Intern Awards

Intern Awards 3 Intern Awards

Save the date for the 2022 University of Illinois Research Park Intern Awards on Thursday, July 28!

 

Every year, we celebrate and recognize the amazing work of student interns working in the Research Park at the annual summer Intern Awards ceremony. The 2022 Research Park Intern Award nomination form is now open! This summer, we will recognize five of these outstanding interns and one team of interns selected by a deliberation committee.

Nomination forms will close on Tuesday, July 19: 

If you would like to nominate a student intern, click HERE

If you would like to nominate a team, click HERE

Awards will be announced at the annual Summer Picnic and the Intern Award Ceremony on Thursday, July 28 at the Atkins Patio. Register HERE to attend.

Winners will receive trophies commemorating their achievement and will be featured on the Research Park website; a press release will also be sent to local media and campus units.

Nominations for the 2022 summer awards are now open. Award categories are: 

Best Entrepreneurial Leadership in a Startup

A student in a startup who has developed capabilities as an idea-generator, decision-maker, and team-builder. They help others above and beyond their job description, have a positive mindset, and take ownership of tasks from inception to completion. (Please note that this award is ONLY for interns working at startups – companies with 70 employees or less globally.)

Best Technical Innovation

Any intern who has helped with, independently created or led a team in developing solutions for the betterment of projects, processes, tools, or automation. They perform tasks that are self-driven, like improving the processes, cost savings, improving efficiencies, and using out-of-the-box thinking to solve business problems demonstrated through leadership.

Best Non-Technical Innovation

Any intern who has impacted their company through non-technical innovation. Their innovation may have entailed designing and implementing effective workflow processes, building strategic partnerships across industries, discovering new opportunities for company growth, or a project of a different form. No matter the medium of their innovation, their self-motivation, creativity, and leadership push the team and company towards greater success.

Most Outstanding Graduate Student Intern

A graduate student intern who is dedicated to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers. They treat people with respect and inspire the trust of others, work with a high level of integrity, and are proactive in building relationships. They keep confidence, admit mistakes, can find common ground and encourage cooperation, and work well as a member of a team – both in leadership and membership roles.

Most Outstanding Undergraduate Student Intern

An undergraduate student intern who is dedicated to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers. They treat people with respect and inspire the trust of others, work with a high level of integrity, and are proactive in building relationships. They keep confidence, admit mistakes, can find common ground and encourage cooperation, and work well as a member of a team – both in leadership and membership roles.

Most Competent and Collaborative Team

This team is like a well-oiled machine and knows how to get the job done. Every team player contributes to the best of their knowledge and expertise. The team has a conducive environment and as a whole is accountable for a very successful project or a project that was difficult to deliver.

2021 Intern Award Recipients

Best Entrepreneurial Leadership in a Startup
  • Winner - Olivia Rentz: Mechatronics Intern, PSYONIC (Undergraduate, Biomedical Engineering)
  • Daniel Gealow: Computational Biologist Intern, SimBioSys (Undergraduate in Biomedical Engineering)
  • Molly Izzi: Graphic Design Intern, Ascent Integrated Tech (Undergraduate in Graphic Design)
Best Technical Innovation
  • Winner - Arif Syraj: Data Science Intern, EarthSense (Undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering)
  • David Liu: Intern I, Technica, Yahoo (Undergraduate in Computer Science)
  • Aman Khinvasara: Strategic Integration & Talent (ITS) Intern, AARP (Undergraduate in Computer Engineering)
  • Gautham Krishnan: Contracted Student Researcher, Corteva (Graduate in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics)
Best Non-Technical Innovation
  • Winner - Anna Chi: i-Jet Industrial Design Intern, Brunswick (Undergraduate in Industrial Design)
  • Matthew Waldinger: Visual Designer Intern, AbbVie (Undergraduate in Graphic Design)
Most Outstanding Graduate Student Intern
  • Winner - Eddie Chapman: Library Information Specialist, AbbVie (Graduate in Computer Science)
  • Aadish Naik: Perception Engineering Intern, Brunswick (Graduate in Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Anisha Jauhauri: Software Development Intern, Corteva (Graduate in Information Management)
  • Pranay Thangeda: Summer Research Intern, Corteva (Graduate in Aerospace Engineering)
Most Outstanding Undergraduate Intern
  • Winner - Daniel Polites: Actuarial & Modeling Intern, State Farm
    (Undergraduate in Actuarial Science)
  • Nicholas (Nico) Lavalle: Actuarial & Modeling Intern (Undergraduate in Statistics)
  • Xi (Adam) Zhao: Data Science Intern, Corteva (Undergraduate in Computer Science)
  • Neil Kaushikkar: Software Developer – Project Manager, COUNTRY Financial (Undergraduate in Computer Science)
Most Competent and Collaborative Team
  • Winner - Ameren Innovation Center Data Team
    • Steven Brodijan (Undergraduate in Computer Engineering)
    • Sarah Simpson (Graduate in Mathematics)
    • Edward Tang (Graduate in Technology Management)
    • Jeremy Livshots (Undergraduate in Computer Science)
    • Katie Kabbes (Undergraduate in Psychology)
    • Ashley Alfred (Graduate in Mathematics)
    • Xander Pero (Undergraduate in Industrial Engineering)
    • Maury Lira (Undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering)
  • ETC Hoteling Team/Synchrony
    • Emily Tokarski (Graduate in Aerospace Systems Engineering)
    • Anushka Bose (Undergraduate in Computer Science)
    • Amy Chen (Undergraduate in Information Systems)
    • Emily Vera (Undergraduate in Computer Science)
    • Wanxing Dai (Undergraduate in Data Science)
    • Pabba Ashish (Graduate in Electrical Engineering)
    • Wei Yang (Graduate in Electrical Engineering)
    • Rudra Patel (Undergraduate in Finance and Accounting)
    • Vinayak Adukia (Graduate in Financial Mathematics)
  • Brunswick i-Jet Material Science Team
    • Quentin Rizzardii (Graduate in Material Science)
    • Vaachit Srikumar (Undergraduate in Material Science)

