From virtual work experiences to cross-country research, summer interns shine

From virtual work experiences to cross-country research, summer interns shine


Rowan University students build resumes through a wide variety of in-person and virtual internships, gaining next-level experience to launch promising careers. Rowan has long emphasized hands-on experiential learning -- the kind that leads to jobs -- and the following students are but a fraction of the many completing internships for credit this summer.

NSF-funded desert soil research

The National Science Foundation accepted Kate Merrill, a rising senior environmental science major in the School of Earth & Environment, into its competitive Research Experience for Undergraduates program, a 10-week, paid experience in which she’s conducting desert soil research at the University of Texas-El Paso.

“The future of our planet will be determined by the people of today," the Washington Township, Gloucester County, resident said. “I want to be part of the effort to make the world more sustainable.”

Turning corn into starch

Eddie O’Melia, a rising senior mechanical engineering major with a Thomas N. Bantivoglio Honors Concentration in the Honors College, this summer landed in Indianapolis where, interning with multinational ingredient maker Ingredion, he’s learning to process corn into starch.

“I’m out in the plant collaborating with the operators,” said O’Melia, a process engineering intern from Hackettstown who’s working on several projects to make the plant more efficient, including the installation of a heat exchanger to cool down processed starch.

Building cyber careers

Management Information Systems student Genesis Roman, a rising senior in the Rohrer College of Business, is building full-time experience with technology firm Insight Enterprises, Inc., in Tempe, Arizona, from the comfort of her Jersey City home.

“I’m interested in a cybersecurity-related position and my work with Insight is helping me push forward and figure it out,” she said.

Randy Bushman, a computer science graduate student, is spending his summer in the Griffiss Institute’s cybersecurity program in Rome, New York. It’s a boot camp of sorts for students interested in defending the country in cyberspace.

“This is an experience that really sets you apart,” Bushman said. “It’s opened my eyes to a lot of different things within computer science and cybersecurity.”

Jehu Ananoria, a computer science senior, is a software engineering intern for Bristol Myers Squibb this summer. He came into college with little to no coding experience and worked his way into the internship through a research project.

“Without a doubt, this is something I want to do in the future,” Ananoria said. “Bristol Myers Squibb has fostered this great community that encourages students to learn.” 

Sports CaM major interns with NFL Alumni Association

The irony is not lost on Samuel Dobson that the start of his career will be built, in part, on the retirement of others.

But the NFL Alumni Association in Mount Laurel where he’s interning is no old age home.

A rising junior in Sports Communication and Media, Dobson works with sports icons who retired from professional football, often to pursue second careers off the field. In addition, Dobson is interning this summer with the Blue Rocks minor league baseball franchise in Wilmington, Delaware as a camera operator.

“It’s important to get this experience now, and I am,” he said. “But I’m also doing a lot of networking and that’s a really important side of it.”

 For the public good

Jahlia Hernandez and Summaiya Ishrat are among more than 20 students in political and public service internships this summer through the Rowan Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship.

Hernandez, a rising sophomore political science major from Rutherford, is based in the 36th District office of state Assemblyman Clinton Calabrese.

Seeing public policy up close, Hernandez said, “has made me more interested in a career in law and politics.” 

Ishrat, a rising senior liberal studies major from Lindenwold, is interning virtually with the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, an independent nonprofit at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute in Virginia.

“I get to work on projects that I absolutely enjoy,” said Ishrat, who is weighing a career in foreign service. 

Capital experience

Through The Fund for American Studies, senior international studies majors Sarah McClure and Griffin Lallier are working for nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C. 

McClure, of Rockaway, is interning with the Global Language Network, where she’s assisting teachers with language classes.The network teaches classes in more than 60 languages and caters to personnel within the State Department, the Foreign Service and the United Nations.

“I wanted to be part of something up and coming…something on the rise,” said McClure, who speaks German and Japanese and is learning Hindi. 

Lallier is interning with the AG Bell Association, which serves deaf and hearing-impaired communities. 

“I’m so impressed with AG Bell’s message,” said Lallier, of Williamstown. “It’s humbling to be a part of the development team.” 

Engineering interns dig in

John McCleery, a junior civil and environmental engineering major from South Amboy, is interning this summer for MaGrann Associates of Mount Laurel, a company focused on energy consumption in buildings.

“Things fail all the time,” McCleery said. “It’s our job to let the contractors know that it’s failed so they can go back and fix it.”

Gus Van Walsen, an electrical and computer engineering senior from Southampton, is a Green Teams intern for the PSEG Institute for Sustainable Studies at Montclair State University. The program involves 60 students from around the country who are divided into work teams for a dozen organizations. 

“They want to make sustainable change, but they don’t always know how,” Van Walsen said. “We’re here to do the research and help them make the change.”