We are proud of our Link Fellows/Interns/Scholars, and are especially proud of the vital contributions that they have made in the advancement of simulation and training, ocean engineering and instrumentation, and energy resources development and conservation, throughout their careers.  These advancements are increasingly beneficial to the world in which we live and significantly impact the advancement and security of our nation in important ways. 

If you are or were a Link Fellow/Intern/Scholar, we would love to hear from you!  Please email the Link Foundation Office Administrator, Martha Gahring, at . We would love to tell your story on our page!

Below are a few stories of former Link Fellows/Interns/Scholars we thought you might enjoy learning more about.

Dr. Andrew Clark, Trustee, Link Foundation Board, and 1979 Summer Intern at Harbor Branch

While earning a BS in Ocean Engineering from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in 1979, Dr. Clark received a Link Foundation Intern scholarship which provided the opportunity for him to spend a summer working at Harbor Branch Foundation (now known as Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University). 

It was during the summer as a Link Foundation Intern at Harbor Branch that Dr. Clark made both lifelong professional contacts and friendships.  More importantly, however, Dr. Clark credits this time where he first witnessed the tremendous and powerful force created through, as he states, “the total immersion of scientists and engineers working together, solving problems and making discoveries in an unfettered, creative environment,” which set the path for his professional life.

After Dr. Clark’s graduation from FAU, he found himself drawn back to an entry level job at Harbor Branch.  There, he worked his way up through the ranks to eventually become Director of Engineering.  Since Dr. Clark’s time at Harbor Branch, he has held several leadership positions in both government and industry and has founded three successful companies all which are still operating profitably today.  These companies were established on the same ethic of fostering a creative nexus of science and technology, which he learned while an Intern at Harbor Branch.  Dr. Clark continues to collaborate with his colleagues at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University to this day.

In 1999, Dr. Clark was appointed as a Special Advisor to the Link Foundation Board of Trustees, and in 2005 he became a Trustee of the Link Foundation. 

Dr. Clark recently stated, “A few years ago, I was bestowed with what I consider one of the most important professional responsibilities, and by far the most rewarding, namely being elected Trustee to the Board of the Link Foundation.  This now affords me the opportunity to try to provide this same experience to future generations.  I credit the Link Foundation, and particularly Marilyn C. Link, herself, as playing the pivotal role enabling the successes I have enjoyed in my professional life, but more importantly, the satisfaction and enjoyment I’ve experienced in the totality of my life itself.”

Dr. Lee Lynd, Trustee, Link Foundation Board, Link Foundation Energy Fellowship Program Administrator, and 1984 Link Foundation Energy Fellow

Dr. Lynd was a Link Foundation Energy Fellow during the first year that Energy Fellowships were offered in 1984.  "The Fellowship came at a time when I did not have support for my graduate work," says Dr. Lynd.  "Thus for me, the Link Fellowship was an important factor in letting me pursue my vision for a thesis involving cellulosic biofuels."

Dr. Lynd has followed this vision for his entire professional life.  Today he is the Paul and Joan Queneau Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Adjunct Professor of Biology at Dartmouth College, Director and Chief Scientific Officer of Mascoma Corporation, Focus Area Leader for Biomass Deconstruction and Conversion at the Department of Energy Bioenergy Science Center, Initiator and Executive Committee Coordinator of the Global Sustainable Bioenergy Project, and Professor Extraordinary of Microbiology at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. 

Dr. Lynd is a leading expert on utilization of plant biomass for production of energy, with distinctively broad contributions spanning the science, technology, and policy domains, including leading research on fundamental and biotechnological aspects of microbial cellulose utilization.  A frequently invited presenter on technical and strategic aspects of biomass energy, Dr. Lynd has three times testified before the United States Senate, and has been featured in prominent fora such as Wired, Forbes, Nova, and the Nobel Conference.

The Link Foundation was among the first to recognize Dr. Lynd, but hardly the last.  Dr. Lynd  is the 2011 recipient of the Mines Medal of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology for contributions to engineering or science, and prestigious contributions toward resolution or understanding of the technological challenges that impact society, the inaugural recipient of the Lemelson-MIT Sustainability Prize, recipient of the Charles D. Scott Award for distinguished contributions to the field of biotechnology for fuels and chemicals, and two-time recipient of the Charles A. Lindbergh Award in recognition of efforts to promote a balance between environmental preservation and technological advancement.

Commenting on his involvement with the Link Foundation, Dr. Lynd observes, "As Administrator of the Link Foundation’s Energy Fellowship program, and more recently as a Trustee, I am delighted and honored to be able to play a part in supporting graduate students in the critically important energy field. I take particular pleasure in knowing that receipt of a Link Fellowship may enable young researchers to pursue their dream as it did for me.  I only wish we could give more fellowships.  These days, we are getting about 100 of the strongest applicants in North America and we only award 3 fellowships, although many more are deserving.  I would be delighted to find ways to bring more funds to this outstanding program." 

Dr. Samantha Chapman, Assistant Professor of Biology, Villanova University, and 2003 Link Fellow at Smithsonian Marine Station, Fort Pierce, FL

Dr. Chapman was a Link Fellow in 2003 at the Smithsonian Marine Station (SMS) in Fort Pierce, FL, while she was a PhD. student at Northern Arizona University.

During her time as a Link Fellow, Samantha worked with Dr. Candy Feller and the excellent research team at SMS on a project examining biodiversity in mangrove ecosystems.  Her time as a Link Fellow exposed her to a legion of top-notch marine science researchers and sparked a lifelong passion for research at the interface of the land and sea.  Samantha’s research during her Link Fellowship also led to a Smithsonian Institution Postdoctoral Fellowship and an enduring collaboration with Dr. Feller and SMS scientists.

Dr. Chapman is now Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at Villanova University in Villanova, PA.  Dr. Chapman credits the Link Foundation with providing her the confidence to develop her own research interests and allowing her to pass on a passion for marine science to future generations of scientists.

The Link Foundation is proud to have made a difference in the lives and careers of many including Dr. Clark, Dr. Lynd, and Dr. Chapman.  We count it a privilege and honor to continue our association with them.