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Past Year's Internships

Attention students: Internship positions for 2022-23 will open the week of Sept. 12, 2022.  

How do I find and apply to a project?

STEP 1: Log in and search on Handshake  
Use the key words: Student Success Internships

STEP 2: Apply
Submit your resume and cover letter on Handshake to projects of interest.

STEP 3: Participate in selection process

Using their own selection process, the department will review resumes and select candidates to interview and select for the project.


Previous SSI Projects: 2021-22

Internship Title: Advancing Antiracism and Inclusion--Faculty Grant Program

Department Name: Office of the Academic Senate

Mentor Names: Fatima Paul & Naoko Kada

Description: Working closely with the Academic Senate Office staff, the student will assist with the administration of the grants, using standard office software including Excel, and strong interpersonal skills, both orally and in writing. The student will be tasked with drafting the grant application form, and with publicizing the grant opportunity to UC Merced faculty. The student will support the grantees with the final reporting of the grant projects by creating a standard template for reporting, and facilitate the presentation of the final reports, hopefully at an in-person event in Spring 2022. The student will have multiple opportunities to interact with faculty committed to advancing antiracism and inclusion at UC Merced, and a chance to gain or improve their skills in communication, project management, event planning, and publication.

Internship Title: Alumni Relations: Philanthropy, Engagement, Partnerships, and Research

Department Name: Office of Alumni Relations

Mentor Name: Jessica "JaeJae" Julian

Description: The Office of Alumni Relations seeks a student intern to help facilitate several engagement and research projects to support campus partnerships and philanthropic goals. This position will help to plan and execute student and alumni engagement programs, including: Alumni Career Chats, Homecoming, Student Philanthropy Month, and Bobcat Day. In an effort to assist campus partners with alumni data, this position will create the process for obtaining data needs, engage in research and producing reports and supplemental deliverables. Finally, this position will act as a liaison between student organizations and the alumni association to facilitate engagement and ensure deeper connections.

Internship Title: Analyzing the Impact of Undergraduate Research Programs Through Data Visualization

Name: Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROC)

Mentor Names: Valerie Anderson & Jorge Arroyo

Description: This project is focused on the data management and assessment of UROC programs. This project would support uploading all existing UROC data sets into the Airtable platform and customizing and maintaining the data system for accuracy and integrity. In addition, this project would aim to the streamline data analysis and report development across all UROC Programs; specifically, assessments on participants skill development from SURI as well as the impact of UROC programs on participant’s degree completion rates and graduate school pathways. Lastly this project will work to effectively communicate these assessments by creating effective visualizations of our data.

Internship Title: Anti-Melt Enrollment Coach Analyst

Department Name: Students First Center

Mentor Name: Lisa Perry

Description: The Anti-Melt Enrollment Coach Analyst will assist the Students First Center in gaining a better understanding of how the fall 2021 Anti-melt efforts contributed to first year enrollment. Melt describes the phenomenon of students who have successfully been admitted to a university, but “melt” away prior to the start of a term. UC Merced uses a comprehensive Anti-melt campaign to support the enrollment needs of newly admitted students. As our students needs change our campaign must evolve; this position will be responsible for using both quantitative and qualitative data to improve the new student enrollment experience for fall 2022.

Internship Title: Assessing Educational Inequality in California’s Central Valley and Imperial Valley

Department Name: Economics and Business Management

Mentor Name: Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes

Description: While the state of California boasts the largest economy in the country, it also ranks among the top ten in income inequality. Within California, the Central Valley and the Imperial Valley regions lead in terms of poverty rates and student inequities. This study aims to assess students’ academic progression and document achievement gaps across racial/ethnic minority students relative to non-minority students. A secondary aim of this project is to understand the underlying mechanisms for any persistent achievement gaps, paying close attention to the role of student, school, and locality traits.

Internship Title: Brain Development in Children from Diverse Socioeconomic Backgrounds

Department Name: Psychological Sciences

Mentor Name: Elif Isbell

Description: Most studies on the development of brain functions have drawn their conclusions from convenience samples, where participants are sampled based on their proximity to researchers. The goal of this project is to characterize the developmental course of brain functions that support fundamental cognitive skills in young children from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. In this project, the intern will assist in processing brain data of young children from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, and learn how to analyze, visualize, and present brain and behavioral data. The internship is ideal for students who are interested in psychology, cognitive science, or pediatric research.

