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PEI/Grand Challenges Interns Embark on Summer Adventures that Span the Globe

Pascale Poussart with 2010 internsInterns 2010Interns 2010Interns 2010

It is summer in Princeton, and while the humidity and bees have arrived, nearly 100 Princeton undergraduates have left to begin summer internships through the PEI/Grand Challenges Internship Program. This exciting program provides extraordinary opportunities for undergraduates to engage in hands-on, independent, environmentally-focused research opportunities, in locations as varied as New Jersey and Bermuda, Africa and Costa Rica.

These valuable opportunities will contribute to the student's understanding of global environmental problems related to energy and climate, infectious disease and global health, sustainable development and environmental sustainability. The interconnectedness and significance of the various internships reflect the PEI/Grand Challenges Program's mission to find solutions to the most critical environmental issues humanity faces today.

Interns will spend the summer either working in more than 40 positions established by the program, or in opportunities they identified on their own. All of the internships are mentored by either Princeton faculty, or the faculty and professional staff residing at the NGO, non-profit, government or industries where the interns will work.

This summer, 93 interns are participating in internships located in 22 countries spanning the globe, from Australia to Switzerland and Italy, from Peru and El Salvador to Thailand and India. Many are in Africa, including Kenya, South Africa, Liberia, Ghana, Botswana, and Sierra Leone. The students are a diverse group, representing 12 majors at Princeton, from Electrical Engineering to Comparative Literature to Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Seven students are currently taking classes toward certificates in Environmental Studies from PEI.

Through the program, the students will gain new perspectives on their subjects of inquiry. Often these new insights lead to further research for junior papers or their senior theses. In September the students will participate in the PEI/Grand Challenges Summer of Learning Symposium, a two-day forum where they will gather to share their research findings with faculty mentors and each other.

The scholarly, professional and cultural experiences students will enjoy as PEI/Grand Challenges interns will impact the course of their studies at Princeton, inspire new ideas and research methods, lead to lasting collaborations, and have the potential to influence their career choices long after their undergraduate years.

For more information, please visit the Grand Challenges website.