Several SUNY New Paltz engineering students are gaining real-world, hands-on experience in their fields through an internship program with the Hudson Valley Technology Development Center (HVTDC), thanks to alumnus Everton Henriques ’78, ’83g (Chemistry), the Center’s regional innovation specialist.
The Center provides consultation services to regional manufacturing and technology companies, with a special focus on engineering and product development. Its headquarters are conveniently located in commuter-friendly Newburgh, N.Y., just a short drive from the New Paltz campus.
“Interacting in a professional environment with other engineers will all be very useful in the future.”
Henriques said it made perfect sense to recruit talent from the School of Science and Engineering.
“New Paltz students make very good interns … because I think they are well prepared academically,” said Henriques. “It’s a small school, a small program. There’s great interaction with professors. Having good mentorship will lead people to want to do more. I believe having well-prepared students who are willing to work over break is a very good thing for us, and certainly for the companies we serve.”
“The interns are treated almost as if they were regular employees here,” added the Center’s Executive Director Tom Phillips. “We respect them for what they know, and they are given assignments where they have responsibility for projects that clients are paying for. … Between their abilities and the abilities of a more mature, older staff, we have the best of both worlds.”
Interns Kim Eagleston ’15; Travis Hayden ’15; RJ Pisani ’15; and Adam Secovnie ’15 are senior electrical engineering majors at New Paltz, and Dylan Atkins ’17 is a student in the newly introduced mechanical engineering major. New Paltz alumna Shirley Huang ’13g studied computer science and served as an intern at the Center before accepting a full-time position as a computer engineer.
“The coursework that I’m doing at New Paltz ties into this by seeing everything in real life,” said Eagleston. “All of these things that I’m learning, I’m able to see in real life applications, and how they’d be used in the field.”
“I definitely think the internship will benefit me in the future, in that it’s given me a lot more hands-on experience,” said Secovnie. “It’s one thing to go through the semester and complete a project, but it’s another thing to spend 40 hours a week here on break, or 20 hours during the semester, and really just keep hammering away at the same project.”
He added, “Interacting in a professional environment with other engineers … will all be very useful in the future.”
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