The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) welcomed nine interns for the 2021 summer session. Benefits of this internship include gaining on-the-job training and real-world leadership development experience valuable to future careers.
Each intern worked on projects pertaining to the focus of their assigned department. Megan Pollok, Graydon Smith and Samuel Hedrick assisted Dr. Lowman and the Research team. Pollok worked on a lettuce growing project she said would help determine “if beneficial plant bacteria can help improve heat tolerance in cool weather horticultural crops.” Hedrick worked with the SMART table, a precision imaging platform for plant research. He programmed a camera to take and file images, created a Graphical User Interface to set parameters, like the number of plants on the table and intervals at which the table should run, and used image analysis tools to gather data from the photos. Smith helped test the disease-fighting capabilities of IALR’s library of more than 2,000 beneficial bacterial plant endophytes. He inoculated test subject wheat seedlings and seeds with strains of the Fusarium fungus, a common plant disease.
Cassandra Wade aided Human Resources by creating a performance-based bonus system for IALR employees, modernizing new hire orientation presentations, and creating a visual chart that shows lines of command in IALR staff throughout various divisions. Katherine Clatterbuck organized a Women in STEM panel, in which a board of women in STEM fields converse with students about their future career interests. Benjamin Boles helped the IT department arrange equipment for webinars, update computers with new software and aid IALR staff with technological inquiries.
Kaitlyn Davis and Jahna Waters produced communications like this newsletter story, developed social media content, captured photos of events, and more. Emily Ebalo worked in the Economic Development department where she conducted research on the region’s assets and resources; supported housing studies; assisted with site, industry and leader photo and drone shoots; and helped coordinate economic development announcements in the region.
All interns were hard at work during this program, which culminated with a presentation showcasing their projects. To view more photos, visit bit.ly/IALRinterns21