Internship Title: Brown Youth Academy's Middle School Early Outreach Innovation Project

Department Name: University Extension

Mentor Names: Michael Pierick & Mari Harris

Description: The Early Outreach Program Intern, reporting to Extension's Education Innovation Manager, will contribute to the research, design, planning, and outreach for an in-person Summer 2022 BYA program. This role is critical to the innovative and strategical advancement of serving the Central Valley’s most underserved middle student populations. The Intern will examine barriers to higher education for a diverse array of underrepresented student populations with effective early outreach models to contribute to the design, preparation, and outreach for BYA Summer 2022. This position will prepare the intern to meet advanced qualifications of BYA Program Student Lead for Summer 2022.

Internship Title: Capstone Design Team Optimization Automation

Department Name: Mechanical Engineering

Mentor Names: Alejandro Gutierrez & Ashlie Martini

Description: Interdisciplinary projects and learning environments are believed to provide significant benefits to students. Engineering Capstone Design involves interdisciplinary teams of students working on projects identified by companies and organizations. The teams are created based on multiple factors, including student major, student interest, and project requirements. Creating these teams is challenging because there are so many times competing factors. It is therefore an optimization problem to create the teams. We are looking for a student to automate this optimization to guide team creation by the instructor.

Internship Title: The Center for Educational Partnerships Communications Project

Department Name: Center for Educational Partnerships

Mentor Name: Bernardo Reyes

Description: The UC Merced Center for Educational Partnerships' (CEP) mission is to provide student, school, and parent-centered services that ultimately result in students having the greatest number of postsecondary choices from the widest array of options. The Communications Project aims to strengthen CEP’s identity among the UC Merced community and its stakeholders by creating communications and establishing a social media presence to disseminate information to communities, schools, and community colleges throughout the San Joaquin Central Valley. In addition, this project will help enhance CEP’s service to students, parents, and partnership school sites by highlight CEP’s service models and a UC education.

Internship Title: Content Management and Scaling

Department Name: School of Engineering

Mentor Name: Stefano Foresti

Description: UC Merced has an opportunity to become a leading University in innovation by students with industry partners. The Innovate to Grow (I2G) projects are “internships in the classroom” with industry partners, expanded from the Engineering Capstone class to the Software Engineering class, now called “Software Capstone”. I2G partners are in a wide range of industries such as Ag, Food, Transportation, Energy, Finance, Healthcare, Water, Construction, and more. Currently information and files are collected in multiple repositories, folders, spreadsheets, web pages, etc. There is also a process of engagement with partners, project submission, project interaction, and final project publication that needs to be documented so that it can be transferable to new people involved. Also, as the number of students and industry partners grow we need to scale and maintain these file repositories for data quality and efficiency. The project initially consists of organizing and reconciling the data among repositories, linking where possible, and then developing a centralized document for I2G procedures. The student will also contribute to the web development and content creation for the public site.

Internship Title: Creative Content-Making on Instagram: Share the Library’s Story

Department Name: UC Merced Library

Mentor Name: Sara Davidson Squibb

Description: Create dynamic and interesting content to engage undergraduate peers with the UC Merced’s Library story and its connection to students’ academic and college-life experiences. To increase engagement, you will gain familiarity with the library’s activities, engage in creative content-making, implement social media best practices, and monitor/analyze user interactions. Through this project, you will focus on a single social media platform with an emphasis on reaching the undergraduate population. Gain experience with technology, ideation & implementation, project management, written & visual communications, library resources, and data analysis.

Internship Title: Digital Twin Enabled Fault Diagnosis and Health Monitoring for Process Control Applications

Department Name: Mechanical Engineering

Mentor Name: Furkan Guc

Description: Impedance matching are key technologies in today's cutting-edge engineering applications like semiconductor manufacturing and wireless charging. Asa well-known benchmark in process control, different faults may occur in the system like sensor and actuator related faults. Using smart control engineering applications like digital twins, it is possible to detect faults before the actual fault occurs. Digital twin applications enable to monitor system health and warn user before critical faults. Project’s aim is to research and implement digital twin application for impedance matching benchmark to come up with a fault diagnosis and health monitoring solution for a process control application.

Internship Title: Educational Opportunity Outreach Project

Department Name: Calvin E. Bright Success Center - Guardian Scholars Program & Underground Scholars Initiative

Mentor Name: Edith Ramirez

Description: The Educational Opportunity Outreach Project aims at outreaching to scholars eligible for the Guardian Scholars Program and/or Underground Scholars Initiative. The Guardian Scholars Program provides services for scholars that have experienced the foster care system and/or homelessness. The Underground Scholars Initiative, on the other hand, provides services to scholars that have been impacted or experienced the juvenile and/or criminal justice system. The Student Success Intern will support outreach efforts through the creation of outreach materials and well as by providing one on one assistance to scholars transitioning to UC Merced.

