Mellon Program to begin this summer

The Office of Information Technology has 12 Student Summer Mellon internships available for the summer of 1998. There is a $2,700 stipend for each eight-week internship.

The purpose of the internship is “to assist faculty in their use of technology in teaching and learning,” the Chief Technology Officer at the Office of Information Technology, Perry Hanson, said. Each intern will live in Williamstown and work closely with a faculty member on a specific project during the summer and possibly throughout the next academic year.

This is the first year that the internship program has existed in its current form. The program is made possible by a recent grant from the Mellon Foundation. “Last January, we wrote to the Mellon foundation. A group of us got together and said, ‘What would be interesting?’” Hanson said.

Academic web sites, in addition to making information easily accessible, can also encourage people to think about information in different ways. “Sometimes what happens because of the nature of the web. . .[is] it gives you new ways of connecting things. It gives you new insights. It’s exciting for faculty who didn’t grow up with technology in the way that students did,” Hanson said.

The Student Summer Mellon Intern Program, which is open to first-year students, sophomores and juniors, is currently in the midst of the application process. Interested students must submit a one-page letter detailing any abilities or experience that would help them assist faculty in creating academic web sites and effectively using multimedia to enhance course instruction. Interested faculty will submit projects to the Information Technology Committee. The deadline for application is Feb. 27. In March, the committee will match faculty projects with student interests and make the final selection.

The specific nature of each internship will vary according to the needs of the faculty member’s project. The projects can come from any discipline. “I’ve had e-mail from language faculty; I’ve talked to a physicist,” Hanson said. “I love it when I see the energy that’s flowing in from these proposals.