June 10: Apprenticeships, Veteran Survey, and Free PCC Discovery Courses

CASCADE Apprenticeship Program at Purdue logo

Updates & New additions at end of post

Apprenticeship Program at Purdue University

You probably recognized the “Grow Your Future” image above if you are an MNT newsletter subscriber. That email highlights the new CASCADE Apprenticeship Program at Purdue in addition to other allies and partners. In 2025, there are two cohorts with 30 seats available in each. Move fast so you can get your community college students in there!

Keep up with changes and more info from the signup link above OR by following our MNT-EC LinkedIn page.


Portland Community College Discovery Courses

Portland Community College (Oregon) is offering two free in-person discovery courses — one on welding (1 week),  and the other on manufacturing (2 weeks). More Details here. There are two more videos on the PCC Discovery Course web page.

Survey of Veteran-status Students and Military Personnel aiming to transition into academia

Editor’s Note: Occasionally, it is easier to share the “backstory” for how we got involved in something that we then share with our community. We appreciate our active duty military members as well as those who have served and are now military veterans. Many NSF ATE projects are funded to serve this target audience and we support those efforts as a national center.

From Jessica Pacheco in an email to MNT-EC Center Director, Dr. Jared Ashcroft:

Parallax Advanced Research is commissioned by NAVSEA and the Warfare Center NSWC Crane Division, to conduct a research study on the needs and preferences of veterans and transitioning military personnel concerning academic career development in the SCALE Program.” 

“I am seeking support with distribution of a survey to your veteran and military personnel network. The survey is  anonymous, and responses will help us support veterans in their post-military career and academic endeavors and grow the US government microelectronics workforce. Our goal is to collect roughly 1,000 veteran and/or military personnel responses via the survey. The survey requires 10 minutes to complete.” 

Click here to complete the SCALE Omnichannel Veteran Survey


Paula Kirya Receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Join us in CELEBRATING PCC and UCSD alum, Paula Kirya, who recently received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind. 


“I’m happy to announce that I’ve been selected for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship! This fellowship will support my research in developing nature-inspired nanophotonic materials for tissue diagnostics in the Poulikakos Lab at UCSD. I’m very thankful for the mentorship and encouragement I’ve received throughout my research journey, and I’m excited about the work ahead :)”

Paula Kirya is a MNT-CURN mentor and Pasadena City College (PCC) alum. She is currently a graduate student in UC San Diego’s Mechanical Engineering department and received her bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering from UCSD in June 2023. Paula conducts research in the Poulikakos Lab at UCSD, Research – Poulikakos Lab, where she is working on the development of nature-inspired nanophotonic materials for diagnostic imaging. Her research journey began at PCC, where she worked under Dr. Jared Ashcroft characterizing structural color in butterflies. She’s grateful for the opportunity to have received mentorship and conduct research in community college as it played a significant role in her decision to pursue graduate school and take on fun projects!

Paula shared this on her LinkedIn profile after it was official in April. 

Editor’s Note: Apologies for taking so to share this here, Paula!! 🙂 Super excited for you and your next chapter.

Learn more about this NSF program and its history and how to apply: About GRFP – NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Program (GRFP) and here: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

2024 GFRP Recipient list.