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Student Summer Research and Internship Experiences

A message from President Suzanne Rivera

Traditionally, Macalester students have taken part in many different kinds of rewarding summer experiences, from collaborative research opportunities with faculty members to immersive internships in communities in the Twin Cities and around the globe. What are those experiences looking like this summer? 

More than 200 students are participating in a variety of summer experiences, including remote, in-person, and hybrid activities. Here are some highlights: 

We have 143 students participating in paid collaborative summer research opportunities with faculty members at Macalester and elsewhere, across multiple disciplines. Environmental studies students are working with Professor Roopali Phadke supporting an NSF-funded project to study the U.S. Army Corps public engagement process around the future of the locks and dams in the upper Mississippi basin. Physics students, alongside Professor James Heyman, are studying III-V-N semiconductors that are being developed for solar energy and opto-electronics applications. Geology students are in Montana, working with Professor Kristi Curry Rogers to extract vertebrate microfossils from sediment. Theater and dance students are collaborating with Professor Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento to assess gender and race/ethnicity representation in Twin Cities theater and dance organizations. 

The Macalester Summer Internship Grant (MSIG) program, which provides Macalester-funded stipends for students in unpaid summer internships, has 46 students participating at locations around the world. These include a nursing internship in Niger; neuroscience research at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System; and data analysis at Mia, the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Four students are serving as Taylor Public Health Fellows, including a doula intern in Minneapolis and a preventive medicine intern in Jackson, Mississippi. 

The MacNest program, which also provides funding for unpaid internships, has expanded to include a new cohort of students focused exclusively on climate justice. Four MacNest Climate Justice interns are embedded (virtually and in person) at local nonprofits in the Twin Cities. You can learn more about their work on Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s Instagram. In addition, 10 students are working at early-stage start-ups across the Twin Cities through the MacNest Summer Internship Program, now in its fifth year.

“One of Macalester’s greatest strengths is the range of opportunities available for students to take part in collaborative research as undergraduates,” says Professor Dianna Shandy, acting associate dean of the faculty. “Macalester students gain these skills early on. At many other institutions, this kind of research doesn’t take place until grad school.”

July 14, 2021