Thirteen Summer Internships in Science and Technology students wrapped up
their internships at Fermilab last week with presentations ranging from
the search for supernovas in Sloan Digital Sky Survey to improving ion
production in the Tevatron.
"SIST gives academically talented minority students the opportunity to
work along scientists and engineers," said Elliott McCrory, who directs
the SIST program with Dianne Engram of the Equal Opportunity Office. Now
finishing its 34th year, SIST is Fermilab's oldest educational program.
It is open to all undergraduate minority students who have completed their
first year of college and are majoring in physics, electrical-mechanical
engineering, and computer science. SIST makes a concerted effort to recruit
students from historically black colleges and universities.
"The program doesn't work unless they have meaningful jobs and enthusiastic
supervisors," McCrory said. "We try to put them where they'll be valued,
and I think the quality of their presentations shows they're able to accomplish
a lot in their 12 weeks here."
SIST can also lead students into the GEM program, which pays the graduate
school tuition of two engineering students each year, and the Fellowship
for Minority Students Program, a stipend allowing Ph.D. students to
forgo teaching in graduate school to focus solely on their thesis work.
"We're trying to help build a pipeline that brings exceptionally qualified
minority students into academia and professional technical careers," Engram
said. "Our internship also helps students to hone their writing and
researching skills and can significantly increase their chances of
getting into graduate school. I know it's working because I've received
several letters of recommendation for incoming students from professors
who also went through the program."