Community Engagement: MNTL'S Mark McCollum
In additon to the work completed by MNTL faculty, our staff members are involved in community engagement as well. A perfect example is Dr. Mark McCollum, Illinois alumnus and principal research engineer at MNTL. He joined the Micro & Nanotechnology Lab staff in October 2016 and oversees the operation of MNTL’s cleanroom facility, including the $13 million in fabrication and metrology tools used by more than 50 faculty and 350 students across campus.
With over 20 years of III-V compound semiconductor product quality, process control, customer relations, and teaching experience, McCollum put some time into growing the careers of the next generation this past summer. He was a presenter at the Micro and Nano Technology Special Interest Group for Educating the Micro-Nano Workforce in July.
Closer to home, McCollum gave a presentation and tour of the MNTL building during the 2017 I-STEM Summer Camp, held on the Illinois campus from August 7 to August 18. A group of twenty-seven Urbana High School athletes, chiefly consisting of underrepresented minority students, participated in the Summer Camp. Topics covered by McCollum at MNTL included how semiconductors work and why cleanrooms are important to research. After the Camp concluded, McCollum received a thank you note from the students.
I-STEM is a campus coalition grounded in pedagogical excellence and led by the Office of the Chancellor, with a mission to improve the access, quality, and efficiency of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education activities on the Illinois campus, throughout the state, and across the nation. A vital component of this effort is facilitating student interest in STEM-related degrees and careers.
Based in part on a story by Laura Schmitt.