Internship Title: Exfoliation and Characterization of MoS2 2D Materials

Department Name: Office of Research and Economic Development

Mentor Name: Parveen Kumar

Description: Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) has been put forward by a group of researchers as a potential building block for the next generation of low-cost electrical devices as an alternative to graphene. The monolayers of bulk MoS2 crystal can be exfoliated using the noble idea of mechanical exfoliation by scotch tape. These 2D semiconductors with different bandgap energies can be put together to form a heterojunction to tune the properties of the material for different optoelectronics applications. The simplicity and nobility of exfoliation techniques can be accomplished in any small lab. Students will exfoliateMoS2 to a few layers and perform the characterization.

Internship Title: Geospatial Data Management Intern for Merced Vernal Pool and Grassland Reserve

Department Name: Office of Research and Economic Development & UC Natural Reserve System

Mentor Names: Joy Baccei & Erin Mutch

Description: The Geospatial Data Management Intern will work under the direction of, and with oversight from, the Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve(MVPGR) Director, where further direction, co-mentorship, and training will be provided by the UC Merced SpARC Director and/or staff, and in collaboration with Physical and Environmental Planning Department, to advance, update, and integrate MVPGR geospatial databases and resources to support research, education, management, and environmental stewardship activities. The intern will also undertake one project from a range of options to demonstrate the utility of the new system to facilitate MVPGR mapping and communication capacities.

Internship Title: Greenhouse and Experimental Garden Intern Project

Department Name: Life and Environmental Sciences

Mentor Names: Emily Moran & Jason Sexton

Description: Develop skills in greenhouse management, plant care, data collection, and analysis! The student intern will assist plant biology faculty members and an interim greenhouse manager in greenhouse operations and maintaining an experimental common garden of poplar trees as part of the Popup Poplar Gardens project ( UC Merced now has new, state-of-the-art research greenhouses and an adjacent experimental garden. The intern will learn about greenhouse operations, including environmental controls, soil sterilization, growth chamber operation and maintenance, irrigation control systems, and research greenhouse user management. The internship offers opportunities to liaise with faculty, facilities staff, students, and other researchers.

Internship Title: Human Resources Communications and Marketing

Department Name: Human Resources

Mentor Names: David Ellington, Fabiola Elizalde & Kevin Reyes

Description: Working alongside team members within the Human Resources department the Student Success Project will provide an opportunity to learn about the internal units of our UC Merced HR team though paired work with all our HR Units. You will participate in team meetings, brainstorming, design, development, and implementation of a complete refresh of the marketing, communications, and site content for our HR main landing site. Secondarily, you will establish a newsletter development process (based upon existing templates) and aid in the development of a communications plan for HR Monday Memo and UCM Connect content.

Internship Title: Identifying and Promoting Campus-Led Community Engaged Research

Department Name: Resource Center for Community Engaged Scholarship (ReCCES)

Mentor Name: Robin DeLugan

Description: The Community Engaged Research (CEnR) Student Success Intern will work with Professor Robin DeLugan and the Resource Center for Community Engaged Scholarship (ReCCES) team. The primary project will be to gather information on current and recent UCM faculty-led CEnR community engaged research projects. The intern will learn how UCM faculty in different academic disciplines connect research to local and regional issues and audiences. The intern will present the results of this project in Spring 2022 during Research Week and share the information with others via its website, listserv, and social media.

Internship Title: Implementing Python Knowledge to Replication Simulation Written in Matlab

Department Name: Molecular & Cell Biology

Mentor Names: Katrina Hoyer & Jon Anzules

Description: Under the supervision of Dr. Hoyer and senior graduate student Jon Anzules, the student intern will replicate a mathematical model of immune dysregulation from Matlab into Python. The student will learn biological applications of coding and implementation of applied mathematics. The project has flexibility to provide close mentoring and/or independent project approach. The intern will participate in research group meetings and present current data. The purpose of the project is to streamline the existing code, identify logic errors and expand the coding languages for accessibility and publication.

Internship Title: Internal Audit and Data Analytics Project

Department Name: Internal Audit

Mentor Name: Shelton Autry

Description: Project provides a highly motivated student the opportunity to become fully integrated in the audit process and learn first-hand to use and apply key methods and tools used in internal auditing. Project activities will include learning about and performing key audit techniques, use of electronic workpapers, interacting with campus unit leaders, and becoming familiar with audit standards and UC audit processes and procedures. Students will use data analytics techniques to analyze and present information; research and audit against university policies, applicable laws and regulations; and help grow Internal Audit's use of data analytics and concurrent auditing.

