BTI Welcomes Summer Student Interns
On May 31, Boyce Thompson Institute welcomed 41 of the country’s brightest undergraduate students from universities around the country to experience the life of a researcher for 10 weeks. Ten more research interns from local area high schools will join the Institute for six weeks beginning June 28, and about 14 high schoolers will join BTI for seven weeks as part of the Workforce Advantage (WFA) program.
Now in its 22nd year, BTI’s Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP) Research Experience for Undergrads (REU) focuses on training and inspiring the next generation of scientists to help feed a growing population, while protecting the environment and enhancing human health.
Throughout the summer, student researchers will gain valuable research skills in BTI and Cornell University labs, attend seminars and workshops to learn from leaders in plant science research, bioinformatics, science communications and technology transfer.
Because collaboration is a key aspect of modern science, every intern will be partnered with a mentor in their respective research lab. Together, each mentor will lead the mentee in creating an independent project that best utilizes the student’s curiosity and drive while also contributing to the lab’s research goals. This project will be each intern’s focus during the program, culminating with a poster or a presentation at a scientific symposium.
Five of the REU students will be in labs that are part of the new Center for Research on Programmable Plant Systems (CROPPS), which aims to integrate plant sciences, engineering and computer science to improve crops and the sustainability of agricultural management practices.
For many of the students, this is their first immersive research experience outside their university. Learning the fundamentals of lab life from their mentors and developing their professional networks will be a crucial experience to kickstart their research careers.
When research interns aren’t working on their projects, they will attend weekly seminars by BTI and Cornell faculty, participate in a five-week Bioinformatics course, and engage with faculty, graduate students, and communications and scientific professionals. Throughout the summer, they will have a chance to explore Ithaca and take group trips to Niagara Falls and Corning Museum of Glass.
The summer research internship programs will culminate in the annual George and Helen Kohut Summer Research Symposium on Thursday, August 4, from 9am-4:30pm at BTI. The symposium will be livestreamed for the public.
WFA interns are paired with mentors to gain hands-on experience working in a world-class research institute while exploring the departments that make scientific discoveries possible, such as administration, finance, technology transfer, communications, development, information technology, facilities, computational biology and plant biotechnology.
This year’s internship programs are made possible thanks to the generous support of Carolyn W. Sampson, Tompkins Trust Company, Legacy Foundation of Tompkins County, Rheonix, Inc., John Ben Snow Foundation, Triad Foundation, National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program, United States Department of Agriculture, and many other generous individuals.
Interns: Who They Are
BTI is proud to welcome the following undergraduate and high school interns:
|Tori Adigun||Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University||Scott McArt/Dyce Lab|
|Trey Ansani*||University of Arizona||Abraham Strooke and Georg Jander|
|Caroline Artymowicz||The College of New Jersey||Georg Jander|
|Daniel Bacher||Oregon State University||Maureen Hanson|
|Iselle Barrios||MIT||Adrienne Roeder|
|Jasmin Buffenn||Huntington University||Jim Giovannoni|
|Adam Cason||Samford University||Zhangjun Fei|
|Lauren Carneal||Clemson University||Greg Martin|
|Maddie Ceminsky||St Olaf College||David Stern|
|Alexis Chun||Loyola Marymount University||Maria Harrison|
|Sherlyn Contreras||Ball State University||Stephane Bentolila|
|Collin DeMan||William Paterson University||Li Li|
|Alexis Garbarczyk||University of Arizona||Jian Hua|
|Regan Griffin||Centenary College of Louisiana||Andrew Nelson|
|Joanna Idrovo||Amherst College||Eric Richards|
|Megan Johnston||University of Kentucky||Klaas Van Wijk|
|Joe Ku||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||Aleksandra Skirycz|
|Anna Lipari||Grinnell College||Fay-Wei Li|
|Olive LoGrasso||Colorado State University||BTI Computational Biology Center|
|Kaitlin Marry||New Mexico State University||Clare Casteel|
|Isabella Marshall*||Rowan University||Jenny Kao-Kniffin & Amit Lal|
|Hanifah Muhammad||Arizona State University||Scott McArt|
|Holly Myers||Washington College||Katja Andrea Poveda|
|Yalmarie Numan Vazquez||University of Puerto Rico Recinto Rio Piedras Campus||Magdalena Julkowska|
|Eliza O’Donnell*||St. Lawrence University||Bruce Lewenstein|
|Anamaría Páez Capador||Universidad de los Andes||Georg Jander|
|Kobe Phillips||University of South Florida||Jennifer Thaler|
|Marge Poma Alarcon||Smith College||Olena Vatamaniuk|
|Charis Qi||Davidson College||Zhangjun Fei|
|Umer Sha||The College of New Jersey||Georg Jander|
|Maddie Shaklee||University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth||Zhangjun Fei|
|Mali Simmons||Centenary College of Louisiana||Andrew Nelson|
|Jenna Sins||Gannon University||Fey-Wei Li|
|Amick Sollenberger*||Brown University||Michael Gore and Robert Shepard|
|Harsha Somaya||Colby College||Michael Gore|
|Victoria Swiler||Ohio University||Joyce Van Eck|
|Angely Toro Casiano||University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus||Andre Kessler|
|Kylie Weis||Auburn University||Margaret Frank|
|JJ Wheeler||Tufts University||Wojtek Pawlowski|
|Sam Young||Amherst College||Miguel Pineros|
|David Zimmerman*||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||Margaret Frank|
High School Research Interns
|Benjamin Beer||Ithaca High School||Zhangjun Fei|
|Ella Blomfield-Brown||Dryden High School||Aleksandra Skirycz|
|Ting Fei||Ithaca High School||Magdalena Julkowska|
|Anna Fulbright||Ithaca High School||Scott McArt|
|Avni Gokarn||Lexington High School||Miguel Pineros|
|Palzom Lhamo||Ithaca High School||BCBC|
|Noor Maghaydah||Lansing High School||Kessler|
|Ariel Maroney||Trumansburg High School||Lukas Mueller|
|Lily Yang||Ithaca High School||Georg Jander|
|Stephen Yang||Ithaca High School||Jim Giovannoni|