2020 Intern Award Recipients

Best Entrepreneurial Leadership in a Startup
  • Winner - Grayson Schaer: Research Associate, Editekk (Undergraduate, Aerospace Engineering)
Best Technical Innovation
  • Winner - Katherine Ritchie: Cancer Metabolic Modeling Intern, SimBioSys (Undergraduate, Computer Science)
  • Ali Taghibakhshi: Student Robotics Intern, John Deere (Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering)
  • Eric Cheng: Data Analyst, AbbVie Innovation Center (Ph.D., Food Science and Statistics)
Best Non-Technical Innovation
  • Winner - Nupur Bhardwaj: Human Resources & Community Intern, Motorola Solutions (Undergraduate, Marketing)
  • Vishaank Ghai: Project Manager, COUNTRY Financial DigitaLab (Undergraduate, Computer Science and Economics)
  • Anne Zulkarnain: UX/UI Designer, Cargill (Undergraduate, Industrial Design)
Most Outstanding Graduate Student Intern
  • Eric Cheng: Data Analyst, AbbVie Innovation Center (Ph.D., Food Science and Statistics)
  • Jialu Yan: Data Scientist Intern, Cargill (Ph.D., Physics)
  • Jack Massey: Actuarial Intern, State Farm (Masters, Statistics)
  • Grant Greenberg: Neuroscience Bioinformatics Intern, AbbVie Innovation Center (Ph.D., Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Most Outstanding Undergraduate Intern
  • Winner - Harry Zhao: Engineering Intern, Caterpillar (Undergraduate, Aerospace Engineering)
  • Winner - Anders Cox: Plasma Processing Intern, Starfire Industries LLC (Undergraduate, Electrical Engineering)
  • Dominic Di Girolamo: Actuarial Intern, State Farm (Undergraduate, Actuarial Science)
  • Jessica Huang: Market Research Analyst, AbbVie Innovation Center (Undergraduate, Accounting & Information Systems and Information Technology)
Most Competent and Collaborative Team
  • Winner - Granular Flex Team
    • Jake Stahl: Data Specialist (Undergraduate, Agriculture Business Market and Management)
    • Jordan Breedlove: Data Specialist (Undergraduate in Agriculture Business)
  • Cloud Animal Health Shared Services Team
    • Rishi Choudhary: Project Management Intern, EnterpriseWorks (Undergraduate, Systems Engineering and Design)
    • Fides Icalina: Graphic Design Intern, EnterpriseWorks (Undergraduate, Graphic Design)
    • Prit Delada: Front End Developer Intern, EnterpriseWorks (Undergraduate, Geographic Information Sciences)
    • Jane Kim: Social Media & Communications Intern, EnterpriseWorks (Undergraduate, Media and Cinema Studies)
  • Cargill Team
    • Johnny Chang: Undergraduate in Electrical Engineering
    • Jamie Lim: Undergraduate in Industrial Design

2019 Intern Award Recipients

Best Entrepreneurial Leadership in a Startup
  • Winner - Shaoyu Meng: Software Engineer, LifeFoundry (Masters, Electrical & Computer Engineering)
  • Xiofan Zhang: Neural Network Engineering Intern, Inspirit-IoT (Ph.D., Electrical & Computer Engineering)
  • Jugat Singh: Summer Engineering Intern, InstaRecon, Inc. (Masters, Computer Science)
Best Technological Innovation
  • Winner - Harshit Gupta: Data Science Technology Intern, Syngenta (Masters, Information Management)
  • Ashley Oyirifi: Biomedical Innovation Researcher, AbbVie (Ph.D., Nutritional Sciences)
  • Qianli Chen: Data Scientist, COUNTRY Financial DigitaLab (Ph.D., Civil Engineering)
Most Advanced Marketing-Business Development
  • Winner - Mallory Gorman: Associate Product Owner, Nutrien Ag Solutions (Undergraduate, Agricultural Engineering)
  • Sherry Yi: Idea Summer Lab Intern, AbbVie (Ph.D., Educational Psychology)
  • Nikita Nerkar: Web Developer, Ekey Technology (Masters, Technology Management)
Most Outstanding Graduate Student Intern
  • Zhuzhu Wang: Product Development Intern, Abbott (Ph.D., Food Science)
  • Winner - Saurav Yadav: Data Scientist, COUNTRY Financial DigitaLab (Masters, Information Management)
  • Nuraini Aguse: Front End Intern, InstaRecon (Masters, Computer Science)
Most Outstanding Undergraduate Student Intern
  • Winner - Derek Meyer: P&C Actuarial Intern, State Farm (Undergraduate, Actuarial Science)
  • Avani Patel: Clinical Research Intern, PhotoniCare (Undergraduate, Bioengineering)
Most Competent and Collaborative Team
  • Winner - Intelinair Agronomy and Deep Learning Intern Team
  • PSYONIC Mechanical Engineering Team
  • AARP Computer Programming Team