Alumni donations create unique summer internship opportunities
Five students were granted the opportunity to engage in summer internships through Syracuse University, taking them as far as Spain to pursue unique studies within their majors.
These experiences are facilitated by the Clements Grant, a donation from SU alumni Mark and Pearle Clements.
‘The internship is designed to give students the chance to do something they are really interested in, to create opportunities, and to give them a chance to do something that is not really mainstream,’ said Director of the Center for Career Services Michael Cahill.
The Center for Career Services took over administration of the Syracuse University Internship Program in August, and as a result, it distributed the $2,500 to $5,000 grant.
Senior Stuart Angus was one of the students awarded a grant.
Angus traveled to Granada, Spain, during the summer to present research on the bacterium Myxococcus xanthus at the 34th International Conference on the biology of the Myxobacteria.
His research was different from typical classroom experiences because it wasn’t centered around learning material quickly in order to perform well on an exam, the biochemistry and chemical engineering major said.
‘I really enjoyed being able to just observe something really interesting happen and start to explore it – without deadlines – without tests or any pressure on producing results,’ Angus said.
A conference member who saw Angus’ presentation offered him a job to further his research work in Granada following his graduation in December. He will travel to Granada in January to continue his research for two or three months. Angus is also applying to graduate school and plans to begin working toward his doctorate in fall 2008.
Junior Dylan Fairchild was another recipient of the grant.
During the summer, Fairchild worked to gain publicity for a non-profit organization called the Youth Advocacy Center, which trains professionals to work with children in the foster home system.
Fairchild realized that despite the desire of many of these children to succeed, they didn’t have anyone to support them.
‘Doing the small things matters,’ the sociology and public relations major said. ‘Letting the kids know they can make a difference and be successful is important.’
Though he didn’t work directly with the children, he still felt as though he had helped to make a difference in their lives and had given them a chance to be successful by promoting the organization, allowing it to grow.
As of now, Fairchild plans to attend either graduate school or law school after graduation.
‘I’m not sure what exactly I’m going to do yet, but I definitely want to further my education because the biggest reward in life is to become intellectually free,’ Fairchild said.
Cahill, the career services director, said he hopes to increase funds to award these opportunities because it is in line with SU’s idea of scholarship in action. He believes that internships are an opportunity to explore what’s available in the world, while pursuing a passion.
‘I hope students get to do things that are different than what they would run across following the well-traveled path,’ Cahill said.
Angus said he learned many life lessons from his experience, especially the unpredictably of the future.
‘If you had told me before my junior year that I’d be spending the next two years researching a bacteria called Myxococcus xanthus and going to an international conference to present my research, I would have laughed. But right now I like doing this, so I’m going to keep doing it for a while,’ Angus said.
Among the other recipients were junior psychology and philosophy major David Taube, junior broadcast journalism major Abby Feldman and junior sculpture major Samantha Harmon. All five recipients will be honored at a luncheon Friday in the Miron Room in Newhouse I at 11 a.m.
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