Three Union students will spend their summer abroad after earning global internships with IBM that will provide hands-on experience in solving real world problems.
The internships are part of IBM’s Smart Planet Initiative, a program in which experts from different backgrounds – commerce, governments and academic institutions - tackle critical world issues such as river flow, traffic congestion and medical birth defects using technology.
Alethea Schepperly ’12 and Matthew Graveley ’12 will work in the IBM China Research Lab in Beijing, while Matthew Manning ’12 will be based at IBM Zurich.
Schepperly, a Chinese and East Asian studies interdisciplinary major from Hopewell Junction, N.Y., will specialize in social media and communications. In the fall, she spent a term abroad in China.
“Not only do social media have a huge impact on my generation, but they also reflect an ever-increasing reliance on electronic communication,” Schepperly said.
Graveley, a biomedical engineering major from Lowville, N.Y., will test pipe integrity in waste water management systems.
“When I found out I got an internship with IBM, I was excited because it’s one of the best companies in the world for research,” he said.
An electrical engineering major from Syracuse, N.Y., Manning will be employed as a general research intern in science and technology.
“Research internships require a lot of abilities and skills that you learn in the classroom,” Manning said. “I think that these internships show a lot of confidence in Union’s curriculum.”
The internships mark a deepening of the partnership between Union and IBM. Not only has the company hired many Union graduates, it also recently donated one of its Intelligent Cluster computing solutions to the College, providing it with the greatest computing capability of any undergraduate liberal arts college in the nation.
The collaboration demonstrates the value IBM places on Union’s interdisciplinary approach to liberal arts education, which emphasizes both breadth and depth.
“These opportunities will help us immensely as we continue to build our international presence,” said College President Stephen C. Ainlay. “It gives our students hands-on experience and enhances their cultural awareness while providing a world-class company like IBM with access to some of our best and brightest students.”
The students were chosen in part based on an excellent grade point average, creativity, initiative, team spirit and international orientation.
“It’s an enormous honor and huge kudos to Union for our academic prowess, our programs and the quality of our students,” said Lara Atkins, director of International Programs at Union, who helped establish the internships.
“The students selected are great examples of what Union has to offer, ranging from engineers to language studies.