College of LAS « Illinois

LAS alumna and students win Research Park awards

Interns recognized for outstanding work at innovative companies

Daniella Kalume and her manager, Alexander Scheeline. (Image courtesy of U of I Research Park.)
Daniella Kalume and her manager, Alexander Scheeline. (Image courtesy of U of I Research Park.)
Three students and an alumna from the College of LAS have been recognized as among the most valuable and influential interns in 2017 at U of I’s Research Park.

Almost 600 interns work for Research Park tenant companies. Approved by the Board of Trustees in 1999, the Research Park was established to help faculty develop and commercialize new technology in conjunction with their academic work; foster collaboration between companies and the U of I; and to provide students with highly regarded internships opportunities.

Daniella Kalume, an undergraduate in chemistry, received Research Park’s award for Best Entrepreneurial Leadership in a Startup, the award for the student in a startup who best developed capabilities as an idea generator, decision maker, and team builder. Also considered was whether the student went beyond their job description, had a positive mindset, and took ownership of tasks from inception to completion.

Alexa Musgrove, right, and her manager, Jessica Zanders. (Image courtesy of U of I Research Park.)
Alexa Musgrove, right, and her manager, Jessica Zanders. (Image courtesy of U of I Research Park.)
Kalume is an intern at Spectroclick, a company that seeks to allow people to measure the makeup of water, soil, and biological samples for themselves. Alexander Scheeline, professor emeritus of chemistry and Daniella’s manager, said Daniella was a laboratory technician.

“Daniella is the first person to fill that role, and has quickly become sufficiently adept to collect large amounts of data while supervising others and assisting in setting priorities," Scheeline said.

Kalume said that she was entrusted with a full load of work and very little supervision, which allowed her to greatly improve on her problem solving skills.

“I honestly could not have asked for a better internship,” she said.

The Award for Most Advanced Marketing and Business Development went to Alexa Musgrove (BA, ’14 global studies). 

Roshen Samuel and his manager, Masha Trenhaile. (Image courtesy of U of I Research Park.)
Roshen Samuel and his manager, Masha Trenhaile. (Image courtesy of U of I Research Park.)
This award was made for the student who had designed and implemented the most effective marketing or business plan by identifying strategic partnerships and opportunities within and across segments or industries to help their company develop a sustained competitive advantage.

Musgrove interned at Agrible, a big data technology and data products company, focused on providing innovative science for farmers and agriculture companies. Jessica Zanders, Musgrove’s manager and Agrible’s art director, spoke of Musgrove as a detailed, dedicated and proactive member of the team.

"Alexa's work is a direct reflection of her design skills and efforts, both of which have been a true value to our company.” Zanders said. “She has produced infographics that transforms statistical data into visual graphics and diagrams, making complex ideas more accessible"

The winner of Most Outstanding Undergraduate Intern went to economics and statistics student Roshen Samuel. Samuel interned at AbbVie, a pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, and markets both biopharmaceuticals and small molecule drugs.

Wanxin Bai (Image courtesy of the Department of Statistics.)
Wanxin Bai (Image courtesy of the Department of Statistics.)
In this center, nearly every single intern studied computer science, but Masha Trenhaile, Samuel’s manager, said that Samuel was the first student to join a new market research team that was seeking to utilize students to take a different approach: performing market analysis on vendors and technologies for the benefit of different organizations within AbbVie.

“Roshen exemplified an ability to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Trenhaile said. “[He] went above and beyond typical efforts to produce quality deliverables that delighted his clients.”

Also worthy of mention is Wanxin Bai, a master’s student in statistics who was a finalist for the Best Technological Innovation Award, given to an intern who helped with, independently created, or lead a team in developing solutions for the betterment of projects, processes, tools, and automation. Bai was an intern for Gartner, a company that delivers technology research to global technology business leaders to make informed decisions on key initiatives.

Bai’s manager, Imran Kahn, referred to her as a courageous and very beneficial addition to Gartner’s team.

"Wanxin’s superior technical abilities and good work attitude have helped us deliver high-quality products to our stakeholders.” Kahn said. “[She] never backed off from taking new responsibilities and challenges.”

Logan Weeter
8/18/2017

Related Topics

  • GLOBAL STUDIES
  • Economics
  • Chemisty
  • Statistics
  • Student honors
  • Alumni Honors