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A Summer Internship is Leading This Student to Groundbreaking Research

Jourdyn-Evonne Keiara Lee works in the lab at her internship.

New York State serves as one of the largest providers of jobs in finance, banking, and communication, as well as a hub for retail, manufacturing, and educational services, with an economic output comparable to that of the entire country of Canada. To prepare for such an expansive economy upon graduation, all 64 SUNY campuses are providing students applied learning opportunities, ranging from student research to studying abroad.

Through these programs, SUNY students throughout the state are taking on prestigious internships, garnering the skills and knowledge necessary for success upon graduation. In preparation for National Intern Day (July 25th), we are highlighting the work of student interns from throughout the system.

Jourdyn-Evonne Keiara Lee (left, Conrad Pritchard (right)

Jourdyn (left) with her mentor, Conrad Pritchard (right)

Jourdyn-Evonne Keiara Lee is a student at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry where she studies Environmental Resources Engineering. Jourdyn has the longterm goal of leading the charge to provide communities with clean water in the United States and other countries through researching different methods of water filtration.

This summer, Jourdyn is interning at Stanford University in Stanford, California through the ReNUWIt (Re-inventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure) internship program. As an Undergraduate Researcher, she works with her mentor, Conrad Pritchard, studying ways to treat stormwater runoff to limit the number of harmful pollutants that travel across impervious ground, like sidewalks and roads. This is an issue that can affect anybody in any location.

Jourdyn (left) constructing a scaffold

Jourdyn (left) constructing a scaffold with Jessica (right), a high school teacher that works in the lab at Stanford University

This internship has enabled Jourdyn to work in a professional lab for the first time, gaining invaluable experience reading scientific papers, constructing scaffolds and columns, and analyzing scientific samples. In addition to this practical work, Jourdyn participates in weekly web conferences with the other undergraduate researchers in ReNUWIt to share progress and listen to guest lecturers.

Thanks to the setting of an internship like this, Jourdyn has connected with a diverse range of passionate students, receiving advice from graduate students on the future of her educational career. It’s advice that she will cherish and carry with her as she advances through higher education.

Now the summer is only half done, but Jourdyn has already reached new heights pushing past the boundaries of what she has ever accomplished before. She is fully prepared to reach her goals when it comes time to graduate. By taking advantage of these types of applied learning opportunities, students like Jourdyn are reinventing what it means to obtain a higher education.


Jourdyn would like to thank Conrad Pritchard for working with her this summer and providing endless support, Dick Luthy for allowing Jourdyn the opportunity to work in his lab, and Pamela McLeod for the opportunity to come to Stanford.

Written by Taryn Rackmyer

Taryn Rackmyer is a recent graduate of Mohawk Valley Community College, now attending the University at Albany for Public Policy. Taryn is a student assistant for SUNY's Government Relations & Marketing Department.

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