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NEWS

September 23, 2010

RSU Student Completes Internship at Nuclear Facility

Rogers State University student Cassie Lawrence spent her last summer in college working at a government facility that manufactures and stores nuclear weapons.

Lawrence, who is from Bartlesville, completed an internship in the human resources department at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., which plays an instrumental role in national defense.

The internship culminated her studies at the RSU School of Business and Technology. When the internship ended in August, Lawrence earned her bachelor of science in business administration with an option in human resources management.

After earning her degree, Lawrence accepted a position at ConocoPhillips in Bartlesville, with the company's payment system enterprise help desk.

The Y-12 National Security Complex is involved in the management of nuclear weapons, including the storage and protection of special nuclear material and the production of complex nuclear weapon components. The complex also retrieves and stores nuclear materials and fuels the nation's naval reactors.

"A government facility is completely different from a regular, everyday corporation, with all of the security you have to go through to make sure nothing classified is released," Lawrence said.

The Y-12 facility has been involved in nuclear defense since World War II, when it built one of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

She decided to major in human resources because "I wanted to help people learn more about the company they work for."

At Y-12, she worked on developing modules for employees in delegating and conflict management.

"It's really important to get along well with people you work with," Lawrence said.

The internship will help her further her career goals, she said.

"We encourage our students to complete internships," said Dr. Bruce Garrison, dean of the RSU School of Business and Technology. "We think that enhances their employability. The internship is often the first time a student has worked in a professional job."

Lawrence is a 2006 graduate of Bartlesville High School.