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Renaissance Internship Program celebrates seven years of success
Renaissance Internship Program celebrates seven years of successNovember 29, 2007Tricia Hopkinsthopkins@syr.edu
Local technology companies and graduate students from the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (LCS) at Syracuse University have been reaping the benefits of the Renaissance Internship Program for seven years. On Dec. 4, Syracuse University will host an event to thank and recognize Assemblyman William Magnarelli for his part in funding the program.
Established in 2000, the Renaissance Internship Program places graduate student interns at local technology companies in the cluster areas of environmental systems, biomedical systems, electronics technologies, manufacturing, information technology and software engineering. Each student works up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and 30 hours in the summer while maintaining a full academic schedule. They receive a premium stipend, a full tuition scholarship and the experience of working on leading-edge technology. In return, local employers are given access to talented graduate students to assist with solutions to real business problems.
“The Renaissance Internship Program benefits both local businesses and students by creating a pipeline of new employees from Syracuse University to local engineering firms,” says Magnarelli. “This program is a great example of what we can accomplish when we bring universities and industries together to solve a common problem, and I am thrilled that it has become a huge success.”
The Renaissance Internship Program is a public-private partnership whereby New York state government and the participating companies share in the cost of the interns. Magnarelli has secured $600,000 in funding and more than 30 internships have been offered since the program’s inception.
Over the years, interns have been placed at Anaren, Carrier Corp., National Grid, New Venture Gear, Philips Broadband Networks Inc., PPC Inc., Sonnet Software Inc. and Welch Allyn. “The program provides a great opportunity for National Grid and Syracuse University to work together and build upon each other’s strengths,” says Art J. Peterson Jr., principal (strategic) analyst at National Grid in Syracuse. “The experience is positive for both our staff and our intern.” Two former deans of LCS, Edward Bogucz and Eric F. Spina, were instrumental in establishing the partnership, which is overseen by SU engineering professor Ercument Arvas.
LCS Interim Dean Shiu-Kai Chin sees the importance of the program in developing and keeping engineering talent in Central New York. With a focus on recruiting and retaining engineering professionals, the Renaissance Internship Program is providing a means for addressing the shortage of engineers at numerous firms in Central New York. “LCS is fortunate to attract students from all over the world, and our graduates are placed globally,” says Chin. “The Renaissance Internship Program helps retain some of our best and brightest students right here in Central New York. By so doing, the program is helping Central New York companies compete globally.”
Anthony P. Fernando, a civil engineering graduate student from Bombay, India, worked under the program for CME Associates Inc., a geotechnical company based in Cicero, from January to May of this year. “Altogether this program gives students hands-on practical experience,” Fernando says, “It helped me with execution and has given me experience needed to get a good job. It is a lot of hard work with a full-time college schedule, but it’s well worth it.”
Fernando attributes his current part-time employment at St. Germain & Aupperle Consulting, a local firm located in Camillus, to the program. He will continue working there part-time until graduation in May 2008 and then become a full-time employee at the firm following graduation.
“The Renaissance Internship Program is an innovative University-industry partnership that has proven it is strengthening the engineering workforce in Central New York and across the state,” says Chin.