GLEN ELLYN, Ill., July 2, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- College of DuPage students Sam Liesman and Colton Eakins are gaining invaluable real-world experiences while serving biophysics internships at the prestigious Illinois Institute of Technology this summer.
The students will be working as a part of IIT Professor Dr. Jeff Wereszczynski's research group at IIT. The internship came about from a discussion between COD Professors Dr. Tom Carter, Physics; Dr. Kathy Finan, Biology; and Dr. Wereszczynski regarding the problem of providing research opportunities for students.
Bolingbrook resident Liesman is currently earning his Associate in Science degree at COD, after which he plans to transfer to a four-year university, earn his bachelor's degree and eventually work as an engineer.
"Through this internship, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of what it actually means to be a bioengineer," Liesman said.
During the internship, Liesman will study the movements of "pili," long, hair-like structures that cover the surface of bacteria and are used to attach to cells and infect their hosts. He said internships and research opportunities such as this one provide a testing ground for students who are undecided about their education and future careers.
"Internships such as this one are really beneficial for students," Liesman said. "They allow us to explore professions without making a lifetime commitment. It can really save someone a lot of time and money if they learn early on that their chosen profession isn't really what they want to do."
A College of DuPage Presidential Scholarship recipient, Eakins said that he will be the first member of his family to earn a college degree and he is thrilled with the opportunity to serve the internship at IIT.
"This is huge for me," he said. "I'm so thankful for the faculty and support staff as well as the resources and opportunities available at COD that have helped me get to this point."
Eakins, who will be performing computer simulations on a collection of protein and DNA molecules during his internship, said that while the learning gained in the classroom is important, there are several crucial benefits to internship programs that cannot be taught in a classroom.
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SOURCE College of DuPage