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Alcorn State’s Health Physics Program: an Entergy Charitable Foundation Success Story

Published: 03/12/2018

Program Supports Nuclear Power Industry Scholarships, Internships and Workforce Training

Entergy Nuclear presented a $50,000 donation to the health physics program at Alcorn State University during the 2017 homecoming football game. Pictured with Entergy employees at the check presentation are Dr. Jermiah Kiran Billa, interim chair of ASU’s Department of Advanced Technologies; Edmond Buckner, dean of the School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences; Dr. Alfred Rankins, president of ASU; and Marcus Ward, vice president of Institutional Advancement. Photo courtesy of Alcorn State University.


Support from the Entergy Charitable Foundation has helped students enrolled in Alcorn State University’s health physics program prepare for careers in the nuclear power industry through scholarships, internships and workforce training.

Now Entergy is announcing $1.1 million of new Entergy Charitable Foundation grant awards, provided to community improvement partners in states where the company operates. The new awards bring the program’s total 2017 contributions to $2.4 million. A list of new recipients can be viewed here.

The Entergy Charitable Foundation is just one of a variety of Entergy programs that support nonprofits in local communities. In total, Entergy Corporation supports more than 2,200 nonprofits annually with charitable contributions of approximately $16 million.

For Alcorn State, the partnership with the program began in 2007. Entergy Nuclear worked with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Alcorn State to develop the only radiation-related program in the state of Mississippi. Since that time, Entergy has presented several grants to Alcorn State to help expand the program in areas of student enrollment and research capacities, including a $50,000 grant in 2017 to fund scholarships.

Entergy’s alliance with Alcorn State has been recognized by the NRC and the Health Physics Society as one of the nation’s best models for preparing students for nuclear industry careers. One hundred students have graduated the program, with 20 graduates transitioning directly into the nuclear industry as radiation protection technicians. The majority of these technicians are employed at Entergy nuclear plants. The program has also helped secure thirty student internships at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station in Port Gibson.

“Entergy is one of our prominent partners in the initiation and development of the health physics program,” said Dr. Jermiah Kiran Billa, interim chair for the Department of Advanced Technologies at Alcorn State University. “Today, Alcorn State is the only university in Mississippi offering a degree in health physics, and Entergy played a vital role in strengthening this program through scholarships, internships and job opportunities for our students.”

“Investing in education and workforce training is one of the most important ways We Power Life and brighten futures in our communities,” said Valarie Mabry, Entergy Mississippi public affairs analyst. “Graduates of Alcorn State’s health physics program have the experience and training required to excel in the nuclear power industry, and we’re very proud that many of them choose to become Entergy employees.”

Entergy Charitable Foundation grants are awarded twice a year. In Mississippi, more than $142,000 was awarded to nonprofits through the Entergy Charitable Foundation in 2017.


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