Undergraduate Intern of the Year
The University of Connecticut’s Center for Career Development (CCD) has awarded its annual Undergraduate Intern of the Year Award to Meredith Rittman. Rittman was chosen for the 2015 Intern of the Year Award for her internship with NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio as a member of the Fluid Physics and Transport Processes Branch. Pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering, Rittman is a senior, graduating in May 2016.
Rittman was nominated by Donald Jaworske of the Fluid Physics and Transport Process Branch at the NASA Glenn Research Center, and Krystyna Gielo-Perczak, Associate Professor in Residence at UConn. In describing her time as an academic instructor for Rittman, Gielo-Perczak states, “Meredith has always impressed me as a mature, professional and affable young lady with a strong passion for succeeding at her career.” This passion propelled her to go above and beyond in her internship, all while maintaining what Jaworske describes as, “a positive, inquisitive, and professional attitude.”
As a research intern, Rittman worked on a new study focusing on determining pharmaceuticals efficacy in a deep space environment. Her tasks included proctoring memory assessments, data entry, and designing an annual newsletter. By working with her mentor, several biomedical engineers, a pharmacy professor from UConn, and an aeronautical engineer, Rittman developed a plan for a satellite to be launched into lunar orbit to test pharmaceutical degradation.
In describing her time at NASA, Rittman states, “From my internship at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, I learned professional skills in a collaborative and challenging environment, developing new interests and career goals, and went beyond what was expected of me to better both myself and the NASA organization as a whole.”
The CCD has also selected a second place winner for the Intern of the Year Award, Ashley Dumaine, and a third place winner, Brandon Coe.
Dumaine has been acknowledged for her work with Google as a software/site reliability engineering intern. Pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree in Computer Science and Engineering, Dumaine is a senior, graduating in May 2016. Her internship consisted of completed several key components of the software meant to find poor performing tasks of a user within a cluster and transfer those tasks onto other available machines.
Coe has been awarded for his work with the Whistling Straits Golf Course in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Turf Grass Management, Coe is a senior, graduating in May 2016. As an intern with the Whistling Straits Golf Course, Coe played an integral role in preparing the golf course for the Professional Golfers Association Tournament.
The CCD also awarded two honorable mentions; Theus McBee, a Sport Management major, for his work with the National Basketball Association; and Lorraine Apuzzo, Biological Sciences major, for her work at CaroGen Corporation through the UConn Technology Incubation Program.
Co-op of the Year
The CCD awarded the Co-op of the Year award to Lindsay Jimenez, a Biomedical Engineering major, graduating in May 2016. Jimenez is awarded for her co-op experience, which involved tissue engineering research at INDICASAT AIP, in Panama. Her research concentrated on improving the neuron growth of patients with brain damage using stem cells from breast milk.
Graduate Student Intern of the Year
First place for the Graduate Student Intern of the Year has been awarded to Timothy Bussey for his internship with the Education Department at the Columbus Museum. “The goal of my internship was to utilize pieces from the museum’s permanent collection and temporary exhibitions to create self-contained curriculum packets” says Bussey. “This internship has directly impacted my current teaching practice and has expanded my career options in numerous ways as well. With my new-found experience from the Columbus Museum, I have to say that I am even more ecstatic about entering the job marketing in the coming year.”
The CCD awarded one honorable mention for Graduate Student Intern of the Year; Abdelrahman Hosny Ibrahim, a Computer Science graduate student for his work with the Center for Quantitative Medicine at UConn Health.
Employer of the Year
Finally, the CCD awarded the 2015 Employer of the Year award to Electric Boat. In 2015, Electric Boat hosted multiple UConn interns, representing 10 Engineering disciplines, along with Accounting, Biology, English, and Computer Science majors. These interns work closely with a mentor where they provide technical and project management support, participate in collaborative meetings and projects, present results to internal and external customers, and even take part in a press conference. In describing his experience, one past Electric Boat intern states, “Interns get a real chance to build upon their technical and soft skills, make a great wage, and potentially get hired right out of school at a company which has a long history of success and a stable future.” Another intern praises the lay out of the internship, in which each intern is paired with a mentor, stating, “I didn’t feel like an intern, I felt as if I were just as valuable as the other employees. This company made sure I walked away from the internship with new knowledge and skills that I didn’t have coming into it.” Electric Boat will be looking for new perspective interns at the Internship & Co-op Fair on February 3rd.