It's funny how blocks and bricks can lead to boards! Many of my childhood toys are now forgotten, but I still have my beloved wooden blocks and Lego bricks. They allowed me to dream big and build anything I could imagine, from spaceships to entire planets. From there, it was a natural progression to imagining and building unique circuit boards, R2-D2, and supercomputers (Beowulf). I'm happy to be celebrating National Engineers Week, but when you love what you do, every day is a cause for celebration!
There’s nothing more rewarding than helping the next generation get excited about the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). Over the weekend, I was honored to teach at the BeWISE STEM Camp for girls near Columbus, Ohio. We talked about electrical engineering and computer programming, and we engaged in some fun hands-on activities to demonstrate the concepts. All of the girls were enthusiastic and eager to learn, and I am very excited to see what their incredibly bright futures will bring!
If I had to use just one word to describe my internship at Intel it would be "inspirational".
As I drove into Oregon to begin my internship, I was stuck by the wondrous landscapes and scenery. The beauty of Oregon is beyond compare. Tapestries of wildflowers lead to snow-capped peaks, varied shades of ferns and moss line babbling mountain streams, beautiful waterfalls as tall as office buildings are around every bend, and the tidepools and ocean beaches provide surprising discoveries with each low tide. Even the food is a sight to behold, with farmer's markets bringing new delights each week to tempt your palette.
The second thing that continues to inspire me is the hospitality of Oregonians. As a newcomer in a strange place, never have I felt more welcomed by my co-workers, fellow Audubon volunteers, and even my landlord, as I have felt here. My co-workers instantly made me feel I was a valued part of the team, my landlord has become a cherished friend, and Audubon allowed me to join their fundraising teams and help raise over $150,000. I've only been here a matter of months, yet I feel as if I've always lived here; I belong here.
The internship itself has been the perfect mixture of fun activities for the interns and meaningful tasks. There were so many fun activities from which to choose; there was always something going on so it was easy to connect with people and build relationships. Outside of work, I got to go whitewater rafting, and hiking and camping at Mt. Hood. I ate until I exploded at the all-you-can-eat ice cream event with the gamers, and I stuffed my face at the cheese-lovers events and factory outings. I visited a ton of museums and historic sites, I collected a small mountain of geological treasures at the Rock and Mineral Festival, and I got in touch with my roots at the Scottish Festival.
The projects I was assigned were precisely the type of work I hoped for. The work was fascinating, and while it was challenging, help was always available if necessary. I was always so excited to get to work that I never had to set an alarm! My team was fantastic! My boss Yedu Jathavedan (below), my mentor Nagendra Ketineni, and my second line manager Alex Henstrom had open door policies and were exceptionally supportive. I learned more than I ever dreamed possible, and I felt I accomplished something and contributed to the team.
Thanks to Laura McCarson, my internship at Intel culminated in two rare honors (1) speaking directly with CEO Bob Swan (above left) and (2) meeting with CSR Director Suzanne Fallender (above right). From these awe-inspiring individuals, I received sound advice, I grew even more excited about the direction Intel is taking in the future, and I developed a deeper appreciation for Intel's commitment to social and environmental issues. The culture of Intel is unusually supportive - not just supportive of one another, but also of the community. When I walked in the door my first day, there was an immediate sense that Intel is a company that has a real heart. That culture starts at the top, and I am so fortunate to have met with two of the people responsible for Intel's heartbeat.
On my final day, I was pleasantly surprised and very grateful to receive a note from Mr. Swan. In the note was a piece of advice that I intend to follow: "Every minute of every day is an opportunity to have an impact on someone or something. Don't waste them!"
Last night the Portland Audubon Society hosted a beautiful banquet for those who raised at least $75 in the Birdathon fundraiser. In all, we raised over $150,000! The money goes toward education programs, habitat protection, sanctuaries, and the Wildlife Care Center. Last year, Portland Audubon's educational programs reached over 12,000 children, and the Wildlife Care Center treated over 3,000 injured and orphaned animals. If you haven't visited the 172-acre Wildlife Sanctuary or attended an Audubon program, you're really missing out!
The Birdathon fundraiser was held the weekend I moved to Portland. Participating in it gave me an instant connection to the community, it introduced me to some remarkable people, and it allowed me to make a difference while doing something I love: birding.
I am grateful to all of the generous donors who believed in this cause, and I am grateful to Portland Audubon for accepting me into their flock and allowing me to participate in their fundraising efforts.
I have been having the time of my life in Portland, partly because of the fascinating work I've been assigned, and partly because of the breathtaking scenery, but mostly because of the people at Intel. Everyone I've met has been helpful and supportive, and few have been more so than my Buddy (mentor within my team) Nagendra Ketineni. My first line manager Yedu Jathavedan has been a huge inspiration for me throughout my internship. My second line manager Alex Henstrom has been incredibly supportive of the entire team, including the new intern (me)! And Boyd Phelps, Vice President of Intel's Silicon Engineering Group, graciously took time out of his very busy schedule to speak with me! It was quite an honor!
I'm looking forward to the remainder of my internship and to all of the excitement that it will surely bring!
On behalf of Indiana Tech's Math Club, I would like to cordially invite everyone in the Fort Wayne area to attend our Speaker Series. On Thursday evening (4/18), join us in welcoming a brilliant scientist who helped design one of NASA's latest projects. He'll be discussing NASA's past and upcoming projects, fascinating new technologies, and the many ways your lives will be affected. This is a family-friendly event, attendance is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be provided at no charge. While you're there, join our club! We're the coolest group in town! I hope to see you there!
R2-D2 and I had a great time at Indiana Tech's Select Tech 2019 and the Senior Project Spotlight! It was nice seeing everyone from Eaton, Ultra Electronics USSI, and Fort Financial, along with so many students, professors, and members of the public!
Community service has always been important to me, and I try to help out whenever and wherever I can. When I secured my summer internship with Intel, I started looking for ways that I could contribute in Portland, Oregon, and I found something perfect! I've joined a team of young birders (adults under age 30) to help raise funds for the Portland Audubon Society by conducting a birdathon the weekend before I start work! I'm thrilled that Portland Audubon is allowing me to do this! They've even given me my own page! It's the ideal way for me to get involved, help a cause I believe in, become more familiar with the area, and forge new friendships!
I spent part of my spring break at the 10th Annual Techapalooza Conference. I love industry conferences! They're a great place to catch up with old friends, meet new people, and hear about the latest trends in tech. Many thanks to Professor Lewandowski and Professor Mansfield for letting me know about this one!
On a cold, winter weekend, when I can't go snowboarding or skiing, what's the next best thing? An electronics project! This is a simple project using an FPGA (field-programmable gate array) and Verilog that causes LEDs to scroll back and forth like KITT from Knight Rider. I didn't get to hit the slopes, but I got to make a fun video to post on my YouTube channel!