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Further Together, the ORAU podcast

Further Together, the ORAU podcast

Join your hosts Michael Holtz and Jenna Harpenau as they discuss all things ORAU, through interviews with our experts who provide innovative scientific and technical solutions for our customers. They’ll talk about 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 12:  Bright Lights, Big Science

Episode 12: Bright Lights, Big Science

Janie Kimble and Melissa Jones teach math and science, respectively, at Carlin Combined Schools in rural Carlin, Nevada (population 2,300). They have transformed STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education in their school, from how they teach to offering a STEM Club, a robotics team, and so much more. This transformation is possible thanks in part to the Joint Science and Technology Institute, a two-week residential program for high school students and teachers that exposes them to scientific research through hands-on projects. JSTI is managed by ORISE and is sponsored by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Joint Science Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense.

Listen to Episode 12 Transcript for Episode 12

Episode 11: Solving problems and meeting customer needs: a conversation about business development

Episode 11: Solving problems and meeting customer needs: a conversation about business development

Wanda Gamble is vice president of business development at ORAU. With more than 20 years of experience in planning, operations, sales, business development and customer relationship management in the science and technology industry, Wanda is very passionate about her work and ORAU’s mission. Wanda loves social media, is an avowed War Eagle as a graduate of Auburn University, and is a big fan of “Game of Thrones,” as you’ll hear in this wide-ranging and fun conversation. 

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Episode 10: Unique Capabilities and Fascinating Research with Dr. Adayabalam Balajee

Episode 10: Unique Capabilities and Fascinating Research with Dr. Adayabalam Balajee

Dr. Adayabalam Balajee, technical director for the ORISE Cytogenetic Biodosimetry Laboratory has had a storied research career, including a stint at the National Institutes of Health. In this conversation, Dr. Balajee talks about the important work of the CBL in helping determine whether someone has been exposed to radiation and how much; REAC/TS, the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site, which trains medical professionals to respond in the event of a radiation emergency; as well as his research, which includes research with bioprinted tissue. Dr. Balajee's work is fascinating. You don't want to miss this episode!

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Kerri Cagle, director of Peer Review at ORAU

Episode 9: Peer review, the unsung hero of the research funding and proposal evaluation process

Keri Cagle, director of peer review for ORAU and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) uses a lottery analogy to discuss the role of peer review in helping organizations funding research and other grants determine which proposals should get funded. She calls peer review the unsung hero of the research funding and proposal evaluation process. Check out our enlightening conversation on an important and often underappreciated topic.

Listen to Episode 9 Transcript for Episode 9

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Episode 8: Communicating About Public Health issues on the National and Global Stage

ORAU's experienced health communication professionals and award-winning evidence-based solutions have helped secure national and global health since 1946. Three of our experts discuss the projects their working on, which seem ripped from today's headlines. Kristin Mattson, Jennifer Reynolds and Diane Krause explore their work with on a CDC School Health Branch social media campaign, extensive opioid work in Appalachia and a social media listening project on vaccination messaging.

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Episode 7: Renee Powell, Helping a teachers dream become reality

Episode 7: Renee Powell, Helping a teachers dream become reality

Picture it: A passionate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teacher discovers all of her educational supplies have been burned or smoke-damaged by a fire in the shed where they were stored. She considers giving up on STEM but her principal tells the teacher to keep her chin up because she just learned the teacher has won a $25,000 prize to build the classroom of her dreams. Renee Powell's story has all the hallmarks of a made-for-cable movie, and it's all true.

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ORAU President and CEO Andy Page

Episode 6: Andy Page, Paying it forward for our community

Andy Page, President and CEO, talks about his career, and his role as leader of ORAU. On the eve of the company receiving a philanthropy award from the Tennessee Board of Regents, Andy talks about the privilege of being a member of the community and the importance of giving back. ORAU contributes more than $300,000 a year to community and philanthropic initiatives. He also talks a bit about his favorite philanthropic initiative, Extreme Classroom Makeover, where ORAU gives $25,000 to one East Tennessee teacher to make over his or her classroom with new technology.

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Jim Vosburg

Episode 5: What is the Oak Ridge institute for Science and Education? A conversation with Jim Vosburg

Jim Vosburg, the director of the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, which is managed by ORAU for the Department of Energy, talks about his varied career, the programs ORISE offers (scientific workforce development, scientific peer review, the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site, worker health, and independent cleanup verification) and much more. This is an interesting and fun conversation not to be missed!

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Eric Abelquist

Episode 4: Dr. Eric W. Abelquist

Eric Abelquist, executive vice president and chief research officer, discusses ORAU’s research enterprise. He covers everything from our storied history as a research institution to current and future programs that foster research among members of our university consortium as well as our own subject matter experts. There’s much to look forward to in this conversation.

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Episode 3: Nicie Murphy

Episode 3: Nicie Murphy

Nice Murphy, ORAU K-12 education group manager, discusses the importance of educating students at a young age and how it correlates with building up the nation’s scientific workforce. She also talks about the value of partnering with businesses and community organizations to ensure STEM education reaches as many young people as possible.

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Amanda Hurley

Episode 2: Amanda Hurley

Amanda Hurley, ORAU project manager, recruiter and subject matter expert for recruiting trends and technology, shares her background in marketing and recruiting, gives a great tip on using LinkedIn for finding your next job, and describes how she hunts “purple squirrels,” people with the right skills for difficult-to-fill positions.

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Jeff Miller

Episode 1: Jeffrey R. Miller

Jeffrey R. Miller, Ph.D., CIH, CSP, senior scientist and head of ORAU’s Center for Safety Studies, talks about the subtle but important difference between nuclear safety culture and safety culture. He and his team have asked 30,000 people in the nuclear industry about safety culture, and Jeff talks about what they’ve learned, how he and his team help customers improve their safety culture, and the five dimensions of a strong safety culture. You won’t want to miss it!

Listen to Episode 1 Transcript for Episode 1

Our Experts

Meet the hosts of ORAU's Further Together podcast

Michael Holtz

Michael Holtz

Michael is a senior marketing and communications specialist for ORAU.

Jenna Harpenau

Jenna Harpenau

Jenna is a marketing and communications specialist for ORAU. 

Contact us

Pam Bonee
Work: 865.576.3146 
Cell: 865.603.5142 

Wendy West
Work: 865.576.0028 
Cell: 865.207.7953