Interdisciplinary Internships

Summer 2021 internship opportunities posted on December 18, 2020. Summer 2022 opportunities will be posted by December 6, 2021.
  • Ariana Torres, Assistant Professor

    Looking for a student interested in promoting the economic sustainability of local food systems

    The Horticulture Business program is looking for a scholar to help local food farmers understand how new investments and technologies can affect farm profitability. The scholar will be in charge of modifying an Excel tool to help farmers understand how their production system can be more profitable. The scholar should have knowledge of basic accounting/agribusiness tools.

    This experience will occur: May, June, July, and August

    Bhagyashree Katare, Assistant Professor

    Workplace Training Program in Small Rural Businesses

    The goal of this project is to develop and implement an employee-centric workplace wellness program titled SHOW (Small Business Health and Organizational Wellbeing) to improve employee wellbeing, enhance the organizational environment, and reduce workplace conflict.

    This experience will occur: May, June, July, and August

    Kranthi Varala, Assistant Professor

    Molecular regulators of seed lipid content and composition

    This project involves the molecular and phenotypic characterization of transcription factors that are predicted to alter seed lipid content. Using a machine learning approach on a very large gene expression data set we predicted multiple novel regulators of seed lipid metabolism. The current project involves isolation/generation of transgenic plants with altered expression of these predicted regulators and characterizing the effect of each change on the seed lipid content and composition. The project provides training in genetics, molecular biology, and data analysis in biology.

    This experience will occur: May, June, July, and August

    Luiz Brito, Assistant Professor

    Data analytics of high-throughput phenotypic and genomic datasets from precision dairy farms

    Indiana is home to one of the largest precision dairy farms in the world, equipped with high-throughput phenotyping technologies, including 36 milking robots, activity monitors, automated calf feeders, lung scanning, and automatic body weight recording, in addition to whole-genome genotyping of cows. Precision dairy farming’s technologies measure physiological, behavioral, health, and production indicators on individual animals. The vast amount of data generated by these phenotyping tools is a great resource to reveal novel traits for optimizing genomic selection to improve welfare, productive efficiency, and longevity of Indiana’s Holstein cattle herds. I have two positions for students interested in developing scripts to edit large-scale datasets generated in precision dairy farms. Students with interest and/or experience in statistics and computer programming (e.g., R, Python, C++) are encouraged to apply. In addition to the Summer period, there are opportunities to extend the project for the Fall period. This is a work-from-home position. For additional information, please contact me at:

    This experience will occur: May, June, July, and August

    Michael Wilcox, Asst. Director & Program Leader

    Promoting Community Vitality Through Community Development

    The mission of Purdue Extension's Community Development program is to strengthen the capacity of local leaders, residents, businesses, and organizations through research-based resources and processes to build vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable communities. Our program area delivers research-based Signature Programs divided into six thematic areas: * Leadership and Civic Engagement * Community and Organizational Development * Economic and Business Development * Local Government Education * Quality Places * Workforce Development Our team is comprised of faculty and staff that are located on campus and in offices spread across the state of Indiana. We are all involved in a variety of applied research and engagement projects that focus on a wide array of topics, including land use, economic development, health and wellness, social justice, agri-marketing, placemaking, community design, local government finance, leadership, renewable energy, housing, and digital inclusion to name a few.

    This experience will occur: May, June, July, and August

    Theresa Casey, Research Associate Professor

    MammarGland-Lactation Biology Intern

    Interns will assist in all aspects of research in the lab. Studies we conduct in the lab span from cell culture model systems to rodents and production animals. Interns will learn routine laboratory operating procedures, media preparation, conduct assays, and analyze data. Interns may also support projects that include updating website and database organization. We will train individuals willing to work and learn.

    This experience will occur: May, June, July

  • Guillermo Paniagua, Professor

    Turbine testing program

    Experimental aerothermal characterization of high-pressure turbine interactions. Development of the instrumentation and data processing techniques. The experiments will be performed at the Purdue Experimental Turbine Aerothermal Lab. A description of the experimental capabilities is provided in: Note that a minimum duration of 2 months is required.

    This experience will occur: May, June, July, and August

    Nicole Towner, Instructional Support Manager FYE

    FYE - Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

    Undergraduate Teaching Assistants help with First-Year Engineering courses, working with faculty and Graduate Teaching Assistants. Duties include helping students during class, grading, assisting with Help Session, attending weekly meetings with the teaching team, and other duties as assigned. To apply, students must have completed First-Year Engineering course work (or equivalent) with a B or better and be in good academic standing (not on academic probation).

