- Gareth Rhodes, a political science major, was a White House intern.
For many undergraduates, summer break is all about fun and games. However, many bright and talented students at The City College of New York (CCNY) took advantage of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for internships and research experience in exotic locales and prestigious organizations.
Take Eleanor Fallon, for example, a senior majoring in Biomedical Science in the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. She conducted research at an Irish hospice that focused on the risk factors for falling among cancer patients.
Vikas Goswamy, another Sophie Davis student, went to the Hospital Universitário Cassiano Antonio de Morais in Vitoria, Brazil, to investigate the sex education taught to adolescents.
In Africa, Fayola Peters and four other City College compatriots taught biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics to high school girls in rural Tanzania.
Closer to home, political science senior Gareth Rhodes had a summer to remember interning for ten weeks in the Scheduling and Advance Office at The White House.
These and other CCNY students have benefited from a range of internships and other programs that turn summers into opportunities to enrich their learning and gain hands-on experience to help them prepare for the future. Several of them recently shared their experiences through a website they helped to create, “My Most Excellent Summer.”
Depending on their major, year and academic standing, undergraduates at City College are eligible to apply for internships tenable either in the United States or overseas. They range from the Mack Lipkin Broader Horizons Fellowship Program offered by the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education to the CCNY Development and Service Learning Program and Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship.
“The breadth and quality of internship opportunities at The City College is really impressive and comparable to any institution in the country,” said Dr. Daniel Lemons, Acting Provost at The City College. “Programs like the Mack Lipkin Broader Horizons Fellowship, for example, offer high achieving students the chance to conduct research for up to eight weeks during summers anywhere in the world. These kinds of opportunities are second to none.”
Ms. Fallon and Mr. Goswamy were among a group of 2010 Mack Lipkin Fellows from the Sophie Davis School that interned overseas. Others included Sidra Javed, who conducted genetics research in England, and Chrysomethis Kishore, a Colin Power Fellow as well, who studied sexually transmitted diseases in Guyana.
The Lipkin Fellowship Program was established in honor of Mack Lipkin, M.D., CCNY ’26, with the support of the Sergei S. Zlinkoff Fund for Medical Research and Education, the Ruth W. Dolen Foundation and Friends and Family of Dr. Mack Lipkin.
Ms. Fallon, who spent six and half weeks collecting data from cancer patients at Our Lady’s Hospice, said the fellowship provided an invaluable opportunity to advance her education.
“Traveling is a great way to learn about the world and about yourself. Conducting research in a different country is an interesting lens through which to view a culture and to learn more about your topic of interest,” she noted.
CCNY’s Study Abroad Program offers a variety of programs, both semester-long and short term, in Europe, Africa and Latin America. Its Tanzania service learning program for science majors is its latest offering.
Last June, Ms. Peters, Ceena Chandrabos, Medinah Chin, Hannah Major-Monfried and Analisa Wills spent four weeks in the East African nation teaching biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics to high school girls in rural Tanzania.
“Amazing!” is how Ms. Peters, a fifth-year Sophie Davis School student who helped tutor 200 students in one school, summed up their experience. “Abolish all preconceived notions. Approach your study abroad experience with a positive mindset and stay strong even when you may encounter times when you feel helpless, unsure and even lonely.”
Gareth Rhodes, a Colin Powell Fellow at CCNY, applied for and was accepted into the White House Internship Program. At the end of the program, he credited previous internships he’d participated in at CCNY for preparing him for the White House stint.
Said Mr. Rhodes: “I have participated in several public service internships, from the district office of Congressman Charles Rangel in Harlem to the Office of New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. From these internships, I have gained an appreciation and interest in the role of government and public policy in the livelihoods of ordinary Americans.”
Other summer internship opportunities available to CCNY students include Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowships and the Mayor’s Health Literacy Fellowship Program.
Mellon Mays Fellowships are aimed at increasing the number of scholars from underrepresented groups. Kesi Foster, a junior pursuing an English degree, was a Fellow this year. He spent eight weeks at the University of Chicago learning how to formulate a research topic for graduate school.
“Before this summer, I didn’t know the difference between the papers I have been writing for undergrad classes and an academic research paper,” he said. “I left with a good foundation of how to pose a viable question, research the question, and compose the paper.”
Joanne Fernandez, meanwhile, was a 2010 Mayor’s Health Literacy Fellow, a distinction bestowed on a few highly qualified medical students in New York City. The fellowship enabled the Sophie Davis School senior and other recipients to learn about health literacy and improve their communication and teaching skills.
“As a future physician, I think it’s important to be able to communicate with patients from all walks of life and literacy levels,” Ms. Fernandez said. “In order to have patients become active participants of their medical care, it’s crucial to communicate effectively to ensure quality care.”
Like Mr. Rhodes and Ms. Kishore, Ms. Fernandez is a Colin Powell Fellow, whose internship was partly funded by CCNY’s Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies.
The Center provides up to $3,500 in support for internships to its Fellows, further enhancing City College’s reputation for providing a broad, all-around education.
Following are links to internship opportunities for CCNY students:
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