Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD – Since 2017, DEVCOM CBC has participated in the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Historically Black Colleges, Universities and Minority Serving Institutions (HBCU/MI) Summer Internship Program. DEVCOM CBC is one of only nine participating sites for the program. This year, a total of 997 applicants competed for placement in a mentor-led project under the program.
The large pool of applicants was narrowed down to 551 during the screening and selection process. With only 100 spots available for placement, DEVCOM CBC’s on-site coordinator and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Officer, Eugene Vickers, played a vital role in pairing students with the appropriate mentors and projects during the selection process to ensure a successful internship program. By collaborating with the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense and the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency to uncover available positions at the Edgewood area of Aberdeen Proving Ground, students were matched in the best project for their professional growth and development.
The opportunity exposes interns to the professional experience of working in a real-world laboratory under the guidance of expert scientists and engineers to perform hands-on research that is relevant to the defense mission. The Center’s program mentors, tasked with training and developing the interns professionally, have found the program to be valuable for the students and for the Center. Supervisory biologist and program mentor Kyle Glover explains, “The main effort is our responsibility to the scientific community, as a federally funded organization, to support the development of people in their careers; however, we can also utilize the help from individuals in a technical capacity. We provide training and skill building while also getting assistance with mission objectives.”
The program will run from June 5 to August 11. This year’s cohort is comprised of twelve students with majors in animal science, biology, biomedical engineering, chemistry, chemical engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, material science, mechanical engineering, and plant soil science.
The students will be visiting from HBCU/MIs across the nation. DEVCOM CBC will host students from Bakersfield College, California State University – Los Angeles, California Technology University – Poma, Coppin State University, Delaware State University, Howard University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, San Diego State University, Texas Tech University, Tuskegee University, and University of Houston – Downtown.
By reaching to diverse communities across the country, DEVCOM CBC positions itself as a leader in the chemical and biological defense field and spreads awareness of its mission. The internship program also aids recruitment and DEI efforts within the Center to seek out top talent in the competitive fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. “What I look forward to, after the interns graduate, is that they reach back out to us and have a longer-term career here at the Center,” said Glover.
The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Chemical Biological Center (CBC) is aligned under the U.S. Army Futures Command (AFC) and U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM.)
AFC provides Army modernization solutions (integrated concepts, organizational designs, and technologies) in order to allow the Joint Force, employing Army capabilities, to achieve overmatch in the future operation environment. DEVCOM is a major subordinate command of AFC. DEVCOM leads in the discovery, development, and delivery of technology-based capabilities to enable Soldiers to win our nation’s wars and come home safely. DEVCOM CBC is the Army’s principal research and development center for chemical and biological defense technology, engineering, and field operations. DEVCOM CBC is headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.