening, and often humorous.

    Listen to Episode 78 Transcript for Episode 78 

  • In this episode of ORAU at 75, a special series of the Further Together podcast, we talk to Dr. Donna Cragle, senior scientific advisor at ORAU. Dr. Cragle is an epidemiologist who has been part of the ORAU scientific enterprise for decades. This is the first of a two-part interview that focuses on how she pursued an education in epidemiology to how she came to work for ORAU and more. A conversation with Donna Cragle is interesting, enlightening and funny. Enjoy this episode!

    Listen to Episode 77 Transcript for Episode 77 

View the full Further Together Podcast Archive

Contact us

Pam Bonee
Work: 865.576.3146 
Cell: 865.603.5142 

Wendy West
Work: 865.576.0028 
Cell: 865.207.7953