    This experience will occur: June, July, and August

  • Arielle Borovsky, Associate Professor

    Developing an automated, individualized early learning application

    We are developing an application to build an individually-tailored vocabulary teaching application for parents of young children.

    This experience will occur: May, June, July, and August

    Carolyn McCormick, Assistant Professor

    Mixed Methods in Autism Research

    The Measurement, Autism, and Child Development Lab uses a mixed-methods approach to understand the lived experiences of children and families, with a focus on children with autism. Specific activities are tailored to the interest and need but may include coding video data, transcribing interviews, screening articles for literature reviews, and processing physiological data.

    This experience will occur: May, June, July, and August

    Franki Kung, Assistant Professor

    Goal Management Research

    Successful pursuit of multiple goals (e.g., career, family, health goals) not only has implications for goal attainment, but also more long-term effects like productivity and well-being. However, although there has been extensive research on how people manage single goals, the way people manage multiple goals is less well understood. This project studies this issue through the lens of analyzing the experience of workers using project/task management software, examining the impact of different goal management strategies on performance and satisfaction.

    This experience will occur: May, June, July, and August

    Jonathon Day, Associate Professor

    Sustainable Tourism Destinations

    This study examines explores what factors lead to successful sustainable tourism programs in destination communities. Students will explore effective programs from around the world and may participate in assessment activities in Indiana communities.

    This experience will occur: June, July, and August

    Zoe Taylor, Associate Professor

    Strengths in Single Mothers' Project

    The Strengths in Single Mothers Project collected data on the mental health and wellbeing of 200 single mothers living in Indiana in Fall 2019 (pre Covid19) and Summer 2020 (during Covid19). One-on-one interviews were also conducted with 22 mothers about their experiences. The project is seeking students who are interested in the experiences of single-mother families. The main task for students participating in this research would be coding qualitative data, although it is possible that data collection tasks could be occurring.

    This experience will occur: May, June, July, and August

  • Daniel Chavas, Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Science

    Could climate change make severe thunderstorms and tornadoes worse?

    This project will use data from historical datasets as well as climate model simulations of past, present, and future climates to investigate how the atmospheric ingredients that produce severe thunderstorms and tornadoes may change with climate change. 

    This experience will occur: May, June, July, and August

    Dennis Minchella, Professor

    Host-Parasite Interactions

    The Minchella lab explores host-parasite interactions from genes to ecosystems using a variety of laboratory and field techniques. Summer Stay Scholars may be involved in various projects including the role of parasites in snail life-history responses to the role of parasites in whole ecosystems. We are interested in how environmental stressors impact host-pathogen relationships. Since many pharmaceutical pollutants are persistent in freshwater environments, it is important to document their chronic and across generational effects on non-target freshwater organisms. We plan to study the sublethal and multi-generational impacts of antibiotics on snail host life histories and their susceptibility to trematode parasites.

    This experience will occur: May, June, July, and August

    Greg Michalski,

    Investigating Nitrogen Pollution in the Wabash River

    In this project, students would analyze water from the Wabash River for nitrogen pollution. They will conduct isotope analysis to determine sources of N pollution and its interaction with water biology.

    This experience will occur: June, July, and August

  • Jason Ware, Undergraduate Researcher

    City planners have used community indicators for more than 100 years to measure the interdependence of social, environmental, and economic inputs that influence a community's well-being. The information that community indicators provide illustrates community values, and tells the story of where communities have been, where they are now, and where they are going socially, environmentally, and economically. Community indicators research is often structured within one of four frames: 1) quality of life, 2) sustainability, 3) community performance, and 4) healthy communities. The resultant indices are often used to determine and rank a city's livability. Our goal is to investigate and co-create indicators of community well-being related to quality of life within an urban poor community in Lafayette Indiana. The underlying premise is that urban poor communities across the globe have negligible influence in determining the criteria for measuring a city's livability. We imagine that material realities of poverty manifest in issues of failing infrastructure and poor living conditions that compromise healthy living, and that social realities manifest in decreased educational outcomes. All of these suggest that urban poor communities may produce collectively a set of indicators that create a different picture of a city's livability. We will work with select urban poor communities to create and capture these indicators, the result of which will be a set of inclusive indicators for influencing local policy that can, in turn, impact social, environmental, and economic outcomes and community well-being.