Internship Title: Isotopic Analysis of Human Diets in the Ancient Andes

Department Name: Anthropology and Heritage Studies

Mentor Name: Beth Scaffidi

Description: Because you are what (and where) you eat, stable isotope analysis of human tissues provides a life-long dietary record. Dietary differences between individuals or communities can shed light on social organization, ritual practices, and social identities. Paleodietary reconstruction is well-established in archaeology but can also help identify the dead in medico-legal investigations. Interns will practice all phases of analysis, learning valuable wet lab and quantitative analysis skills. Students will develop a research question about one of our sample populations, identify a corresponding protocol, and analyze selected samples. Students will refine communication skills by writing and presenting a final report.

Internship Title: Mapping Cow Grazing Forage Utilization at Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve

Department Name: UC Center of Excellence on UAS Safety, UC Natural Reserve System (Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve)

Mentor Names: Brandon Stark & Joy Baccei

Description: Every autumn, the Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve conducts a survey measuring the amount of dried grasses in the reserve. This is an important measurement as the level of dried grasses, known as Residual Dry Matter (RDM), is a proxy for estimating grassland productivity and rangeland health. But measuring RDM is a time-consuming process that involves repeatedly cutting and weighing samples all over. In this project, the student will explore using a low-cost drone as a new tool for RDM surveys, gaining hands-on experience with environmental analysis software and drones, to help land managers improve their RDM surveys.

Internship Title: Materials for Sustainable Plastics and the Environment

Department Name: Materials Science and Engineering

Mentor Name: Lilian Davila

Description: The project aims to investigate the usefulness of plarn (yarn made of recycled plastic bags) for engineering applications by modeling composition-properties and life-cycle assessment (LCA). Using independent studies, eco-audit data, and design software, we can evaluate how properties of plarn change as a function of size and analyze different traits including price, energy, and CO2 footprint during manufacturing. Relevant properties together with LCA data of plarn material are pivotal in determining its potential and alternatives in a systematic approach to better select and design products. This research can help decrease pollution in the environment.

Internship Title: Microwave-based Methane Sensing

Department Name: Mechanical Engineering

Mentor Name: YangQuan Chen

Description: Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide in a 20-year time span. Mitigation of methane emissions can impact the near-term effect of global warming. Methane detection and quantification is the first step towards mitigation. However, sensors to detect methane, in general, are expensive and low-cost solutions that can detect at ppm-level are highly desirable. Therefore, this project aims to explore novel sensing techniques to detect methane, at low cost, using chemiresistive materials and microwave-based sensors.

Internship Title: Multilingual Writers Research Project

Department Name: Global Arts, Media, and Writing Studies

Mentor Names: Paul Gibbons, Catherine Koehler & Amy Fenstermaker

Description: The SSI will participate as undergraduate lead on a qualitative research study considering the rhetorical resources that multilingual students bring to UC Merced’s entry-level writing course (WRI 1). The goal of this research is to better understand what these rhetorical resources are, whether and how students see these resources as relevant to academic writing, and how this might inform curricular changes that help students leverage these resources at UC Merced. The SSI will be involved and supported at all stages of the research process, including research design, data collection and analysis, and dissemination, with opportunity for academic presentations and publications.

Internship Title: Physics Data Analytics and Marketing Intern

Department Name: Physics

Mentor Names: Dustin Kleckner, Brian Utter & Tom Martinez

Description: The Physics Data Analytics and Marketing Intern will assist the Physics Recruitment and Outreach Committee in gathering and analyzing data on student interest in physics and related career outcomes. There will be an emphasis on understanding cultural and social barriers to entering the physics major. The student will develop physical and digital materials using the data they collected to promote the physics department and help increase underrepresented students in STEM. This will include the creation of recruitment flyers/brochures, career statistics, slides, survey tools, etc., as well as assisting in the planning and execution of in person and virtual events.

Internship Title: Research Compliance Process Review Project

Department Name: Research Compliance and Integrity Office

Mentor Name: Leslie Teixeira-Porto

Description: The Research Compliance and Integrity (RCI) Office has started the process of updating internal policies and SOPs and is inviting the student intern to contribute to this project. The project will start with a review of current RCI Office guidances, SOPs and policies, as well as a review of the appropriate regulations and other UC campuses and universities' guidances to identify areas that the RCI Office may need to revise or update. The student will then generate a report outlining the findings from this review. In consultation with the RCI team, the student will assist in drafting and updating guidance documents. The student will also be responsible for updating document templates and posting the updated materials on the RCI website.

