Students awarded internships at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Penn State Berks students Chris Brendel and Amy Rutter were recently awarded highly competitive internships in the Research Training Program (RTP) at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Brendel, a junior Schreyer Scholar majoring in global studies, will complete a linguistics internship in the Department of Anthropology. He will be working with Smithsonian curators Gabriela Pérez Báez and Ives Goddard. Together they will work to identify the influence that Spanish has had on an indigenous language called Juchitán Zapotec. They will also look at changes in the phonology of the language.

“I never expected to be interning at the Smithsonian as an undergraduate,” stated Brendel. “I am so grateful to all the professors I had at Berks who helped me get accepted into this internship program.”

Rutter, a sophomore Schreyer Scholar majoring in wildlife and fishery science, will complete an internship in the Department of Vertebrate Zoology. She will work with Kris Helgen on researching small mammal species morphology. Rutter has completed an internship working with common terns.

Both 10-week internships are supported by the National Science Foundation. More than 590 students applied for a total of 18 positions: 161 students applied to vertebrate zoology; 104 applied to work in cultural anthropology, and only one internship in linguistics has been awarded in the last two years.

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Last Updated April 11, 2013