Posts tagged tennessee101
Julie G. Ezold


How do you inspire children to find elements and nuclear chemistry interesting? How do you present complicated information in an engaging way, and how do you captivate audiences to appreciate science, technology, engineering, art, and math subjects? 

In the summer of 2017, I visited the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in East Tennessee to learn more about their facility. Recently, the lab collaborated with international scientific organizations to create a new element - which has since been named Tennessine after the contribution of the individuals working at the lab. I was fortunate enough to meet with one of these individuals, Julie Ezold - the Californium-252 program manager at the facility. 

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory has played an integral role in nuclear research, from The Manhattan Project in the 1940s to the modern day synthesis of superheavy elements. The lab contains some of the most sophisticated and expensive equipment in the world, and I wanted to know more about what exactly a superheavy element is, what services the facility offers, and how they’re working with schools and communities to teach us about science. 

These questions and more were addressed in my conversation with Julie G. Ezold, the Cf-252 Program Manager at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 

  1. Actinides
  2. Californium-252
  3. High Flux Isotope Reactor
  4. Tennessine
  5. Joint Institute for Advanced Materials
  6. Glenn Seaborg
  7. Yuri Oganessian
  8. Hot Cell Facility
  9. ORNL Internship
  10. US D.O.E Office of Sciences
  11. Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science
  12. Element 117 (Lawrence Livermore National Lab Video)
  13. Nuclear Grand Challenges
  14. Pint of Science
  15. Eclipse 2017 with ORNL at TTU
  16. USA Science & Engineering Festival
  17. STEM to STEAM
  18. The Muse Knoxville


Editorial Correction

  1. In the original broadcast of this episode, I stated the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is in West Tennessee; the lab is in East Tennessee. This has been corrected in the RSS feed.

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Introductory Class

The Pfahl Semester is a research-interview series with guests passionate about education. As your host and facilitator, I have met with experts and industry-leading individuals on how we as students learn and how we can collectively build the communities we want to live in.  Read more about this mission here.

In the first semester—dubbed Tennessee 101—, our learning will be facilitated through classes that include conversations with the following individuals:

  1. Julie G. Ezold: Californium-252 Program Manager at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  2. A 3D printing wizard
  3. A nationally renowned stage manager
  4. A vice president of academic affairs at a local college
  5. A music instructor at an alternative early childhood school
  6. A successful business owner and restauranteur
  7. A charter school administrator
  8. A zoo educator
  9. A government official
  10. A philosophizing and academic dean of a private school

Classes will be made available bi-weekly from December 4th - April 6th, after which the series will return to production. If you or someone you know would like to be interviewed, please reach out through the contact form on this site. 

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