Internship Title: Social Media and Digital Communications

Department Name: Chemistry & Biochemistry

Mentor Names: Hrant Hratchian, Mariah Gonsalez, Shahar Sukenik, Tom Martinez & Christine Isborn

Description: The Social Media and Digital Communications Internship project involves the development of a social media and digital communication portfolio for the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and its aligned graduate group. The project will enhance the Department’s public profile by targeting potential and current students, the campus community, and the broader national and international chemistry community. The project will be ideal for a creative, tech savvy, and highly organized student. The intern will work with a team of staff and faculty to gain professional development and communication skills relating to future work in marketing, communications, or graphical design.

Internship Title: Stormwater Quality Enhancement at UC Merced

Department Name: Environmental, Health and Safety Department

Mentor Name: Mal Donohue

Description: Stormwater Quality Enhancement at UC Merced including monitoring and measuring pollutants entering the stormwater receiving stream at the UCMerced stormwater ponds and stormwater drainage channels. The goal for the project is identify opportunities at the UC Merced to identify pollutants entering the stormwater receiving streams and ponds, the pathways involved, the effect on stormwater quality and potential preventive and corrective actions to improve stormwater quality at the UC Merced.

Internship Title: Student Scholarship Recipient Database

Department Name: External Relations - Philanthropy & Strategic Partnerships

Mentor Name: Carla Spain

Description: Create a repository of past scholarship recipients, including what scholarship(s) was received, degree information, and post-graduation career information. The data currently exists in disparate systems and will need to be compiled into one searchable database that will also include student quotes/testimonials categorized by topic for ease of use. The project will also include creating training documents and presentations to the External Relations team on how to use the database. The information compiled will be used by External Relations in outreach to donors and prospective donors to demonstrate impact of giving to UC Merced and to encourage donations.

Internship Title: UC Learning Center

Department Name: Human Resources

Mentor Names: David Ellington, Fabiola Elizalde & Kevin Reyes

Description: Working alongside team members within the Human Resources department the Student Success Project will provide an opportunity to learn about the internal units of our UC Merced HR team though paired work with our Talent Development team. You will participate in team meetings, brainstorming, design, development, and implementation of a new user interface for the Learning Management System (LMS) known as the UC Learning Center(UCLC). This includes landing page, user interface, and performance support resources (job aids, screencasts, how-to’s, blogs and vlogs) in a refresh of UC Merced’s central conduit of training, development and instruction for our campus personnel.

Internship Title: UC Merced Connect Hackathon Project

Department Name: Office of Information Technology

Mentor Name: Christy Snyder

Description: Come help OIT plan a UC Merced Connect Hackathon in Spring 2022! The UC Merced Connect Hackathon Intern is responsible for first mastering the basics of the (no-coding-required) platform upon which UC Merced Connect is built, then planning and executing a multi-day Student Hackathon in which UCM students will brainstorm and build new app functionality. Work alongside creative and technical professionals from the Office of Information Technology as you develop professional skills, test your ability to master new technology, design outcome-driven trainings, create effective documentation and successful marketing materials...all culminating in the execution of a large-scale campus event.

Internship Title: Valley Fever Data Project

Department Name: Office of Research and Economic Development

Mentor Name: David Gravano

Description: This project will provide the intern with training in experimental design, data collection, and data analysis while advancing a biomedical research project. The core of the project will involve analysis of patient samples from an ongoing study on adult Valley fever infection. Collected blood will be analyzed for biomarkers. The project will utilize both flow cytometry data collection and analysis as well as single cell RNA seq. The intern will especially assist in the data analysis portion of the study and be responsible for designing new standard operating procedures to be used by UC Merced labs that rely on the SCIF core facility.

Internship Title: Yosemite Big Wall Plant Adaptation Project

Department Name: Life and Environmental Sciences

Mentor Name: Jason Sexton

Description: How do plants manage to live on the steepest environments on Earth? The intern will work alongside investigators to evaluate monkeyflower plant occurrence, adaptation, and gene flow across the famously steep walls of Yosemite Valley, including El Capitan. They will coordinate with Yosemite staff, including rock-climbing rangers and biologists, organize and maintain seed collections, propagate plants in UCM greenhouses, conduct statistical analyses, and perhaps perform genetic molecular techniques. Results will help us better understand how plants can colonize extreme environments, whether they are climate-adapted across such steep gradients, and what the patterns of connectivity (gene flow) are in Yosemite Valley.