UMass Amherst iCons Students Land Summer Internships in Massachusetts Life Science, Energy Firms

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AMHERST, Mass. –  Ten students in the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Integrated Concentration in Science (iCons) program are working at paid internships with Massachusetts life science and energy technology firms for the summer, at corporations including Tesla, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Anika Therapeutics of Bedford and Waters Corp. of Milford.

As a new model in science education, the iCons program at UMass Amherst has students work in teams to identify and conduct research on real-world, global problems while also completing traditional core studies in their selected majors. Program director and senior lecturer in chemistry Justin Fermann says this integrated approach provides iCons graduates with a significant advantage when they enter the science and technology workforce. The 2017 iCons interns are:

  • Anwesh Yerneni, a chemical engineering major from Mansfield, at Tesla Motors
  • Dominique Carey, a mathematics and statistics major from Arlington, at iCons sponsor Waters Corp.
  • Cameron Lane, a physics major from Pepperell, at Waters Corp.
  • Lily Perryclear, a chemical engineering major from White Horse Beach, at iCons-sponsor Anika Therapeutics
  • Phoebe Hannon, a psychology major from Billerica, at Anika Therapeutics
  • Julia Lenef, a chemistry major from Belmont, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo.
  • Brittany Pine, a computer science and public health major from Peabody, a Collegiate Leaders in Environmental Healthinternship at the Centers for Disease Control
  • Nick Barrett-Miller, an environmental science major from Reading, at the U.S. Army Core of Engineers
  • Luke Fateiger, a computer science major from Bolton, at Sage Therapeutics of Cambridge
  • Matthew (Donnie) Rollings, a chemistry major from Lincoln University, Pa., will work at the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Energy Efficient Electronics

Charles Sherwood, chief executive officer at Anika Therapeutics and UMass Amherst alumnus with a Ph.D. in polymer science, says students in the iCons program have demonstrated a successful track record at his company and that the internships have clear benefits for the students but they also provide tangible contributions to the companies that employ them. 

The CEO adds, “We task interns with useful assignments and work with them to set and accomplish goals, both for the company and for their own development. We have experienced professionals providing them with useful direction, but they certainly do a lot of independent work.”

Sherwood notes, “The students coming out of the iCons program are very polished and very capable. It has worked out really well for us. I would not be surprised to find that it is one of the best, if not the best, in the country.”

Another iCons supporting company, Waters, Corp. designs, manufactures, sells and services technologies for measuring substances important to health and national security fields. Interns there gain experience in fundamental research, including liquid chromatography mass spectrometry, with a focus on improving solutions to problems in areas ranging from food safety to pharmaceuticals.