    This experience will occur: May, June, July, and August

  • JJ Sadler, Associate Director, Undergraduate Research

    Social Media Marketing Intern

    The social media marketing intern will assist with the continued development and execution of a social media communication strategy. The intern will predominantly assist with conducting audience research and analysis to continue building and refining the existing social media communication strategy. The intern will also consistently update and optimize pages within multiple social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) and frequently generate/share content to develop connections with all audiences in accordance with best practices.

    This experience will occur: May, June, July, and August

  • Renee Thomas, Director

    Event Management Intern

    The student intern will work with the Black Cultural Center to execute a culturally enriching and educationally impactful domestic Study Away program. Requires travel and facilitation of peer group discussions. The intern will develop team building activities, program evaluation instrument, and build collaborative relationships representing diverse cultures and viewpoints.

    This experience will occur: May and June

  • Jiansong Zhang, Assistant Professor

    4D Simulation of Construction Projects

    Our AutoIC lab ( will need students proficient in using Unity3D or Unreal engine to help in the development of 4D simulations of exciting construction projects.

    This experience will occur: May, June, July, and August

  • Chelsea Harris, Assistant Director of Programs

    Purdue Student Union Board Program Intern

    The Purdue Student Union Board works to put on a variety of events each week to provide students with opportunities to stay relaxed and entertained while taking classes over the summer. The Purdue Student Union Board Program Interns work to plan, execute, and evaluate ~25 programs for summer students. Events range in size and activities and day of the week. The interns will work to pick activities, help manage a budget, create marketing plans, and manage volunteers at events. Each intern will have a set of events that they are a lead on and a set they are the back-up. At the end of the summer, interns will have a portfolio of work they can share with future employers.

    This experience will occur: May, June, July, and August

  • Mary Jo Zeiser, Senior Manager Student Success Programs Dining & Culinary

    Student Success Internship

    This person will work as an intern with the Student Success area for Dining & Culinary. The intern will help with planning and executing Dining & Culinary program for STAR. They will talk to students and families in person or virtually. They will help with planning, developing, and implementing the Jumpstart program, which is an early arrival program for student employees that come to campus before BGR to do employee orientation, training, team building, and fun activities. Other projects as assigned. Paid internship with a meal benefit. Possible housing available. 

    This experience will occur: May, June, July, and August

  • Abby Laufman, Assistant Director of Summer Session

    Summer Help

    Students will work with the Pre-College Coordinator to create programming for high school students for the summer, mail acceptance letters, and in conjunction with the coordinator advise students on courses to take.

    This experience will occur: May and June

    Katharine May, Early Start Coordinator

    Early Start Intern

    The Division of Summer Session is seeking an intern to help non-degree seeking students complete their application, work on admission reports, help answer questions about the Early Start/Summer Start programs, and prep material for both programs. The internship will run from May to June and the intern will work between 15-20 hours per week. This position will work with the Early Start/Summer Start programs and be supervised by the Early Start Coordinator. 

    This experience will occur: May and June

    Division of Summer Session Intern

    Division Intern

    Interns for the Division of Summer will help work on admissions reports, answer emails and phone calls about Summer Start and Early Start, prep materials for all the summer programs, and other duties as assigned.

    This experience will occur: May, June, July

    John Gipson, Director of Summer Session

    Summer Intern

    The intern will work with Summer Sessions data and provide analysis to improve Summer Sessions programming.

    This experience will occur: May, June, July

  • Malissa Ayala, Director, Span Plan Nontraditional Student Services

    Span Plan Communication Internship

    Span Plan Nontraditional Student Services provides support programs to nontraditional undergraduate students enrolled through the West Lafayette campus. We are looking for a nontraditional undergraduate student with an interest in marketing or communications to help build and create social media and content marketing materials. Our schedule is flexible over the summer as you work with both Span Plan staff and student coaches to create and deliver a dynamic end product. A preferred candidate would have the following qualifications: - familiarity with social media strategies and platforms - ability to multitask and take initiative - work well with others to develop ideas - have a high level of creativity - excellent written and verbal communication skills - be a returning nontraditional undergraduate student with some knowledge of Span Plan The ideal candidate should expect a high level of autonomy to create and develop ideas that help to engage and enhance the Span Plan student experience. This is an opportunity for a nontraditional undergraduate student to develop their communication, marketing, and design skills while working both independently and as a collective group.

    This experience will occur: June, July, and August

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