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ISU College of Technology Student Earns Two Prestigious Accolades

April 19, 2023

Ellen Jenkins, a student in Idaho State University's Nuclear Operations Program, was recently awarded the 2023 Outstanding Student Achievement award for the Idaho State University College of Technology.

This award recognizes graduating students who have demonstrated outstanding service to their respective college, to Idaho State University, and to the community, while also achieving exceptional scholastic accomplishments. Jenkins and her fellow award recipients were honored at the Outstanding Student Achievement Awards Ceremony held on Tuesday, April 18, at the new Idaho Central Credit Union Bengal Alumni Center.

Jenkins’ journey at ISU has been nothing short of remarkable. She recently earned a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) license, one of the most challenging professional licenses to obtain in the nuclear industry. To achieve this, she had to pass a grueling exam that included a written section, an oral section, and a practical portion. Additionally, Jenkins completed the Initial Operator Training course with an 'A'.

"It took countless days and nights studying and preparing to become eligible to take the NRC Reactor Operator exam," said Jenkins. "Everything from getting operation time on the AGN-201 reactor, to studying reactor theory was necessary to prepare. We had to be well prepared for the different sections of the exam."

Having passed her exam at ISU's AGN-201 reactor with flying colors, Jenkins now helps prepare her colleagues for their own possible operator exams. The AGN-201 Reactor, one of a select few reactors found at universities, plays a pivotal role in the program, offering students exceptional training and educational opportunities.

In addition to her outstanding academic achievements, Jenkins boasts an impressive 3.91 GPA and has been named to the Dean's List. She was also recognized as the Career Path Intern of the Month in January 2023 and is an active member of the American Nuclear Society, The Honors Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and The National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Jenkins, who interns at the Transient Reactor Test Facility at the Idaho National Laboratory, secured a full-time position at the INL, which she will start following her graduation.

Mackenzie Gorham, Program Coordinator for the ISU College of Technology’s Nuclear Operations Technology Program commended Jenkins' dedication and hard work.

"Ellen is a hard-working and determined young woman, who has displayed excellence in all her endeavors during her time in the Nuclear Operations Technology Program," she said. "I am excited to see where her passions will take her in her career and future endeavors."


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