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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Oak Crest Institute of Science

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Education, Environment, General Science, Pollution Abatement & Control, Technology

Mission: The Oak Crest Institute of Science is an innovative chemistry research and education center where today’s scientists immerse a diversity of students of all academic levels in high-impact research, cultivating tomorrow’s scientists: one individual at a time.

Target demographics: Under-served populations in Pasadena and surrounding area. Particularly high school and community college students as well as undergraduate and graduate students entering careers in chemistry.

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I spent this amazing summer of 2011 at Oak Crest Institute of Science. It is truly an experience that has made me a better person. Before starting my work at OCIS, i had very little experience with Scientific research. With the help of Oak Crest's wonderful staff, I developed a deeper understanding and appreciation of Scientific research. Another valuble thing I learned is that sometimes we don't get the results we want, nevertheless one should never give up. I thank the Oak Crest Staff for there wonderful dedication to fostering scientific education to others.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Oak Crest was an incredible place to start research as a high school student. Not only was the staff nice and friendly, but they gave me my own space to let me gain experience. I learned a lot of useful skills for college, and I really view Oak Crest as an ideal place to work or start research.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to Oak Crest from July 2009 to July 2010. I was an exchange student from France. During this year, I worked on Nickellacycle, trying to develop new catalysts using CO2, imines and alkynes. Even though my experiences weren't successful the way we wanted them to work, I really enjoyed my experience at OCIS and I developped a lot of qualities that I'm currently using at work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a student volunteer for one of the biology projects the summer of 2009. Working at Oakcrest provided me with the unique opportunity to work independently and contribute my own ideas to the project. The scientists there encourage personal growth and were incredible mentors.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned so much during my time at Oak Crest! I gained confidence in my scientific and research abilities that cannot be learned in a classroom. I worked on projects with both John and Marc. They were both exceptional teachers and scientists. I feel grateful to have had the experience I did at Oak Crest.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My research experience at Oak Crest was extremely rewarding. Cutting edge research is very exciting and Oak Crest is a rare institute which offers such outstanding opportunities to undergraduate students. Oak Crest mentors allow students complete autonomy in designing and carrying out research, but they are ALWAYS around for support and guidance when you need it. The mentors are caring and concerned, and are interested in both scientific progress and in cultivating future scientists.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of Oak Crest's greatest strengths is that it's a very supportive place for students from all levels to interact with experienced scientists and gain experience and confidence in doing research. This is very important, since from what I understand, Oak Crest does a lot of work with local high school and community college students who may not have previously considered a research career and don't have a lot of contacts in academia. I know that I benefited a lot from working closely with a mentor who was as interested in my personal and professional development as he was in producing good research.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The team at Oak Crest offers an incredible model on how to put forth top-tier scientific efforts, investigating cutting-edge research questions, while educating and mentoring a great number of young and developing scientists. I've been fortunate enough to work closely with a number of members of the team as they consulted with me on a few projects I've undertaken. I've greatly enjoyed all of these interactions and look forward to more in the future!

I've also had the pleasure of seeing a number of individuals benefit in a multitude of ways from participation in some of the projects at Oak Crest. What this team has been able to do with what they have been given, how they have maximized every asset they have, and how incredibly resourceful they continue to be is truly an inspiration to any entrepreneur that hopes to boot-strap their own research goals and dreams too!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've met and seen some of the great work they do at Oak Crest and it's wonderful. They have great leaders and a great team which enables them to make tremendous progress and scientific discoveries for everybody. Keep up the great work Oak Crest!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Oak Crest for approximately 3 months. I love that they have given me the opportunity to learn and gain the experience in various analytical techniques that are usually required in today's job market. Many times one graduates understanding the theory but lacking the hands on knowledge of the instrumentation needed to find a job. This organization provides the means for students to have hands on knowledge of what it really is like to do be a scientists addressing questions that are truly important to society. There is no better way to learn than to be surrounded by a well equipped lab and people who are really interested in teaching. Research can be difficult but having a good group to work with and projects that are important makes the "work" worth while.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a Research Scientist working for a pharmaceutical company that is located very close to Oak Crest. Oak Crest has been helpful to us in many ways in providing analytical instrumentation (NMR, Partical Countet etc.). I found their research and administrave staff to be diligent, knowledgeable and always willing to provide extensive help which I believe most of the organization will no do.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

As a student of the Biological Technology Program at Pasadena City College, I got an opportunity to do my internship at Oak Crest Institute of Science. I worked under the expert guidance of Dr. Marc Baum.
Oak Crest provides an ideal enviroment to do research, I learned to work independently on my project, all the faculty members are always available to help you out.
The weekly lab meetings helped me in buiding my confidence in presenting in front of a qualified audience.

bassiousmaximus

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Oak-Crest Institute of Science is an incredible place geared towards fostering tomorrow's scientists. The personalized mentoring and one-on-one guidance that I received during my stay at Oak-Crest has been the most influential experience in terms of allowing me to solidify a commitment towards a career in science. The experience that I gained while at Oak-Crest, at such an early stage in my academic career, has paid off countless dividends giving me a head start in developing confidence in my independent thinking abilities.
-Gustavo A. Ramirez

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I'm an exchange student from ESCOM in Paris doing a year long internship at Oak Crest.
When I first arrived, I had no experience in research. I have learned to be patient, to keep in mind that any result is good even if it's not what I expected, and to stay optimistic. My mentor, Dr. Marc Baum, is really helpful. He guides me, encourages me and supports me even when I feel unmotivated due to an unsuccessful reaction. I also learned
to work by myself, use many different techniques, and to try to solve problems that I encounter.
I was also happy to find friendly people in the lab to talk with and to share
experiences with.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My mentors and coworkers were nice. They were always there to help me to make improvements. At Oak Crest, I not only learned how to perform scientific resesarch, but also learned how to be professional. Oak Crest gave me experience that I can never learn in classroomes.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with Oak Crest for almost a year and I'm impressed by the standards to which they hold their students, their collaborators and themselves. Encouragement of and collegiality toward their students, wrapped in the context of hands-on research, comes directly from the top. These professionals are doing cutting edge research and sharing it with students from a variety of backgrounds. I encourage you to explore Oak Crest's website and get to know their faculty and their programs.