Summer Picnic and Intern Awards

Every year, we honor the work of student interns working in the Research Park at the Summer Picnic and Intern Awards. We will be celebrating the end of a fantastic summer with food for all and awards for the Research Park's most outstanding interns. Award winners will be announced and receive trophies commemorating their achievement at the Summer Picnic. They will be featured on the Research Park website and a press release will also be sent to local media.

SUMMER PICNIC AND INTERN AWARDS
Thursday, July 26 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm | Atkins Building Lawn

Intern Award Finalists in Alphabetical Order

Best Entrepreneurial Leadership in a Startup
A student in a startup who has developed capabilities as an idea-generator, decision-maker, and team-builder. They help others above and beyond their job description, have a positive mindset, and take ownership of tasks from inception to completion. (Please note that this award is ONLY for interns working at startups - companies with 70 employees or less globally)

  • Kanyon Edvall, Hardware Engineer, LifeFoundry (Undergraduate, Computer Engineering)
  • Perry Lim, Research Intern, Serionix (Undergraduate, Chemistry)

Best Technological Innovation
Any intern who has helped with, independently created, or lead a team in developing solutions for the betterment of projects, process & tools / automation. They perform tasks that are self-driven, like improving the processes, cost savings, improving efficiencies, and using out of the box thinking to solve business problems demonstrated through thought leadership.

  • Rittika Adhikari, Technology Intern, Capital One (Undergraduate, Computer Science)
  • Deniz Karaca, Data Science Intern, Gartner (Undergraduate, Industrial Engineering)
  • Shanglong Zhang, Senior Associate Engineer, Caterpillar (PhD, Mechanical Engineering, University of Connecticut)

Most Advanced Marketing-Business Development
Someone who has designed and implemented an effective marketing or business plan by identifying strategic partnerships and opportunities within and across segments or industries, and has developed a data-backed strategic approach to help the company develop a sustained competitive advantage.

  • Muhammad Ali, Nautic-On Project Manager, Brunswick (Masters of Business Administration – MBA)
  • Tonisha Thacker, Communication/Marketing Intern, AARP (Undergraduate, Chemistry and Sociology)
  • Neelan Veloo, Market Research - Analyst/Consultant, AbbVie (Undergraduate, Electrical Engineering)

Most Outstanding Graduate Student Intern
A graduate student intern who is dedicated to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers. They treat people with respect and inspire the trust of others, work with a high level of integrity, and are proactive in building relationships. They keep confidence, admit mistakes, can find common ground and encourage cooperation, and work well as a member of a team - both in leadership and membership roles.

  • Priscilla Ferronato, UX Design Intern, Gartner (PhD, Design & Technology)
  • Dipali Ranjan, Machine Learning Intern, AARP (MS, Computer Science)
  • Karandeep Singh, Programmer Intern, AGCO/GSI (MS, Civil Engineering)

Most Outstanding Undergraduate Student Intern
An undergraduate student intern who is dedicated to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers. They treat people with respect and inspire the trust of others, work with a high level of integrity, and are proactive in building relationships. They keep confidence, admit mistakes, can find common ground and encourage cooperation, and work well as a member of a team - both in leadership and membership roles.

  • Fernanda Contreras, Data Science-Sustainability Intern, Agrible, Inc (Undergraduate, Information Systems and Information Technology)
  • Manuel Hernandez-Estrada, Mobile Developer, COUNTRY Financial (Undergraduate, Division of General Studies, Engineering)
  • Nathaniel Murphy, Natural Language Processing Intern, AbbVie (Undergraduate, Math & Computer Science)
Most Competent and Collaborative Team

This team is like a well-oiled machine and knows how to get the job done. Every team player contributes to the best of their knowledge and expertise. The team has a conducive environment and as a whole is accountable for a very successful project or a project that was difficult to deliver.

AbbVie Market Research Team
  • Shannon D'Souza (Undergraduate, Bioengineering)
  • Krupa Patel (Undergraduate, Finance and Information Systems/Information Technology)
  • Niti Shah (Undergraduate, Economics & Political Science)
  • Nikhil Shiva (Undergraduate, Bioengineering)
  • Neelan Veloo, (Undergraduate, Electrical Engineering)
 
Ameren Innovation Intern Team
  • Juan Cepeda (Undergraduate, Computer Engineering)
  • August Gress (Undergraduate, Computer Engineering)
  • Joseph Kim (Masters, Human Resources & Industrial Relations)
  • Timothy Lan (Undergraduate, Computer Engineering)
  • Amy Li (Undergraduate, Industrial Design)
  • James Zenn (Masters of Business Administration – MBA)
 
State Farm Econometrics Modeling Team
  • Sarah Formentini (PhD, Statistics)
  • Yumi Ota (Undergraduate, Statistics)
  • Vishakh Patel (Undergraduate, Actuarial Science)