Research Park Honors Most Valuable Interns of 2017

Category : Recognition & Awards
Posted on: July 28, 2017

CHAMPAIGN – Research Park’s most influential and valuable interns were honored on Thursday, July 27, 2017 at the Research Park Summer Intern Picnic.  Almost 600 highly skilled students work for Research Park tenant companies, where they gain valuable work experience and make significant contributions to internal corporate research and development programs. They also are able to work on valuable projects and build their professional networks and personal skillsets with by being exposed to scenarios that cannot be learned in the classroom. The interns nominated for this year’s intern awards represent a wide range of skills and backgrounds, and are all students at the University of Illinois. A team of Research Park professionals evaluated all nominations and determined the finalists and winners.

The honorees are as follows:

Best Technological Innovation

Dario Aranguiz, Research Intern, Petronics. “Dario is confident and persistent. If he believes something is possible when others are skeptical, he will work at it until he proves them wrong. He is an extremely fast learner, and is great at bouncing ideas around. His work on single pixel SLAM is absolutely outstanding for any employee, let alone an intern.” Dario is incredibly close to demonstrating single pixel SLAM, which, if successful, will bring capabilities to our robot never before seen in a commercial product. He has helped us stretch the bounds of what functionality is possible to provide from a robot at this price” 

 Finalists: Wanxin Bai, Gartner; Daniel Gardner, OceanComm


Most Outstanding Undergraduate Student

Roshen Samuel, Market Research Analyst, Abbvie. “Roshen would gather, document, and ingest information for all relevant vendors and technologies-effectively becoming a local subject matter expert for numerous systems competing to solve the same business challenge. In many cases, Roshen needed to reach directly out to vendors to setup meetings and gather additional information. Roshen not only built a deck summarizing all of his findings and analyses, but also presented the deck.”


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Finalists: Luke Calian, IllinoisRocstar LLC; Daniel Yuan, Reconstruct Inc.


Most Competent and Collaborative Team

Andrew Steveson and Ethan Wisniewski, Medical Device Design Engineers, Cast21. “Andrew and Ethan work exceptionally well together. They convene each morning to discuss plans to achieve their self-set, large goals to make the best product for Cast21. Andrew and Ethan have done far and away more than anyone could possibly imagine for engineering interns. Andrew and Ethan fearlessly volunteered to represent our company at conferences and events around the country.”

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Finalists: Rui Xia and Yiming Wang, AAPR; John Capozzo, Shimul Chaudhary, Fangyu Wu, Syngenta


Most Advanced Marketing and Business Development

Alexa Musgrove, Graphic Design Intern and Botanical Illustrator, Agrible. “Alexa works well as a member of a team, she looks for ways to support others and finds areas that she can help in. If she completes all her assigned work, or if it’s temporarily blocked, she will be proactive and see how she can help others on the team complete their work. She goes back to perfect details in her work, accepts critique, and makes revisions with a positive attitude. She strives to learn, not only at work but also on personal time, by pursuing a certificate in interactive design, pro-bono work for other companies in Research Park. She sets an example to us all with her work ethic, positive attitude, and communication skills.”


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 Finalists: Jacob Ebens, AARP; Kshitij Inamdar, Brunswick Corporation


Most Outstanding Graduate

Naila Bushra, Technical Developer, Oath (Yahoo!.) “Naila’s work ethic and initiative combined with her research experience provide a potent combination to knock down barriers and solve research problems. Unafraid to propose novel methods, she has greatly improved many of our internal processes. She has identified bugs in our analytic pipelines and improvements to how our data is stored and processed. In her brief time here, she has demonstrated a skill in technical ability above and beyond an entry level graduate employee conducting most of her work with minimal supervision and guidance.”

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 Finalists: Fikriyah Winata, State Farm; Yang Liu, Caterpilar Inc


Best Entrepreneurial Leadership in a Startup 

Daniella Kalume, Laboratory Student Intern, SpectroClick. “Daniella is diligent, efficient, and timely. She works independently, realizes when she needs help or guidance, learns quickly, and then pushes on to the next goal. She has been more effective than the only other lab person I’ve had in the lab. Ms. Kalume has deftly carried out laboratory duties and performed well enough that she has clarified what problems we face in making foolproof analytical methods.”

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Finalists: Elizabeth R. Livingston, Illinois Rocstar LLC; Wiley Jones, Petronics