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Leadership Gets to Know NPS’ Summer STEM Interns

Article By: MC1 Lewis Hunsaker

There are nearly 100 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) interns on the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) campus this summer, and NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route and Provost Dr. Douglas A. Hensler held an informal gathering, July 2, to get to know some of these budding scientists, and discuss the experiences awaiting them.

“It’s clear to me that this is a special program,” said Route. “I can only imagine, if I was in your shoes, being able to write on my resume and college applications that I spent time here at NPS. These are exceptional opportunities, and we are very pleased to be able to offer them to these exceptional young men and women.”

During the meeting, Route and Hensler talked about their varied career paths in the military and civilian sectors, leading them to their current roles at the university. They emphasized the importance of building personal and professional networks, maintaining a priority on community service, and facing challenges head on.

“When I went back to get my MBA, the courses that challenged me were the softer, non-scientific courses,” said Hensler. “The science courses were easy, but that was because of the engineering training and background that I had.”

If you have STEM in your background, it will give you a lot more security added Hensler. “In the cyber area alone there are 1.5 million vacant jobs today, so I think technology is definitely the place to be,” he added.

 “This program has been a very good experience for me,” said Intern Anoushka Patel. “I came in with different expectations and this program has taught me to adapt and learn new things.”

Nearly 100 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) interns are pictured with NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route and Provost Dr. Douglas A. Hensler, front center, at the Roman Plunge Reflecting Pool, July 2. Following the group photo, the two NPS leaders were provided with an opportunity to get to know some of the interns on campus.

NPS’ STEM internship program partners with the Office of Naval Research in supporting the Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP) and the Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP) to bring high school and college students onto campus for 6-8 weeks through the summer. In addition, the university hosts Midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy as well as cadets from the U.S. Military and Air Force academies, and maintains active relationships with California State University Monterey Bay and regional high schools. NPS also has a long-standing partnership with nearby Hartnell Community College that provides opportunities for students from the Salinas Valley.

The interns are partnered with volunteer faculty, and are assigned projects that focus on areas of national security, such as computer science, space systems, renewable energy, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), and the modeling of virtual environments, among many others.

Posted July 8, 2015

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